Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dear Suse, I'm so happy to be making your frock...

I think one of the many reasons I love making wedding dresses so much is that my own wedding day was super spectacularly fun and wonderful. I know how great a wedding can be! So I always feel honoured to be able to participate in and contribute to other peoples' weddings in such a special way.
Pearl's and my wedding day was a gloriously handmade affair, with all our loved ones pitching in to provide food, decorations, music and blessings. And, because we're not technically allowed to get married because of the havoc we will inevitably wreak upon the nice ol' convention of the nuclear family's precious values, we didn't have to get a stuffy celebrant to be in charge of our special day. Instead, we had our dear friend Sarah as our MC, while the lovely and extremely talented Ms Genna played us a love song on her fiddle. Couldn't have been more perfect.
My mum and I made our dresses, Pearl's wedding ring was handmade, and mine was a gift from my nana, which she gave to Pearl as a part of the ceremony. Not a dry eye in the house!!
I was reminded of all this recently when I received the fabric selection provided by my latest wedding dress client, Suse. The colouring, as you can see, is so similar to my own dress I couldn't help but laugh. How lovely!
When Suse sent me some pics of the dresses she's into, I was pretty excited because they were mostly all from 'my' era, the 20s and 30s. Somewhat ironically, I actually met Susan when I taught her at Uni... a course on modernist literature from the 20s and 30s. Freaky dude! So it is especially fitting that the vintage component, including the AMAZING beaded collar you see before you, has an appropriately and authentically 'between the wars' story behind it. When I was a child, you see, my mum volunteered for Animal Welfare, and met tons of crazy cat ladies. I thought they were all pretty cool, but one in particular was a standout. When she died, she left her whole house to Animal Welfare, including her collection of costumes and accessories from her time on the stage in the 30s and 40s. Hello suitcases full of amazing, beautiful, glittery, feathered velvet stuff. This collar belonged to that lady. It's showing its age, and, if we decide to use it, will need some extensive repair work along the lines of those falling down barns on Grand Designs that need about a million tonnes of concrete poured under them because they're slipping down a hill. But I reckon it'll be worth it, because the thing is beautiful and totally unlike anything I've ever seen.

But back to the dress. I'm thinking we use the collar, we have a nicely-falling gathered boob bit, which is I suppose a bit 'Ancient Roman meets 20s Paris", we use the spectacular piece of dusky pink and gold rose lace trim (also from suitcase of cat lady) across the front of the dress, and then we have a flowy, very long skirt with even a bit of a train, if you're up for it.
The back of the dress is totally open to the waist, but there's a huge flowy cape coming down from the back of the collar, which goes to the floor (can cover a bra strap if you want to keep the ladies contained). In all, it goes a little somethin' like this...
I'm not 100% attached to any particular colour combo, and I'm not sure what you had in mind when you bought the fabric in terms of layering or whatnot, but I think you'll agree that the collar looks totally ace next to the dusky satin, and I reckon the graduated pink would look fantastic on the cape, with the darkest bit at the bottom. There's also some blue lace, also from the suitcase, which is amazingly fine, and very unusually wide, but I couldn't quite see where it would fit, so it's not in my drawings. I reckon it could do something awesome in your hair, but not sure what you're thinking for your 'do.
The drawings, but the way, are pretty indicative of the main reasons I never did design or art at school, though Olive thought they were "very neat" which I suppose for a 5 year old, they are.

1 comment:

  1. How lovely to see pics from your special day! I can just feel the love and happiness beaming through those photos!

    And how lucky Suse is to have you making her wedding dress - sounds like it will be amazing much loved dress! I still get the biggest smile on my face when I think of the gorgeous wedding dress you made for me - I love it just so and feel so lucky that you created such a beautiful and unique dress that was so perfect for my special day!

    Ally xxxxx