Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Tale of Three Dresses

Wedding dresses are my favorite vintage materials to work with. Not only are they the perfect blank canvas, but there's something so romantic about working with a garment that was worn at such a special moment in someone's life.

I met Heather Novak, author extraordinaire, when I provided wardrobe for one of her book cover photo shoots.  We got along immediately, bonding over our love of all things magical and romantic, so when she asked me to create a custom dress for her upcoming wedding, I was all in.

Heather had already found her dream wedding dress, but she still wanted to incorporate her family's heirloom garments in the event.  She was lucky to have both of her grandmothers' and her mother's wedding dresses available to use.

Heather came prepared to her first fitting and consultation, showing me the photo of my Garden Dress saved on her phone.  This dress was also made from vintage wedding dress material, and was a perfect starting point for inspiration.

Garden Dress
Heather was also immediately drawn to another piece I was working on in the studio, a wedding dress embellished with hand-painted lace.  

We decided on a design that would combine the styles of both dresses.

initial sketch
With some cutting, painting, and re-fashioning I transformed bits and pieces of the three precious dresses into a new dress that was completely Heather's style.

silk rosettes made from both grandmother's dresses
base dress ready for painting
lace details
work in progress
the final product!
Thank you Heather, for letting me be a part of your special day!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Here Comes the Bride...Part 3

I am so proud of this collection.  I wanted to make dresses that women feel special and beautiful in, and bring a smile to the face of people who see them.  I absolutely love these photos that Anastasia was able to take in between the crazy preparations and after the show was over.  She found this perfect gazebo that was the perfect wedding/Sound of Music scene (16 going on 17...anyone?)  I can't thank my team of models enough for being their lovely selves and giving life to these garments I put my heart into.  I hope you all had as much fun as I did!

Ashley Hanson, Sarah Sadovsky, Alaina Agnello, and Jennifer Marie

This dress was originally a thrifted wedding dress, that I restyled and hand-painted

RediChoi Shorter and Marie Muhammed

Heather Novak, Sarah Sadovsky, and Marie Muhammed


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Here Comes the Bride...Part 2

Showtime!  The dresses in this collection are all made from thrifted/vintage materials that I dyed, painted, and re-styled.  The show began with a dance choreographed and performed by Joori Jung, founder and artistic director of ARTLAB J, and Thomas McCarter.  This amazing duo set the dreamy romantic mood with a beautiful routine full of lifts and spins.  I made Joori's dress out of a pleated vintage dress, and covered it with tiny feathers and Swaroski crystals that caught every spotlight as she twirled.

Ballerina flower-girl Alaina charmed the audience and tossed flowers as she opened the show.  This awesome group of models were so much fun, they totally got on board with my wedding theme and adopted their roles of flower girls, bridesmaids, and brides.  Finale model Sarah Sadovsky told me that walking down the runway in the finale wedding dress was an emotional moment...she almost felt like she was walking down the aisle!  She totally pulled off the bouquet toss like a pro (congratulations to Madison Ortiz for the catch!)

Alaina Agnello 

Madison Ortiz

Jennifer Marie 
RediChoi Shorter

Ashley Hanson

Included in the model line-up was author Heather Novak.  I created a custom rehearsal dinner dress out of material from her mother's and both grandmother's wedding dresses (whole post on that to follow!), and was thrilled that she was willing to make her runway debut in my show. 

Heather Novak

Marie Muhammed

Sarah Sadovsky

all photography by Anastasia Cheatham