The dream dress–two actually. They were in my hands this summer, my hands that bled with pin pokes (red and white not friendly colors) and shook with a bit of nerves. Pressure. It creates diamonds, you know.
Starting in April, each bride provided me with key words and images, allowing me to to fit together the elements of their “perfect” wedding gown.
We had two initial design meetings to solidify the design, 2 prototype fittings & 2 fittings for the final dress. The meetings, the details, the stories leading up to the past two weeks of weddings have been some to reflect upon.
Lindsey’s dress was drawn adjacent to words such as “playful”, “elegant”, and “rustic”. A shelving unit in her apartment decorated with Audrey Hepburn confirmed the fact that this classic beauty deserved a timeless yet unique design. The body of the dress was constructed with a soft white silk, a stripe of silk/cotton within the bodice, silk cording for straps, and an antique slip from the 1900′s. Her hair was pulled back with a birdcage veil incorporating a hand-made silk flower and accented with her grandmother’s vintage earrings (used as beads).
Kashley came to me with these words: ”sexy”, “modern”, and “vintage”
We started her journey of dress design by going wedding dress shopping. She walked the bridal boutique’s runway acting her bright, vibrant self and with incredible pizazz, thus “saying” loudly that this dress had to have personality. An interior design major, Kashley settled on two interior silk fabrics–one a rose-tinted white for the main body and the other a pink, green, & gold stripe for the lining. She wanted lace. I had a vintage table runner. She found a geometric lace at an estate sale. Something wasn’t right–unfit…and so the design tale continues…
A trip back to my hometown of Yakima, WA made for a few sparkling stories. Down the Blvd I drove with a few to-do’s on my list: 1) purchase sewing supplies, 2) visit my high school sewing mentor 3) find lace. My first stop was made at our local fabric store. After asking for crinoline, a bolt was unearthed from beneath a shelving unit. 10 yards please. ”You know what? I am not going to charge you for this. It is overstock,” the sales associate said to me–a surprised customer on the other side of the cutting counter. Jewel #1: $40 worth of crinoline free of charge.
My next stop was Coralie’s Sewing and Alterations shop. I spent many hours with Coralie in high school. She turned my designs into tangible products and also taught me how to use my sewing machine. Like old times, I wandered back through her doors and asked for some advice. Around her shop hung 20+ dresses she was currently in the process of altering. Coralie showed me some secrets to wedding dress construction and then proceeded to gift me two rolls of horsehair braid. Jewel #2: priceless words of wisdom and $50 worth of horsehair free of charge.
In the car again. My aim was to find the perfect piece of lace for Kashley’s bodice. Nearing the end of the day, I walked into a large antique mall and proceeded to peruse the numerous displays of old treasures. After making my loop and not finding my material, I started to head toward the door. “S’cuse me, Miss. What are you lookin’ for?” an old man inquired after me. As I told him of my troubles, another elderly gentleman said, “Now, wait a minute. I have a box in the back that hasn’t been opened in over 20 years, and I believe it is filled with lace. Follow me.”. Through the store, past the large moose head on the floor and into the back, I saw dust covered boxes lining the walls. ”I think it’s this one,” said the man, as he lifted a worn box from a pile & proceeded to pull off the disintegrating tape. There it was. On top of the folded fabrics a lovely bright white rectangle of lace caught my eye. ”This is perfect,” I said smiling. Jewel #3: a treasure-hunt in finding the perfect piece of lace.
Pieces of the puzzle came together along the journey of design, fabric and fit of both Lindsey & Kashley’s designs. I have seen my work grace the runways, but never walk down an aisle. It was an honor to be a part of such special moments in two brides’ lives.
Their diamonds said “I do”. My diamonds say “I did it!”