Creating a Grammy Gown
by Coco Rocha
In the fashion industry we have a few big and exciting yearly events, but almost nothing can compare to the effort and production that goes into the Grammy’s. For as long as I can remember, the Grammy’s were the one award show that I couldn’t miss on TV but it never crossed my mind that I’d ever get to go in person… At least not until I got a call from the people at ET Canada asking me if id like to correspond for them. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to say yes!!
Right after I put the phone down the first thought that came to mind was: “What am I going to wear!?”. Very early on I decided that this would be the perfect showcase for my first creation. Except, I didn’t have a first creation… What I did have was a book full of sketches and designs that James and I had been working on for a few months, but none of them were “red carpet dresses” per se. What I love about the Grammys is that it’s one of the few times (outside of a fashion tent) that it’s acceptable to wear completely outlandish pieces in public. I promised myself that I’d take advantage of this opportunity and that I wouldn’t go the “safe” route with something easily forgettable. So I sat down to design my Grammy dress from scratch…
This task wasn’t easy for me. For one thing, almost everything has done before in the thousands of dresses that have graced the hundreds of red carpets over the last few decades. How would I make my dress different? How would I try to stand out from the dozens of other pretty ladies there in gorgeous gowns? I set out to design something a little unusual - not in the Lady Gaga red latex and a solar system way - just something slightly different than expected. I decided I wanted to create a dress that would have looked futuristic 200 years ago. Something like an 18th century lady superhero might wear to a ball. I started out by drawing a dress with a classic silhouette and then I updated it with a gold mini skirt and more costume-y accessories like the gold plated shoulder armor. The nice thing about the music industry is that dressing up for them is very much about fun, and I had tons of fun with this!!
A lot of thought went into the color too. In my day-to-day life I’m a very monochromatic kind of girl and I love my blacks and grays, but when you’re designing a dress to be seen on bright red carpet you want to go a little more daring with the colors. I went fabric shopping and picked out the royal blue silk because it had such a richness to it and the 24k gold accents gave the piece the regal feel I wanted. I then took my fabric and sketches and met with a dress maker down the street who I worked closely with over the next month, slowly turning my sketch into a reality. I even put James to work again, this time creating the gold armor pieces which he covered in real gold leaf!
The dress turned out decent and I learnt SO MUCH. Its not the greatest creation, but it’s MY creation… my first of many. My upcoming line won’t be a collection of costume Grammy dresses (or a collection of antique superhero uniforms) but, like my very first dress, it will continue to draw inspiration from the past while at the same time including elements and fabrics with a more futuristic feel.
I’m just a baby starting out at this. I’m fortunate to have good friends who also happen to be the worlds greatest designers and I respect their work immensely. Over the last six years they have let me wear their clothes and see up close what a truly great piece of clothing looks and feels like. In this little adventure of mine I will be relying extensively on their expertise and their years of training to help guide me as I have neither at this point. The only thing I do have is an open mind and an eagerness to learn. Hopefully these qualities, in addition to my knowledge of what looks and feels good on me as a woman will yield some positive results with my new line, Rococo.
One thing I will promise: No matter what, I will be taking this very seriously!!