Fairfield Fashion Show - 1996
Sparked by an Old Flame by Cozy Bendesky
Layers are featured prominently in all of Cozy's work. She layers sheer fabrics, colors, form, even several quilting patterns on her quilts, to represent the meaning and form she wants to convey.
Another special interest of hers is the development of the form of garments from ancient times until today. All of the best designersBalenciaga, Poiret, Schipparalliseem to develop the timeless designs of our ancient past into their timeless modern designs we have come to adore. Her own design, the coat is developed from the form of the Japanese kimono, and features released pleats at the shoulder line to include fullness.
Because she begins with the materials and listens to them to develop her designs, Cozy decided to limit herself to only see-through things as elements for her garment. Thread, sheer fabric and lamé were the jumping off point here, and the project was going just fine until she realized You Can't See Through Batting! This constraint helped to develop the use of the batting as a design element, used beside the sheers and thread lace, instead of beneath it.
An avid student of the ancient shibori dye techniques, she turned to her 10 foot long shibori pole, wrapping the batting at 1/2 inch intervals with cotton thread and then painting it with fiber reactive dyes to achieve the patterning you see in the dress and on side two of the coat. This Arashi technique of wrapping and then pleating is difficult using silk or cotton; it really takes strength to execute in batting! The red striped fabric in the bodice of the dress in the stripes of the dress and in the hem line of the blue and green side of the coat are the result of the shibori wrapped batting.
Layers of pattern and coloras always in Cozy's workare found in the coat and also in the dress, the top layer has the see-through sheers and thread lace (it took 4 yards of Solvy, 6 hours and 6,000 to 8,000 yards of thread, using a hoop supplied by speed stitch, to make each piece of thread lace 12" wide and 32" long, which was then cut into the pieced skirt.)
The petticoat (I know, nice girls don't lift up their dresses, but Cozy says: I'm not always that nice) continues the theme of the striped vertical and diagonal shibori work in lame overlaid with strips of sheer fabric and Krenik 1/8" ribbon. The slip is white twinkle with a quilted hem line.
There are layers of meaning here too, as this garment tells the story of Cozy's reunion with her best childhood friend, after losing touch with him for years after moving the friendship on to dating while in college. He too became an artist, and studied in Europe and this year they formed an artistic support partnership that serves both of them well. The reunion of the friendship began beside a huge waterfall in the green and blue of upstate New York, where her friend is a music composer, that is the blue green hidden part of the coat, and the dress is the flame that has changed, but now burns between them in a new way.
Cozy's 1997 Fairfield Fashion Show garment, "The Romance of My Morning Cup", is featured on the Bendesky Family website.
Copyright © 1998 Robert & Cozy Bendesky.
All Rights Reserved. 09 Jun 1998