summer dresses

it's summer. . .it's hot. . .dresses should be easy!

 Lu is wearing a lightweight cotton satin dress with easy fitted bodice and lightly gathered skirt.

Lu is wearing a lightweight cotton satin dress with easy fitted bodice and lightly gathered skirt.

Brights with neutrals can be very beautiful for summer dinners or drinks with friends. . .maybe a linen coat for those chillier evenings at the shore. . .

 El is wearing a silk shantung fitted dress with 3/4 sleeves and a metallic finish linen coat and, of course, pearls!

El is wearing a silk shantung fitted dress with 3/4 sleeves and a metallic finish linen coat and, of course, pearls!

I love to see my dresses in the environments where they are worn. . .these pictures were recently sent to me from clients-

 Jill is wearing a grey cotton A-line dress with an African print bodice and red selvage details at the Jersey shore.  the dress also has side pleats which are not visible in the photo.  really no accessories needed except a great pair of sunglasses and shoes.

Jill is wearing a grey cotton A-line dress with an African print bodice and red selvage details at the Jersey shore.  the dress also has side pleats which are not visible in the photo.  really no accessories needed except a great pair of sunglasses and shoes.

 Bethany is wearing a Wax-print ankle-length dress to a summer wedding in the Hamptons - looking fabulous with her dapper husband. . .accessorized with wide-brimmed straw hat and summer sandals.

Bethany is wearing a Wax-print ankle-length dress to a summer wedding in the Hamptons - looking fabulous with her dapper husband. . .accessorized with wide-brimmed straw hat and summer sandals.

 Joëlle is looking festive, yet casuel in one of my Dutch / african Wax-print dresses - out to dinner in Marseille

Joëlle is looking festive, yet casuel in one of my Dutch / african Wax-print dresses - out to dinner in Marseille

 Kristen in September in New York - nonchalantly  fabulous!  photo:   Harriet Shapiro

Kristen in September in New York - nonchalantly  fabulous!

photo:   Harriet Shapiro

Spending time with flowers

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I have been forever inspired by flowers.  As soon as Spring arrives, who cannot but be enthralled by the exquisite bursts of color that emerge from the monochrome months that proceeded it.  Each season has it's colors, it's fragrances and it's graceful forms.  If I could imitate, in one dress, the nonchalant grace that blooms so  profusely everywhere,  I would be ecstatic. Perhaps it is also their ephemeral nature that makes them so appealing.  Impossible to save or capture, like time itself. . .but there to enjoy, to savor and be inspired by.

 

My mother used to grow Zinnias in her garden every summer.  I had thought of them as country flowers and it has only been in the last few years, as I have seen them at the Farmer's Markets, that I considered trying to grow them myself in our window boxes.  This year I decided to grow them from seeds, so it has been doubly rewarding to see them come into flower and thrive.  They are not fussy- don't mind the scorching sun and are an endless source of happiness.

wedding sketches on a sunday morning

I love making wedding dresses.   It is always such a collaboration between the bride and myself.    It is a process of getting to know the bride- her life style, personality, likes and dislikes.   I want the bride to feel completely comfortable and herself on her wedding day. . . .and of course, beautiful.   The dress should feel organic and inevitable, as though it grew out of her life story.   The bride should feel simply gorgeous! There are as many wedding dresses as there are brides and I love taking that journey of creative exploration .   They, also, seem to love the process. . .

 Alenćon Lace bodice with silk chiffon skirt and lightly beaded chiffon sleeves

Alenćon Lace bodice with silk chiffon skirt and lightly beaded chiffon sleeves

 Lace Bodice - off the shoulder silk mesh wrap and silk mesh many-layered skirt

Lace Bodice - off the shoulder silk mesh wrap and silk mesh many-layered skirt

 Silk Chiffon with beaded details and appliqué silk flowers - embellished cuffs

Silk Chiffon with beaded details and appliqué silk flowers - embellished cuffs

In philadelphia. . .

I was recently commissioned to re-make the costumes I designed for Trisha Brown's "O Zlozony / O Composite" by the Pennsylvania Ballet as part of their Spring season Balanchine and beyond.  Martha Chamberlain, a former dancer with the PA Ballet and now a costumer, made the pants and shorts for the piece.  The concept was padded corsets, supportive, protective and evocative of fencing attire.

 Aaron Anker

Aaron Anker

The original piece was commissioned by the Paris Opera Ballet in 2004.

It was a delight to work with the talented dancers and costume shop in Philadelphia to create these costumes.

 Lillian di Piazza

Lillian di Piazza

It is the sole ballet that Brown created during her 50 yr career.  to quote Susan Rosenberg from her program essay-

"Performed in all-white costumes designed by Elizabeth Cannon, whose stitching and armbands recall the attire used in the aristocratic art of fencing (considered a source for ballet's technical vocabulary), the choreography joins recognizable ballet moves- pirouettes, expansive leaps through space, and graceful port de bras- with Brown's vocabulary of rapid undulation of the spine, head and limbs, the use of simple walking, and the creation of linear as well as asymmetrical physical geometries"
 Lillian Di Piazza

Lillian Di Piazza

Laurie Anderson composed the music with  text from  Czeslaw Milosz's poem "Ode to a bird", Vija Celmins did the set design of a starry night sky, and Jennifer Tipton designed the lighting.  

It was a truly magical time creating the original in the Palais Garnier in Paris,  and wonderful to revive it here in Philadelphia.  The piece was performed  June 9-12,  2016.