Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Blue Velvet Dress

Model: Nicole Handley - she has done a completely awesome job and magically fits all of the dresses perfectly
Crown: Janine Basil, London - I am so thankful for this crown it was gorgeous and so are all of her hats. Go check them out they make great presents to a friend or yourself.

This was the first dress I designed for the princess collection. The blue silk velvet dress.

I love velvet but it is horrible to work with a lot of the time, fluff everywhere and slippy slidey on the machine. Even more so with this silk velvet that wibbles all over the place but, the outcome is so completely worth it!

I sourced this from our favourite suppliers Beckford silks who have beautiful fabrics and colours to pick from. Being a 'Royal' collection, blue was the first choice and this is deep dark blue that shimmers brightly when it hits the light.

To go with the velvet we needed an ermine trim, a must for Princesses and Royal ceremonies of course. I could have used ermine or rabbit fur but this would have required butchering a vintage coat or cape (butchering vintage clothing that isn't falling apart is nearly as bad as killing the animal in the first place) I thought of using marabou feathers too and then thought of fluff and velvet wasn't too great an idea.  So more silk velvet which has a super soft fur like pile and black swarovski rhinestones were used to make a dotty ermine print.

I said before about my disappointment of not seeing Princess Margaret's dresses lined in gold (when you call yourself a Princess surely there are some perks? I suppose she didn't look in other peoples dresses?) so in my dress we used a metallic gold binding inside the dress to finish the seams and add a little internal glitz.

Then to the dress shape itself, something simple, a princess line cut was the obvious choice to use when cutting the patterns and this velvet gathers so beautifully without too much bulk being induced into the seams. And there we have a little blue velvet dress. ............ oh no, I keep thinking of David Lynch now. My dress is still pretty!

the view from the castle

The first stage of the photos were taken at Banwell Castle. A local Gothic Revival Mansion house built in 1847. If you're ever in the area it's the officially best place to go for cream teas, all freshly baked by the owner and served on blue and white china.
It's the kind of country house that is very honest, it's not sparkling or commercialized and you feel like your in a guest in someones home instead of just renting a room for B&B. It's eclectic, romantic and really quite special. It's not too fancy, the furnishings are gathered over time, there is stunning printed wallpaper, family photos on the mantelpiece, old sofas and textiles, incredible views and peacocks!
They were very kind to lend us a room to use whilst we did the photo shoot and this wonderful. A four poster bed trimmed in textiles from around the world, roll top bath and a beautiful linen cupboard that stretched the wall of the room. It was a rainy day when we visited and just looking out of the old Victorian windows in that room was so cosy. A blustery Winter weekend in a castle sounds very appealing.