Enjoying the chill in the air and dreaming up designs in velvet and wool.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Robe de mariée

One of my favorite projects of the past season was plagued with mishaps from the start. The first day I met Rachelle for our consultation, I had left my notes from our phone conversation at home, and couldn't even remember her name. She had gotten lost en route to the coffeeshop and arrived later than she wanted. We were both flustered and tense - but after a hot drink, some commiseration and laughter, and a little brainstorming, it was obvious that we were both going to enjoy the process of making her dream dress into reality.

Rachelle is a French teacher (whose now-husband Patrick is originally from France), and wanted a pretty countryside wedding that felt both Continental and comfortable, with a vintage-inspired wedding gown that she could relax in while still looking and feeling like the bride that she was. 

After drawing up the sketches, we ordered a bright, pearl white silk dupioni, but the wrong fabric arrived; when I pulled the silk out of the package, I was taken aback by the color. I wasn't sure what to call it, but it wasn't white. Nor was it gray, or silver, or gold. I suppose if I had to call it something, I'd say it was the palest platinum imaginable. What was certain was that it was one of the most gorgeous pieces of cloth I'd ever seen in my life. Instead of sending back to my supplier to exchange it for the correct fabric, I called Rachelle, and asked to meet her for another cup of coffee so I could show her what we'd received.

Rachelle - who'd broken her little foot and was now on crutches, mere weeks before her wedding - also fell in love with this silk we'd received by mistake. A close look at the cut edge revealed it was woven out of pale silver threads crossed with palest wheat-gold threads in the other direction. We couldn't tell if it was warm or cool, but because of that tiny hint of gold, changed our minds about the pearl buttons we'd originally planned and decided to use antique gold down the back and to fasten the deep cuffs. (I might have actually giggled when sewing them on, I was so pleased by the combination.)

The wedding day was set for late summer and we knew it would be very warm outside, so it was important to her that we use breathable fabrics as much as possible. We lined the gown with tissue linen, and I made a special removable crinoline underskirt out of linen instead of the usual poly to support just a few layers of the lightest-weight tulle.

Rachelle decided last-minute to add a simple ribbon sash of French blue to her ensemble, and I love the whole effect. Looks like someone else did, too!

My best wishes to you both! Rachelle, if the way you took all the setbacks and curve-balls before your wedding is any indication, you've got one of the best approaches to life I've seen. Your grace, humor and flexibility are invaluable gifts, and it was lovely to see all of that overflowing during a time that often stresses people to their limits. Cheers!!!

Special thanks to Sara Renee for the use of her lovely photos. Everyone, please visit www.sararenee.com and show her some love. =)

  © Free Blogger Templates 'Photoblog II' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP