Sunday, 16 June 2013

Welcome Back! My gypsy wedding inspired dress commission part 1

In the last month I have been superbly busy with preparations for Brighton Fashion Week, which came to a close today.

So now the schedule isn't quite so crazy I'm going to take this relatively peaceful Sunday evening to catch up with all the work I have been up to.

I'm going to start with the creation of the largest dress I have ever made that wasn't a wedding dress.

The dress I am about to go into was commissioned as a "gypsy wedding big" style dress. So naturally I went for it. The lovely lady who commissioned the dress wanted to wear it for the opening night of Brighton Fashion Week and she requested it to be pink and black with spikes and studs.

Original sketch for the piece:
I had to start by building a huge petticoat. I have watched almost every episode of My Big Fat Gypsy Weddings on  4od and it provides insights into how they are made by the now infamous Thelma Madine. In the program they claim that the brides wear numerous petticoats and that they are so heavy that they leave scars. Well, no matter the brief I certainly didn't want that to happen to my client so I set about trying to figure out a more elegant solution.

So, I built the foundation corset and petticoat: this is the petticoat without it's full bottom hoop,which actually took up the whole floorspace in my studio.  This is the petticoat half way through production. At this point I had used a 40m bale of dress net. I decided I needed more to really make this dress stand out.

 So, another 20m later I had my petticoat. Then I started work on the bodice. The first layer of decoration is a bold guipure lace in black.

This is the first positioning of the lace, I eventually decided on a different layout, then the studs had to go in/on it. Being the kind of spikes required were quite weighty there was no other choice except to punch them through both the interlining, and extra layer of foam wadding and the outer fabric to stop them from pulling clean out of the fabric. It started out quite funny that every time this dress was fitted I was asked to put more on, but as my deadline started looming I was starting to get stressed about all the extra detailing. But my client is amazing, so she was totally worth it.

Final installment of the gypsy wedding dress coming soon...

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