Saturday, January 14, 2012

Simply Elegant Ivory

What better way to bring in the new year, than with another lovely bride from spring?

Simone came to me through a recommendation from a friend.
She had a simple and elegant idea for her December wedding gown, that was almost fully formed.

Simone is a singer and was wedded to her partner Luke in lovely country wedding in Carlsruhe, Victoria: very intimate and personal. She chose a dress style that she knew really suited her, with details that she loved.

Her ideas were based around a plain, long line dress, in ivory, with a twisted bodice and small cap sleeves.
For her fabric, I chose an incredible silk faille, which came from Italy. Faille is a much under-used silk fabric, as far as I can tell, with very few suppliers even stocking it. I would describe faille as being like a very heavy silk crepe or double georgette: the yarns are twisted like a these lighter fabrics, which gives it extra weight and superior drape, but it's opaque, and has a fuller body, so that it hangs beautifully, whilst also not clinging or needing an under-layer.

This particular fabric was from Clegs, and we chose the off-white, as usual!

A note about white: Colour is a very subjective thing, but for brides it would seem straightforward: white or white, right? But there is an important difference.
The vogue now (as apposed to 20 years ago) is for "ivory/natural/cream", which means a white fabric which has shades of pink, yellow or other "naturalising" tones to the final colour. A "pure" white will look blue in comparison, like you are standing under a fluorescent light.  Unless you want a very white-blue looking dress, it's always better, and so often more flattering to choose the creamier, or warmer whites on offer. Also, keep in mind, that in Australia, our very harsh light will make all shades of white/ivory, look brighter and bluer, so always check your fabric choice in daylight, to make sure you don't choose the blue one.

Anyway, Simone was very trusting, and went with the design and fabrics that I presented to her, which was lovely to get right first time.

© E.Christian. Simone Gill Wedding dress design, all rights reserved.
Knotted bodice and gore skirt with train.
I made a toile for Simone, and then went straight into construction, as everything was pretty much on-track.

I have to say, I loved making this dress. It was such a pleasure to have client who knew herself, and what she wanted, and I could go forward with confidence that she would (probably) love it.
Also, the faille was to-die-for: My rule is that basically, the better the fabric, the better the result. I even think it makes my machines sew better!
I made the skirt in three panels front and back, and added a little train at the back. The bodice front was really fun, and I ended up getting a lovely line with a seamless wrap-front-and-cap-sleeve construction, which was very restrained and looked just how Simone wanted it to.
I continued the gathered "belt" around to the back to add texture, and focus the dress.

Another important note about this dress is that whilst Simone wanted a very slim-line gown, in a soft fabric, she didn't want it to cling. Therefore this dress was cut on the straight grain, and because of the integrity of the fabric, it was easily tailored on the panel lines in the skirt to create the fit, without the bias "cling".

"Natural" silk faille wedding gown

Knotted faille bodice with cap sleeves

Back skirt with goddet

And here they are on the Big Day: thanks to Simone and Luke for sharing their photos, by Jeff Sheppard @ SoulPhotos.

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