The Stargazer Gown Project: helping Lily Verlaine shine at BHOF.

The Stargazer Gown, sketch by Danial Webster

Kickstarter allows anyone that’s feeling a little philanthropic to become a patron of the arts. Since its inception, tens of thousands of people have donated $1 or more to fund projects as varied as book publication, indie films, coast to coast photographic journeys, start-up underwear companies, bands seeking wheels to go on tour, or the creation of custom software that lets you design your own deconstructed little black dress. Fashion and burlesque are current Kickstarter bedfellows in a campaign launched yesterday by Seattle’s very own living, breathing work of art: Lily Verlaine.

Lily and designer Danial Webster have dreamed up the dress of all dresses for Lily’s performance at this year’s Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend, where Lily will compete for Reigning Queen of Burlesque. The dress- an incredible feat of couture and costuming- will require over 200 hours of work and heaps and heaps of materials, as one might guess.

Lily is truly one of the most unique and beloved burlesque performers in Seattle. Her imagination is limitless (as evidenced by this project, as well her yearly Burlesque Nutcracker and Through the Looking Glass: the Burlesque Alice in Wonderland); her individual acts raising the bar on burlesque as dance/performance art in a very real and rare way. I often feel that when I watch Lily perform, the atmosphere changes: the air grows thicker, more humid- the audience magnetically drawn to each reveal and every curve of her body. Perhaps it’s this chemistry that will win her the title of Reigning Queen of Burlesque. She certainly deserves it.

And YOU can give back to Lily by becoming a part of The Stargazer Gown… and pick up some personalized gratitude from Lily and Danial while you’re at it. It’s an amazing project to be a part of and there are 24 days to go.

See Lily and Danial’s video and patronize this work of art in process by clicking HERE. (Don’t forget to see what Lily will give you in return…)

More on this project:

The Stargazer Gown is a collaboration between choreographer Lily Verlaine and designer Danial Webster and will make its debut at the 2011 Burlesque Hall of Fame. The gown is inspired by the unabashed sensuality of the Stargazer lily itself: the dripping stamen, the dark, staining pollen, the disorganized blossom, its brazen glamour and its unapologetic palette.

Such a gift of nature supplies ample inspiration in the minds of two artists who enjoy making defiant spectacles. Combining Lily’s vivacity and retro-style glamour with Danial’s spontaneous sophistication, the two intend to create a jaw-dropping wearable work of art that continues a tradition of couture in burlesque theatre. There is perhaps no better example of this than Erté’s stunning pieces for Ziegfeld Follies.

The Stargazer Gown was conceived in the interest of blurring the line between couture and costuming, employing fine sewing techniques, painting, fabric dying, and corseting. The design is estimated to employ 200 hours of design time.

Danial has worked in Seattle as a costumer for burlesque and alternative artists on limited budgets, which translates to a compromised vision–fewer hours spent in the design and execution process and working with materials that may not be his first choice. In this project, we are hoping to provide Danial with enough of a budget to allow for creative liberty and a true expression of what this artist is capable of achieving.

The entire project will cost nearly $7,000 including design, materials, and production. The Kickstarter campaign is seeking vital patrons for t$2,000 in contributions to cover material costs alone.

Lily (Photo by Christopher Nelson)

~ by angrytruffle on 05/12/2011.

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