Third Time’s a Charm

The third look in the show is the one that under-went the most transformations.  I started with one look, changed to a second (that I was never 100% happy with for this show) and completely re-did the entire look at the last minute.  Literally.  My last fitting for this look was the morning of the show.  I finished it up in the hotel room that we had for the event.  I’m now a proud member of the small group of women who have brought sewing machines to their hotel room.  Booyah!

My initial idea for this look was playing off of the lace idea.  It was to be a lace tunic dress–the very top would be lined, but the dress and skirt portion would be sheer.  Since I don’t send naked ladies down the runway, I made a khaki bustier to go underneath.  All that would be paired with ruffled full length leggings, the spats (in brocade) and a tattered lace ruff:


I somehow managed to not take a picture of this look on the dress form.  I think I deleted it accidentally.  Suffice to say, it was pretty much as you see in the sketch (minus the spats).

At the fitting, it…..well……it looked awful.  The top of the tunic was resting inside the top of the bustier, creating what can only be called a shelf above her bust.  It looked so awful that I didn’t even snap a picture of it on the model.  I had had an inkling that this look wasn’t going to work–and maybe I’d just fallen out of love with it by the time I had the fitting.  Maybe I could have made it work, but I was determined that it wasn’t going to.  Either way, I had brought back-up options.  The bustier was great on her, and I brought a pencil skirt (you saw it in my previous RAW show, actually) to pair with it.  The skirt needed many alterations, but was workable.  Everything looked great on her, but it all kind of looked…..the same color.  Her skin, the bustier, the skirt, the shoes….I wasn’t feeling it.


So, I put this look to the back of the queue and just kept moving forward with the others that I was 100% behind.  I figured something would come to me at some point.  Hopefully.  Or else I was screwed.

So, I completed the other looks, and I stressed and I thought and I changed my mind about a ba-zillion times.  Finally, I decided on doing a dress that was similar to my finale look.  I used a brown suiting with a metallic pinstripe for the top, and a cream lace with the soft moleskin under-lay for the skirt.  The underlay is shorter than the overskirt.  The back is grommeted and laces for a better fit (and a little more “staying up” power than a zipper can offer).  I bustled the back of the skirt a bit, too, for volume.  I couldn’t be happier with the result!

Walking the runway:







And a shot from the pre-show photo shoot:


trapped-in-time-designs-amandabravender-elizabeth-underexposedphotography2 trapped-in-time-designs-amandabravender-elizabeth-underexposedphotography3 trapped-in-time-designs-amandabravender-elizabeth-underexposedphotography4 trapped-in-time-designs-amandabravender-elizabeth-underexposedphotography5

The dress suffered some tearing during the show, so, sadly, it won’t be available for purchase.  However, I can make one to measure and in any color desired.  Contact me for details.

Clothing by me:

Hair & Make Up by:  Amanda Bravender
For inquiries :

Model:  Elizabeth Austin

Photography (final image only):  Underexposed Photography


So, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I found myself honored (and shocked) to be in the final 3 fashion designers of the year for RAW New Orleans this year!  Coming as it did during the last of my Halloween rush, it’s all a bit of a blur to this day.  Being a finalist meant putting together a 6-look mini-collection for the awards show, which was on November 14.

I immediately began brainstorming, sketching, imagining.  Most of my ideas seem to come as I’m drifting off to sleep, or as I lie awake in the wee hours (I have a bad habit of waking for 2-3 hours every night).  The first look I imagined came around 3am one night and stuck with me for a few days, so I knew it was going to HAVE to be part of the mini collection.  First up, sketch:


Military-influenced bustier, bustle, spats & a tattered lace collar.  I originally envisioned a pompadour-mohawk for the hair, but later changed my mind since those pompadors are being used entirely too much lately.  The spats ended up taking a hike, too, as I just couldn’t get the pattern quite right and needed to streamline things a bit (mainly for my own sanity).

I don’t generally make mock-ups in muslin.  This is ridiculous, I realize, and can have terrible consequences (hello, wasted fabric!), but, *knock on wood*, I rarely have a problem with my methods.  So, this was the next step:



I was pretty obsessed with that bustle.

The bustier is reclaimed cotton (from mens khakis) with metal buttons and cotton twill trim, lined in cotton twill.  The bustier is cream taffeta.

Since my model has legs for days, I decided to go with no skirt under the bustle–it opens at each side as she walks, so I did, for modesty’s sake, make a pair of ruffled boy-shorts to be worn underneath.

First fitting went extremely well, with no real alterations needed:



(excuse the lighting–it was dark outside and my studio photographed rather yellow–photo editing washed it out too much, so I stuck with the yellow)

Onto the show!  This was my opener for the show:







I told my models to have fun with this show–why take fashion too seriously?  The music was a remix of “In the Mood” and was perfect.

I was lucky enough to have Underexposed Photography do a mini shoot pre-show, as well:


trapped-in-time-designs-amandabravender-amber-underexposedphotography2 trapped-in-time-designs-amandabravender-amber-underexposedphotography3 trapped-in-time-designs-amandabravender-amber-underexposedphotography4

Hot, right?

Clothing by me,

Hair & Make up by:  Amanda Bravender
For inquiries :

Model:  Amber Carollo  (

Photography by:  Underexposed Photography (

The bustier is already listed for sale in my shop:

I’ll have the bustle up at some point in the future.  If you’re interested in ordering, contact me–remember, I primarily work custom/made to measure, so can make one in your size and color choice.