I also LOVE the episode called "Shindig". It's an ep where Captain Mal needs to negotiate a special deal with someone who is attending a very fine ball. He's being really rotten to Kaylee, and has to make it up to her in order to persuade her to go with him to the ball. Inara is attending this ball as well, and as usual, she is a vision.
It's the ep where Kaylee wears massive cupcake gown of horror. Captain Mal had to buy it for her in order to persuade her to be his date.
Let's face it. Kaylee's adorableness supercedes her horrific sense of style... I just love her guileless, sweet character.
Despite the horrible gown, she triumphs over all the snotty girls who are critical of her by charming a powerful gentleman who humiliates the bullies, and eventually Kaylee charms all the other gentlemen simply with her tremendous knowledge of space vehicles. She also stumbles upon a a massive pile of strawberries, which her very favourite thing in the whole 'verse (besides Serenity). I was told (and this is wholly circumstancial) by a costumer who once worked hollywood films, that the crinoline/hoop that was used for Kayee's horrid gown was actually one used for Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, and that they turned it sideways to make it as broad as possible. I am not sure how true this is, but it is interesting nonetheless.
The snotty girls at this ball are all dressed so beautifully; all a fusion of the very modern and very Victorian (I did however, find the Chinese influence shockingly lacking. They use it so much everywhere else, there just was hardly any evidence of it at the ball). Isn't that net-aprony thing on the girl on the right just divine?
Anyway, I started thinking about it as I sewed Tessa's Victorian getup (photos will come, I promise)... and I thought it would be fun to do a Chinese-Victorian fusion gown. So I stole someone's wonderufully long, and thin and wholly misproportioned croquis, and drew the gown (along with some very animé hairstyles).
What do you think?
Happy Friday by the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!
UPDATE 4/15/10: I found this lovely picture on Ruffles & Stuff recently. It is a reproduction of Kaylee's cupcake gown of horror. The owner's name is Kristin, and after some rather brief googling, I found her gown construction website that describes the process of making her own cupcake gown of horror. Here it is -- however be warned, her photo-essay part is missing, so all that remains is a breakdown of fabrics, yardage, trim, etc. Still useful! Enjoy.
She apparently swept up the costume award at Farpoint this year with this costume. Here is her LiveJournal post on it.