THE MONTHLY DRESS SERIES: THE AUGUST DRESS

The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne BarlowTURQUOISE SQUASH BLOSSOM NECKLACE c/o St. Eve Jewelry  ||  LAYERED TURQUOISE NECKLACE  ||  TURQUOISE RING  ||  TURQUOISE EARRINGS ||  TURQUOISE BRACELET ||  LAYERED BRACELETS   ||  GOLD CUFF  ||  BODY ILLUMINATOR  ||  GOLD SANDALS (on sale, run TTS)

 

THE AUGUST DRESS

The August Dress. This is the eleventh dress in The Monthly Dress Series, and this dress is all about the HEAT of August. There aren’t any major holidays in August…maybe because it’s just too dang hot to celebrate anything! I wanted The August Dress to capture the heat of a scorching desert.

 

The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series

THE DESERT

I have always lived in the West. Here, the great outdoors include the rough beauty of the desert. When I thought about how to incorporate the idea of the hot summer, I immediately pictured the earthy tones of the desert. The browns and oranges and golds, the greens and blues, and one of my very favorite colors of all time: turquoise! I also thought about the desert sky and the warm, dry wind. My photographer, Jordan Zobrist, loves shooting in the desert, so she immediately had locations in mind for the shoot. I don’t think the desert gets enough credit for its beauty and color. Look at some of these shots!

 

part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow Leanne Barlow The August Dress by Leanne Barlow

THE FABRIC

To be honest, I never really knew what kind of fabric I wanted for August. I hoped it would jump out and speak to me. Thankfully, it did! I was in Mood and I was walking up and down the aisles looking for some kind of cool beading or maybe an Aztec- or Mayan-inspired print. I wanted something that had really good movement, and I was looking at some long fringe trim. Ultimately, this textured chartreuse silk literally caught my eye. I wasn’t thinking chartreuse and I wasn’t thinking silk. The color is unique and it shimmers when it moves. When I found it in the store, I grabbed it and carried it over to a window to see it in better lighting. The natural lighting made it even better—I couldn’t believe how the ripples in the fabric looked like tiny little sand dunes. It was captivating!

Once I found the fabric, any other concepts for The August Dress went out of my mind, and I started wrapping the nearest store mannequin with the fabric. Not sure you’re supposed to do that, but this Monthly Dress Series has me acting like a crazy person. I kept saying “yes! yes! yes!” You will see in the behind the dress. The fabric ACTUALLY spoke to me on this one!

 

The silk has a subtle herringbone texture to it that ripples and moves so beautifully.

Honestly, I wanted the fabric and the wind to do most of the talking with this dress, so I went with a kaftan-inspired silhouette. Also, I wanted a deep V for the neckline and a centered front slit to let my legs show a bit so that my body wouldn’t totally be swallowed up in the fabric (and so you could get a great look at the sandals . . . let’s be real).

 

The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow  Leanne Barlow The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne BarlowDress Series by Leanne Barlow

Originally, I cut long, full kaftan sleeves for this dress. However, the more I thought about the sleeves flapping in the wind, the more I realized they wouldn’t translate well on camera. After some frustration, I was very inspired by the sleeves I saw on an Elie Saab gown (included in my inspo board). They were long and regal, and I knew they would come to life on camera once the wind hit them. So, I scrapped the kaftan sleeves and created these long, draped, cape-like sleeves instead. It was 100% the right move.

I added a triangular side panel to the skirt section of the gown to give it a little more fabric for the wind to carry. Also, I really made sure to think through all of the elements of shooting in a desert and designed the dress to take advantage of them.

 

The August Dress - part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne BarlowThe August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

HAIR & MAKEUP

The hair and makeup played just as large of a role as the dress for this shoot. I compare it a lot to The April Dress . . . on its own, the dress is a fairly simple design. But the other elements of the shoot help reveal the dress’s character and help turn it into a work of art!

I couldn’t decide if I should do my hair super slicked back and straight, or if I should make it completely curly and crazy…so I did a little of both. I pulled back only one side of my hair in super tight twists, adding these gold hair jewelry embellishments for drama. For the other half of my hair I let it air dry, and added volumizing spray and pomade to build texture. Then I curled it with my curling iron, sprayed it with hair spray, and teased every section of my hair starting from the roots working my way to the ends. It was quite the mane!

 

The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

I enlisted the help of Kendal, one of my very favorite makeup artists.

I wanted my eyes to be super dark and dramatic. She built up the smokey color with a brown/black eyeshadow palette, and then added copper shimmer to the top of my lid, and a line of turquoise pigment under the eye which I loved! I kept my lips nude and lined them with my favorite lip liner color ‘boldly bare’ and topped it with this beautiful nude lipstick in ‘crush’ that is so creamy and hydrating.

She skipped the blush and bronzed my entire face with this incredibly natural looking matte bronzer. I applied my favorite body golden shimmer oil to my arms and legs and tanned the night before with this sunless tanner (the darkest and best color I’ve found!) We secured my makeup with the best finishing spray ever (you can read more of my tried and true makeup favorites post.)

 

The August Dress The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The August Dress The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow The August Dress by Leanne Barlow The August Dress - part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

 

GET MY SMOKEY EYE BRONZED MAKEUP LOOK:

 

 

The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow Leanne Barlow The August Dress: part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne BarlowLeanne Barlow

THE TURQUOISE

This shoot was so much more fun than I was expecting! I was mentally planning to sweat like crazy. It was 100 degrees when we shot, but it was so dry that it actually didn’t feel that bad at all! We shot at Red Rock Canyon Park and it felt like we were shooting on a different planet. The incredible rocks, cliffs, and desert landscape was so captivating. The August Dress glowed off the shining sunlight and the setting brought the dress to life.

I didn’t know very many of the specifics of The August Dress when I started making it, but I did know that I wanted to be draped head to toe in turquoise. Absolutely, I love turquoise and I always have. I wore one of my favorite turquoise rings from St. Eve Jewelry, and added a ton of pieces from their shop to make all my turquoise dreams come true. They have the most incredible vintage turquoise pieces—from rings to my huge squash blossom necklace. I love the look of the turquoise on the chartreuse fabric; they complement each other so nicely.

 

The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne Barlow

 

SHOP MY TURQUOISE JEWELRY:

 

The August Dress - part of The Monthly Dress Series by Leanne BarlowTURQUOISE SQUASH BLOSSOM NECKLACE c/o St. Eve Jewelry  ||  LAYERED TURQUOISE NECKLACE  ||  TURQUOISE RING  ||  TURQUOISE EARRINGS ||  TURQUOISE BRACELET ||  LAYERED BRACELETS   ||  GOLD CUFF  ||  BODY ILLUMINATOR  ||  GOLD SANDALS (on sale, run TTS)

photography by Jordan Zobrist

 

SHOP MY LOOK:

 

HERE IS THE TIME LAPSE VIDEO FOR HOW I CREATED THE AUGUST DRESS

worn during the draping: WHITE BLOUSE  ||  DISTRESSED DENIM  ||  COGNAC BOOTIES (run tts)

 

MY INSPIRATION BOARD AND SKETCH FOR THE AUGUST DRESSThe August Inspiration Board

The August Dress sketch done by Jill Paz Illustration

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

THE MAY DRESS

THE JUNE DRESS

THE JULY DRESS

 

VIEW MY OTHER BEHIND THE DRESS EPISODES BELOW:

 

THE MONTHLY DRESS TOUR

If you haven’t heard, at the completion of The Monthly Dress Series I will be taking all of my dresses on The Monthly Dress TOUR to Pasadena and Utah County! We are still finalizing dates and will let you know all of the dates and ticket sale information shortly! I can’t wait to meet you and I can’t wait for you to see all these dresses live in person!

 

 

 

Want to learn how to sew? Let me teach you with my online video sewing coursesI offer a beginner course and an intermediate course. I walk you through every step of how to create and sew your own clothing. In addition, the videos never expire, so you can watch and re-watch them at your own pace. Also, they make for a great gift!

 

The Modern Girls guide to sewing

27 Comments

  1. You have seriously out done yourself with this one. Absolutely incredibly breath taking. I don’t know how you do it. And I want to talk about what a model you are!!! Sheesh!!! I didn’t think you could top the July dress. But these pictures are spectacular. I didn’t want the pictures to end.

    • Thank you Annie! I have about 100 unpublished pictures..haha! It was hard to narrow them down! This shoot was so much fun!

  2. Gorgeous!! You are amazingly talented!

  3. This. Is. Magazine. Worthy. I am honestly speechless. As someone who loves magazines and the fashion stories in them, this honestly blew me away. The concept, the dress, the makeup. Just stunning. So visually stunning. You killed it Leanne! I definitely have a new favorite dress!

    • Thank you Lindsey!! I’m so so happy you like it!

  4. Just WOW! Love EVERYTHING about the August dress. You, girlfriend, are beyond talented. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. I think this may be my FAVE. They are all so beautiful, but everything about this one stood out. ??? Beautiful!

    • Ahhh!! Thank you so much Desiree!

  5. Love love love!! I too am a fan of torquoise and the desert, and this whole shoot and dress/accessories were amazing! You have inspired me to finding a course to take on draping fabric! I’m so intimidated by it, yet intrigued. I love this series and hope I can make it to Utah!!

    • Thank you! It is so much fun. And yes, I will be taking my dresses on tour to utah!

  6. I’ve never commented before, but I had to with this one. This is by far my favorite dress! It helps that it’s my favorite color ?, but it also just ART. I’m all about dressing in pretty clothes, but this one is a work of art. The shoot location, the style, makeup, jewelry. I love it so much!

    • Yay!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a nice comment Rikki, I really appreciate it!

  7. Wow. The fluid motion of thd fabric is stunning. Loving the really edgy look with your make up and hair. Completely different and unexpected.

    • Yes, I really tried to think outside the box for this one! Thanks for following along!

  8. wow, amazing!

  9. I’m speechless ? love everything about this, the dress, style, details, and the shoot! You go girl ??

    • Thank you Kristina!!

  10. Speechless! You inspire me beyond belief! Your talent and the talent of you people you surround yourself with is unmeasureable! Thank you so much for all that your are doing! You killed it with this dress!! Like I say every month, this one is my favorite!

    • Thank you! It really is SO much fun to create and put together!

    • Thanks Paige! I think fierce is the right word 😉

  11. Totally obsessed with the August Dress!!! The color combination is amazing and the whole look put together feels just right!!! Congratulations on another successful monthly dress!!! This is one of my favorite this to follow!!!

    • Yay! I’m so happy you like it! Thanks Courtney!

  12. I go back-and-forth looking at the pictures over and over again – truly magazine cover shots. you look magnificent as always. you have out done yourself again. I just can’t wait to see all these beauties up close comes the tour. Love ? love ? LOVE them?????

    • Thank you!! And I can’t wait to meet you on the tour!

  13. I love how different aesthetics appeal to different people. This isn’t my fave dress that you’ve done, but realizing that helps me hone my own style. Your creativity, vulnerability, and artistic vision (with so much hard work put in to pull it all off) blow my friggin socks off!

    • Thank you! I don’t think this is my favorite dress either, but it was one of the most fun photoshoots to do! I love being able to push my creativity with these dresses!

  14. You look amazing!!! This photo concept is so different from your other dresses, it’s powerful. What a perfect fabric choice for the dress. I can’t wait to see the behind the dress post.