Making Katja's wedding dress was an honour for me in so many ways, but mainly because as a fellow artist I knew that she would be meticulous about getting it just perfect.
I love Katjas style, it's retro, kitsch, glamorous and immensly over the top. Her first sketch idea was of a dress she had seen another performer in, and although beautiful I thought that it didn't truely smack of what Katja was about and after seeing my initial sketches I persuaded Katja to run with my idea's. We didn't look back from there, and with every trip to my Brighton studio the dress took shape.
It's always a good sign when the bride's mother is in floods of tears at the last fitting!
Talented tattooist and artist Katja Van Der Graaf was an unconventional bride who knew she wanted a glamorous show of a wedding.
Katja and Andy's story has as much character as the bride and groom themselves. They met at Voodoo Vaudeville, a legendary anarchic cabaret night. Andy was on a date with a single vegetarian he had met on the internet, but Katja caught his eye and in just over a year they were smitten.“He likes to tell people that internet dating works, although not always in the way you would expect!” Katja laughed with the great sense of humour I have got to know her for.
Katja blurted her proposal to Andy after a wonderful surprise birthday party he had arranged for her, and the rest is history!
I really enjoyed making Katja's wedding dress because she was always open to my suggestion, and her initial idea from a dress she had seen a performer wearing developed into a creation as unique as Katja herself. Her dress was to be red, not only her favourite colour but also , in oriental culture, a colour indicating strength, prosperity and good luck. With glamour in mind, and Katja's wonderful sense of humour and drama we decided on a stunning cat print satin lining, an interesting starburst pleating and some bling swarovski crystal buttons on the corset. The outfit was topped off in style with cat print Bordello platform shoes and a metal frame mini top hat with a feather bird in it.
Katja and Andy had a great wedding day. Her favourite two comments about the dress came from her Gran, who said Katja took her breath away when she walked in and her friend Alexa telling her she looked like Jessica Rabbit.
Katja on Chrissie: “There was no alternative – I love her designs and wouldn't have entertained anyone else making it.”