Tuesday, June 07, 2011

An Unusual Gold Bride

Now that Helen has got married I can finally blog about her very unusual bridal gown.  I have been working on Helen's dress since before Christmas and it has been such fun to work on something so different from the traditional ivory dresses that I am usually commissioned to make. For a start, its a gorgeous rich gold. We found the fabric during a shopping trip to Borovick Fabrics on Berwick street in Soho. It is also transformable! The basic dress is a 1950's prom style gown with a full circle skirt and a sweetheart neckline.  It is supported by an amazing pouffy petticoat (this was part of the reason for my experiments-in-petticoats earlier in the year).

The petticoat is six layers of net at the bottom tier, the top three of which are ivory and the under three are scarlet to match Helen's shoes and handbag. Helen also wanted a large sash with a big bow at the back. This has to be the biggest bow I have ever made, it's huge and so girly-I love it!
This all seemed fairly standard in design terms, until she mentioned that she wanted a detachable train to wear as she walked up the aisle... Now this is a rather unusual addition to a 1950's design but she also said she loved the costumes in the BBC's Garrow's Law which is set in the 18th century, particularly the polonaise style of skirts worn by Lady Sarah Hill (the female love interest!). She didn't actually say polonaise there was much waving of hands and mutual cries of aren't they gorgeous dresses from us both- its great when you really understand what the bride really likes! Now, I totally loved Garrow's Law, especially the costumes and the 18th century is one of my favorite periods of fashion history, but it doesn't really go with the 1950's prom dress... or does it? Well, we think we came up with a pretty good compromise between periods with this detachable train that could be worn as a flat church length train or pulled up into a pollonaise like over skirt.
Here you can see the train laid flat at full length.  The sash is still in place and conceals the waistband of the overskirt.
With the train bustled up in a polonaise it just brushes the floor and means that Helen could dance in it as well. The way the fabric bunches up and folds is just lush! I love making dresses that can change throughout the day, and am really looking forward to seeing Helen's wedding photos when this rather fantastic dress will look even better than on my stand.

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