Monday, 18 February 2013

Swanson Wedding Dress - The Beautiful Izzy

Our Swanson bow back dress in a real wedding and looking breathtakingly Hollywood.

Laura (the amazing photographer) recently dropped off some prints from the wedding she shot late last year. We shared the gorgeous bride Izzy, I made the dress and thankfully Laura took the photos.

'Who is your wedding photographer?' is one of the first questions I ask at consultations, I like my dresses and the people wearing them to be captured beautifully. I know they can be expensive but they really are worth being paid for all the hours they will spend on your photographs. Take out the fluff from your wedding and all you really need is some friends and a photographer to capture a meaningful day.

I am so grateful to Izzy for looking completely stunning (she says she doesn't look like this really, but she does!) and to Laura for capturing Izzy looking exactly how I wanted, showing off her likeness to the blonde bombshells of 1950s Hollywood.

Izzy chose the Swanson dress and opted for a dark ivory shade of silk duchess satin. A rhinestone belt was made to match her strappy rhinestone shoes and the hair stylist found a beautiful glistening vintage trim to wrap around Izzy's platinum blonde locks.
I love the marabou feathers surrounding the bouquet and Olivia's (Izzy's Daughter) matching cape.

We also made Olivia's blue lace and silk organza bridesmaids dress which she helped me design with a sweetheart under bodice and silver glitter stars on a belt to match her sequinned converse pumps. The two looked fabulous together!






This image is officially my most favourite photograph of a bride, she looks like a film star surrounded by fans at a premier in the 1950s. I just adore it. This image to me is exactly why you want a good photographer who knows just how to make people naturally beautiful. To see more gorgeous photos of Izzy and her wedding visit Laura's Blog here. 

Introducing the Spring / Summer 2013 Collection

Nero - stripe beach dress 
Carin - tailored play suit
Mari - ruffle mini dress
Koko Top and Athena Skirt
Talitha - white cotton shirt dress
Athena Maternity Dress
Erica -white cotton maternity Dress
Mariana - cotton stripe sun dress
Athena Wiggle Dress
Christina Dress - embellished stripe tea dress
Maltease - broiderie anglaise wiggle dress
Anastasia - broiderie anglaise lace gown
Felicita - geometric stripe jersey maxi dress
Silvana - stripe tulle two piece dress
Selena - sequin stripe flapper dress
Fleurt - sequin stripe prom dress

The new collection is here, just as the sun is trying to peek into Spring today.

The S/S 2013 collection is about early 20th century design and starting with the basic principles of white cotton and stripes.
Influenced by the Breton design classic, the 1920's and 30's French coastal resorts and the crisp freshness of Edwardian white cottons. A Summer holiday wardrobe of Californian pin-up playsuits, Twenties stripe cover ups and elegant tea dresses that produce effortless style. Floor length Broderie Anglaise and geometric striped jersey gowns through to sheer layered tulle flapper dresses shimmering with sequins over silks.

A fresh start with new beginnings as we turn the focus to womenswear design and ready to wear collections.

Available made to order from the online boutique and the etsy shop today.

Lookbook photographed by Laura Michelle
Models: Kimberley Louise Hill and Natalie Power

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Behind the scenes of the new collection shoot

A couple of the behind the scenes images from shooting the new Spring Stripes collection.

The photo shoots are usually very unorganized on my part, I spend so long working on the dresses I always put the shoot second. This time I had the dresses ready and a bit more of a plan, all I needed was photographer Laura Power and a couple of beautiful models to put the dresses on.

I like to use the same photographer for shoots, it's important to find someone on your wavelength and a person that feels free to experiment. I completely trust Laura to produce the images I want for lookbooks and when it comes to fashion photography, she knows her stuff. I love that she uses digital, film and allsorts of exciting looking cameras and isn't pretentious in her work. She simply captures something no one else does.

I wanted to work with Natalie and Kim again, they are very natural together and despite Kim being 7 months pregnant she looked radiant at the shoot. It was the first time I have ever seen a pregnant tummy in real life she she looked so incredibly beautiful.

We started the day outside as I wanted to get a single image that would capture the mood of the collection. The rest of the day was spent shooting the looks (quite a tiresome exsersise for everyone) and then some more experimenting. The backdrop was kept to simple white walls and lots of Vogue's. The light in the Winter goes so fast so my grand plan for visiting the local decaying seaside resort had to be put aside for another day. Making Kim and Natalie stand out in the freezing wind in sheer summer dresses wasn't really fair either. Natalie was already in shock from the morning shots. Fur coats and hot water bottles needed.

As usual the last shots of the day were to be some of the best. I can't wait to share them!


Friday, 15 February 2013

Remodelling Your Mothers Wedding Dress - Yellow 1950s Prom Dress Style

Cutting up someone else's, mothers wedding dress should have been a terrifying task but Ada was so wonderfully relaxed about the whole process that it went like a dream. 

Ada first of all sent me a photograph of the dress in question, worn many years ago by her mother as her wedding dress. This dress was to be worn as a reception dress and remade into her dream prom dress. 
The thought of wearing your mothers wedding dress is always something I admire, I would have loved to have worn my Mum's fine polkadot maxi dress but she gave it away years ago and the prospect of fitting it would have required rib removal surgery. My Mum makes a size 10 look obbesse! 

Ada was the same size as her Mum and once I had seen the dress and accepted the challenge, she packed it up along with some treats and posted it to me at the studio. 
I drew up three sketches and Ada chose her favourite design. 

It was then just a case of putting the dress in the washing machine to see if any foxing marks from the years of storage would come out. Luckily it came up beautifully,  from my experience in the vintage dress trade I knew what will go through the machine safely. Don't try this at home! 

The original pale yellow lace wedding dress. 
We firstly made up a base dress and bodice and took apart the original dress to be re draped onto the bodice. The fabric was just fabulous in organza and tulle and lace with lots of texture detail. 

removing the sleeves and cutting the waist
Cutting the sweetheart bodice.
The satin lining to the dress with the built in bodice
We made a tulle skirt in the matching yellow and then the lace detailing was finely cut into motifs and then hand appliqued over the skirt. A silk pleated belt was applied and fine detachable straps. 

pleating the soft tulle skirt
cutting out each of the lace and ribbon motifs from the original dress
The scalloped trim from the neckline and hem was used again on the hips to finish the line.
working out the size of the motifs for the dress, these were way too large!
 The end result was such a transformation and along with being yellow, was one of my most enjoyable dresses to work on last year. I love the soft tulle and the the appliqued lace.

packing the dress ready for Ada in London.

Ada on her wedding day with silver glitter shoes! 

The dress was then packed up after Ada had approved the final dress photos and it fitted perfectly. Congratulations to Ada looking beautiful on her wedding day! xxx

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Red Silk Gown - Old Hollywood Red Carpet Glamour

Today it seems fitting to talk about this dress. This was the last dress of 2012 that I made and I was totally head of heels in love with this garment. It ended the year perfectly and this floor length red silk satin gown renewed my love of couture and design.

The lady in the red dress is a very special type of person.  One that inspires you, understands and respects the work you are carrying out and one who knows how to wear a dress. This helped along way to produce a dress that was stunning on and off the wearer. 

The dress is made up of two parts, the slip underneath is trimmed with a French Chantilly lace and has a boned bodice. The fine silk drapes over the body lightly to smooth the figure and help the top layer drape jut how it should.  Fine straps made in the same light silk make this a dress in it's own right, so very ballet inspired. 
The main gown then simply wraps over the slip with a single covered silk button to fasten and a matching self belt. This one was trimmed with an original 1930s Art Deco buckle which finished the dress beautifully. I loved the lace edging peeking through and the sweep of the dress as it walked and caught in a breeze. 

So very Old Hollywood and thank you very, very, very much to the lady who asked me for a wow factor red gown for her fabulous Christmas party. 

Other than to Wing,  my Valentines love goes to this dress for inspiring me to design just beautiful dresses. xxx

Sweetheart Baby Girls Dress

Sweetheart Party Dress by Anna Vickery

Sweetheart Party Dress by Anna Vickery

Happy Valentines Day!  Introducing another of Anna' gorgeous little girls dresses covered in sweethearts in time for the day of hearts.
This is my favourites of Anna's dresses, I love the bright colours, the tulle skirt and the bright orange bow falling down the back. What more could a little girl want and wonderful to know that none of the other girls will have the same dress.

Hand made in England with fabrics sourced in the UK, Anna carefully makes each of these dresses one by one knowing that each of these garments will be worn for many parties and dressing up games to come! YOU CAN ORDER ONE HERE FROM THE ETSY SHOP. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Mid Week Movie - Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham New York
Director: Richard Press
Zeitgeist Films

Purchase and watch Here: Dogwoof Films

I can't quite understand why it's taken me so long to share this wonderful film. I know most of you have probably watched this already but just in case you haven't this is my favorite fashion documentary.
Lately this film has grown even more as a comfort blanket to me, watching it over and over and over as I try to grasp a little freedom in my work and gain the strength to walk away from the work I have began to hate. As Bill would say 'Don't Sell Out'.

Bill Cunningham is the original street style photographer. Now aged 83 Bill photographs and curates style on the streets of New York and Paris from showing how high end fashion is styled in real life to picking up on micro trends in a certain colour or cut or accessory.
It's all about the clothes. His absolute obsession with clothing and fashion that makes this man the knowledge on costume and dress throughout history. Knowing instantly what a particular cut is a reference to in history and where and when it has been used by a designer.

What's more important is that this man represents true freedom in creativity. Something that I am just realizing the value of. Being able to work at your best without a monkey on your back telling you 'I want it like this' is essential to producing something you can really stand by.

Bill Cunningham lives to photograph beautiful people, he takes little if any money for his work so that he can keep control and stay free. He is kind, modest and the finest gentleman I think exists, someone everyone should look up to.

Here are a few of my favourite quotes from the film ...

On money and creativity.

'If you don't take money, they can't tell you what to do kid' 
'money is the cheapest thing, liberty and freedom is the most expensive' 

This might be a little tricky when you have to survive but the sentiment works when it come to creative work.  

On clothes.

'I'm not interested in the celebrities with their free dresses .... look at the clothes, the cut, the new cut, the colours, that's everything .... Its the CLOTHES ... It's as true today as it ever was. He who seeks beauty will find it'

'we come for your hats not the decor' A Rockerfeller

When I grow up I want to be like Bill. Note to self - work harder at what you love and don't worry about being fancy.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

S/S 2013 Stripes Collection - The Fabrics

The fabrics for the new collection are a mixture of striped printed cottons, heavy jerseys and crisp finely embroidered white broiderie anglaise.
Embellishments of sequins and velvets trim the dresses and veils of tulle shroud geometric stripes. Can't wait to show the actual dresses ......