bridal

Workroom Journal: A Terrifyingly Beautiful Bride

Workroom Journal: A Terrifyingly Beautiful Bride

Eighteen meters of fabric. Seven meters of netting. One bag of Polyfill. Around ninety hours of work. One rock star of a bride.

A while back I introduced you to Vivien Masters , one of my gorgeous brides for the season. Apart from having impeccable taste (obviously), she’s also stunning. Like,  ethereal creature stunning. At first sight her future husband described her as ‘terrifyingly beautiful’.

Needless to say, her wedding gown had to be equally majestic…
I think it was…

Photo: Nisha Ravji Photography

Photo: Nisha Ravji Photography

 

Photo: Nisha Ravji Photography

Photo: Nisha Ravji Photography

Those first photos are by the immensely talented Nisha Ravji Photography. I’m following her Facebook page with baited breath, and letting out an excited squeal with every image she posts! ( You can see more glorious wedding photos in my full feature post now! )

The following photos are from my workroom records, showing you a bit more detail that you might otherwise see.

Dramatic goth rococco black wedding gown custom made in New Zealand

Bespoke gothic wedding dress with lace over sweetheart corset bodice NZ

 

The Dress

Fully boned and stiffened, the structured sweetheart bodice gives a corseted effect, slimming and supporting the bride. I created the bodice overlay by hand cutting and appliqueing delicate French corded lace over fine sheer mesh to achieve invisible stitching and closures. The lace looked incredible over Vivien’s porcelain skin!

The pleated overskirt allows the most beautiful light play on the textured silk taffeta fabric, showing off the texture and volume of the skirts. As a firm believer in wearability, I hate seeing brides hobbled by wrist loops on long trains – so Vivien’s dramatic train features bustle loops and ribbons hidden on the inside. A few quick adjustments and the gown’s train gathers into structure voluminous folds, leaving Vivien free to dance the night away unencumbered!

A smooth fronted underskirt, pleated around the sides and back, finished the visible elements of the gown. ( Viv actually took this underskirt with her when she moved overseas, and continues to wear it.)

Gothic Bespoke Wedding dress dramatic gown
Bespoke black rococo corseted wedding dress with bustle ties and train New Zealand

The Veil

Let me introduce you to the fairy gothmother of all veils.

An extravagant gown deserves an extravagant veil, and Vivien’s didn’t disappoint. With three layers of fluffy net at royal, cathedral and elbow lengths this was a gothic fairytale come true. The Royal and cathedral layers are trimmed with more painstakingly hand cut and stitched French lace.

You remember how I said I love wearability? The royal length layer of this veil – That’s the really long one – is detachable. Vivien wore it for the ceremony and photos, before removing it for the reception. No one’s standing on her veil!

Bespoke black rococo corseted wedding dress and custom made black veil New Zealand

The Foundation

So you’ve been wondering how the gown keeps that divine Rococo inspired shape?

I design and create customised foundations for specialty garments. Supporting the sides and back of the wedding gown is the sweetest lace trimmed bustle you ever did see! Inspired by structures used through the Rococo and Victorian eras this soft pillowy bustle is light, squishable and comfortable. No awkward seating issues or stabby crinoline here! I couldn’t resist designing a heart shaped pad for the back in celebration of such a romantic couple.

The best part? Vivien actually squealed with girlish excitement when she saw it. Her reaction made me so happy!

Bespoke heart shaped pillow bustle NZ

 

If you’d like to find out more about my bespoke bridal gowns you can contact me here ( I don’t bite! ), or take a stroll through my design gallery to see more of my glowing clients. Don’t forget to check out the official wedding photos, they were also featured in New Idea magazine and on the BBC news website!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 1 comment

Casually Glamorous | Michele’s Glittering Bridal Party

Some things happen for a reason. In this case I’d say that reason is love. Michele and Rob were meant to be, and their wedding was one of the most joyous and emotional I’ve seen.

The Design Process

When it came to gowns bride Michele and her daughter Kathryn knew what they wanted. With inspiration images and (sparkling, enchanting, ocean-esque) fabrics in hand they arrived on my doorstep for Michele’s first consultation. The theme was casual glamour – glittering gowns and romantic flowers in an outdoor wedding ceremony, followed by the reception was in an adorable rustic hall.

By the end of that consultation we had sketches for a glamorous wedding gown and three bridesmaids, each tailored to the individual body shape of the wearer.

The custom design process always has ups and downs. Weight loss and a last minute bridesmaid swap due to pregnancy threw some spanners in the works. Luckily creating dresses for happy people is a great motivator and a few late nights later I was back on schedule. Keeping calm when hiccups happen is part of my job as the designer – the bride has enough on her mind!

 

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Second wedding, second wedding dress, mature bride, mature wedding dress, colored wedding dress, wedding dress designer , wedding dress maker new zealand, waikato, mangawhai, beaded wedding dress, navy blue wedding gown, beaded bridal jacket
Velvet DeCollete, Second wedding, second wedding dress, mature bride, mature wedding dress, colored wedding dress, wedding dress designer , wedding dress maker new zealand, waikato, mangawhai, beaded wedding dress, navy blue wedding gown, beaded bridal jacket


That Beaded Jacket

My favourite detail of Michele’s bridal gown? The beaded lace jacket. Designing garments around lace patterns and hand stitching lace and beads is my specialty. ( Vivien Master’s gown is another example of my love for lacework, check out her delicate corded lace bodice here. )

I carefully cut the jacket from the center length of the embellished lace, placing each pattern piece to ensure a symmetrical result. I then trimmed the wide scalloped border from the lace and hand applied it to the constructed jacket to line up with the existing motifs. Careful cutting and overlapping of the scalloped border created the right shape and fit around the hem of the garment. Any stray beads were then resewn into the design. The dress itself features beaded lace motifs on and under the bust, making the jacket and dress appear as one piece.

The result is a garment that looks like it’s made from one piece of specially designed lace, when in fact it’s made from many. As a bonus, the separate jacket can worn over any dress, so Michele can enjoy wearing this sentimental piece on special occasions.

 

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All of the gowns are fully lined and boned to give flattering support and shape. This is essential when creating strapless dresses – there’s nothing worse than seeing a beautifully presented woman hiking the top of her dress up all the time!

If you’d like to enquire about creating a stunning gown of your own, feel free to contact me. I promise it’s a relaxed process and not at all scary! More beautiful gowns and happy clients can be found in my design gallery.

With Style & Sass,

       Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

 

 

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Retro Wedding Dress Parade

So Clementine has these wedding dresses that fell off the back of a truck.

No, really. Her friend found them in a giant plastic bag in the road, and actually does think they fell off the back of a truck. The obvious solution? Promptly deliver dresses to Clementine because lets face it, she needs nine retro wedding dresses.

Anyway, fancy dress aside she’s not going to get a lot of use out of these leg o’ mutton sleeved beauties so they’re destined to be recut into  more … wearable … designs. (Personally I hope she keeps the plastic beaded fringing, it’s fantastic!). But before the dismantling begins I got to model them for some lovely ‘before’ photos.

Here’s a selection of my personal favourites for your 1980’s fashion enjoyment.

retro 1980's wedding dress | Velvet Decollete

This top one’s part Disney princess, part evil queen. Look at those sleeves. The one below made me feel like a frilly sea cucumber and is my absolute favourite of the lot!

retro 1980's wedding dress | Velvet Decollete

retro 1980's wedding dress | Velvet Decollete

The lace neckline, those sheer sleeves, if this dress had fit I may have tried to steal it. Sadly it’s being held in with about 20 pins in the back! It reminds me of the Swan Princess animated movie.

retro 1980's wedding dress | Velvet Decollete

And lastly who doesn’t want to loll around in a bed full of wedding dresses?

Huge thanks to Lavonne at Tock Tick Vintage for letting us shoot in your adorable B&B (that’s right ladies, you can stay the night there!) and Clementine for asking me to play dress ups. You know I love it.

Clemetine will be sharing the rest of the dresses we photographed as she redesigns them. Make sure you like her facebook page to see them!

Model, HMUA | Velvet DeCollete
Photos | Clementine
Host, assistant, furniture mover and beautiful person | La Vonne

 

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A Mad Hatter’s Wedding

A Mad Hatter’s Wedding

Sometimes as a designer you get to work with people who light up a room. People who have effervescent personalities just bubbling over – Stacey, one of my brides this season, is one of those people!

As a bridal stylist I had the honour of helping select her gown and wedding jacket, an adorable ’50’s number for her Mad Hatter’s garden party wedding. As the details of the big day came together it sounded like so much fun – so I was thrilled when she commissioned me to make her bridal headpiece!

Stacey already had a fantastic pair of teal green shoes laced with velvet ribbons. A tiny snip and I had a velvet colour sample to work from. Stacey left Auckland, trusting me with the design of her hat. Not too big, not too small, sophisticated but still fun – it had to be just right.

Using traditional millinery techniques I crafted vibrant teal taffeta into a miniature top hat, embellished with a billowy peacock blue organza bow and fluttering peacock plumes for movement. A brooch belonging to Stacey’s grandmother would be delivered later, a final, sentimental touch.

Stacey's teal mad hatters mini top hat
Mad Hatters garden party wedding

Stacey wearing her Beckon Couture miniature bridal hat
The new standard dinosaur wedding photo!
Venue | Markovina Vineyard Estate
Stacey’s hat | Beckon Couture
1950’s style lace dress | Maggie Sottero

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 2 comments