Luly Yang Butterfly Dress

by Erin on July 28, 2006


Luly Yang butterfly fantasia dress

Miss Maya sent in this photo from Seattle. Holy butterflies, Batman! I have been thinking about this dress for a couple of days, trying to figure out if there would ever be a situation where I was called upon to represent a marabou-topped butterfly, and sadly, I can't think of any.

The only thing I came up with that was even close was checking if there was ever a butterfly-themed superhero who needed to attend a ball at Wayne Manor, but the DC Comics Encyclopedia let me down. No butterfly-themed superheroes (or villains). There's a Bumblebee, and a Blue Beetle, but no Butterfly. Okay, I admit it, butterflies aren't very tough, and I'm sure a butterfly hero's secret weakness would be GIANT LIGHT BULBS, or possibly small boys with nets, and if you brushed her wings she'd fall out of the sky, but still. You'd think that if there was this character, there'd be some kind of butterfly being.

This idea somehow really appeals to me, except I think that the monarch detailing and the marabou take it so far over the top that you'd need directions and a bus pass to get back. Now, if it lost the marabou (maybe a matte satin ruffle, instead, if you needed something at the top of the bust?) and was made in a heavy greeny-gray with tone-on-tone flocking and beading to look like a moth's wings, and not a butterfly's? That would be something. Maybe something Gypsy Moth would wear. Or Arthur.

NOTE: enough folks have emailed me about this dress that I have to make these disclaimers. I DID NOT MAKE THIS DRESS. More to the point, I CANNOT SELL YOU THIS DRESS. Try this site: lulyyang.com. Good luck!

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Summerset July 28, 2006 at 7:32 am

It’s absolutely gorgeous as is. I wouldn’t change a thing!

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Thoughts on Life and Millinery. July 28, 2006 at 8:35 am

This goes into my inspiration file…I can see a hat shape there, not so much a dress. But this dress could be improved with black silk and marabou feather cocktail hat. Or made much,much worse by adding a black cocktail hats with two long black stick ups.

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robertajune July 28, 2006 at 9:17 am

They got it backwards. FIRST you write a butterfly-themed Broadway musical, THEN you design this dress for the leading lady!

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Shawn July 28, 2006 at 9:34 am

Well, there is…The Monarch.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monarch

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Jocelyn July 28, 2006 at 9:54 am

Ohhh, did anybody else read A Girl of the Limberlost growing up? Which somehow took a strange turn halfway through and gained elaborate descriptions of ball gowns based on butterflies and moths? There’s one here, I think.

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miwise July 28, 2006 at 11:25 am

I agree with sbanks, I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, those pointy shoes shown with it would have to go.Love your blog.

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mickey July 28, 2006 at 11:51 am

As a costumer, I could eventually use it for something, I’m sure…

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the_lazymilliner July 28, 2006 at 12:51 pm

I want a little background on this dress. Who made it? Why? Is it one-of-a-kind? I just need to know then I’ll sleep well tonight. Otherwise, I’m going to toss and turn, darn it!

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Odessa From Frozen Country July 28, 2006 at 1:47 pm

I love this dress. If only it was in Chicago and in my size. I’d wear it! It is a showstopper!!!!!!!

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Miss Maya July 28, 2006 at 3:12 pm

Thanks, Jocelyn – this dress kept reminding me of something elusive and you hit it exactly – it’s SO the Girl of the Limberlost!!!

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demondoll July 28, 2006 at 3:37 pm

That is so over the top gorgeous. I love it.

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Lea July 28, 2006 at 6:43 pm

Okay, I admit it, butterflies aren’t very tough, and I’m sure a butterfly hero’s secret weakness would be GIANT LIGHT BULBS, or possibly small boys with nets, and if you brushed her wings she’d fall out of the sky, but still.Yes, but nobody ever suspects…the butterfly.(Shawn already beat me to mentioning the Monarch, so.)

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Anonymous July 29, 2006 at 12:31 am

There’s an article about Luly Yang, the designer, and a picture of a model in this dress here: http://blog.nwsource.com/stylefile/archives/lulyyang_011906.htmlThe dress is described as “Monarch Butterfly silk taffeta corset and ball skirt, trimmed with ostrich feathers and Swarovski crystals; $25,000.”

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erma July 29, 2006 at 1:24 am

There is a comic book artist in the novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay who creates a character called Luna Moth, whose non-super hero alter ego is a librarian named Judy Dark. Perhaps Judy would wear this dress to a fancy ball at Wayne Manor.Here is one reader’s (David Hahn) conception of the Luna Moth character and costume.

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Esther.A July 29, 2006 at 11:09 am

This is absolutely beautiful, but sadly, the only place I could see it is in a movie. Not sure it would quite fit in at the PTA Annual D+D.

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____Maggie July 29, 2006 at 11:43 am

I would have to organize a Butterfly Ball! All proceeds going to the local butterfly house/zoo. ;)

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Carolyn (cmarie12) July 29, 2006 at 12:20 pm

Okay it is a totally unwearable dress but can you imagine the work that went into making that!

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Gidget Bananas July 29, 2006 at 12:49 pm

Boy, a person could stop the whole Burning Man festival in its tracks if s/he showed up wearing that! I love it!

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A Woman of Letters July 29, 2006 at 1:51 pm

Yes, I read the Girl of the Limberlost (and perhaps the sequel). I think I saw the movie, too, and (as is typical) didn’t like it nearly as well as I did the book. I went to check out the book again, and our local library lost the book :( .

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enc July 29, 2006 at 2:44 pm

WOW.

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FancyAnne July 29, 2006 at 3:57 pm

I’m madly in love with this dress – I think that I’d wear it for a tea party with my daughter if I couldn’t find a more high-wattage occasion (my invitation to the Metropolitian Ball keeps getting lost in the mail!) Incidentally, the Girl of the Limberlost is in print – Amazon is selling it for $10.

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Zazzu July 29, 2006 at 4:54 pm

That dress is beautiful in the display, but I can’t imagine someone actually wearing it. It’s the sort of dress that wears you…not the other way around.

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Sherry July 30, 2006 at 12:06 am

It is beautiful, but why? Maybe someone could wear it to the Oscars but other than that I am at a loss.

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Kerokonich July 30, 2006 at 4:31 am

Sometimes people just make beautiful things to look at, people! I passed up Luly Yang everyday on my way to work, and her dresses are gorgeous! This was a fun dress to see in her front window- instead of her usual wedding dresses.

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Tavery July 30, 2006 at 3:30 pm

I’ve been lurking for a while, and I love the site and all the dresses. This seems like a dress which you would have to wear just for the sake of wearing it. A kind of “come what may” dress. Comic book artist Dean Trippe does an online comic strip about a superhero named Butterfly. http://www.tencentticker.com/butterflycomics/Though the character wouldn’t wear this dress, he does earn points for parodying Batman.

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Anonymous July 30, 2006 at 6:24 pm

wouldn’t it be beautiful to have your bride’s maids wear these, to an outdoor wedding, and release butterflies during the ceremony?

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Anonymous July 30, 2006 at 10:17 pm

All I can think of is Bjork in the swan dress….

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Kate July 31, 2006 at 9:35 am

I LOVE Bjork in the swan dress, and I love this dress. Very few people could pull it off, but the woman who wore this dress, like Bjork, would not give a hoot about what anyone thought. If only we saw more of this at the Academy awards, and not the fear-driven, fashion-panel-approved tasteful things, life would be a hell of a lot more interesting! “Good taste is the enemy of creativity.” -Picasso

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sewinggirlfromtheothersideoftheowrld August 1, 2006 at 1:44 am

I adore the dress..and the answer to Why? is Why not! One would need supreme confidence and a sense of whimsy to get away with it though

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Marji August 1, 2006 at 7:24 am

I Love this dress. I would find a reason to wear it, just because.I bet it would win a Project Runway episode!

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robin August 1, 2006 at 9:33 pm

This dress would be perfect for the Ball that Hartford Stage throws every year. NO ONE would forget the girl who wore this dress. Now, where’d I put that extra $25K that was lying around….

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Oblivious Maven August 3, 2006 at 8:27 pm

That dress is gorgeous. I’d wear that sucker somewhere, I would. Gorgeous.

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Bettie October 4, 2006 at 3:42 pm

This dress is perfect for any ball for the Arts…stay tuned…it will be worn.

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Anonymous July 8, 2007 at 7:47 pm

my sister is going to get married in it.

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Anonymous July 16, 2007 at 6:08 am

it would be great if you had ripped it off and done a better job but the origional is clearly much nicer.look up Johanna Carr’s dress

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carolina fierros July 20, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Edgar me gustas… te quiero mucho..pero no soy lo que esperas.quisiera hacerte feliz, y ser felices los dos…que porqueria… todo fue mi culpa, disculpame…Carolina Fierros

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alice July 27, 2007 at 2:14 pm

i like your blog! =)

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SBreaux2 August 21, 2007 at 2:19 am

Where can I get this dress?

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serinde September 2, 2007 at 5:02 am

as a blue/purple/green person (plus an Australian) i would say a ulysseys (iridencent blue with black rims) would take fab-u-lous to fan-tab-u-los. i agree that the shoes dont work

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Anonimous September 9, 2007 at 8:36 pm

Excellent website. Good work. Very useful. I will bookmark!

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ATL Gal April 15, 2008 at 10:46 am

The dress has been there that long? I saw it last week in Seattle and fell in love with it. I think it is just gorgeous!!

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Oh my lady August 14, 2008 at 11:07 pm

omg it’s perfect (=

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Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 10:29 pm

tHE mONARCH FROM THE VENTURE BROS.

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bojana September 8, 2008 at 8:18 am

It’s splendid, it’s campy, it’s delightfully over the top. I would definitely wear it.

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~Bon Vintage~ November 20, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Gypsy Moth can’t rock that dress, she is very busy trying to hold up her pleather straps or strands? Her figure is definitely made for more than couture, dah’ling!

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Anonymous January 19, 2009 at 6:11 am

Ive seen this drsee as a framed photo that Target was selling. The sitting donw pose does it little justice. However, the woman in the photo, standing up dress straightened out, has hunted my mind untill I could see the dress again.

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mysweetiepiepie March 2, 2009 at 11:07 am

Truly stunning.

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Anonymous July 28, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Various people have mentioned The Monarch from The Venture Brothers, and Ive got to say, this would far more fantastic on his new-ish wife Dr. Mrs. The Monarch then her current outfit – far more stylish and in line with her previous Jackie O she going on then what she wears now!

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Anonymous October 16, 2009 at 1:01 am

Beautiful example of what haute couture should look like. I absolutely adore this dress. Is it practical though? Not at all.

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tink548 November 22, 2009 at 11:42 am

Actually I need 4 of these dresses for my bridesmaids. Im having a butterfly release of monarchs and this dress is perfect. I have searched the internet but cant find a site to purchase it… anyone know where I can get them???

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Anonymous December 15, 2009 at 2:27 pm

I also saw a picture of the woman in this dress standing up at Bed Bath and Beyond, i took a picture of it because i thought it was so beautiful. I am going to get something like it made for my prom. But the picture also haunted me and i have been searching for the dress for months and ifinally found it.

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melissa June 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm

i know this is super old but there’s a character from Sailor Moon (the manga) that is an evil butterfly. http://www.wikimoon.org/index.php?title=Sailor_Heavy_Metal_Papillon

She’s my favorite =)

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chuchii January 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm

i seen this same pix at downtown disney the same exact way

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Lora April 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I need to make this dress as my daughter’s prom dress. I have one month. Normally, when I was a stay at home mom, that would be enough time. (I used to be a designer/costumer.) I might run out of time… any helpers in the Los Angeles area???? Please!!! email lora4jc@gmail.com Thank you!

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Shawna Marie May 31, 2011 at 6:53 am

It’s a Monarch Butterfly and I’ve seen this dress in Seattle when i stayed at the Fairmont last weekend – this dress is gorgeous and since it was paired with a series of wedding gowns then one can only assume it was made for the Bride as her change gown once she attends the after ceremony.

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A Facebook User February 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I love this dress!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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