Sunday, 9 January 2011
Made to measure
here. I wanted to make another representation of my spine after surgery (with the curvature now at a mere 23 degrees), this time with all its added metal work and screws.
These images were taken by my good friend Flo - a very talented photographer who is currently applying to study it at University. We'd planned for a while to do a shoot this weekend, but my approach to time management is sometimes a little haphazard and thus, I didn't start making the dress until about nine pm last night, and subsequently had to get up at seven-thirty this morning to finish it off! However, the tedious hand sewing of the 'rods' paid off when I tried it on for the first time.
The construction of this dress was a little trickier than the last, as I had to devise a way to portray my x-ray without using actual strips of metal. The answer was found in some silver electrical cable from something my little brother had taken apart. I then decided the easiest thing to show screws would be, well... screws. The dress was back to front as I didn't want a zip to mess up the line of the vertebrae,which were made of raw silk like before. I also pinned darts along the waist to shape it.
Visually, I styled it with several of the items used the first time round - to make the contrast between the spine shape of the 'before' dress and 'after' dress markedly different. So it was on with the same beloved vintage Jaeger jumper, and the same vintage silk scarf in my hair. However, this time I used cable knit tights (from Next), a pair of charity shopped Betty Jackson shoes - so the silver matched the 'metal work' - and net gloves that belonged to my great-grandma.
It felt odd going through the motions of creating another 'scoliodress' again - almost akin to deja vu, but with some obvious changes. However, while sitting at the sewing machine, trying to get it to cooperate and to not ruckle up the silk, I had a sudden memory of what it felt like in early Autumn to be making the first dress, having no idea of what lay ahead. In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't know how much pain I would be in or how hard it would be to be incapacitated for a while post-surgery.
The first dress was fired by fear of the unknown and a desire to turn my helpless situation into something creative. This second dress was driven by experience.
This post is a little briefer than usual, but Sunday evening-itis and a mound of homework are overwhelming me. However, I couldn't wait to share these images, and I'm very grateful to gorgeous Flo for taking them.