My obsession with the short and sweet wedding dresses continues and the 60’s is full of inspiration. I love the mix of textures, laces,velvets and fur lined jackets. A wedding dress with a little fun injected into the design is inspiring me this week
Timeless, classical and inspiring - Dior has always been a love of mine. Whether it is vintage 1940s volume or the rich colourful haute couture fashion of today.
I am often drawn back to their silhouettes for wedding dress inspiration.
Knowledge is a powerful thing and today I am sending you all back to school for a lesson in fabrics...no exams at the end, I promise. Knowing just a little about the fabric options out there can make picking your dress that bit easier. Different fabrics create different looks and silhouettes so it is vital to get your raw material right from the start. If you have narrowed down your silhouette it's then good to have an idea of the fabric that will best create that style.
Silk is a fibre, you may hear lots of words like duchess, dupion and crepes throw at you when you first start looking for your dress. All of these are made from silk fibres. So even if you are not a fan of silk duchess satin that doesn't mean you rule out silk altogether. I personally only use silk for my dresses but there are great silk mixes available now that will help to keep your budget in tack.
All fabrics come in different weights. So depending on the style of dress, you may need a very heavy silk mikado to create a big tradition style skirt. But a very light silk crepe for a wedding abroad that will keep you cool. The fabric weights help to create the right silhouette for you.
The days of a nice shiny satin for your wedding dress as your only option are gone. Today the fabrics run from a lovely shimmer to matte in texture. So depending on your own personal taste you can definitely get the right fabric finish for you.
Stiff fabrics for structured dresses
Raw silks, silk dupion, silk mikado and duchess stains are all fabrics that give structure and sculpture. Ideal for bigger more traditional skirt styles or fitted dresses where you don't want a soft flowing effect. They give a beautiful crisp, clean look. If you don't want your dress to get too heavy stick with the Thai silk or dupion they are lighter in weight but still create a voluminous look.
Soft fabrics for soft flowing gowns
Silk crepes, crepe de chine and marocain silks are very soft luxurious fabrics that look stunning in bias cut, slinky dresses. They work really effectively in dresses where you want some volume but with more movement and fluidity. Details such as cowl necklines and waterfall hems really show these fabrics off best.
Silk chiffons and silk organzas are sheer fabrics. Creating a layered effect as you see the fabric underneath. They do both however create different silhouettes. Chiffon gives a softer flowing effect and the organza a more voluminous style with out the heaviness. The benefit of using a sheer fabric is that you can have it partly backed in silk for coverage but in areas such as the back neckline and arms you can leave it bare.
Laces and embroideries
A touch of lace or a bodice of embroidery tulle can set a dress apart from any other. There are varies options available to create your look.Laces come in Chantilly (soft very detailed design) corded lace (heavier with a cord detail outlying the design) leavers (detailed design but a little stiffer then Chantilly). There are endless designs and styles to choose from.More detailed laces, particularly beaded pieces are generally an embroidered tulle. These are really delicate, detailed designs.
So have fun with your newly found knowledge. Get a rough idea of the effects you like and go hunting for your perfect dress.
If I was to pick one element of designing a wedding dress that is most important and most vital it would be colour.
Brides can spend hours picking the exact neckline for their dress, but when I ask them what colour are they thinking for their dream gown, I get a rabbit caught in headlights look.
Colour can change everything on a dress, one shade difference can transform a brides complexion from dull and washed out, to a natural healthy glow, this is before fake tan and professional make up does its job.
So where does a bride begin, how on earth do you decide between optical white, platinum white, off white, winter white... even my head spins with the amount of names for white. So here is a little lesson on colour before you hit the wedding dress trail
Take a look at your makeup bag
Yes I know a little mad, but a little education on your colouring before you start can make a big decision on choosing a dress colour a little less stressful.
Foundation generally comes in two tones - a pink tone and a yellow tone. It helps to have an idea of what tone foundation you use especially if you are going to go with an ivory dress. For the lovely pink tone ladies a cream or light ivory are going to work better for you. Yellow tones are going to rock our the strong ivory's like champagne.
While you are at it, check out your wardrobe
Pick out 5 outfits from your wardrobe that you know are amazing on you and always get compliments. With the outfits laid out is there a theme, are they all lovely warm colours or soft pastel colours. The idea is to get a feeling for your colouring.
For example, I am a cold colour person (with a warm heart of course ). I need to wear strong primary colours that are cool. So my wardrobe is full of silver, greys, bright blues and strong vibrant pinks. For my wedding dress, I needed to wear a bright white, cool silver or an ice pink. For the warmer ladies, you will have mochas, creams and dusky colours in the wardrobe. Gold, cream, blush and pearl ivory are going to be winners for you.
We all have that one person in our lives that is brutally honest with us, for me it's my mother. When she doesn't like something on me you know straight away! Classic quote this week "Did you try to curl your hair last night Sarah or are you going for the messy look".
It maybe a friend, sibling or even your spouse to be. Ask them for an hour of their time, pop into a shop and try on white tops, cream tops and any bridal colours you can find. You will be surprised how this little trick will help to narrow down what colour suits you best.
Over the years I have made some of the most beautiful colour wedding dresses. From burgundy red to teal, sage green to printed multi coloured chiffon they where just the right fit for the brides personality. Although you may not want to go as extreme as these ladies don't be afraid of colour, embrace it. A hint of colour in the embellishment or in the lining maybe just what you need!
So let the hunt begin, you are armed with a little education on colour. Remember to have fun it is an exciting time and no stressing allowed