|A fitting for the top half of the under-layer of the dress.|
The dressmaking process is moving along. Alyssa's Fall semester in school has started and she shared with me that she's learning things in her new classes already that she's excited to bring to this project. The photo above was taken during a recent fitting. It was 90 degrees outside but we were working on a dress inspired by Rosemary Clooney's red dress, seen in the finalé of the 1954 movie White Christmas! The air conditioning was turned up and we were singing along to the movie's song "Snow." Our deadline is October and there's much work to be done.
My designer Alyssa explained to me that the bodice of the garment she's making--or the upper portion of the dress--needs a fabric layer that she will eventually attach the paper Netflix envelope fronts upon. That's what the muslin layer seen in the above photo captures. Once the bodice fits me just right, she'll be able to create the paper layer. Then the bottom portion of the dress too will be created. Alyssa has also been busy creating a paper interpretation of the white fur cuffs and trim that are on the White Christmas dress. If you follow her on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/a_zdesigns/ ), you may have seen the videos she's made about the paper rosettes she's creating. Just to catch you up, we're not making a cosplay outfit of Rosemary Clooney, but rather we're just taking inspiration from that gorgeous red dress in the movie. As you can see, the neckline is already slightly different. We're working on capturing the same classic Hollywood glamour, style and maybe even a bit of Christmas with our red paper dress. I can't wait to see it when it's finished!
|Gorgeous Rosemary Clooney (right). How will the paper dress translate this look? I don't know--we'll soon see :)|
Working on this project this year has given me an opportunity to reflect back on the journey I've made to this point. I initially started the research for what eventually became the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV book almost twenty years ago. I started re-watching old Christmas TV specials in 2000, and by 2002 I was collecting information and writing summaries of Christmas TV episodes, specials and movies. My first book on Christmas programs came out in 2009, and by then I had started this website and blog. Next year will be the blog's 10th year.
Currently I have four books on Christmas entertainment: Christmas TV Companion, Tis the Season TV, Merry Musical Christmas Vol. 1, and Triple Dog Dare. I was even lucky enough to be invited to participate in the anthology Yuletide Terror that came out last year from the Canadian press Spectacular Optical. My next book will be an updated edition of Tis the Season TV, coming in 2020. This new edition of the encyclopedia will include the 120 to 150 new Christmas programs created each year, since the first release of the book in 2010. And, it will include more comprehensive information, summaries, and commentaries on hundreds of older titles. Since 2010, I've gotten a better understanding how readers want to use the encyclopedia too so I've worked hard to improve the index, and I've created several new indices to make searching categories and music possible as well. It already feels like a whole new book.
One of the things I've learned along the way about researching Christmas entertainment is that--as I mentioned above--there are between 120 and 150 new yuletide episodes, specials and movies created each year. Quite frankly, that number continues to grow with each successive year. Christmas entertainment is big business for television and it continues to bring ratings, sales of commercials, and new subscribers to online streaming services. Not only does Hallmark Channel continue to make more, new Christmas TV movies each year, but now TV One regularly airs new holiday movies--along with Lifetime, Ion, and Up TV--the networks that have been doing it for a while. The major networks still feature their annual specials, such as Christmas in Rockefeller Center and CMA Country Christmas, among others. And, Netflix and Amazon and the like have joined in with offering viewers new original holiday programming as well. In updating the listings for the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV, I have my work cut out for me!
Certainly subscribing to Netflix DVD service has been an important resource in this research, but I also subscribe to Netflix's streaming service. The kind of massive research that I do also involves using my local library's resources and interlibrary loans, accessing museums and archives, and watching an awful lot of television and streaming services. Getting the opportunity to wear a glamorous dress made from the packaging of my research materials seems like a beautiful tribute. This dress couldn't "fit" anyone but me. Thanks for joining me in the adventure :)
Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com
*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com