Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wolf dressform? I think not.

Okay. I purchased this dress form off of Craigslist by someone who claimed it was Wolf brand. The price that I purchased it at was very reasonable, compared to a new Wolf. I called and asked if she would hold it for me and she did. I was so fricking excited that I was getting this thing, that I wasn't thinking very clearly. Anyhow, I didn't see "Wolf" printed on it anywhere in the pictures. But I thought, why would she lie, I'm sure Wolf makes some that do not have their name on it. I got to her house and it was in very good condition, so I bought it. Anyway, now I have it and YES it is very nice. I am still ecstatic. But I had to get to the bottom of this "Wolf" thing. The other thing I noticed once I got home, was that she has very broad shoulders, and an exceptionally long distance between her bust level and her neck point. I work on all kinds of forms at school and they vary greatly, so this doesn't concern me too much. However, it does say a size 8, which it is not. Again, this doesn't concern me. It's more like a ready-to-wear 8, or a size 10 form. More than anything, I just want to know more about it. 

So I called Wolf, and the woman was extremely patient and helpful. She looked
up at the history of the forms they made in 1995, and did not find a number that matched the one written on the bottom of the form. As you can see, she has some shaping in the bum area, and some definition in the front leg area as well. This led the woman at Wolf to believe that maybe it was a cocktail or strapless version. Either way, the measurements did not match theirs for an eight, it doesn't say Wolf anywhere (which the woman said some people will request if they're using it for display purposes), and the work order number doesn't match. 

Regardless, I do love the form and am ecstatic to have one, especially at this price. However, I do regret not asking the woman I purchased it
 from, where she got it. The measurements are so inconsistent and odd (an extremely wide shoulder width), that I almost think it was a custom form that the woman had made for herself. It is definitely very similar to her body type! I am wondering if anyone has had an experience with this type of form, or knows who made it? The name of the individual who made it is written on the bottom by hand, "Fior 7/28/95", along with the bust, hip, and about six other measurements, and an order number.

One other question, maybe a silly one.  I've always used the ones at school that have legs, so you can pull pants and skirts on from the bottom.  Several of my designs are pencil shaped at the bottom and won't fit over the bust.  This was a funny initial conundrum that I encountered immediately: How the hell do I get this thing on here?!  I tried sleeving the form off of the stand, but it just got higher and higher.  The ceiling in my studio isn't even high enough for me to sleeve it off all the way.  I could pull the skirt over the wheels, but we're talking about some expensive wool that I generally avoid putting on the floor. I find it hard to believe that you can't make a pencil skirt for this thing, so I look to you guys to divulge the industry secrets!


bill said...

what does the base of the form look like?

Els said...

Can you remove the base and insert a hook via the neck opening or base to hang the dress form.

Alyson Clair said...

I had a student in a class not be able to get garments on their form with the same issue. I think the instructor said they theory was if it cannot fit over the bust, it will not go over the hips. But that doesn't always apply.

Perhaps the form was custom made for someone, that would explain the larger shoulder and non-matching size 8 measurements.

Good score!

kathleen said...

The private label forms sold by PGM-Pro have nailed bums like this. I think that's what this is, produced by a contract form maker in China. It would explain why there's no labeling. The form contractor stencils the customer's company name on it. They're not going to make a custom stencil for a custom one-off form which is why this one was unmarked. Iow, you can have forms made for you for resale like PGM does.

Jessie said...

The base is just a piece of plywood with the fabric pulled over and stapled to it. It is cut out to taper in at the center of the legs and the base is screwed into it where the wire folds over into little tabs. The form also came with padded shoulder panels that clip on, but they're already so wide that I can't imagine using them.

Kathleen, I will check out the PGM forms. Thank you!

Jessie said...

I'm sorry Bill, did you mean the metal base & wheels?

Chrispy said...

Are the shoulders collapsible? I can't imagine one with wide shoulders not being such.

How about a nice long zipper that allows you to unzip the item so that you can place a top on it?

Great score!! All my dress forms are my measurements since they have been wrapped.

Jessie said...

I looked at the PGM forms, and although they are tacked under the posterior, they are not tacked down the front like this one is. I looked again at Wolf forms, and discovered that some of them actually are! The ones that they sell that are shaped like this are for cocktail/strapless/bridal. Another observation that I made, actually from the picture I have above, is ... If you look at the shadow formed by the light in the armpit/ shoulder area, it looks like it implies an area where the arm would come out. How do I put this? It's almost as though it has a built in implication of an arm, so that you could potentially make a bodice that has spaghetti straps and they wouldn't fall off. The across-shoulder measurement is 17"! That's over an inch longer than even a size 10 measurement, so this theory kind of makes sense. However, when I put a shirt with sleeves on it, it just looks kind of strange. As it says, the shoulders to collapse, and the funny thing is that when you collapse them, they collapse in really far. I feel like somewhere between this collapsed point, and the tip of the fully extended shoulder, is where the real shoulder point lies.

And a side note: Alyson... I've heard your name around a lot, and I've always thought it was a really cool designer name. Something about it is sort of mysterious. I probably think that because I heard it spoken several times before I actually saw it in writing. But anyway, it is so fluid that I was never sure if it was Alice Synclair, but now obviously I know it's Alyson Clair. That always gave it a feeling of complexity to me, great name! And thanks for the input!

Alyson Clair said...

Even better SCORE, it would be fantastic for draping a Dolman sleeve.

Alyson Clair is my for reals name, my parents named me after the Elvis Costello song. Everyone thinks it's Alice Synclair, or they don't believe Clair is my last name. Ha ha.

bill said...

After a long time gone, I am back to see what happened. I did mean the wheels. I see many form brands at work and I wondered if I might see one that looks like yours. In the past it seems the wheels and base all look different between the brands. Some--ofcourse-- look the same