Friday, 27 February 2015

The Sunflower Dress

sunflower dress

The new Sunflower Dress. This dress was made from this beautiful piece of embroidered vintage chiffon. The colour and the pattern were exquisite but sadly the fabric was also in vintage shape. I couldn't resist turning it into a dress. 

The bodice was very carefully hand draped to a satin and tulle base. The embroidered sunflowers were appliqued to cascade across the dress, all finished with a grosgrain ribbon. 

The dress was too good not to make and even though it has a few flaws in the fabric, it was really worth it. 

sunflower dress

sunflower dress

sunflower dress

Thursday, 26 February 2015

She Loves Dresses - Polka dot Tulle Prom Dress

Late last year we were so proud to collaborate with the gorgeous Jenny of She Loves Dresses and here are the fantastic images she produced for us.

Jenny modeled the Gloria dress, a polkadot sequinned version of our Debby tulle prom dress in black tulle with large white penny paillettes.

Monday, 23 February 2015

The best dressed of the Oscars

Rosamund Pike in Givenchy from

Jennifer Hudson from

Cate Blanchett in John Galliano for Maison Margiela from

Rita Ora in Marchesa from
Four red carpet visions of perfection for the Academy Awards 2015. Like the whole awards season there have been a few hiccups and 'not quite rights' but these four women are flawlessly styled head to toe.

Rosamund Pike in THAT red dress by Givenchy, wowsers! She keeps her leg under control (unlike some other ladies with split dresses and legs aloft). There is no unnecessary jewelry to ruin the lines and fine strapped heels keep all the focus on the glorious dress. A slightly redder shade of lipstick could have given a little more lift to the face but really it's perfect.

Jennifer Hudson At the time of writing this I haven't found who the dress is by but who cares it's styled gorgeously. The candy lemon yellow looks so good and just a fine highlights the waist giving a great shape. Jennifer really knows how to stand well too, this is the winning pose, shoulders down arms slightly back, great.
I love the chic hair and those big jewels just for the ears and hand keeping the neckline and arms long and lean. Lovely, Lovely  Lovely.

Cate Blanchett is always great on the red carpet but I love this for it's bold design. The black dress designed by John Galliano is brilliantly cut and those Tiffany jewels show how you can wear a necklace without cutting off your head. Necklaces are great with black jumpers and worn over a plain dress just like this, making it part of the dress.
Again a little more colour in the lips couldn't hurt but great style.

Rita Ora This girl is the Queen of the red carpet this year, remember that red dress from the Golden Globes? For the Oscars she wore Marchesa in a luxurious navy blue with gold embellishments that make for such a bold and striking look. Yes again letting the dress do the work and styled with elegant drop earrings and a single ring displaying those beautiful limbs. Stunning, Stunning Stunning!

Who were your winners on the red carpet? Ever wondered anything about getting that red carpet look? I'd love to hear your thoughts and questions Email me at

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Edith Head on the Oscars


We love Edith Head talking about the Oscars - From

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Vintage Finds - 1930s Gowns

These are two of my favourite original 1930s pieces in the collection at the moment. What could be more fabulous than elegantly swanning about a room in these floor sweeping gowns?

The first dress is a later 1930s design in a beautiful water silk moire with red crepe contrasts. The design is so striking and of the era. Cut exquisitely on the bias this dress flatters in all the right places with a shaped waistline and those wonderful buttons running the whole length of the dress to elongate the body. Just imagine getting married in this number!

Style with soft romantic victory rolls that look like you've just had your wedding night and sky high peep toes. Finish with red nails and lips to match the exact shade of red and you're ready to go.

This black 1930s dress is a real beauty in detail. 

The dress features all this delicate gathering and it has a vibrant Mediterranean colouring with the floral design set against the black. The sleeves have a puff ball cut, lined in tulle and the whole dress is cut on the bias with a train at the back making it incredibly lean and elegant. The floral detail is woven with metallic gold almost like lame and the whole dress is made in a satin backed crepe making is feel so luxurious against your skin.

This is a definite Wallis Simpson style. Wear with a Marcel wave, open toes T-Bar heels and deep red lipstick whist scowling at everyone for not being as impossibly beautiful as you. x

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Girl Can't Hep It -Movie of the Week

This weeks film of the week is 'The Girl Can't Help It' starring Jane Mansfield, Abbey Lincoln and Julie London. 

Jayne Mansfield is the second blond bombshell of Hollywood, created by Fox Studios as their version on Marilyn. Miss Mansfield is a little like watching a Disney version of the legend but she is terribly cute and that waistline really is to die for.

The costumes are designed by the amazing Charles Le Maire also known for All About Eve and How to Marry a Millionaire. These dresses really set your heart pounding, from the first entrance all in white to the iconic red sequined gown through to a killer navy blue suit and the sweetest yellow sun dresses. Everything is designed so well. And check out the shoes ....

The musical score features Little Richard, who performs like he could head the Superbowl tomorrow he's so modern and the sensational Abbey Lincoln. Miss Lincoln is actually wearing one of Marilyn Monroe's gowns and strikes the most gorgeous hourglass shape.

Finally for elegance Julie London appears as a smooth jazz mirage in a collection of fantastic gowns in pastels and laces.
One of the best dressed films in history and the milk bottle scene is camper than any Carry On!

How to get that Jayne Mansfield silhouette? 

I spent most of the film trying to work this out.
So far my educated guess is a padded cone bra built into the dress. Jayne Mansfield is famous for her bust, but for it nearly falling out of dresses not for it being that large in reality. Amazing what a specially cut dress can do!
A very tightly laced under-bust corset that goes over the hips is used to reduce the waist with a smooth corselette/girdle to smooth the lines.

That's how to get the rumoured 40, 21, 40 figure, time to go and try it with some What Katy Did Lingerie!

Director: Frank Tashlin (Artists and Models)
Cinematographer: Leon Shamroy (The King and I, Blue Angel)
Costumes: Charles Le Maire (Bus Stop, All About Eve, How to Marry a Millionaire)
Art Director: Leyland Fuller (How to Marry a Millionaire) and Lyle R. Wheeler (All About Eve, Gone with the Wind, Blue Angel)

Info from IMDB and From the Vaults

Jayne Mansfield promo shot in the white gown.

Tulle dress to finish, the waist is so tiny and the bust so padded! 

The stunning Abbey Lincoln looking sensational in Marilyn's dress.

Two stills from The Girl Can't Help it Film

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

1930s Inspiration

Inspiration images from pinterest - Vionnet Lame bow dress - Schiaparelli colour spalsh dress - Vionnet draped silk gown, Vionnet sage crepe dress - Rosemary and Sage berry bundle - 1930s distsy prints - 1930s backless evening gowns

The latest 'Good Hope' sage gown is inspired by the 1930s.

The 1930s was a depression and wartime era but one of the most elegant and glamorous for fashion with long slender silhouettes, the sexiness of the 1920s and beautiful, beautiful cuts.

I had a length of original vintage crepe in a sage green with a typical thirties ditsy print in white etched flowers. I knew it was begging to be cut on the bias but wondered of it could work as an evening gown instead of the obvious tea dress?

With a little research I discovered these muted colours were in evidence throughout designs from the 1930s. These Vionnet dresses above carry the dull colour well albeit in metallic lames. The dress with the colour splash is a Schiaparelli and I loved the contrast, it was a kind of hope in a dress.

Being depression era and using what is quite a depressing colour teaming a bright scarlet red for the lining would add that bit of hope. I also decided to use it for the neckline with a seductive flash of red over the sweetheart. The cut had to be long and lean with an added train for drama (if you you should). A draped bodice would bring texture and a low cut back was a must to give that naked elegance.

And so the 'Good Hope' dress was designed.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Inspirations - Vivian Maier

Photograph by Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier is my new inspiration. Last night I watched the film, Finding Vivian Maier. 

I had to choose just one image, and I chose this for obvious reasons. The image is blurred but it has such magic. You really have to look at the website and buy the book as all the thousands of images are so very good.

The story of this incredible photographer / Nanny Spy is just amazing and to think these images could have been lost forever if it wasn't for the brilliant John Maloof. They are both an inspiration.

The best thing about looking through the portfolios and watching the film is the documentation of every type of life. From a sartorial perspective look how stylish everyone is in the 1950s. From the kids to the old ladies, the poor and the rich. Everyone looks so considered. Vivian Maier froze this world in her images and the world looked so well designed.

Women wore lipstick and heels and men wore hats and a tie. They look like they cared, even if they didn't. Look at people in the street today and the majority are pastey lipped in waterproof misshapen coats and flat ugly shoes. Its hard to find people who stand out with style or look like anything but average. Even the style tribes of young people have nearly disappeared. Who would Vivian Maier photograph today? 

To read and see more images visit There are some great books too. 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Sequined Old Hollywood Wedding Dress - The Allen

Hollywood wedding

It's not every day that you get asked to make the gown of your dreams, but this day did come in the middle of last year.
Like fate I was sat at my laptop on a Sunday afternoon planning new designs and how I was ever going to have time to work on them. I had decided to take on no more bespoke work, ever again. And then popped up the best email asking for a full length sequined gown ......

Not only was this a dream dress but I had been recommended by another designer who's work I was in awe of. Such a compliment.

When to day came to meet Holly, a goddess emerged from the car with platinum blonde locks and a smile that literally belonged in 1940s Hollywood to rival Ava Gardner. This immediately set my head whirling with designs whilst I tried to contain my joy. Believe it or not this lady isn't a movie star, she's a fashion photographer.

Holly carried in a weighty bag that held the most beautiful sequined fabric. Fine pearlised sequins embroidered onto an ivory silk chiffon of the highest quality.

Then there was the design brief. A dress fit for Marilyn Monroe, Jessica Rabbit and Veronica Lake all rolled into one to make 'The Allen'. Seriously nothing could be more heavenly to me and Holly could carry this off to perfection.
I know this all sounds really over the top but this was my dream client, brief and fabric. It will never get better than this!

Holly bought with her a couple of dresses she knew fitted well so we used this cut as the base of the dress. The boned base was made in silk and the sequins stitched (breaking 10 needles on the way) to stop them un-ravelling when cut and then hand draped and stitched in place by hand.

We had a few fittings where I was just so over joyed at the sequins any minor adjustments were a breeze. I also designed a corset to wear underneath to achieve that dramatic hourglass silhouette cinching in the waist. This was a lovely part of the bridal trousseau made from the same silk as the dress with hand appliqued lace.

The day finally came to say goodbye to the dress. Together with her group of absolutely charming bridesmaids, Holly previewed her dress and I made the very final stitches whilst they enjoyed a spot of tea and cakes at the cabin.

This really was a dream to work on helped not least by a very beautiful bride inside and out who made my job a pleasure. The first dress in a long time to give me tears of happiness.

I will never forget 'The Allen'.  Congratulation to Holly and Brett.

Fantastically Anna Vickery will be taking care of all our new brides with her wonderful expertise in bespoke wedding gowns.
For all enquiries in visiting the studio, having a design consultation with Anna and myself and commissioning a dress contact

The Sketch of the dress.
Hollywood wedding dress

Old Hollywood wedding

dream dress

Hollywood wedding dress

Film star dress

 The Bride Wore a sequined dress by Alexandra King with satin shoes by Supadance.
 The Groom wore a suit by Tom Ford with Christian Louboutin shoes.
 The wedding was held at The Crazy Bear, Stadhampton.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Emerald Green Satin 1930s Inspired Gown

atonement dress

This green emerald gown was a private commission and made a beautiful start to the year. The green is very similar to 'the atonement dress' and set against black is the most gorgeous saturated emerald.

The dress was designed for a Spring Ball and was made in a silk chiffon and satin. The bodice was to have a 1930s cut with a low revealing back, small covered buttons to fasten and a slightly dropped waist to lengthen the line. The chiffon was hand pleated and stitched in place with a plunging neckline. The chiffon then gradated into the skirt with drapes that blended with the full satin skirt.

A small train featured at the back of the dress to make it appropriate for a Ball and the hems were hand rolled to finish with perfection.

fashion sketch

green satin dress

green ball gown

couture dress

green evening gown

green evening dress

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Red Satin 1930s Wrap Dress

This red dress was commissioned a few years ago and I recently designed another dress for this same client. I adored the red silk satin that was such beautiful quality and wonderful to work with.
The dress had a draped wrap design to the bodice with a Chantilly lace slip that peeked from beneath at the decolletage. The skirt was cut on the bias and the fabric bellowed gorgeously as it moved with a swish. An elegant art deco dress clip finished the waist.