We have a very special designer of the day from The 2018 Her Universe Fashion Show that we wanted to share with you as a special Christmas treat! Meet Kendra Raymond from AML Designs. Originally chosen as one of our top 25 designers, but unable to compete, we fell in love with Kendra’s Reading Rainbow inspired design! Congratulations Kendra on a beautifully designed and constructed geek couture gown!
Her amazing dress is inspired by the television show, Reading Rainbow. “An amazing show I grew up with and a personal connection to since my uncle worked on the pilot episode,” Kendra Shares.
Kendra gives us a personal inside look at the dress:
“As for the construction itself, the bodice has an underlying corset,” she explains. “The top visible layer of the bodice is set to look like a book opening with the spine being in the front. The back of the bodice has a 3D element to the pages to make them standout, a bit like it was opening. There is also a hidden zipper down the center-back for entry into the garment.
“The bottom rainbow portion of the skirt is inspired by Charles James’ ‘ribbon’ designs. There are 8 different colored sections transitioning from pink to red, then orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and finally white; these colors start in the aforementioned order beginning at the center front/back and moving to the side seams. The appealing element to the skirt ‘ribbons,’ is that they are skinniest at the hips and flare out towards the hem to give it a nice full body. Each colored section is quilted with different patterned fabrics, all within the same color scheme of the respective section.
“Material wise, beginning with the skirt, I used a variety of cotton prints/solids that work cohesively with my vision,” she adds. “This is due to all the cotton fabrics I have inherited from my grandmother and various other ladies who used to do a lot of quilting; which is also how I began sewing. The hem has 3″ horsehair braid in it to give the stability and shape desired, along with a crinoline skirt underneath to add to the body. The bodice is also cotton and a micro-suede for the cover. The golden details on the cover are made up of Metallic Gold Swarovski Crystals. The accessories include gold pumps and a dragon necklace.”
Born and raised in Nebraska, Kendra grew up watching pop culture/cult films from Lion King to Rocky Horror Picture Show and TV Shows from Reading Rainbow to Pokémon to Dexter. From the age of 10 she began sewing after her paternal grandmother showed her how to sew simple squares together one holiday. After that, the creativity took off! She ended up sewing her high school prom dress which propelled her into getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2013. Upon graduation, Kendra moved out to California with dreams of designing for Hot Topic or working in film & television. In summer of 2015 she got married and is now Kendra Raymond. She is now working on her second Bachelor’s degree, for Theater & Costume Design; to be completed in March of 2020. In June of 2018, Kendra gave birth to a beautiful son, Leyc.
Kendra’s Reading Rainbow dress worn by cosplayer Chrissy Lynn (@MissChrissyLynn) seen here with Cosmoe (@cosmoe666) and taken at the Labyrinth Masquerade Ball.