For the recent CHA show we wanted to create some drama for our tradeshow booth. Recently we have launched the Boutique Sassy Fabric yarn that creates amazing ruffles like our Boutique Sashay Metallic yarn. CHA is the largest industry trade show of the year here in the states. It’s where all major craft companies come to premiere new products to retailers.
While brainstorming ideas for the booth we decided it would be fun to create two show stopping ball gowns to be part of the display. Sassy creates such a dramatic effect when used in a ruffled scarf we were convinced it would work into an equally dramatic couture dress. A call was put out to fashion and costume designers to see who could transform Sassy Fabric and Sashay metallic into one of a kind couture gowns. Through this search we found New York designer Bo Ram Houng.
Bo is a 2005 graduate of Moore College of Art and Design, with a BFA in Fashion design and a minor in Textile design. Her objective is to design intoxicating fashion that forecast future trends and designs. Constantly striving to stretch her personal knowledge and experience in the fashion industry.
While in college Bo had an amazing opportunity to intern for designer Alexander McQueen and the brand Frostfrench in London. Bo describes that experience as a great opportunity that opened her eyes to a broader global sensibility. Both companies helped Bo to hone her creative compass and technical craftsmanship.
For almost seven years Bo worked at Anthropologie. Of her experience at Anthropologie Bo says. “When I first started, it was still a small design team and there was so much creative collaborative work being done. Everything was hand touched and lovingly made. I was able to be both a designer and artist there.”
In the fall of 2012, she moved back to NYC to further her growth as a designer. Currently she is the creative director for Girls from Savoy. “It’s great to work for such a small company because it allows me to be so involved with the different nooks and crannies in design and technical design.”
Below Bo describes her working process for each dress.
I started to crochet the Sassy Fabric yarn first, so that I had the ruffles to layer on and play with. I also made ruffled flowers for the bodice section ahead of time too… I followed some of the video tutorial clips on the Red Heart website, which was helpful. But I also had knowledge of crocheting to help with the process.
I must have crocheted 6-8 maybe 9 mini boxes of the Sassy Fabric, and each box held 15 spools… so roughly around 120 skeins give or take. It took me about 2 and a half weeks to crochet it all of the ruffles and flower pieces. And by the end of it, my wrist was begging for some rest. It took me another week of hand sewing all the pieces onto the foundation of the dress to finish the rest. The dress ended up weighing a little over 20lbs.
The final result of the dress was not exactly the same as the initial sketch, but that was fine. I think the dress actually looks better than the initial sketch. I just allowed the yarn and the ruffle dictate how it was going to end up. And sometime in art and in life, you have to be flexible to get the best result. (my opinion) This dress was so fun to make and I am thrilled that it received such a great response from everybody.
The process for this dress was the same as the first one but the Sashay yarn was much harder to get the rhythm for crocheting compared to the Sassy yarn. The Sashay yarn however resulted in a much lighter, ethereal ruffle, which was a delight to layer and sew.
Because this dress didn’t use as much of the ruffles on the dress compared to the first one, I ended up crocheting roughly around 60-80 spools give or take. And crocheting the ruffles for this dress took much longer, 3 and half weeks but the application was much easier.
And again, this dress looks much different from the sketch, but the end result was so beautiful and satisfying for me as a designer and artist. I really loved where this dress took the design.
Thank you xoxo, Bo.
Both gowns were a huge success drawing lots of attention and admiration from attendees at the show. We were so pleased with how they turned out we shot them on models for future publicity.
Please take a look at the collection below for photos of Bo hard at work as well as the finished product.