Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Here are some interesting offerings from the catwalks to inspire us to think of drapery. There are versions of these that would be fun to wear as wedding frocks. Longer and simpler perhaps.

Elie Saab
I do like this nude colour but it can make some girls look so pasty - like this girl. The same colour suits the one below much better. I think it's a blond versus brunette thing.

More Elie.
I noticed quite a few one shouldered dresses around.
Excellent. I love them.

This is Givenchy I think.
Again the pastiness, but it's still cool.

Of course you'd lose the sleeve but I love the low slung kind of swing it has.

This is Givenchy again.
No bride would want to look this puffy but there's something nice about it that could be done.
Also this girl looks very cute and kooky

I have to get draping, obviously!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So a separate nod to Deadwood

Now I've never said I was trendy and my recent discovery of the HBO series Deadwood proves that I'm well behind the times. And maybe one shouldn't admit to a penchant for some of those American dramas. Six Feet Under, Madmen etc but really they can be just so good and perfect fodder for chilling out at night. Around the lunch table at the studio the other day we intellectualised Madmen for the entire repast before we realised what we were doing! Anyway, with most of them my attention usually wanes (Sopranos, Boston Legal) or I forget to watch a couple of episodes (United States of Tara) and that's that, but Deadwood I just adore.

You have to get beyond the constant use of expletives that they spit out at each other and of course the most horrid violence at times. It is the old West after all. Now I finally get the inspiration of the likes of Bonny Prince Billy, Tom Waits and the like. But anyway once you get over all of that then there is the dashing Seth Bullock to gawk at.

As I said perfect night viewing, ladies! He never smiles, see below. It's an illustration but it captures the moodiness of the man. Ha ha.

Where have these types of men gone eh?

Chiffon is a lovely fabric

I'm not sure if one can talk about the beauty of chiffon and how much I love the series Deadwood in the same blog post, but I'm watching the last episode of the first series as I write this so it's impossible to ignore. But as this is about bridal things after all, I will talk exclusively about chiffon.

Seeing as summer is coming up it's the perfect time for thinking of lovely light fabrics with lots of movement. Chiffon is in my opinion much nicer than georgette, it's lighter, more papery and much more diaphanous. And even though it's delicate it's not too precious, it survives the perils of travel and still looks great at the other end.

This is Alex in her silk chiffon dress. It has some tarnished gold lace around the neckline with an assortment of gold and pewter coloured beads for a little Bollywood effect (her description!) and she wears it with great aplomb I think.

See, a little wind swept action

Alex was very beautiful I thought

More movement which looks quite fun doesn't it?

So if anyone is thinking of chiffon, do it I say. It's so breezy and lovely to wear, you'll want to grab the skirt and just cha cha all night long.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's time for some inspiration

Seeing as so many of my frocks are leaving me around this time of year, I thought I'd put up some ideas to inspire some wedding photography that has some style and whimsy to it. Again plundered from my favourite wedding site. Which I guess I should say is Once Wed for those who care to look. Why don't we have a site like this here I'd like to know.....

Anyway, I've collected a few fun pics to add to the thinking-outside-the-norm fund.

This only works if there are good legs involved of course

Is the photographer likening her skirt to those roots do you think?

I don't like her cardigan but I do like his blue scarf and of course the landscape

It's cute, but she should have shown more purple

This is just a nice hair piece

A nice colour selection

Again, nice colours

This sort of doesn't really work, but the idea is cool

I like her cape.... and why do those dogs always look obscene?

Inspired? ............ I hope so x

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Real Brides - Wedding Pics

I think it's time for some real brides again. Seeing as this is the wedding season. 

This is my bride from earlier in the year - Miss Kim. She was a pretty cool chick who had managed to charm her way into a reservation at El Bulli in Spain. Which if you go to the site and can manage to navigate your way around, you will see that that was no mean feat! I think it was about this time in the year that she should be going, I'm not sure if she took it up. 

Anyway, her dress was made in a silk dupion in quite a lush colour with a jazzy name. I also made her a corset as a lingerie piece for her to wear underneath. The dress was very fitted around the waist and pleated over the bodice. She was a curvy girl and the shape we ended up with was perfect for someone with lush curves like that. A corset can be so good for nipping in the waist and getting the girls up high!

You can't really see all the detailing in the bodice from these pics but judging by that fur wrap it was a brisk evening in Melbourne. They make a stylish couple in my opinion....

 The fabric looks metallic, even though it wasn't 

this card is a good idea isn't it?

I hope everyone had a good long weekend. Mine was great. Two visits to the Opera House for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, a massage, a great bottle of red with some mushrooms flown in especially from France and a walk through the Botanical Gardens in the rain under a huge umbrella. Very nice indeed....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A flower is a splendid thing

I have not had the internet on at home for the last few weeks so posting a blog has been impossible. But I have read quite a few books, cooked many delicious dinners, hand stitched lace on a dress or two, indulged in both The Wire and Madmen, not to mentioned delighted in the bursting forth of life in my garden.... So there was an upside. There just has been no nosing about on the net at all! And although I liked not having it, I missed it too. 

Now that I am here and seeing as spring is in the air and in my garden too, what better things to look at than flowers. I am growing what many real gardeners would probably think of as weeds, but as I'm just a beginner they're all wonderful to me. I can upgrade later.  I have African Violets, Alyssum, pansies, jasmine, wisteria, lillies, a lemon tree, different types of daisies, some natives that I can't remember the names of and that flowering tree that you see everywhere in Sydney. I don't know how to spell it and I can't be bothered to look it up. You know the ones I mean.... bogies! 

Anyway, my friend Mat who directed Victoria Beckham's latest fashion campaign sent me a link to a fantastic wedding site from the states. I'll post it another time as I want to plunder it first before I give it away. It is by far the best one I have seen and it is the only one that I relate to.

Here are some pics of flowers and floral decorations that I found and think are really lovely. All bridal flowers (and those in real life too) should look as if they've been swiped from someone's garden on the way to wherever. Beautiful but not precious. Some bouquets are so tightly bunched that I'm sure one could play tennis with them.

I would love to be having lunch here. 

A close up of the flowers. 

There are lots of interesting flowers in this bunch

Simplicity can be so stylish

Are these flowers straight off the prairie do you think?

A bit more formal, but still nice

I think these are Ranunculus, which some may regard as the poor mans rose, but I think they are just as delicate and mysterious. Worthy of a still life painting by some Renaissance master. I like the berries too. 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Favourite Words

Lune is one of my favourite words. It's lovely to say, it's lovely to think about. It's a wondrous thing to look at as in below, especially with some old lamp posts thrown in for ambience. And a bit of snow. Very still..... and quiet. Just out of reach......

Photo by Franco Ferri Mala

..... or sleek and stylised like this Red Eye Loon. I just love black and white with a bit of red nearby. Not sure about the green, but he wears it well.

Do you think you'd say he was covered in feathers if you didn't know that he was?

I don't think you would...

Friday, August 14, 2009

A bygone era

Sometimes I like to imagine myself as a seamstress type person living in the early 20th century. I've just set myself up in a shop (or salon rather) and I'm making things for glamourous ladies. Maybe I have a gaggle of women who work with me like Evie and Beatrice from The House of Elliot and I go to lavish restaurants and parties like they do. 

This is my studio, so it's easy to imagine such things.... although no gossiping chooks here

Everyday I admire my painted floor which I did myself. I liked them so much I made Tim paint our floor at home. Although it should have been me as I did a much better job. He sees it as a chore whereas I like painting surfaces.

Maybe my beau could be Carlo Mollino. He could pick me up for evening drinks in his plane that he designed and flew himself. Is there anyone around these days like him? 

Anyway a lot of dresses that I make seem to be reminiscent of the 30's or thereabouts. Well that's what I thought and it's certainly what people seem to think of them, but just now, when looking for some examples of this I could only find two brides. But that's mostly because I have no say in the final styling of it all of course. Still, I think it's a good thing to have a piece that is not screamingly modern because it's really a family heirloom in a way. To be cherished and tried on again when one is feeling nostalgic, to hold pride of place in the cupboard and then finally the dress up box when the kids arrrive! 

This is Katharine. Her dress was made from a crazy Italian Macrame lace that is all squiggly and looks like string. It had a layer of silk satin and silk chiffon underneath that and the back was quite textured with pieces of Italian silk tulle and extra macrame lace. 

Some photographers can't help themselves with the old Dutch tilt can they??

This is Jessica getting married at The Carrington I think, in Katoomba. Great place. People used to go up there in the 20's to drink martinis, smoke gaspers and indulge in a bit of partner swapping!

Her dress was made with French lace on the bodice and to the waist. The skirts were silk tulle over silk satin. Her cap sleeves were also silk tulle trimmed with French lace. I think she had a sprinkling of small crystals here and there on the lace. 

But if I'd been around then I would have had the war to contend with and that would have been a bore to say the least!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Cool Haiku

The pheasant - 
She has indeed
A handsome lover

Alexander McQueen's idea of male beauty from Winter 2009

I like it

I bet this man appreciates a Haiku

Photos by Tranism

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lacey Real Brides

Hello, I love the internet. After years of dawdling around on it,  just barely a bystander, I've finally got the hang of finding and collecting images. I've put all my brides into files and I feel organised at last.

So, here below is my lovely bride Alison and her hubby. They were married in Autumn. Her dress was made from silk satin with an Italian Macrame lace overlay. The lace is crazy actually when you look at it but it makes up to be quite vintage looking. It's not for everyone and it's certainly not traditional but who cares about that! 

The back was very low on the dress and the macrame fell in fishtail pieces under the buttons. I guess the front is quite low too but it's not a cheeky dress. It's a simple style and one that can look completely different depending on the fabrication. It has a little Hollywood glamour in an unfussy way. 

That is one enormous bouquet! 

Here's a bride from a while ago - Penny. A very cool chick who worked at Sass & Bide. This is taken in my old shop in Paddington (thanks be to God that I am no longer in Paddington!) which is why she looks less sparkly than the usual bride.

This fabric is also a crazy Italian lace. A silk linen with big burn out flowers. It was only ever creative people who bought it. In fact it took me some time to think of what to make in it! But I do love it. I don;t have any left now and I miss it! 

Finally to continue the theme of unusual lace, here is a dress for Danielle. This is obviously not her although she is the only person I have ever made a dress for who has the exact same measurements as my mannequin, so in many ways this is her!

The lace and colour underneath were her idea, the style mine. We wanted it to look like a vintage dress from the 50's. Which it does. She had green eyes so it looked amazing on her. Which was lucky as when she first bought in the rather acid green silk for underneath I almost wanted to run a mile! 

The lace was corded which is my favourite kind of lace. Anyway that's enough about that, Tim has made me a chai tea (his own special recipe) and it's calling me...... x

Friday, August 7, 2009

This is my bride Anastasia who got married earlier in the year. She was very tall and willowy and a lovely girl. Although maybe not too lovely by the looks of this murderous red! It was a very simple dress and quite sexy really. 

There's no such thing as the perfect red that I can ever find in a silk. I always end up dying the fabric to get the colour I want. The first time I ever did it, I went to the paint shop and got a colour card of an almost perfect colour, then off to the make up shop for some nail polish. Once I'd painted over the card with the nail polish, the colour was right. Luckily the fabric dyer is such a clever man who never gives one any grief no matter how pie in the sky one's requests are. For Anastasia, we took the colour from a velvet top of hers. But as velvet is never a flat colour it was the depth of red half way down the pile that we wanted, not what you could see when you looked at it from above. The dyer had to look through it, which he just might have done as he got it right. I do so love this shade of red.

This is a good red too. You have to look in the middle of the leaf, not the ends....

And this is good too, although it's more of a burgundy, but you can't be too picky about that when it comes to vintage cars. You'd never get a colour like this these days..... now they're all taupey and neutral...... what's the world coming to?

The piece de resistance in red though is to be found here.
This marvelous burst of nature is as perfect a red as ever could be found. Are we all just a bunch of cheap imitators? Mother Earth has already done it a hundred times over with more aplomb and attention to detail than we sentient beings would ever dream up.  

Here is another great girl - Pip. I love these photos, she and her husband look very cool and glamourous in a nonchalant way I think. I also like the fact that he apparently does not like champagne and could care less for pretense! Sometimes I feel so sorry for some men made to play act in wedding photos. 

Pip's dress was a sort of tutu. A long version. Her belt was in a gorgeous red and it had a hand made silk chrysanthemum on it. I didn't make it, a fabulous girl called Jen did. I'll have to put her details on here. The tulle of the skirt was draped from the waist and it dropped and came up again from there. It had a slightly bubble effect in some places and not in others. Anyway it looked quite fun, delicate but not too precious. I think in years to come their kids will look at these pics and marvel at what groovers their parents were!

I hope my daughter thinks that about Tim and I.