The Liberty Dress

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‘You can be anything you want to be, just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be. Be free with your tempo. Be Free. Be free.’ Queen – ‘Innuendo’

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The Liberty dress started life as a challenge to myself to create a couture dress using half-finished projects, studio scraps, and supplies from my stash, but it became so much more. It became symbolic of the changes that were happening in my life, my struggles with mental illness and creative self-doubt, and of me rediscovering my passion for couture. It marks my return to making couture gowns, and a slight change in direction for my YouTube channel, and it’s given me the freedom and confidence to create a full look, including hair and makeup, for the first time in a long time, something I’d been reluctant to do in the past because of my age and my amateur makeup skills.

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The wings represent my creative freedom, moving forward, and always striving to reach new heights with my work and with the quality of everything that I create

The heart represents my love for sewing, designing and the creative process.

Together they form the winged heart which reminds me that I am free to follow my own path, to truly be myself, and to live without fear.

The crown reminds me that I am the queen of my own destiny.

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I also know now that this is part of a pair of dresses, Liberty and The Darkness, which represent my life as a creative person. With the positive, there is always the negative. The battle for self-confidence when anxiety tells you that you’re not good enough. The battle with imposer syndrome. The worry that you’ll be judged. The battle between loving your creation and knowing someone will hate it and will tell you so. The Darkness will also be made from studio scraps and fabrics and supplies my stash, along with some pre-loved clothes that I’ll repurpose for it.

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Liberty is here to remind me that when I follow my heart, my destiny is mine to transform.

 You can see how the dress, crown, wig, and makeup were created in this series of videos.

Making the Liberty dress

Making the winged heart

Making the crown

Wig and makeup

Filming and sharing the video of me doing the makeup look for this dress has pushed me far outside my comfort zone, but I made it because there’s an important message that I want to share with you.

Make up should be fun. I don’t have great make up skills, just lots of ideas and enthusiasm. It’s great way to express yourself and it’s temporary. There’s no commitment here. It doesn’t matter what your skills are like, how old you are, what gender you are or what you look like, if you want to play with makeup and use it to express yourself, then go for it.

I’m 42, and I’m not about to change my style or ‘tone it down’ because of a number or because that’s what society and conventional beauty standards expect me to do. I feel there’s very little representation of people of my age and older who are confidently expressing alternative style without feeling the need to conform. You can mature with an alternative style without having to compromise it or give it up. I hope by sharing this video that other older people (and people of all ages!) will feel that they can express themselves too.

Stop comparing your skills and how you look to what you see on Instagram and YouTube. Have fun. Be creative. Be colourful. Be someone new every day. Be you.


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