100 years of British Ford- The Ford Dress


There’s no doubting that there are some really beautiful cars out there! Those Porsche’s and Jag’s! Any considered beautiful car will have those aesthetically pleasing curves and shapes, and will turn heads wherever they are driven. In these cases it’s clear that mototring and style go hand in hand. But what about when it comes to Haute Couture? Can the worlds of car manufacturing and fashion ever come together to create a harmonious balance?

It seems so in the case of this dress fashioned from actual Ford Focus car parts! Yes sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction! Why? You maybe asking. The dress was designed and created by designers (the now late) Alexander McQueen and Judy Clarke. These are names that are often linked to celebrities and high end fashion. Alexander McQueen is a name often uttered as Hollywood stars step onto the redcarpet for the Oscar’s. So why on earth would they create an outfit made to resemble a car?

Well the concept of the ‘Ford Dress’ came from Ford itself, they commissioned the piece to be created as part of birthday celebrations for the one hundredth birthday of their British branch of Ford. The designers accepted and began to create the dress from scratch in the proposed period of one week. The pair of designers came up with the design for a long flowing gown, in the style of a Victorian dress. Despite the initial idea it turned out quite feminine looking and flattering!

The long and lavish gown uses dark metallic blues and gray’s that almost resemble the same metallic paintwork on a Ford Focus. At the back of the dress you will find the finer detailing, the design uses a series of the smaller shiny nuts, bolts and cogs to decorate bustle (also known as the drapes at the back of the dress). Another aspect of Victorian dress that was considered very fashionable at the time. Also if you look at the upper back of the dres, you will find that the puff sleeves also form a clever trick- not only are they in keeping with the rest of the dress but they also form part of the ‘seat’. The speedometer centred cleverly in the small of the back is a fun and quirky detail!

Along with the actual parts from a ford focus the designers used a variety of other materials too. Among these are chiffon, tweed and silk with lace and leather all come together with the Ford parts to make up the dress.

The process of making the dress is interesting with the designers being sent a big box of car parts from Ford to their homes. There was a brief description of what each part did along with them. These parts included a car dashboard, headlights, reverse light lenses, there were also other smaller pieces. Car radio player buttons and other interior controls too.

Unusual and possibly not the most practical of clothing but definitely something to provoke a thoughtful conversation. Whatever you think of the Ford Dress, its a pretty good attempt at merging fashion and motoring together!

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