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We Design

The Birth of a Ballroom Gown

By Chris Trask

"You will be a great designer some day," said Maryland Wigginton's second grade teacher. A Wisconsin-born, young, beautiful woman, Maryland is now a mother of two and the head prestigious fashion designer and owner of "We Design." The theme of "We Design," is a dream, a dance, a design.

I met with Maryland in May at her creative studio which was lavished with kaleidoscopic brilliant ballroom gowns made by her experienced staff. With Maryland's many years of experience as a ballroom dancer and head designer of ball gowns, I knew I was in capable hands. We discussed my dream, which was to dance a gold level solo Viennese Waltz for the Naples Star Ball this October to the song, "I Have Nothing," featured in the movie, "Bodyguard," which is about a love story starring Kevin Costner, a secret service agent hired as Whitney Houston's bodyguard.

This is a love story and the dance will incorporate lifts; therefore, my dance partner, Andrea Marta, and I decided that the fabric should be white, lightweight, sheer, and shimmering. The fabric should have a soft, liquid flow when in movement to facilitate the lifts and touch the emotional side of the audience. With a colored pencil in hand, Maryland drew the dream dress. The heart- shaped bodice was to be in white lace with a boat neckline and lace sleeves. The bottom half would be fashioned in shimmering white silk and chiffon with a slit up the side. We scheduled the finished date of June sixth and she handed the design over to her staff.

In the back of the studio, you will find the experienced seamstresses sewing patterns together using colorful yards of material, rhinestones, and Swarovski crystal from around the world. The exquisite fabric and jewels are top quality!

June sixth arrived and I came in for a fitting. Having a dress fit perfectly is very important when dancing in a performance. You want to look your best and be able to move freely when dancing your routine. With some minor adjustments, the dress would be ready for to wear for a showcase performance for practice prior to the competition in October.

Thank you to Amy Dalton, sales representative; Andrea Marta, dance partner and teacher from Allstar Dance Studio, Naples, FL; Maryland Wigginton, head designer and owner; the staff at,"We Design," and the producers and songwriters of "Bodyguard." It takes all of "WE" to create a beautiful work of art.