Saturday, July 7, 2012

Taking the Plunge in Autumn

The beautiful Brooke is our feature bride for this week, in her autumn-coloured wedding gown.

Brooke married her partner Andrew in early June near the Yarra Valley in a relaxed, modern ceremony and reception at a nearby (posh) pub.

Brooke came to me with ideas spanning bias-cut 1930’s long-line gowns, to lace and belted retro looks. She really liked the textural velvet/silk combination from the Deco period as well as perhaps a lace: texture was an important part of her vision. Brooke really wanted it to be tea-length (just above ankle), and have a long, flattering line that would allow her to dance, and eat, and party to her heart’s content.

As she was getting married in June, I was drawn to the warm golden/antique/apricot autumnal colour ways for Brooke, which also complimented her beautiful pale complexion and warm brunette hair. We  agreed that layers, and some kind of heavier fabric would be appropriate, necessary even for a June wedding in the hills.

I was also really getting into the silk/rayon velvet burn-out or Devore fabrics that seemed to pop up at the right at the end of summer this year. I found a couple of incredible options, including Renaissance-style gold and cream filagree patterns, cream-on-cream sworls of leaves, and my favourite, an Italian devore from Clegs that was a riot of amazing autumn tones and motifs.
Italian silk/rayon devore, from Clegs.
I presented this to Brooke as perhaps the most confronting, but also most exciting option, and she loved it. So that was put together with an elegant high-waisted dress in silk satin and georgette, with godets of the devore in hem of the skirt, to tie the design together and show some flashes of colour, for fun and dancing.

Wedding dress design for Brooke, © E.Stanistreet, 2012. All rights reserved.
The dress came together beautifully: The devore bodice was made in a princess line, that I extended into the sleeves to make the soft, layered shape Brooke wanted, and which also streamlined the design with fewer seams. I lined the bodice with a layer of georgette, then lining, to support the velvet without impacting on the beautiful transparency of the burn-out sections. This georgette sat a couple of centimetres below the velvet sleeve hems for extra dimension and textures.

Sleeve and bodice details

The skirt was made in panels of crepe-backed satin in “Antique”, or ivory. I inserted the velvet godets (triangles) into the ends of these panel seams, and over-layed the whole skirt in Antique georgette, cut in a circle and gathered at the back, to add volume and interest.

Gathered georgette at back, and button details.
Skirt detail, showing georgette over panelled under-skirt.

The design is centred with a satin band insert under the bust, and covered satin buttons down the centre back.
Autumn-coloured wedding dress with satin-covered buttons.

All together, it’s such a simple-looking design, but the use of non-traditional fabric ties in to both the season, and Brooke’s individuality: the autumnal tones were a perfect compliment to her blue eyes and colouring, generally.

I think it’s a lovely example of how the overall context of “a wedding”, and all the trappings, like flowers, hair and make-up, and setting, allow you to get away with significant departures from the traditional bridal look.  It happily maintained enough of the bridal elements through the ivory silks and button details, as well as all of Brooke’s other styling choices.

Brooke's flowers were arranged by a local florist, and she kept her hair and make-up simple, classic and elegant.
I find a lot of my clients are very cautious when first considering non-traditional colours and textures, but remember: no one will mistake you for someone else. You are always clearly going to look like “the Bride” because you’re the one making an entrance and saying those special words up the front of the crowd, even if you’re not wearing white.

So here are some of the lovely shots from Brooke and Andrew’s big day, by Anna McCallum Photography
Thanks to them both for sharing their photos.



Special thanks to Brooke for being a great client, with an open mind and clear vision, it was delightful to make your dress!

Next week, wintery tailoring to warm you through the darkest months. 

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