Janice Martin's Gown Glows for PIFA

This Friday, April 8, the fashions of nine local designers will share the runway with Ralph Rucci during PIFA's Couture Runway Show. In anticipation of the big event, we've contacted a handful of the designers for a taste of what to expect to see strutting down the catwalk.

Up next is Janice Martin, an Ardmore-based designer who specializes in couture bridal and evening gowns. (Did you know that the Philadelphia Museum of Art once called upon Martin to assist in restoring Princess Grace's bridal veil for a museum exhibit?) Here, Martin tells us about one of the designs from her collection, a two-piece gown in lace and silk organza. A true reflection of the PIFA theme of artistic collaboration, the gown is a partnership with lighting specialist, Lee Wainwright.

How does the design speak to PIFA's Parisian inspiration and/or theme of artistic revolution?
Paris is the City of Lights. The PIFA event references the Belle Epoque, a time in which many artists collaborated across many spectrums, therefore, I invited other artists to work with Janice Martin Couture in designing our gowns. This gown features the work of Lee Wainwright of JFMagic, a lighting designer. Other gowns in our section of the show include the textile designs of Lonni Rossi.
What can you tell us about this design?
It is a two piece a-line gown. The top is multi-colored French Chantilly lace, with a mocha colored skirt out of satin face silk organza featuring many graduated sized tiers going from waist to hem into a short train which are lit from below...[all] over a large petticoat.

How does the design differ from a typical Janice Martin creation?
This departs from the usual in that we've included technologically fashion-forward LED lighting to silhouette the gown.

What was the most tedious part of the gown's construction?
This gown has taken several months to create... since the tiers in the skirt are multi widths, and since we wanted it to have a fairly delicate looking effect, it was important that the geometry be pleasing to the eye.

How would you advise accessorizing the gown?
Simple pumps, a fiber-optic corsage, hair in an "up-do"... a fiber-optic tiara if worn by a bride.
Can you describe your PIFA collection in five words?
Innovative, sophisticated, collaborative, rich, "illuminating"!!!

What are you most looking forward to at Friday's event?
Looking forward to seeing what everyone who is participating has to show... including Ralph Rucci, whose technical finesse is extraordinary.

Be sure to also read our interviews with designers Priscilla Costa and Bela Shehu.

The PIFA Couture Runway Show will take place on April 8, 2011, at 8:00 p.m; tickets range from $25-$100.

Related Stories on The Feast:
Bela Shehu's PIFA Muse Prefers Her Espresso With a Bitter Crema
Priscilla Costa's PIFA Collection: Fit for Princess Di and Angelina Jolie
Local Designers to Share Runway With Ralph Rucci During PIFA Runway Show
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