Monday, 29 August 2011

The dress I've been wanting to show you....

So here it is, the dress I've been wanting to show you for such a long time. Emma and Arans wedding was last Saturday and I can now show you her dress, the making and fitting photos and some preview photos from her big day which from the sounds of it, was just fabulous! 

My initial sketches

Emma's mood board of all the dresses and details she likes

more initial sketches
Emma asked for a 1950s inspired dress that had lace, a huge Audrey style skirt and clean lines with bold detailing. And most of all a big bow at the back! She (like all of our wonderful customers) had the perfect ideas to suit our style and everything I wanted to do with the design of the dress Emma asked for like magic. 

Having a mood board of all the details and styles you like gives a really clear idea of your personal style and helps a huge amount when it comes to designing your dress. After a good chat it becomes apparant the tiny details that are important and being able to refer easily to pictures makes this process to whole lot more successful.

Anna and I worked on Emma's dress together over a few weeks and with Anna's perfect sewing skills and my direction for the design, it was a great success. It was great being able to discuss the details as we went. 
I like to build dresses from the inside out sometimes as the foundations are important to get right before the outer is completed and this way we can also judge the fullness and smoothness of the line. 
Each detail works so well on this dress, the grosgrain ribbon highlights the waist, the buttons add texture and the sculpted bow shape enhances the silhouette and the curve of the back. And the tea length means you can show off your shoes!

Emma's custom made lace shoes with matching grosgrain ribbon bows, tried in the fitting.

Dice checking that Emma could sit down in her dress with the bow, all these things are very important.

As you can tell, I am so pleased as super awesome punch with this dress and knowing that Emma had such an amazing day wearing it makes it all so much more fantastic. Congratulations to Em and Aran!!!!!

Captured by Anna on the morning of the wedding day.

Friday, 26 August 2011


Hello my name is Dice and I have been doing an internship with Alexandra King for the past two months. I didn't really know what to expect when I first came to the studio for an interview and was surprised that it was so big for an independent designer. The internship has been very useful as I have learnt many important things from an independent designers way of working.

I learnt pattern cutting skills, new techniques- different ways of seams, zips and ways to grade patterns, also tracing and developing patterns. From this I decided to make three items which I have photographed on here which are a shirt,jacket and pair breeches, which I feel has improved my garment construction well. I have been really lucky to be able to do some of my own work alongside helping with the dresses.

Whilst being here I have also learnt how important social media is to use such as blogging and website updates which show followers what is going on and what other people think of their dresses.I feel that I have had a great insight into the independent business and wish to Intern in a larger industrial place to see the similarities and differences between the two. 

My Knitted trench coat, with leather details.

My work
Over the summer I was given a summer project to do by looking into a theme of my choice which, as I love birds chose to look into birds and their differences. Watching the Black Swan film made me want to look into personality differences, leading me to look mainly at owls and swallows. Owls are predators hunting for food such as small birds and other creatures. I then developed into looking at traditional hunting wear and therefore created a trench coat which is knit based as I specialise in knitwear at Uni. I then designed more and more to go on to create a shirt and breeches to try and fit in with the theme.
The Breeches- with leather inside leg patches and zip details.

The shirt- back pleat details and zip fastening.

Whilst designing I feel I have developed from just using knit to ways of embellishment in ways such as adding leather and fabrics with knitted trims.Over the internship it has helped me develop a capsule collection with outside help/ideas questioning things that may have been difficult to imagine/ translate into a garment.

Overall this has been a great experience with many funny memories. :)

Monday, 22 August 2011

Bath Fashion Museum Research

I have been going through my research for the latest A/W collection which is coming soon and here is the section from the Bath Fashion Museum.
I was lucky enough to get a study session as well as view the film costume exhibition and the most gorgeous wedding collection they have at the moment. 
As I have previously mentioned the collection is based on Princesses, not the Disney kind but the kind that runs away from the Royal family and makes a life of her own complete with crown and dresses.

Bath Fashion Museums film exhibition, I am loving the ermine trim at the moment and it's definitely something that will be in the A/W collection, along with velvets. These costumes were from Young Victoria designed by Sandy Powell and Elizabeth, designed by Alexandra Byrne, the workmanship to make these costumes authentic is just amazing.

 Two of Queen Alexandra's (Queen of the United Kingdom 1901-1910) evening dresses. The first dress in purple silk chiffon and decorated with silver glass beads and metallic embroidery. It was just stunning with the couturiers label on the grosgrain waistband and the tiny hook fastenings over the bodice. Produced by Doevillet from around 1910.

The second tartan outfit was made for a party and consisted a pinafore dress with a bustled underskirt and the sweetest bodice trimmed in red silk. Made by Madame Elise around 1870-79. The fine hand sewn detailing is mesmerising, the pleated and gathered waistband perfectly folded together, little covered buttons and lace trim, everything looks so perfect in these dresses which must have taken months to produce especially with all the beading. .
Tartan will be featuring in the A/W collection, it's a princess must have, Regal and quite festive with lots of drama to it.

And finally the dress I had been waiting for, Princess Margaret's silk and corded lace cocktail dress by Norman Hartnell. The dress is strapless with a boned bodice complete with stays. The underskirt is almost pencil cut with structuring. No nets just this small skirt underneath and a very full stiff corded lace skirt fastening with a metal zipper to the centre back. 
I really expected these 'Royal' garments to be lined in gold or diamonds or something so luxurious, the very best but the dresses are the same inside as they would be for any customer, I think. This Norman Hartnell dress that was worn by the most glamorous Princess was un-lined with slightly tatty hand sewn seams.
I may have to read way too much into this and say they were beautiful on the outside but pretty normal on the inside. Sorry such a obvious cliche!

The whole experience of being up close to these garments (with my white gloves) was wonderful and something that is so valuable to learn from. A huge thank you to Bath Fashion Museum and the study department.
All garments photographed courtesy of the Fashion Museum Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Customer Photos - Annas Bridesmainds

We've just received the pictures of Annas' bridesmaids dresses from Tom Gage Photography and they look stunning, four Grecian goddesses in silk satin from the wonderful Beckford silks and draped silk chiffon. Anna hand made chiffon roses for the shoulders and the dresses were trimmed with a gold metallic ribbon at the waist. Just beautiful!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Poppy Dress

Ok, this week has been super super hectic, it's the end of the main UK wedding season and my little fingers have been hard at stitching lace, buttons and hems in preparation for my last brides of this year.  Anna, my wonderful intern Dice and my Mum have all been conscripted in to help. At the same time all the new brides are visiting, emailing and gathering ideas for next year which is so exciting. Will there be time to think about Christmas cocktail dresses?

I have been itching to show you this dress I recently finished for a US customer as I just love the big bold poppy print and the amazing fifties late Summer feel it has. You should have seen my delight when the fabric arrived, scarily bursting out of the envelope but full or saturated colour and a perfect weight. I'm so happy with the outcome, the fitted bodice and hips graduating to the poufy gathered and netted skirt. Huge love for this dress, I may just have to make another one!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Floral Dancing Dresses

Anna has been working on some gorgeous fifties style wiggle dresses for rock n roll dancing customers of hers. The pink rose print is fabulous in a vintage feel cotton and I love the cross over halter straps on the royal blue number. Full of fifties glam! You can contact Anna here to enquire about rock n roll dresses Email Anna