December 5th, 2010 / posted by paularath

What a transformation! With an open communication between the designer (Andy South) and the client (first lady-elect, Nancie Caraway), the inauguration ensemble is nearing perfection. There will be one more fitting before Monday’s inauguration, just to tweak the fit.

The ensemble is completely different from the original idea of a dropped waist, pleated dress you may have seen several blogs ago. Now it’s separates: a pretty, feminine, romantic blouse with an empire silhouette, worn with a high-waisted skirt that defies description, it is so exquisite. The look is totally flattering and emphasizes Caraway’s fit, trim body and lovely coloring. It even brings out the green in her eyes.

Photos by Jerry Mayfield

South found a beautiful gray-green silk dupioni at Kaimuki Dry Goods for the skirt. The top is still the silk habotai that was part of the original plan, but the skirt needed to be something with more body and less drape. While both fabrics coordinate beautifully, the colors are just different enough to make the ensemble interesting and a little ethnic in feel, just what Caraway wanted.

Caraway’s reaction: “Oh, Andy, this is so beautiful!”

South said it only took him 1 1/2 hours to pleat the panels of the skirt, which is amazing to me. It would have taken me at least eight hours to do that work. But of course we all saw how fast he can work when he sewed his way through Project Runway. Here’s one small detail of the pleating:

South is known for his details, as witnessed in Project Runway.

South encouraged Caraway to wear the pieces separately later. They can be dressed up or down and worn with a variety of other garments for entirely different looks. Who could ask for anything more?

– Paula Rath

What are they saying?
Leave a comment below.
Patrice Collins
December 5th, 2010 at 7:37 pm

The style and the fabric choice is so so Andy. Once completed, the outfit will be gorgeous. Thank you Paula for helping us to follow the process of this endeavor.

December 6th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Gorgeous! I’m jealous of the pleating! I wish I could do that!

December 6th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Me too! Andy is the whole package: gifted designer and he can sew like the wind. I sew like a snail.Paula

December 8th, 2010 at 5:39 pm


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