Halle Berry, 52, showed off her great legs with a frilly and very pretty $850 floral dress by the designing Zimmermann sisters for her appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. She was there in advance of the opening of the movie “John Wick 3,” a Keanu Reeves misunderstood-assassin vehicle, where Berry, Anjelica Houston and the young woman who plays the ambisexual Taylor Mason on “Billions” are mere handmaidens to the action, which according to the reviews is fast, furious, creative and totally cool.
Nevermind, the dress was yet another confection from Zimmermann, designers based in Australia.
The sweetly feminine dresses are favorites of Hollywood stars (Beyonce, Jessica Biel, Margo Robbie, Kate Hudson) and their stylists, who don’t need to go to Australia to get the dresses. They are sold through Saks, Barneys, Bergdorf’s and online through sources like Net-a-Porter.
Zimmermann’s Heathers linen floral print dress is almost unbearably sweet. For a teenager. ($795) A rich teenager.
The other starring role for flower-inspired dressing was at the Met Gala, on May 6, the theme of which was “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” The reliable Billy Porter had himself carried in on a catafalque by six handsome, bare-chested men in gold pants. Porter was resplendent in gold headdress and equipped with broad and shapely gold wings. Alas, no flowers.
That was not the real coupe of the event.
It could be argued it was Lady Gaga, who wore four costumes, one over the other. But that’s not really camp. That’s just over-dressing. Or stripping.
Our nominee is Jourdan Dunn, a model who arrived on the pink carpet, which climbs the impressive steps to the Metropolitan Museum, wearing 30 pounds of plastic rose petals.
She had been turned into a rose by the designer Zac Posen, so credit, of course, goes to the designer. Dunn was, so to speak, just the stem. (In fact, she might as well have been made of plastic too.)
Zac Posen is the opposite of a “bad-boy” designer. You’ve never heard a word of scandal about him. Instead he’s a great creative mind. He creates for women on the red carpet who are not size zero, nor under 30, like Octavia Spencer. He makes plus size wedding gowns. He has always had a sense of humor.
And something like this “rose” dress, created solely out of his own pocket for the event, just to express an idea, purely in the spirit of camp, is another example of a good-boy creative spirit. (Here’s hoping it ends up in the Met’s costume collection some day.)
So, how was it done? Because it is an engineering marvel. Only God can make a rose, but a team of engineers, computer technicians and specialists made this one out of plastic petals bolted onto a framework of titanium.
The petals were printed (the technical word is “precision stereolithographed” in North Carolina at Protolabs. There were three prints done of each petal, in pure, white plastic. Each petal weighed a little more than a pound and took 100 hours to make. A total of 37 petals were made, but only 21 were used for this dress. An additional 16 will make a longer “Rose Petal” dress, apparently for a more formal occasion.
After the petals were created, they were painted with the kind of paint Tom Wolfe referred to in “Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby,” the deep, color-shifting custom paint colors used on cars, then finished with a clear gloss. But that was just the individual petals. God would not have rested at that, and neither did Zac Posen.
There had to be a superstructure, a stem, so to speak. This one was based on Jourdan Dunn’s body measurements. Those were sent to GE Additives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where their Arcam division used its electronic beam melting technology to weld a light-weight titanium frame together in the shaped of her body that would also hold the petals at the right angle to correctly imitate a flower.
No one has said if Jourdan Dunn had a special hinged petal that allowed her to sit or to (let’s face it) use the ladies’ room.
Was she even allowed to sit down inside the Met Gala? Or was she only there to walk the pink carpet?
Flower Power wants to know. We demand fair treatment for Jourdan Dunn!
If anyone inside saw her so much as nibble a canape, please let us know. We think anyone lugging around 30 pounds of petals and titanium superstructure should be treated very, very well.
We salute you, Halle Berry and Jourdan Dunn (and Zac Posen, too).
You know that flowers bring happiness, whether soft and fluttery, or as hard as durable plastic and titanium.