The vee neck Vamp Shell comes in over 20 colors of 100% Dupioni Silk. It is perfect under many of our Mother of the Bride jackets.
Dupioni Silk uses two different colors of nubby-slubby natural silk thread. The thread is made by unwrapping the windings from the cocoon of the silk moth. The irregular slubs and even the occasional bit of twig (left over from the moth’s lunch- they only eat mulberry leaves) is a sign of the authenticity of the fabric.
Genuine Silk has a natural subtle glow. We add to that richness by often selecting colors that use two threads in two different colors as warp and weft e.g. one blue thread and one yellow thread create a green fabric. This cross weaving causes the fabric to subtly change color in the light, with movement, or over curves.
Humans are different shapes! Our lumps and bumps are in different sizes, shapes and places. Creating the amazing flexibility of the Valentino Shell takes several steps. It starts by being generously hand cut on the bias from very narrow fabric, which is not efficient – hence the price. Then it is vertical hand-crushed with steam which deepens the color slightly and adds surface texture, and even more flexibility.
As a result it shapes over the bust, into the waist and then gently flares for extra kindness to hips and tummies. The fronts of the armholes are cut with a little extra width and then two tiny darts shape over the bust and into the armhole. This gives a little coverage to the soft ‘floo-floo’ bit between the bust and the arm. What is the name of that bit?
The shoulders are cut wide enough to cover the bra strap but narrow enough to look young and athletic. The neckline armhole and bottom hem are finished with a matching pearl stitch which follows the organic shapes created by the hand crushing.
Care: Dry clean but ask the cleaner not to press out the crush!
Or hand rinse carefully and pleat-gather along the bottom hem, re-twist and crush by hand if you are confident. Do not leave wet unless you want the two colors in the fabric to darken and bleed into each other.
Alterations: Steam carefully to make minor adjustment to the shape. Press the steam button on your iron (if you own one!) above the fabric not directly on it.
Put the shell on ‘inside out’. Pin with small gold safety pins beginning at the high waist.
Weird Warning: if one shoulder is rising on the body, this is a sign that the shell is actually too tight in the bust. The fabric is twisting to find more width on a sharper angle to accommodate the bust. If the shell is actually the right size everywhere else, gentle steam the bust area a little wider.
Try it on again. Ta Da!