Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The week away from the computer ........

This past week has been quite exciting really, I stepped away from the computer, banned myself from facebook, twitter and even the blog, switched to radio six and got on with work. Funny how things start to happen when you don't sit for hours in front of a screen!
The first task was blue tulle underskirts for 50s dresses..................

I then worked on the final details of the summer collection, this dress is a sneak peek (I'm liking cardboard backgrounds at the moment as it makes the colours a little sparkier) .....

I had three visits from brides to be this week, this is Theresa who came for a whole day whilst we created her wedding dress. It was a long, long day but her dress looked incredible, elegant and terribly chic by the end of it. I can't wait to see the final looks over the two days of her wedding bonanza, there is even a music festival planned with some pretty awesome bands.
This reminded me of our wedding where we found our bands on myspace and they all did an excellent job. It's great to give young bands the opportunity to perform and get paid and you usually end up with something really cool, not too weddingy and at a far better price by not going through a wedding entertainment agent who tend to charge an extra chunk for that every word 'wedding'.

 And then I was in the local paper which was a really lovely surprise and from this single article in the local rag last Thursday I was invited to talk on BBC Somerset this morning about the bridal collection and a wedding magazine also rang for an interview, so not at all bad from the Cheddar Valley Gazette.  Many many thanks to them and Beth Perry.

I was so shocked to be asked to talk on the radio I immediately said yes and then it sank in over the bank holiday weekend that I would have to talk out loud and this is something I find very very nerve wracking. I was convinced I would be sick on the radio and very luckily I wasn't. Emma Britton the presenter was wonderful and made it all relaxing, she was so lovely and I recognised Rachel Andrews the producer from school which was quite a comfort. So a HUGE thank you to them both!

Here is the radio interview

So, it's been a very exciting week away from the computer and I can't think of anything happening this next week that might be worth talking about?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Floral Dotty Tulle Summer Dress

Our dotty tulle summer dress has been created once again, this time for a wedding guest in the US, she's going to look quite fabulous in such pretty fabrics.
I photographed the dress whilst making and got some good shots on the dummy next to a shadow of my old ballet shoes (this is all sounding a bit overly pretty right now, the shoes were an accident that I kept in the picture!). In my squirrelling fabrics away I forgot how vibrant the print was and how great the tulle worked over prints, will have to try and order in some more of these fabrics so we can have these to order.   I wonder what shoes she will wear with the dress?

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Coral Pink Grecian Bridesmaids


Italian Actress Sophia Loren wearing Bvlgari jewelry and photographed by Richard Avedon.Vogue,December 1969.

Anna has been very busy over the past few months working on these beautiful Grecian goddess dresses for Lisa's bridesmaids. The colour is bold and when Anna showed me the silks in the stunning colour soaked chiffon's and crepes from Beckford Silks it confirmed that this was a geat choice. (Beckford silks fabric selection is small and perfectly formed with the highest quality silks and dying service that is second to none.)

The dresses were custom made to the brides specifications and made to measure with a few fittings for the bridesmaids to make sure the length and fit was perfect.
A full length design was requested and the flowing skirt was created by hand draping from the empire line giving the lean line to the dress. Anna trimmed the dresses with a contrasting gold metallic ribbon which works well with the coral and she hand stitched the amazing silk chiffon roses on the shoulder.  These would also look gorgeous on a belt or as vintage style wrist corsages and the finishing touch is the adorable neat bow to the back.
The gold and corals remind me of fabulous 1960s Italian evening gowns worn with gold heels and wonderfully plaited hair, think Sophia Loren.
Overall the look will be four statuesque Grecian Aphrodite's accompanying the beautiful bride on her wedding day. I can't wait to see the pictures!

Monday, 11 April 2011

A day at the Races

This custom dress has just been posted off on it's way to Ireland ready for the races and ladies day. When I received the photo of the lady in question I instantly knew what style to get in my head and wonderfully it was Audrey, Parisian Chic and Fifties all the way.
Navy was chosen and in the flesh it's a vibrant indigo navy with a fine, bright white Guipure lace to contrast at the waist, neckline and cuffs. This was tricky to fit as there is no give in Guipure lace so it very carefully had to be hand stitched with notches that were cut and restitched binding together at the curve. The two colours work perfectly as a classic combination and should keep the fashion spectators happy at the races.
This is just a little preview and I can't wait to see the finished look.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Astor and the last wedding dress.

 Photography: Alexandra King
Model: Sian Estelle Petty

 So here is the final dress of the collection, Astor and I think my favourite and certainly the most fun to wear with all the skirts.
This dress, with it's carefully layered ballerina skirt of full circles and exaggerated bow was the first dress I designed for the collection. Originally it had petals cascading down the front but wasn't quite my style and the bow very much more me (as Anna will know! :) . The dress was made with an integrated bodice and then the asymmetric choice was hand draped over the top and the pleated hips hand stitched in place.

Available like all the others in this first collection made to order from our Somerset studio and you can view them all in our shop. Any questions please don't hesitate to ask! Contact us here.

 Working on this small yet focused collection has been amazing and the best thing was using just one colour so I could really focus on the silhouette, texture and drape of each dress. I'm really pleased with the final pieces and yes I have spent quite some time in my studio trying each dress and imagining more weddings. There's not much convincing my other half to renew our vows each year!

A final huge THANK YOU to Sian and Alisha and Wing for all of your help with this. There will definitely be more dresses coming in the future with a larger collection next time!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Swanson the star dress of the show

The super beautiful Claudia played by Nicole Kidman in Nine if you like Moulin Rouge and beautiful vintage women you will love this. Also check out 8 1/2 for good measure along with La Dolce Vita

The incredible Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard

Here is the 'Swanson' dress again named from the cast list of Sunset Boulevard, this the star Gloria Swanson.
This dress is designed to be the show stopper with influences coming from the red carpet, old Dior and Nicole Kidman in Nine. I watched it over and over and over again just to see the dress and the lines were just mesmerizingly elegant.
The dress she wears has a very pointed bust and I wanted to keep this line on my 'Swanson' dress but the mini Madonna points weren't going to work quite as well off screen. This is where the pleats and folds came in creating strong lines with similar angles.
The dress is cut on the bias at the skirt giving hourglass silhouette and flares at the hem to give a statuesque appearance.
I chose to put a bow at the back (I know the 80s cliche bum bow!) but this is with the 1950s in mind, used to add shape to the back and wraps around the waist beautifully making the dress that little more sultry.
Available made to order here in our online shop.

As always ask if you have any queries, I'm always happy to hear from people. 

Also this week we opened a shop at Wedzu which is full of amazing handmade wedding items. Just like Etsy but for weddings and super awesome. They check out all the sellers before they can open a shop so there's no nonsense there.  And I have made some gorgeous dresses for races and weddings which I will update next week. One particularly lovely Audrey-esque navy blue and white lace dress.