Last year, I was honoured and blessed to be able to create this upcycled fantasy wedding dress for the most amazing client. It was a second wedding for both her and her husband and she wanted something truly unique that would fit with the elegant, magical theme and outdoor October venue of her wedding. It was always our intention that I would be creating her wedding dress through upcycling as she owns many of my pieces in her everyday wardrobe. I had a taupe coloured, silk chiffon evening dress that I had found at a thrift store and as soon as she saw the colour and the floaty layers, she fell in love. Not to mention that, other than needing to adjust the back, it fit her perfectly. The nude, blush and cream tones are one of her favourite colour palettes and using this dress made the perfect base.
My client’s grandmother had gifted her the first wedding dress my client wore many years ago and while that part of her life was long over, incorporating parts of that first dress into her new wedding dress was very important to her. The dress itself was very dated and the fabric of the dress not really useable in our design plan but, the amazing white floral lace appliques were. I removed all of them from the dress and hand dyed them in a tea bath to antique and transform them into a soft shade more in keeping with the colour palette for her dress.
The neckline of the dress was very high with a neckband and cape like layer of chiffon that covered the shoulders. Very 1970’s. I removed all of this to modernize the dress and create a lower, more scooped neckline with lace covered straps. The back zipper of the dress was removed and grommets added as the new closure to give a lace up detailing to the back of the dress. Polka dot silk chiffon and pale pink silk crepe fabrics with lace trimmed hemlines compliment the already existing taupe chiffon skirt layers. This added more substance and pattern to the existing dress.
Like her designer, my client is in love with bustles and back detailing. A small bustle of tulle in cream, café au lait and a touch of ballet pink was placed at the centre back of the dress below the lace up closure. More of the tulle was used at the front of the dress as well. The preserved lace appliques accent the neckline, skirt layers, back and waistline of the dress. The lace appliques were embellished with pearls and metal filigree medallions. Beaded and sequined cream lace motifs were also incorporated into the decorative details and center back closure of the dress. Swarovski crystals provided romantic sparkle and glamour to the finish of this special dress.
One of the lace appliques from my client’s previous dress was also set aside with the sole intention of creating a headpiece for her to wear with the new dress. The above photo shows the casual yet elegant hairstyle imagined to compliment the headpiece. The embellishment and detailing from the dress have been applied in the headpiece with the addition of blush hued ostrich feathers. The headpiece was built on a felt base and attaches to the hair with a metal comb. Metal combs work best in order to make sure a headpiece stays put, especially for dancing.
Speaking of dancing, my client and her new husband are also ballroom dancers. Flow, freedom of movement and a practical length in her wedding dress were also important to my client. The fabrics, numerous layers and fit of this dress lent themselves very well to this specific criteria, as evidenced in this photo of the happy couple’s first dance together.
It was a joy and extreme pleasure to be entrusted with this most important of garments. The artistic freedom she allowed me, the confidence she has in me and the boundless excitement and enthusiasm she exhibited throughout the process was refreshing and made her a dream to work with and for. I can only hope the future holds many more such amazing and inspiring projects for Bombshell Revival Designs!