Sunday, January 08, 2012


Pret-a-porter isn't nearly as glamorous as it sounds.

Foreign words make the phrase sound luxurious, but Francophiles and ace students in Madame Hodge's French II class at Daniel Hand High School know it means ready-to-wear. As in Off The Rack.

As in, clothing for a cast of thousands.

The really fancy schmancy side of fashion involves clothing that is cut to order. Bespoke. As if it had a label inside with your name embroidered in gilded thread.

Bespoke, the word, hearkens back to the 1700s, when tailors made clothing for wealthy people with fabric that was spoken for because it was already on hand.

These days, bespoke clothing is custom made, meaning it doesn't follow a pattern that is cut to fit a person's measurements. All tailored clothing is not bespoke, but all bespoke clothing is tailored.

Got it?

Bespoke clothing is exactly what you get when you meet with Lindsey Lusignolo.

Last month, I told you about the ball gown Lindsey is designing for me for the Junior League of Cincinnati's CinSation fundraiser.

The process started in November. Lindsey and I met to talk about concepts and colors. The theme for the gala is the 007-flavored "Shaken, Not Stirred," and considering I've lost over 30 pounds, I decided I'd rely on Lindsey's talents to make me one of the hottest Bond Girls ever.

In early December, Lindsey showed me sketches with different dress features that I could select for my custom gown.

We followed up right after Christmas to go over the initial muslin designs.

It looks a bit like a fancy toga, but the fabric is a great way of visualizing the design before Lusignolo and her team begin stitching silk.

The Over-the-Rhine fashion designer and I decided on a few points: the dress would be a long gown to emphasize the glamour and drama of James Bond and Hollywood.

And the dress would emphasize my dramatic and curvaceous cleavage (ed note: I think I actually said, "I want to highlight my rack. I have a great rack." No need for modesty, eh?)

We've decided on a few other eye-catching features that will make this gown fit for Ursula Andress.

Now, all I need to find is a hot BRG-colored two-seater.

The Junior League of Cincinnati's CinSation gala is one of the organization's largest, annual fundraisers. The evening helps supports the JLC's mission of training women for leadership opportunities and building better communities in Greater Cincinnati. Full disclosure: I'm on the JLC's Board of Directors.

Lindsey Lusignolo Studio is at 1329 Main Street in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati. A DAAP graduate, the designer specializes in couture gowns and formal wear, but she is also available to do alterations and can hem or take in/let out your favorite pieces.

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