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Behind the Dress: Janice

V-neck soft mermaid gown with washed multi layered flanges, organza scallops and pleated ruffled tulle skirt.

Balance is key to this dress, as in all my gowns: I find that before you can really do anything radical with a dress, you need to have a thorough sense of all the different weights and volumes in your layers. It’s a bit like designing a building: that’s why the phrase “architectural” is so often used to describe, for instance, a skirt like this one. Here, the ruffled tulle has been gathered and the organza has been layered in such a way as to create a sense of volume completely without heaviness. It’s almost like smoke, getting darker and denser as it gathers near the ground. Now you see her, now you don’t: the enchantress trails her mysterious allure behind her, in a cloud!

The V-neck bodice is so streamlined and sculpted—an effect achieved by a soft lingerie corset underneath. The sleekness gives way to the real show-stopper: a haunting, convoluted tier of scalloped organza, which winds its way from hip to calf, like a witch’s candle. It’s otherworldly. Particularly in black, which I did for my runway show, the look is spellbinding, and a bit unreal.

The back view is also lovely. There’s a sleek, smooth line, and lots of light and tone, balancing the chaos in the skirt. And then there’s the washed organza train, with so many beautiful tonalities and surprising asymmetries. The entire piece wavers between elegant and excessive, and there’s absolutely something supernatural in all of that grandeur, and all of that surprising sensuousness. I think it’s all tapping into something deep and uncontrollable. In the delicate balance between skirt and bodice, there are wild, mysterious forces, constantly appearing and disappearing.

JaniceV-neck soft mermaid gown with washed multi layered flanges, organza scallops and pleated ruffled tulle skirt | PhotographerMichael Beauplet

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