Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bridal Inspirations 1

Here are a few ideas for bridal dresses. It always pays to see what's happening on the European catwalks. Of course one has to look beyond colour, transparency and the general angularity of most models (not to mention the fact that most of them don't have any boobs) and see the possibilities.  Like theses rather fun ruffles from Elie Saab

Or the fabulous drapery and drama of this number. I love the cinched in waist. Again from old Elie. The colour is fab too. Of course there will probably be a slightly daggier shade available here which is almost right but missing the depth. Why can't local silk suppliers get some colours right?
This is Givenchy. I don't like the animal napping on her shoulders but the cut of the lower skirt is very sexy. The plunging neck is also right up my alley but not for a wedding   .... I guess!
This is Gaultier. I like the idea of transparency with a graphic nature. It wouldn't have the same impact in lighter bridal shades, but I think there would definitely be a version that would look utterly gorgeous if it were done right. Not as busy around the bodice and torso, but it's quite sexy I think.
I have just booked a rather gorgeous Parisian girl who is having her wedding in Montreal and then another do in Paris and she would like a contrasting combination of black and ivory. I think she's after something quite glamourous but with some surprise detail. I'm really excited about the possibility of what we could do so I'm going to collect plenty of reference. This is the first one. I think this is Gaultier too. Can I say that he is one of my favourite designers. He is always clever and other worldly in his ideas of what an interesting woman could be. I think my style is a little softer than this dress but the hem detail is rather fab.

Anyway, is a great reference I think. The trick is to look at RTW as well as couture as there are plenty of details in a dress and it's important to look for them in all sorts of places. Piece together a neckline here and a waist detail there. You know, that sort of thing.... x

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


A weekend spent with the worst hay fever one has had for ages means a week spent peering out at the world through bleary eyes. That's of course only when I can see past all the tissues. I don't think the never ending kitchen renovation is helping matters either. I think the hay fever looks around and thinks " oh yes, it's party time here boys, let's hang out for a few more days yet!" Never mind me, it's fine for me to look unfit for the public's attention. 

Anyway, I did manage to read a huge amount of magazines. Mostly homey magazines and the odd Selvedge which had an article on the preservation of one's clothes and the art of repairing. Things that someone's mother taught them in generations past (not mine though!) like darning and patching. Not the efficient and professional type of repair that one would expect from an alteration joint but the charming homemade repair, lovingly done by the fire or telly. The kind that even though the colour is wrong and the stitches wonky, the love that has gone into it is plain for all to see. Actually their examples were not as bad as that, but they were rather romantic. It's the idea that a garment can take on another personality after a bit of repair and be just as lovely as before. I think I will do this with my absolute favourite piece of clothing, a Tsumori Chisato black cotton cardigan that I bought in Paris a hundred years ago. It has huge holes on both elbows. Boo hoo...

Anyway, I think that's what can also be interesting about using things from the past and incorporating them into clothes we make today. Of course this is not so easy on a large commercial level, but for me making lovely wedding dresses it's a definite possibility. I have two recent examples that immediately spring to mind. Both dresses used fabric from mum's wedding dress, which would otherwise do what? Sit in the cupboard in a box if she's good or in a plastic bag if she's not, used as dress ups later if she's lucky enough to have grand daughters. Actually both of these dresses were adapted in such a way that this could still happen. They just also got to have another shine in the sun. It's a bit like a mother dough or passing on a characteristic to an offspring. I think both these dresses were very much each bride as a separate person to their mother, both dresses were quite different to what their mother wore and yet there was something of mum in them just like she is there in the daughters. That might be getting too sentimental about things, but you have to agree that it is a great idea. 

This is Anna's silk jersey dress. A little Grecian. Her mother had a lilac wedding dress which became the fabric for the belt. We then added French lace and a few sparkles. 

This is the lovely Susie. The corded lace on the bodice of her dress is from her mother's wedding dress. It was Ivory in it's previous life but here it has been dyed a very soft pink to match the chiffon of the skirt. I's such a cute dress. I have a cool picture of her with her husband, they have great style I think. He's wearing a pork pie hat.

I will have to find other examples of this, I have plenty about.... somewhere.....