I must be crazy.
Crazy to make a freakin’ wedding dress, let alone, MY wedding dress. Crazy because I love designing and the whole art of Haute Couture, so I’m willing to sit nights and create this dress.
The last time I made a wedding dress, it was for one of my closest friends, Clara. My gift to her. I had over 25 pieces of patterns, and assembling it was like doing a puzzle. Maybe that’s why I like puzzles. I admit that I like to sit in my studio and just design and construct. Now that it’s my turn, I am loving every moment of it, but I wish I had more time.
The frustrating part was trying to figure out exactly what I wanted. I didn’t know. I would picture these amazing gowns with ornate beading or ruffles, but it may not necessarily be for me. I like strong lines, and simplicity, but also with a twist.
One advice that I have always told bride-to-be’s before deciding on a custom dress is to try on dresses at wedding boutiques. Sometimes you will be surprised of what you end up liking. I listened to my own advice and stopped into a bridal gown store with my bridesmaids. I ended up really liking a gown that was rouched all the way down, and it had an immaculate train. It was simple that it was a column dress with some beading at the waist. The rest was in an organza fabric. I learned that I liked a champagne color, and that I liked a nice train. I also liked a less traditional look, and something a little more sleek.
I drew so many dresses, and I kept drawing. I looked to some of my favorite designers, such as Vionnet, and sketched bias cut gowns with drape in the back. I was a little tired of that look, only because I’ve designed gowns like this in the past, but I couldn’t seem to get away from it. I also looked to Christian Dior’s 50’s gowns, but it didn’t seem to be….me.
After sketch after sketch, I realized that it didn’t really matter what I wore, no one is going to say that I look terrible that day. I was going to look great, no matter what, simply because I was marrying my man that day. I said to myself “Okay, what really inspires me?” This lead me back to my days in Paris, when I was introduced to the world of Haute Couture. I was lucky to have attended some of the shows, and I really wish that there were smart phones back then to take photos. I didn’t bring a camera, so now, all I have are memories. I decided to make this my inspiration – the art of Haute Couture.
I don’t really plan to hand sew my entire dress. I’m not THAT crazy. I did, however, research back to when the first couture designer emerged. I believe the first couturier was Rose Bertin, the woman who made Marie Antoinette’s dresses. From there, it evolved into a beautiful art, until the present. I sketched numerous designs, with bits and pieces from what I gathered, but then a few days ago, I had a dream. It was a dream about a gown that carried the design principles of Cristobel Balenciaga and Charles James. I sat on it for a little bit, but I think I am ready to begin the basic foundation of this gown.
Today, I want to share some of my many sketches, that lead up to the gouache sketch, which is the gown I’m going to make. I also drew a pencil sketch because the gouache illustration is stylized, so it might be difficult to see the design elements.
The bodice is rouched, with beaded trim. It criss crosses in the back, which I personally love. I love back detail, and I feel this is a new approach to the back details that I’ve designed in the past. It’s actually an inspiration from a Charles James evening gown that I saw. The skirt is a bubble skirt, so it gathers in the waist, and it bubbles at the hem. The skirt is inspired by Cristobel Balenciaga’s design principles. Since these two Couturiers are absolute geniuses, I don’t know if I can pull it off exactly as what I am visualizing it, but if I do, you bet that I’ll be jumping off the walls. The fabric, I am thinking of right now is silk taffeta. I think it’s going to be the best weight and drape for this dress. I need to visit an embroiderer/beader in the garment district, to find out the cost of beading the straps as well as the edge of the bodice. I am really excited about this.
Anyhoo, enough of the writing. So here’s some of the many sketches that I drew. I made a million more, but it’s way too many. My inspiration board is on my Pinterest , which is a great tool, by the way, for anyone who wants to put together a board:
I love this design below as well. It is strapless, with a curved hem in the front, the sides are opened, but the back part of the skirt overlaps the front. That way, my underwear will not show. The back has a train, but the hem is squared, not curved. It has no beading on it, so I envisioned gold lace at the bottom of the cathedral veil. I decided to not go with this gown, but if I have time, it would make a great reception dress, without the train and veil.
This. Yes, this, is my wedding dress. As I said in my wordy pararaph, the gouache is stylized, so that’s why I made a pencil sketch. The straps and trim of the neckline is beaded. The bodice is rouched, and the skirt is a bubble skirt. I think it’s going to be a champagne colored silk taffeta:
More to come….promise.