“The Rainbow Dress” was the inspiration for the Pariz in Franz window display. A vibrant creation imagined by Catia De Nicola, a young and imaginative 6-year-old. Catia has a passion for color and enjoys sketching and designing dresses.
Jody was inspired by Catia’s talent and decided to bring her concept to life. She was determined to show the power of turning dreams into reality. The result is a stunning garment made specifically for a girl who radiates joy and creativity through her imagination.
In addition to Catia’s design, the window display also featured artwork by her father, Diego De Nicola.
Jody describes some of her processes below:
The starting point was to create a dress form to work with. The darts and shape of the dress needed to fit with the design elements of Catia’s dress.
Making it up in the calico and marking the design to compliment the figure with proportion and balance. Then tracing it off onto pattern paper.
The pattern needed lots of notches (markings) and instructions to show how to sew it together perfectly sitting flat.
Working away on the pattern, with Catia ‘helping’ in the studio. She doesn’t know I am making it for her yet. It’s a surprise.
I decided to make the whole dress in silk. There was a great range of colours to choose from and the garment would sew and sit well when made with the same fiber.
Precise marking, cutting, pinning, sewing, and order were required every step of the way, for the garment to look as smooth as possible.
Each coloured panel was sewn one at a time.
There were lots of seam snipping and thread changes along the way.
It was so rewarding to see all the colours sewn together.
Preparing the dress for the big reveal.
A 6-year-old would not have the patience to watch over the months it took for me to make the dress. It was best that she was presented with the final product as a big surprise!
Initially, I did not intend to display her design in the shop window. However, the dress turned out so well that I changed my mind and quickly arranged some props to create the window display.
Diego Explains the making of the print
Diego: I am currently exploring my love of early to mid-century design. Featuring simple forms, connected in a stylistic way.
I then got Catia to write Pariz in Franz several times on her drawing pad. I tidied up the letterforms a bit and added it to the final artwork. Her new label was now ready for the world to see!
Ready to install the window, I was inspired by Diego’s artwork with a lighting idea. I bound three 5m lengths of lighting cord in green silk strips of fabric leftover from the dress. The cords were then suspended from the ceiling in a tangled formation. Each tangled arrangement held a coloured bulb to present a mini light show. Some extra wow factor for Catia.
This is Catia, so excited to see her design come to life in the shop window. She just has another 10 years to wait before it fits her.
View a short video that features the live lighting display which was a new feature of Jody’s window displays.