Rebecca is a long-time reader AND someone who used her passion for fashion illustration to come up with four unique looks for Toni:
Dear Greg Evans, LuannFan staff, contestants and fans,
Hello, my name is Rebecca Battershell and I live in the northern foothills of California. The entry numbers of my dress designs are: 370, 371, 372, 501 and 502.
I have been following Luann in the Sunday paper since my childhood, so at least 20 years, and have identified with Luann’s awkwardness and struggles with boys, as well as cheered her triumphs. The addition of Toni into the Luann saga was a perfect fit. Her beauty, charm, and razor sharp wit was like a breath of fresh air, adding plenty of drama and laughs, ultimately making Brad into a much more mature and likable character. (Hey, a good woman should do that to a man, right?) So, when I saw the contest to design a wedding dress for Toni, I was excited. Not only could I now participate in the story I have enjoyed for so long, I could also use one of my talents: Fashion Illustration! I have been drawing dresses since I was 12 years old, with the dream of one day becoming a fashion designer. Even though my career path has changed, I am a writer now, my “passion for fashion” has not. I still love to draw designs and someday would like to have a blog which would include fashion tips.
Inspiration Behind the Dresses:
#370: Knowing that Toni is a no frills, no fuss kind of woman, I envisioned her in a sleek, sexy satin gown, inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s bias cut slip dress designed by Calvin Klein in 1996. Since the dress could read more “wedding night” than ceremony, and be a little cold for a December wedding, I added a 3-quarter length sleeve fluffy fur jacket. “Slipper” satin shoes with feather puff, small tiara and short, simple veil completed the glamorous look.
#371: This was the traditional wedding gown of any girl’s dreams, and I thought it would make Toni feel like a princess: sweetheart neckline with cinched beaded and sequined bodice, flaring out into a full skirt with train. Cut out opening in front of skirt with lace overlay and matching lace bell sleeves, rows of strung beads in the back, finished off with a bow and sparkles all around the hem of the train. And what perfect princess wedding dress would be complete without the tiara and veil?
#372&501: Yes, this was the same dress submitted twice, because the first time, it looked like the bottom part of the skirt was cropped off in the thumbnail, so I re-took the picture and submitted it again just to be safe. That being said, I wanted to do a dress for Toni that was unconventional and bucked tradition, just like her personality. I also wanted to do something that paid homage to her being a firefighter, without going too crazy. The vision of this ombre orange dress came to me immediately, and I must confess, this is the dress I could picture Toni wearing in her December wedding. Off the shoulder dress with a twisted, almost knotted appearance in front, curve hugging, with “flame” like sheer floaters in front and back that complemented the ombre pattern. It was the perfect statement without ruffling too many feathers.
#502: Last, but not least, this dress was a secret tribute paid to all the cute, flower print corset like crop tops Toni always seemed to be wearing during the spring and summer! Thinner straps, sweetheart like neckline, cutouts at the waist with a string of jewels connecting the top and bottom. The dress is covered in a delicate, embroidered vine and floral pattern, coming to a pointed train in the back with small white buttons from top to bottom. To keep the dress from appearing too spring-like, I envisioned making a cape and it ended up being the veil as well! I thought Toni could rock the fantasy, woods princess/almost Star Wars reference, perfectly.
Thank you so much for this contest, I enjoyed every minute of it, and for taking the time to read this. God Bless you!