About Christmas TV History

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

DVD Dress Update--Part 5

Some of my DVD Netflix envelope fronts spread across the floor of an office space later filmed for local TV.

Thank you for following along with the progress of my paper dress project, celebrating the 20th anniversary of DVD Netflix. I've been a subscriber to the DVD service for the past 13 years and have saved EVERY single envelope front from all the Netflix DVDs I received in the mail. I always imagined making a paper dress with them and now DVD Netflix is sponsoring it! I'm having so much fun with this project. As a Christmas TV and film writer, I've relied on Netflix to do quite a bit of my research over the years. This project is a dream come true.

Hahahaha. I look so pensive! Let me tell ya, posing for photos isn't easy.

In Part 4, you saw my own crafty contribution to fashion project--I made some paper holly leaves from the DVD Netflix envelopes for a hair accessory, and a shiny hand made mini-DVD necklace. Thanks again to the assistance of Akron MakerSpace for the use of their laser cutter and Devin Wolfe's help in designing my accessories.

In this update, let me share my experiences getting the completed dress photographed. REMINDER: we debut the photos of the completed dress on Monday, Nov. 12th. This is my backstory about getting the photographs for our premiere next week.

I visited Rosemary Clooney House & museum in 2016. Read about that trip again HERE.

This past summer, I contacted the administrators of the Rosemary Clooney House museum in Augusta, KY to talk to them about the red dress in their collection. If you're a regular reader of my website, you may remember that I visited the museum back in 2016. Click HERE to see that post again. The museum houses the largest collection of White Christmas movie memorabilia in the world! I remember that the red dress in their collection is a recreation--they're still looking for the original gown Rosemary Clooney wore during the filming of the movie. When I spoke to the museum administrator about the red dress and our paper dress project, we were invited to Rosemary Clooney's former residence to take our photos for the debut! Uhm...YES, PLEASE!

From Akron, Ohio to Augusta, KY=200+ miles.

So a couple weeks ago, when the dress was complete, we made the journey down to Augusta, Kentucky. This became an adventure unto itself! There were five of us in the caravan, in three vehicles: Alyssa Hertz the dress' designer, her father David, our fashion photographer Keisha from Keisha Lenee Photography, myself, and my partner Dominic. The dress is so large that we couldn't all travel down together in one vehicle!? I can't wait for you to see it on Nov. 12th.

The museum is in a charming small town located right on the Ohio River. Can you can see the expanse of the river in the background?

When we arrived in Augusta, the appealing small town was in the middle of their Autumn Festival. The roads were crowded with street vendors, residents, and visitors. There was a wooden stage set up with local musicians playing all day too. We were excited to be at the museum but we were hoping to walk around and join the festival later in the day too.

The museum is Clooney's former residence and now houses the world's largest collection of White Christmas movie memorabilia.

After our photographer Keisha scouted out the museum and grounds, she decided we'd start taking photos inside the museum first, then move outside. Museum visitors that afternoon got an eyeful of our team of people taking photographs. We did our best to stay out of everyone's way but quite truthfully, people followed us where ever we went. Everyone was curious about the dress and our project! It was beneficial that we had five people in our party to help navigate from place to place, and get what we needed done. But I was more than happy to take multiple breaks from posing for photos to answer questions from the people that gathered around to watch. It was a constant reminder that a paper dress made from DVD Netflix envelopes is a rare sight!

A close-up, detail shot of the dress.

Wait until you see the whole dress!

Modeling the dress was a bit intimidating for me--I'm DECADES older than the average fashion model. I'm a researcher/writer, not someone who usually worries about what she looks like. But this is a unique project and I decided early on that I would embrace whatever challenges it brought. Yes, you can laugh--so am I--but it was HARD smiling all day. My face muscles hurt the next day. I want to reassure you that I've fully recovered! The paper dress has quite a bit of structure added to it underneath to maintain its shape so it is heavier than what I'm used to wearing. While we were taking photos, I had to frequently adjust my alignment and shoulders to hold the dress up. I'm not complaining--it's just a new experience for me to model a garment. I'm no Barbie doll but it was exciting to have people stopping to talk to me about the dress.

Look familiar? This sign hangs inside the museum's entrance to the rooms with the White Christmas movie memorabilia.

We took photos inside the museum and outside as well. When we were outside it was a little more pleasant because it was a cool, crisp day. It was nice to enjoy the fall weather. We could also hear the musicians on the stage a couple blocks behind the museum and it was energizing. I think my favorite memory was standing near the front iron gate and suddenly realizing a horse-drawn carriage was slowly passing! It was a breath-taking, unexpected fantasy moment, feeling the glamour of a classic Hollywood movie like White Christmas and then seeing a horse and carriage. I asked myself what new surprises will this day bring? The horse might have been just as surprised to see me as I was him! We all laughed about the moment later that evening over dinner.

Two murals in downtown Maysville, KY

Channeling my inner Rosemary Clooney.

I ran across this sign on the outskirts of Maysville. Heather French and her husband Dr. Stephen French run the non-profit org behind the Rosemary Clooney House.

When I visited Clooney's former residence back in 2016 I didn't have the time to make my way to the nearby town of Maysville where Rosemary grew up. So this time, I wanted to make the effort. I knew her hometown has two painted murals to honor their favorite singer/actress so that's where we headed. We eventually found them on a floodwall behind the town newspaper's buildings in Maysville. Digging around online looking for the location of the murals, I discovered ANOTHER Clooney mural in Cincinnati, Ohio, so we took a spontaneous side trip.

The color and movement in this several stories-high mural is amazing!

Hahahaha! Mural #selfie.

This gorgeous colorful mural was painted by Natalie Lanese. I was excited to see that it depicts Clooney in the song and dance number "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me" from 1954's White Christmas. But it was sequestered behind a temporary six-foot construction fence. I still managed to get photos as best I could. I made a mental note to make an effort to go back to Cincinnati in a year or so to see it when the construction is complete.

I'll be sharing the photos of the completed paper dress taken at the Rosemary Clooney House on Monday, November 12th on social media and on this website. Please stop by to see them. I think you'll like them! If you need to catch up with the previous four installments about the DVD dress project, I have them linked here: http://www.christmastvhistory.com/p/dvddress.html

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

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