THE MONTHLY DRESS SERIES: THE MAY DRESS

The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The May Dress! The eighth dress in The Monthly Dress Series. A form-fitting full-length embroidered dress with brilliant shades of fuchsia and orchid melting together in a field of flowers, to give the effect that The May Dress is blooming right from the ground.

The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

SIMILAR DRESS HERE AND HERE  ||  FLORAL SHOES (run TTS, prettier in person)  ||  TOM FORD LIP STAIN IN ‘VIOLET FATAL’ & NARS LIPSTICK IN ‘CLAUDIA’  ||  EYESHADOW IN “SHADE” FROM THE BACKTALK PALETTE (love all the colors in this palette!)

The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The Inspiration

My inspiration for the May dress was, of course, the gorgeous flowers in bloom around the world during this beautiful month. I absolutely LOVE flowers. I love them during every month of the year (remember the flowers in the April Dress shoot?), but May is the queen bee. Way back when I got the idea for the Monthly Dress Series, I knew the May dress would be floral. During my trips through the fabric district in Downtown Los Angeles, I always had my eye out for inspiring floral patterns.

If you’ve ever been to a fabric store, you know there are floral patterns everywhere. And they’re so pretty! But after sifting through them, I started eliminating options pretty quickly. I didn’t want a floral pattern that clustered all kinds of colors together; I wanted a dominant color (even though I wasn’t sure which color I wanted). Floral prints are nice, but I didn’t want a print for a gown, but I also didn’t want 3D flowers like I had on the February Dress. I wanted a complex embroidery!

 

The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The Fabric

I kept my eyes out for a beautiful embroidered fabric and, after a few months, I found the one I used for the dress. The fabric is breathtaking! There are many different colored threads–pink, magenta, fuchsia, hot pink, and ruby–all blended or intertwined in a gorgeous pattern.

I backed the fabric with a nude cotton blend with enough spandex to be sure the snug fit was wearable. I chose nude because I wanted the focus of the dress to be the floral pattern. With a nude backing, no other patterns or colors compete for attention. I wanted it to look like the floral embroidery was painted on my skin. It’s a little sultry–perfect for a bright pink pattern.

 

The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The Shoot

A few years ago I saw pictures of the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, and I knew I wanted to do a shoot there. Once I had the inspiration for the May Dress, I knew there was only way place to shoot it.

During the shoot, I am in a field of fuchsia ranunculus. The flowers stretch around me as far as the eye can see. Standing among the flowers makes it seem like the pattern on the dress grows from the ground around me. The dress and the flowers melt together.

 The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

These SHOES were made for this dress!   

The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

The Accessories

I didn’t add statement earrings or a necklace to The May Dress. The primary accessory is a floral crown full of fuschia and plum peonies and pink ranunculus, created by the talented San Diego florist, Quite Frankly Creative. Like I said earlier, May is the queen bee, so a floral crown is perfect.

My nail polish is the same fuchsia color as the flowers and the dress. I did my makeup with fuchsia eye shadow and a bold fuchsia lip. I wanted this dress to be a monochromatic shade of fucshia all about the flowers–the ranunculus, the floral embroidery, and the crown.

 

The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The May Dress. Part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

FLORAL CROWN: Quite Frankly Creative (insanely talented florist, based out of San Diego!)

LOCATION: The Flower Fields (an absolute must visit in Carlsbad from March-May. The last day to visit is May 13th this year!)

photography by Jordan Zobrist

 

Here is the full time-lapse video of how I created The May Dress..

Worn during the draping: YELLOW BELL SLEEVE TOP (wearing a small) ||  DISTRESSED JEANS (only $88, great fit!)  || GOLD STUDDED SANDALS (super comfy and run TTS)

 

 

And I think this is my favorite inspiration board and dress sketch to date!!

Inspiration board for The May Dress by Leanne Barlow

The May Dress inspiration sketch done by Jill Paz Illustration

 

SHOP MY LOOK:

 

SIMILAR DRESSES:

 

Next week a new episode of Behind the Dress will go live, where I take you through the entire process of shopping for this fabric, sewing the dress, and down to the flower fields for The May Dress shoot! You can see my other Behind the Dress episodes for:

 

Don’t miss any of my dresses from The Monthly Dress Series. You can follow along on instagram at #themonthlydressseries, or click on any of the dresses below to view the full post and time-lapse videos for that month.

 

THE OCTOBER DRESS

THE NOVEMBER DRESS

THE DECEMBER DRESS

THE JANUARY DRESS

THE FEBRUARY DRESS

THE MARCH DRESS

THE APRIL DRESS

 

Want to learn how to sew? Let me teach you! My online video sewing courses are ON SALE for 25% off right now through Sunday,  May 12th with the code: SPRING. I offer a beginner course and an intermediate course.

 

 

SaveSave

14 Comments

  1. It’s beautiful! I love it. You are very talented.

  2. Best part of being awake at 4am with non-sleeping kiddos was remembering that the dress would be live. Perks of living in Phoenix!
    As soon as i saw I all I could think was, “OMG, stop!” I get why it’s rveryones favorite. It’s absolutely stunning and the shoot just kicks it over the edge. It’s so perfect!

  3. Are you kidding me? This is 100% my favorite dress. Stunning!!!

  4. Okay, the dress is STUNNING. I was reading along and got to the shoes and died a little. They are amazing and go so well with the dress! Absolutely loving this series!

  5. I think this is my favorite dress! So beautiful. I love the glamorous boho vibe. That is a hard combination to pull off and you did it! So gorgeous!

  6. Favorite dress so far!!! You look gorgeous. So talented.

  7. Such a beautiful dress and perfect theme. Stunning

  8. This is the BEST dress so far. The embroidery is stunning and I love the colour. Thanks for sharing the entire creative process can’t wait to see the behind the scenes video

  9. My favorite dress by far! ????

  10. Definitely my favorite!

  11. This is so beautiful! The location for the shoot was just perfect. One of my faves, the others being October and February. 🙂

  12. So I admittedly ignore you on a Instagram until I know the dress is getting closer….. your excitement kills me and I couldn’t sleep for the April dress. Hi my name is Venice and I am addicted to the Monthly Dress Series ??‍♀️ I have also been trying to ignore Instagram all together #leannegrouopieprobs

  13. Absolutely stunning. That dress and those shoes are flawless! you are so talented.

  14. How gorgeous you are!! Everything is stunning, the dress, the flower field, the shoes…