The Bride Wore Black | A Gothic Wedding in NZ

The Bride Wore Black | A Gothic Wedding in NZ

I spent hours trawling through images of artist Vivien Master’s amazing big fat gothic wedding trying to pick my favourites.

They’re all gorgeous… It’s a hard life…

But two cups of tea and many biscuits later, here they are – wedding photos proving that brides can wear black, gothic weddings can be classy, and that getting married your way is the best way! For all the wedding details visit the photographer’s blog, she’s captured them so well.

Fashion geeks can find full details and workroom photos of this bespoke wedding gown and it’s layers on my workroom journal post. ( I know you’re wondering how we supported those dramatic skirts, or how she no one tripped over the incredible veil!) I designed and made this black bridal gown back in 2014 and it’s still my favourite. Probably because I would 100% wear it myself!

cute pageboy, gothic wedding, black wedding dress, new zealand black veil, gothic bride, beckon couture, black wedding dress, alternative wedding ideas lace bodice, dreamy, romantic, beckon couture, gothic wedding dress, black, marie antoinette, bridal, gown, bustle. historical lace, veil, romantic, beckon couture, gothic couple, wedding, the bride wore black, markovina vineyard estate, new zealand

beckon couture, fun wedding, bridesmaids, gothic , alt, alternative, goth wedding, new zealand, couture wedding dress, custom made

This is my favourite photo in the world right now..

Outfit Details

Couture wedding dress, foundations & veil | Velvet DeCollete ( That’s me!)
Floral Headress | Created by the bride, Vivien Masters
Shoes | Pinup Couture

Vivien looked like some kind of aristocratic vampire queen and couldn’t have been more beautiful. Imagine how those taffeta skirts rustled as she walked down the aisle. Imagine Nick’s jaw dropping when he saw this vision in lace, her ivory skin glowing against the black. It’s just too perfect.

I can never stress enough how personal wedding gowns are, and how the right one can fill you with confidence. It’s not a day to compromise on style, to bow to someone else’s demands or to water down your own unique flavour. It’s your day to celebrate your love. So be you! Be the most you possible and experience the pure joy that brings.

long veil, black veil, beckon couture, regal, long train, ballgown, couture, bespoke, custom design, gothic bride, black wedding, gown , dress, auckland, new zealand lace top, beckon couture, romantic, gothic, vineyard wedding, nz, black, bride, alternative, rock n roll, metal, historic, panniers

elaborate, wedding dress, full skirt, ballgown, marie antoinette, rock n roll, heavy metal, bride

gothic bridal party, goth, wedding party, bridesmaids, alternative, black dresses, wedding, couture, bride

gothic couple, wedding, bride, black dress, bridal, nz, beckon couture, bespoke, custom made, bridal gown, lace

I often make little information sheets for my clients, because it’s easy to forget hidden closures and details when you’re excited. While my info sheets look a lot fancier these days I found it so sweet that the wedding photographer decided to include Vivien’s in her photographs.

When I create custom wedding gowns and costumes, I always include care and wearing instructions for my clients

Making once in a lifetime dream gowns makes me happier than anything else. Nothing beats seeing someone put on their custom made dress and absolutely light up because they feel so confident! If you’d like to chat about having a unique gown of your own feel free to drop me a line, I’d love to make you feel like a million dollars x

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 4 comments
The Orchid Dress | A Vintage Inspired Evening Gown

The Orchid Dress | A Vintage Inspired Evening Gown

Orchid Evening Dress | Beckon Couture

I’ve wanted to shoot in the Hamilton Gardens for over a year. The incredible themed areas are my dream location, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to run in with my Orchid dress as we passed by on the weekend.

I made this gown to wear to Dita Von Teese’s Sydney Strip Strip Hooray show. Thrown together in under a week of after-work evenings , it’s not perfect and needs some adjustments. All in all though it did the trick and I felt like a pinup diva!  Charlotte Cake and I were drenched in a post show storm before taking proper photos of our incredibly glam ensembles, giving me the perfect excuse to rope Duke Debonair into playing photographer.

Inspired by the elegant evening fashions of 1950’s Vogue Magazines the Orchid gown features a slim spiral skirt with gathered side and classic sweetheart bodice. Made in my signature olive green with vivid pink lining the gown boasts white and pink orchids to co-ordinate with white accessories. Vintage pink and white diamante costume jewellery ( a beautiful anniversary gift from Duke ) topped the outfit off perfectly.

Orchid Evening Dress | Beckon Couture

I Just adore how this shot in the mediation garden looks like an image from a 1950’s Vogue Magazine.


Orchid Evening Dress | Beckon CoutureOrchid Evening Dress | Beckon Couture

Outfit Breakdown

Dress | Bespoke gown made by me (Beckon Couture)
Gloves | Vintage
Necklace + Earrings | Tock Tick Vintage
Bracelet | Diva
Shoes | Number One Shoe Warehouse
Stockings | Pretty Polly

Hair and makeup by the wonderful Michelle of Debonair Dos, who worked her magic for the Classics Museum Calendar I modelled for just prior to this!

Photos by Duke Debonair

orchid dress6orchid dress8Orchid Evening Dress | Beckon CoutureOrchid Evening Dress | Beckon CoutureDue to our tight schedule we didn’t have time to see the whole garden. I’d love to return sometime with a whole wardrobe and a day put aside just to explore this absolute gem of a place!


            Velvet x


Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 2 comments

The Raven Mistress; Couture Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe

So often my designs are inspired by words. A paragraph, a single sentence, the shortest heartfelt lyric. Left to stew in my mind these can blossom into a concept or character, just waiting to be tweaked and evolved by pencil on paper.

My favourite creation was one such idea, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s masterpiece ‘The Raven‘ . Verses seven and eight in particluar…

“Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door –
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door –
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,’ I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore –
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'”

The description of the raven as stately and beguiling lead me on a path. Were the ravens intentions good or ill? Was it simply the puppet of someone behind the scenes, hoping to drive Poe to madness?

After tons of research and development, these questions lead to “The Raven Mistress”. This gown is a dark, dramatic representation of Poe’s Raven, and its ability to hide its true nature and intentions behind a beguiling facade. I explored themes including the power and decadence of high social status and manipulation through beauty.

One of the mood boards I created during the design process.

I sketched pages and pages of concepts before the final design was developed.

The Raven Mistress is a gown of raw black silk, overlayed with fine net. I sewed much of the gown by hand, using couture construction techniques. Even the huge hemline was handsewn (and what an undertaking that was!).

The velvet bodice is embellished with hand woven beaded feathers. I crafted each of these to a specific size and combination of white, silver and black Japanese glass beads to create the gradient of colour through the bodice, before individually sewing them in place. Hundreds  of hours went into this process, leaving me almost as mad as Poe by the end!

More net flows elegantly from the shoulders, blending with the overlay of the gown to create layers of shifting black over the shine and texture of the silk. Long strands of faceted glass beads loop to the wrists and down the gowns train, creating a stylised Raven wings and tail.





Words can lead to things we never imagined, so go forth my friends, and read! ( I’m not suggesting you become obsessed and dedicate a few months of your life to one dress, but a smaller project could be just as enjoyable, and somewhat better for your health.)

If you’d like to explore more of Poe’s work this website is very helpful, even providing a list of Edgar’s more uncommon vocabulary with definitions.





Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments