Tuesday, 29 June 2010

New Photos for June

Anna very kindly managed to organise me enough to take some more photos of dresses and did a great job styling and directing the lovely Kim. 
Kim has a stunning and super striking, gamine look with her beautiful jaw line and willowy figure. I did ask her to be a little somber in mood to contrast with my girly dresses, she's very smiley usually!

The English rose garden was the perfect setting, there's nothing more beautiful than roses in summer and they complimented this floral dress. I then needed to tone down the sickly sweetness, I love Cath Kidston's whole English country style but I need to do it in my own style with a more darker tone. The big sheers and the Erwin Olaf influence worked out really well. This one below is my favourite.

I have also discovered more about how I adore really girly things, hour glass figures, flowers and tulle. But I do expect the girls to be wearing them to be feminine feminists to the core : )

Erwin Olaf has been a major influence with these pics, the book is just gorgeous. 

The blinds add some vintage drama to this scene and I love the way the light just catches the silhouette of the dress.

The final picture with Scrumpy, Anna's adorable parsons Jack Russell who went wonderfully with the print, shame you can't see the dress but they both look lovely. 

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Ascot Dress on The BBC

Last week I had the most exciting news that my dress had been admired on the BBC at Royal Ascot ladies Day. The dress was beautifully modelled and selected by Courtney Fleming and I couldn't have wished for better compliments.

I was also thanking my lucky stars that the dress hadn't been slated by the presenter as they were being a little mean about some people!
Here's the link to the iplayer and it's around 1.02.51 minutes http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sts7v/Racing_Royal_Ascot_2010_Day_3/

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Embroidery and Pleats

This is another dress just completed, which has been taking a lot of my time but it has been well worth every second. 

I wasn't too sure about this commission at first as the bride wanted something a little different to what I usually do. I don't make anything without a fitted waist at the moment and she was looking for an empire line! 

My worries and opinions were swiftly taken away when the bride tried on the dress in her fist fitting. I was a little breath taken as she couldn't have looked any more perfect, she just looked stunning and it suited her whole style. 

It was a  really great opportunity to learn a few new skills and to work with pleats again after a very long time. I brushed up on my embroidery whilst watching a large collection of films and along with the beading this created another labour of love. 

I used a chain stitch in cream and then added the beads and sequins to finish. Vintage rhinestones centred the flowers and added some elegant sparkle that wasn't too shiny!

The pleats were a little tricky to join in the end and was probably the mast challenging part of the dress but the effect they gave as the dress swirled, was just gorgeous. I will be making a few more pleated dresses now as it is very simple to send of skirts to the pleater's and love the sun ray design. I used Ciment Pleating who were really helpful and efficient.

The very best part of making this dress was the reaction of the brides father when he first saw her in the dress, it was everything I could ever want!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A Labour of Love

There hasn't been a 'dress a day' for a while as beading has taken over...........................

This dress has been what you will call a real labour of love. The lady had a previous dress that I made for an event a couple of years ago and she very kindly came back for her wedding dress.

This has been such a success due to fact that she had wonderful ideas to draw inspiration on and was very clear on what she did and didn't like at all points on the dress. This made the design a real collaboration and a joy to work on.
Inspirations came from Art Deco, Coppelia ballet costumes and Elizabethan royal costumes and a 1950's dress, a designers dream.

The dress involved some tricky pattern cutting including a fully boned and cupped bodice under a smooth un-darted outer bodice all in silk which didn't like any mistakes. I was so pleased with the final silhouette and having the length in the full skirt made a real swish to the movement.

The main labour came in the stars beaded on the cuffs. Stars were a  real favourite of the customers and added a hint of wit to her dress. I personally think all dresses should have an element of fun and intelligence to them, a dress should always be more than just a dress.

Beading is a real luxury, it's time intensive and hard work, this took endless hours and days to complete. There is no machine to bead and the only way to attach a bead and a sequin properly is by hand, one by one. Whether you buy a beaded garment on the high street for £10 or you pay £5000 at the top of the market each of those beads were sewn by a human hand, so please think twice about the person who sewed those beads for you in relation to the price you are paying. 

I adore beading, its a valued skill I learned at uni when heavily inspired by 1920's flapper dresses and the 'golden age of couture'. It shows a real labour of love of which this dress is. It has also reminded me that beautiful things take time and are always worth every penny and more!