Friday, 12 December 2014

The Helena Lace Dress - Real Wedding

Beautiful images of our Helena dress on our real bride Sonja. This is just as we designed the Helena dress and I love how Sonja styled her hair and accessories classically to match.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Hera Peacock Print Dress

Alexandra King

The Hera Peacock Dress 

This beautiful print is a Liberty London design classic. I first used this print whilst at University for my final collection and was so pleased when I found a few metres of this again at a vintage sale a few years ago. Its my favourite print of all time.  

The design is currently not in print with Liberty making this a real treasure of a dress. The colours and peacock feather design are so decadent making this print perfect for a cocktail dress. Read more about the print here on the V&A website.

The dress features a hand draped strapless bodice using the sculpted fold of the fabric to create detail and form, I wanted to use the print fully not in cut sections and the skirt shows the print fully in a peacock flare. 

A party dress with Art Nouveau opulence and a one of a kind piece. 

alexandra king

Liberty London Hera

Monday, 25 August 2014

Vintage Dresses In The Shop - 1950s Suzy Perette Prom Dress

1950s prom dress alexandra king

alexandra king

alexandra king suzy perette

There is a new vintage section in the shop that will be host to some of the most divine pre-1960s vintage dresses in my collection.
I started out selling vintage clothing whilst I was at Uni, it helped with my designing and I learnt so much from vintage dresses. I've really missed the vintage trade so it's time to share some of the drop dead gorgeous finds on the website alongside our new dresses.

The reason I stopped selling vintage and started designing and making was due to the fact that these beautiful dress from the 1950s and earlier were getting harder and harder to find. They were also coming in tattier and tattier and one of my biggest regrets was selling my collection.

The thing with often one of a kind dresses is that once they've gone they've really gone. It's not coming back or being re-stocked.
It's that preciousness I wanted to put into my own work too.

The dress above is an original 1950s Suzy Perette dress is the lightest silk organdy. The original beadwork was falling off, someone did something weird to the waist taking it up and there was a tear on the back. Luckily we also have the skills to restore pieces, so tiny pearls have been added, the tear has been beautifully stitched and the waist put back in the right place. Back to it's full floaty gorgeousness, those circle skirts are really to die for.

It's in the shop here along with some other beauties. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Sparkling Bride Angela In Our Lace and Gold

alexandra king
Yesterday Angela, A gorgeous Bride from Nebraska tweeted her wedding photos shot by photographers The Mullers.

With immediate delight I scrolled through stunning shot after stunning shot. Here at the studio we made the bespoke white lace cover up bodice for Angela, it fits and looks beautiful with the heavy corded lace. The Mullers did a fantastic job of capturing the detail.

For the evening Angela picked a bespoke gold glitter bow belt, matching gold glitter bodice top and a gold polka dot organdy full skirt. This image below is my favourite and captures the sparkle perfectly.

The lady looks and wears her dress like a true star! Thank you to The Mullers and to Angela. x

Gold strapless vintage dress

alexandra king bride

button back lace top
Similar white corded lace tops are available in the shop here. 
Glitter bow belt here.
Bespoke garments available upon request.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Exotic Gina - Vintage Style 1950s Pink Sari Dress

alexandra king

A vintage 1950s inspired magenta pink halter cocktail dress made from a jewel colored sari  .....

This is the first new dress in a while as everything slows down for Summer. I had been asked to make some dresses for a slightly more voluptuous figure and so the Gina was introduced.

The first dress is the 'Exotic' Gina made from a beautiful lightweight Sari bought on my travels in Singapore a few years ago. The colours are stunning and so jewel like in emerald, magenta and metallic gold.

A 1950s cut is flattering on all sizes so a fitted bodice and neckline framing halter was included along with a smoothing long-line hip and full pleated skirt. All supported with a tulle underskirt.

I love that Sari's are usually one of a kinds, I don't think I've every seen two exactly the same and this ideal works perfectly with our dresses all be one off pieces too. I recently thought we should maybe make one dress in each size but .... no, we don't like looking the same, we like everyone being the individual humans they are.

I'm back to working on the most spectacular sequinned dress of all time. I can't wait to share it. Good evening all x

Alexandra king dress

vintage rockabilly halter dress

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Inspirations - Gina Lollobrigida and other sirens.

Follow Alexandra's board Gina DeJoJo on Pinterest.

Gina DeJoJo (inspired by the fabulous Gina Lollobrigida with a sprinkle of Ava Gardner and Sophia Loren) will be the next guest to visit the Alfoxton hotel and will inspire a gorgeous early Autumn wardrobe of ravishing gowns. 

These will be for slightly curvier figures with low cut necklines (a must for a bust!), nipped in waists (get your corset out) and pencil cut hip hugging skirts. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sailor Stripes and Tennis Whites

alexandra king
Jack Sailor Stripe Dress 

Alexandra King
Jack Halter Sun Dress

alexandra king
Jill Pannier Skirt

alexandra king
Jill Tennis Dress 

New vintage 1920s inspired sailor stripe Summer dresses and crisp white cottons from the Alfoxton Jack and Jill collection. Perfect for Summer play.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Summer sports dresses


Summer sports dresses inspired by 1920s county house games. These are my first designs after the trip to Alfoxton and viewing the overgrown tennis court. These little sports dresses in crisp white cottons and navy stripes would suit a game nicely imagining the court had just been built.
Coming to the shop tomorrow.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Alfoxden Park House Hotel

Alfoxton Park Hotel

 Photos of the Alfoxden Park Hotel or Alfoxton House. Holford Somerset. The old hotel sign in the porch, along with a tonne of old post. 

Alfoxton Park Hotel Sign

The classic view of the hotel, that wood would warm a house for a year! 

The front entrance of the Hotel with a lovely climbing rose. This could stay. All the windows have gorgeous wooden shutters. Except one on the first floor left. That looks like a squatters curtain? 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Botanical Beauties - silk cocktail dresses

alexandra king

alexandra king

alexandra king

alexandra king

alexandra king

Botanical silk dresses - it happens to be the week for blooms with the Chelsea flower show and so many gorgeous flowers popping out like beauty spots in gardens.

I had been hoarding these printed silks for some time, waiting for the Summer and an occasion to turn them into something worthy of their impressive floral prints. With the inspiration of Charles James and being in the mood to see real dressing up, I set on these three designs. 

The first as a classic 1950s silhouette, a tightly fitted bodice and full skirt displaying the beautiful print of red tulips. A separate collar can be draped in various ways, I always like having options when styling and I can never decide when two styles look equally good. Strapless or framed it can be worn however. 

The gold silk was quite a find, the red roses against the gold look so bright and dramatic. The over skirt is taken from those 1950s fashion photographs of couture designs like Dior and Balenciaga. They look so theatrically elegant. Just imagine entering a room or descending a grand staircase,  long silky limbs on show with this skirt following. 

The last of the tulip silk was used for a strong hourglass cut with plunging sweetheart neckline and wiggle pencil skirt emulating Marylins 1950s curves. A black tulle over skirt feminises the look tuning the dress from bombshell to balletic. 

I love the way dresses can completely transform someone into a fantasy figure and wish I could see more drama dressing on the streets. These aren't just blend into the background dresses they are throw on and look spectacular dresses.

Each a one of a kind, all ready in the shop for your perusal.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Neon Surf Print Dresses

alexandra king

alexandra king

alexandra king

alexandra king

I found this surf print in the back of a local haberdashers a few years ago and immediately fell for it's early 90s neon print that reminded me of Fat Willy's and C&A t-shirts from Weston-Super-Mare's sovereign centre. The print has that vintage smell and is so thick it's starched the cotton to a crispness.

I'd sampled some tops and skirts a while back which didn't quite work out. This time a full cocktail dress 'Barbie' was the final design that made the print come to fruition. It's so bold and bright against the femininity of the 1950s strapless ballet cut of the dress. A pair of Barbie style white patent spiked stilettos or peep toes would finish this dress a treat.

The other two pieces, a skirt and mini dress are more subtle and layer with laces and white
t-shirts for various occasions. Best served with a Fat Willy's muscle vest and coral Malibu Barbie nails.

No blending into the dullness of the crowds with his fabulous surf print.

Available in the shop and on Etsy, just click on the pics.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Botanical Dress Sketches

alexandra king

alexandra king

alexandra king

Sketches of the botanical silk dresses from the studio sketchbook.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Vintage Laura Ashley

Whilst working on the Summer dresses I bought out one of my Mum's original 1980s Laura Ashley dresses. I remember going to the outlet shop in Street, Somerset when I was little and Mum adoring these voluminous skirts on brightly coloured polka dotted dresses. I remember a lot of fabric!

Mum would always treat herself to one of these dresses that came with a matching bolero. Due to her ultra petite size the dresses always looked very much the boho ideal of the early Laura Ashley designs. The skirts nearly sweeping the floor, loosely fitting and combined with her waist length hair the look was romantic rural cool. It was far from the stuffed porcelain doll image of the 80s bridesmaid those dresses evoked.

I look back nostalgically on these Laura Ashley dresses from the early 80's not just because my Mum adored them but because of their quality. The cotton was really heavy, the skirts had deep pockets (which meant a lot) and they were made in a small factory in the UK. They felt really special.

Later on as a collector I kept Mum's dresses, some of which she may retrieve and wear again this Summer, and I collected more from the 1970s. The dresses that have the true Edwardian style, full length with ruffles and lace. These again have this same special Merchant Ivory feel. The dresses also hold the label 'Made in Carno, Wales'.

So I bought the book written by Martin Wood (which is wonderful!) and pulled out the old Laura Ashley Book of Home Decorating which I also pawed over a child. I just loved the plants inside the cosmopolitan bathrooms and day beds. I my head they were all in New York, not the country despite all the florals.

     Not already knowing the story it turns out that Laura Ashley most certainly was as special as the label and dresses made me imagine. The business started at the kitchen table, Laura wanted to live in the countryside, wanted to invest in small towns and people where there was unemployment and build a sustainable cottage industry. Her story really is of ethical fashion which could be applied today.

Together with her husband Bernard they built a fabulous business producing excellent quality clothing and beautiful fabrics and home furnishings. They traded on romance. Sadly after Laura unexpectedly died in 1985 the dresses were never quite the same again.


The Sirk Damask Dress

The Valeria dress is another one of a kind piece made from  a stunning piece of vintage crepe damask from around the 1950s. The pastel satin colours are really gorgeous and pop against the red of the tulle underskirt. 

Still in keeping with the Suburban Floral theme this is more of a formal dress but I love dressing these styles down with knits for tea parties during the Summer. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Hudson Floral Dress

The 'Hudson' dress is made from vintage Laura Ashley printed cotton fabric and has an intricate hand smocked panel in the front of the strapless bodice.
From the Suburban Florals Collection inspired by 1950s Douglas Sirk films, the florals and full skirts evoke this era.
The dress would make the most wonderful occasion piece for events this summer. Team with fine vintage knits or a classic long mac to downplay the print.

Available as a one of a kind dress in the shop here.