Monday, 28 October 2013

Beautiful Blue Bride





I love receiving wedding photos especially when they include a beautiful bride wearing one of my dresses! 

This little blue silk dress trimmed in silver sequins with a full deep hemmed tulle skirt looks absolutely stunning on bride Georgie in Melbourne. Congratulations to the happy couple! x

Happy Birthday Edith Head

Today is Edith Head's birthday, she would have been One Hundred and sixteen.
Bette Davis read in her eulogy "A queen has left us, the queen of her profession. She will never be replaced. Her contribution to our industry in her field of design, her contribution to the taste of our town of Hollywood, her elegance as a person, her charms as a woman - none of us who worked with her will ever forget."
As we earlier spoke about Edith Head working with Hitch and Grace on 'To Catch a Thief' HERE, this is just a celebratory post including my favourite Hitchcock/ Head collaboration. Rear Window.
Edith said about this film in the book 'Edith Head's Hollywood ...
"Hitchcock told me it was important that Grace's clothes help to establish some sort of conflict in the story. She was to be a typical sophisticated society-girl magazine editor who falls in live with a scruffy photographer, Jimmy Stewart. ...... Hitch wanted her to look like a piece of Dresden China, something slightly untouchable. So I did that. Her suits were impeccably tailored, her accessories looked as though they couldn't be worn by anyone else but her. She was perfect. "
" the black and white dress I used in the first live scene had a simple nec.kline which framed her face in close ups. Then as th camera pulled back, the beaded chiffon skirt immediately told the audience she was a rich girl. "
Watch it tonight to start of your Halloween festivities and gaze a the beautiful Grace in her divinely designed dresses. Happy Birthday Ms. Head, goddess of costume.
Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock
Edith Head's Hollywood by Edith Head and Paddy Caliistro

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Bespoke Bride Kelly by Anna Vickery

Here is another of Anna's spectacular bespoke wedding dresses, this time for beautiful bride Kelly who was married in the first weekend in September. 

Anna met Kelly through teaching dressmaking workshops at Millie Moon in Frome and to cut a long story short came to the rescue when Kelly was let down on her first wedding dress order. 

This worked out wonderfully as Kelly was now able to have the exact dress of her dreams, a stunning 1950's inspired couture gown. 
The design included a fine French corded lace bodice with elbow length sleeves that fitted over the smooth sweetheart bodice trimmed with covered buttons down the back.  A sharp pleated silk belt cinched the waist and the dress finished in a glorious full circle skirt made of handwoven silk. 

In Kelly's words " Thank you very much for making my beautiful wedding dress. Michael and all the guests really loved it. I was so pleated with the outcome. 
                                    With many thanks and love from Kelly "

For more info on this dress and other bespoke gowns please contact Anna Vickery at 


Photography: Gareth Hannam 
Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Hair and make-up: Townhouse Retreat
Accessories: Vintage pearls and Kelly made her own hair bow from scraps of the dress fabric.
Flowers: Bramble and Wild
Transport:VW Split Screen Hire
Bunting: Millie Moon Haberdashery and Sewing School
Marquee Hire: Archers Marquees

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Revisiting the Astor Dress

Working again on dresses from past collections is always like visiting an old and very lovely friend. The Astor dress is one that I am always happy to go back and revise to each of our brides specific bespoke requests.

This year the Astor was re-designed with a mirrored asymmetric draped back and side button fastening. The original had no buttons and this year the buttons have ran along the side and cascaded down the spine. Both are a welcome addition to the overall look of the dress from all angles.

I photographed the dress nude without the beaded embellishments and I love the raw texture of the handwoven silk that drapes and folds like an origami dream. The sparkles make it really something but in its naked state it's just as beautiful which is rather reassuring.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Green Deco Wedding Dress

It's always a heart in your mouth moment when the words design change are uttered, but I'm so glad this dress managed to pull through the all the nervous 'will it work?' worries. Going from a classic fifties full skirted design to this elegant and sophisticated take on the 1920s, the dress most definitely worked.

The dress emerged as an art deco, modest twenties stroke fifties cocktail hour design with a sweetheart fitted bodice in silk duchess satin to match a pencil skirt of the same silk. The bodice was then hand draped and overlaid in fine silk chiffon with beautiful deco inspired bead detail.

I always say I would be happy sewing beads for the rest of my life and this is why when you look at the waistband peeking out from the bodice on the dress. To be able to say that all this beading is hand sewn in the UK is something I am also very proud of, no childrens fingers were harmed in the making of this dress!

The subtle glimmer of the frosted metallic seed beads dotted over the bodice and the eye catching shoulder motifs all embellish the dress like jewels. Fine silk covered buttons trim the spine each individually encrusted with the matching silver and green glass beads.

Worn as a demure wedding dress this Summer and a design to definitely influence pieces to come. Fingers crossed this dress makes it to a museum one day.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Film Club - 10 Reasons To Watch - To Catch A Thief

To Catch A Thief - 1955 - Alfred Hitchcock

This film is a favourite of many and there are many, many, far more than 10 reasons to watch this film. Again.

1. Grace Kelly - not just for the beautiful ice blond but for the behind the scenes story too. This is the film that made her a Princess, she met Price Rainier on location.

2. Edith Heads design - each and every dress is breathtakingly Hollywood. Draped chiffon's, embroideries, start contrasts, They are all fabulous.

Edith said this of the film in her Biography 'Edith Head's Hollywood' .....
"When many people ask me who my favourite actress is, who my favourite actor is, who my favourite director is, and what my favourite film is, I tell them to watch To Catch A Thief and they'll get all the answers"

3. Cary Grants dressing - Cary Grant dressed himself as he did in many films and purchased his elegantly styled French wardrobe in Canne. His first outfit, the fine striped navy sweater, the red polka dot cravat all wonderfully fitted is the height of mens true style.

3. Vista Vision - created by Paramount in 1954 and used to full effect by Hitchcock with wide landscape shots of the Cote d'Azure. Beautiful picture postcard shots is great high res quality and colour were the result and sadly only used in a small number of films until 1961.

4. Technicolour - The blues, reds and the flowers market scene are spectacular. The colours aren't completely saturated and softer, more elegant than my favourite starkly contrasted films. Soft pinks, dusty blues and pastel yellows, all the colours of a 1950s rose garden along with a Parisian black and green for the night.

5. The first look at Grace Kelly on the beach - dressed in a yellow swimsuit and matching hat. She sits in the background long limbed and screen stealingly devine.

6. That black and white outfit - Edith Head said of this outfit "When Grace went to the beach, she wore a huge sun hat and the most beautiful black and white sun costume that I've ever done. It was striking - almost too striking."

7. The white dress - this is the dress that recently inspired the dress I designed for Nicole, The Niagara dress. It's a finely draped chiffon dress that wraps tightly around the body, is shaped in fine chevrons at the waist and then floats like a dream. One of the perfect white dresses in history.

8. Brigitte Auber - Yes, Grace is the there stealing the screen with her perfect beauty like an angel but the second female in this story is Danielle. So French, so chic and just gorgeous. She didn't get the beautiful dresses but did dress wonderfully defining European youth style.
Cleverly dressed in the red version of Cary Grants stripe sweater at the start with a rose red skirt giving the audience the biggest clue of the story.

9. The Gold Dress - made in a gold mesh and so huge and so expensive they had to be ever so careful to keep the dress perfect during filming. Hitchcock told Edith that Grace was to look like a Princess. The Marie Antoinette dress seems to float as she dances like a doll in a music box, it's so over the top but on viewing against the midnight blue sky of the ball its so very magical.

10. Hitchcock - he said about the dressing of the film " we are now in France. People dress here. It's the place style is created - so do it" Edith Heads Hollywood
He is the man who used Vista Vision, the man who directed and produced this beautiful film paying so much attention to detail as always and the man who I like to think made Grace Kelly a Princess. Awhh.

To Catch a Thief: 1955 
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cinematographer: Robert Burks
Technicolour Consultant: Richard Mueller
Starring: Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Jessie Royce Landis, Brigitte Auber
Costume Design: Edith Head 

Time to Watch - On a Monday night to inspire you for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Fabulous Wedding Belles ....

Photography by My Fabulous Life

Photography by My Fabulous Life

A while back in the Summer Anna sent her gorgeous flower girls dress down to Devon for a shoot with photographer Becky Joiner of My Fabulous Life. 
Becky gathered flowers and girls and some super sparkly accessories from Crown and Glory to create a fun and brightly coloured collection of photographs. 

My favorite image is of Anna's strawberry dress which looks wonderfully bright surrounded by all those beautiful flowers. 

This image made it into Wed Magazine too which I have to say is one of the best wedding magazines I've seen. It's big, heavy, printed on gorgeous paper, is reasonably priced and has loads of interesting articles along with details of all the great suppliers in the South West. 

A huge thank you to My Fabulous Life and Wed Magazine. 

Photography by My Fabulous Life

Photography by My Fabulous Life

Photography by My Fabulous Life

Photography by My Fabulous Life

Photography by My Fabulous Life

Photography by My Fabulous Life