At the February 2012 Pre Westminster fashion show in New York City dogs of all sizes, dressed and accessorized to the nines, made their appearance with their equally adorned human counterparts. The theme this year was Masquerade Ball and attendees donned their masks and began the evening with “Puptials”, where the four seasons were represented in canine wedding apparel. One of the evening’s most anticipated events was the fashion show in which the furry participants strutted along the runway wearing elaborately designed pet apparel. Designers of canine couture were represented from across the country. Each designer carefully crafted their best and produced stunning apparel but a few went over the top and integrated the details found only in the pet closets of the rich and possibly famous. One such creation, valued at six thousand dollars, could be found in the intricate detailing by Florida based designer Kelly Owens.
Designer Kelly Owens created a dazzling dress worn by Misto, a tiny two pound Chihuahua. Found on Ms. Owen’s creation were four thousand Swarovski crystals. The opulence continued into a purple ruffled skirt which was also embellished with the shimmering Swarovski crystals. If Misto’s dress was not dazzling enough the dress was accentuated with a Swarovski crystal belt and drop brooch at the neckline as the finishing touch.
So what goes into the making of a six thousand dollar dog dress? For Ms. Owens it all began, as do most creative works, with the inspiration piece. Ms. Owens was commissioned to create an
apparel piece for a client’s dog that was to be covered in sparkling crystals. Her client included a picture of her crystalcovered Christian Louboutin high heel shoe for inspiration.
Armed with the inspiration piece the planning stage came next. Ms. Owens and her client worked on the styling and other details for about two months. Once the design was finalized and a final test fitting on tiny Misto was done further research was needed on the intricate layout of the crystals. Once the final layout had been formed Ms. Owens began her search for supplies. Four different sized crystals in two coordinating colors were selected. Flatback Swarovski crystals were chosen due to their additional brilliance resulting from a special chemically bonded coating. Two colors were selected, the AB crystal, which stands for Aurora Borealis and gives off a rainbow-like effect and Tanzanite. The research and gathering of supplies took approximately twenty-five hours of her project time.
The creating stage came next and Ms. Owens spent eighty painstaking hours hand placing each crystal as close to each other as possible on the bodice of the dress. The placing of
the crystals in a repeating pattern over the lower edge of the three layered graduated skirt took up nearly half of that time due to its length prior to ruffling. The meticulously
crafted dress debuted at the PreWest Minster Fashion show.
Exhausted but undefeated Ms. Owens is already in the process of creating yet another sparkling masterpiece in which one hundred dollars of the sale from every piece from her crystal collection will go to the buyer’s choice of charity.
Kelly Owens is the founder of KO Couture and began designing for pets in 2009. Her first creation was for her Yorkie, KC. In addition to the inspiration KC and her Chihuahua, Amore provide her, Ms. Owens finds the inspiration for many of her one-of-a-kind designs in human fashion, jewelry, nature, and artwork.
The Pre Westminster Fashion Show is the brain child of Ada Nieves, designer of fashionable apparel for pets. A portion of the proceeds from the event goes toward animal rescue and other pet related charities.