Designer shares how the 2021 Texas Rose Festival dresses were made

Texas Rose Festival

TYLER, Texas (KETK)- The 2021 Texas Rose Festival is fast approaching and all the creative minds involved are hard at work putting the finishing touches together.

A lot goes into making the elaborate gowns you see on display during the event.

The man behind all the sequins and rhinestones this year is Jacob Climer.

He is from Dallas but currently lives in New York, and works in costume design for theater productions.

It’s his first year in charge of the festival designs after being chosen by the board once Winn Morton, the former designer for 38 years, retired.

Climer said it has taken the full two years to see his vision come to life because of the challenges he faced.

His biggest issue was COVID-19 because factories and stores were closed down, leaving him with no materials for the dresses.

“We couldn’t find sequins because the sequin factory is closed during the pandemic. We couldn’t find fabric,” said Climer.

He mentioned his background in making costumes for shows helped him through the whole process.

“I was mostly working on Broadway as an assistant for musicals and plays,” said Climer. “The New York model is pushing a lot of costumes through a lot of different shops, which really prepared me for this.”

The dresses are known for being beautifully detailed but also for being really heavy.

The Rose Queen Anna Grace Hallmark doesn’t know the exact weight of her dress, but she made a guess.

“I think my train is 37 pounds. I don’t know how much my dress weighs,” said Hallmark.

At least a dozen shops across the country helped in the creations.

The Rose Queen’s dress was made in Dallas while the train was made in New York.

Climer said he is ready to see it all come together.

“I’m very excited, very excited to kind of put a button on this that has been a hard one and long one,” he added.

He is already getting started on next year’s designs and said the sketches for 2022 are due in December.

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