Entries in couture gowns (2)


a smd custom couture bridesmaid dress for rachel

having trustworthy, reliable employees that you don't have to micro manage and can completely trust is the key to any successful business.  that's why as a business owner i feel very fortunate to have the privilege of working alongside rachel louws, a wonderful colleague and friend.

rachel runs the coordination division of my business.  she lines up vendors, analyzes contracts, divides budgets, creates time lines and schedules, organizes the wedding rehearsal, choreographs the wedding ceremony, keeps the wedding day running smooth, alleviates worry and stress from the planning and wedding itself allowing  my clients to show up to their own wedding as guests so they can simply enjoy the day.  She plans the wedding so the bride and groom can plan their marriage. 

additionally, she keeps me sane and really allows me to focus on the things i love and am passionate about, which are the design elements of our events.  furthermore, she brings me incredible baked goods (i'm a sucker for fresh baked treats). i am so blessed to have her on my team and feel privileged to work alongside her.

this fall she was a bridesmaid in a wedding. every bridesmaid was given a few yards of fabric and could pick the style of dress they wanted to have created for them. although i typically do not construct bridesmaid dresses, i had the honor of creating rachel's dress for her.  this is what we came up with: 

this dress, created from raw silk, included a sweetheart bodice with hand pleated ruching, a smooth high waisted panel and a full crinoline-supported skirt hand formed with box pleats. i even added pockets to keep her hands warm and to store a few extra things.

i might be biased since i created this dress, but i think she looks absolutely amazing. and, note the perfect fit. but, like i said, i might be biased . . .

rachel, you are great, and certainly an asset to the team.  thanks for all you do . . .  freeing me to focus on my passion, encouraging me, keeping me sane, taking great care of our clients and baking great treats! i  enjoyed creating this dress for you, and i was so thrilled you loved it. you renewed my passion for designing and constructing couture gowns. you looked stunning.



autumn couture

this couture wedding corresponds with the design inspirations that i posted in the last entry. there are so many details to this wedding, so let me highlight a few for you to enjoy as you read along.

the gown

the bride's couture gown  that i designed and constructed for her was made from over 50 yards of raw silk and hundreds of tiny austriancrystals. the weight of the dress was held up with over a thousand yards of crinoline in the petticoat she wore underneath. this dress took me about 2 months to design for the bride, and  about 3 days to construct. it is by far the the fullest dress i have ever made. because this bride spent her entire engagement getting into better shape, we held off on contructing the gown until the week before her wedding.  the sleepless nights were worth it when i saw her in her gown; she was perfect.

the bouquet

i constructed the bouquet using vendella roses, snowberries, brown cymbidium orchids, magnolia leaves, green grapes (i love fruit in arrangements) and crocosmia pods, and, as requested by the bride, a few sea shells that held sentimental value. curly willow was then wound throughout the entire bouquet. i then tied off the bouquet with a chocolate brown satin ribbon.

 the custom linens

i constructed the table linen out of lush chocolate brown velvet. the napkins were made from gold spun damask fabric. the table was then layered with endless yards of raw silk. you can compare this table with my sketches in the last entry to gain a better understanding of the design process and see the "before and after"

the centerpieces

the centerpieces were constructed from peach roses, leonidas roses, lucadendron, crocosmia, calla lilies, poppy pods, artichokes, eggplants and pears. They were contained in an eclectic variety of vintage urns, rustic twig-woven baskets and and dark wood cake pedestals.  Rolled beeswax candles dusted with sparkle powder were alternated with the centerpieces for lighting and a touch of glamour.

the art gallery

the art gallery was lent to me from the private collection of gerald baron's personal work.

the favors

the chocolate balls placed at each setting were hollow in the middle and filled with truffles for each guest to enjoy. each ball rested on a bed of spun sugar and was tied with french ribbon. they were removed from the place settin before dinner started by the servers.  We then set them on top of a bed of vintage tulling and placed the entire unit in a clear box. The favors were then returned to each guest's place setting shortly before the evening came to an end.  ashley e rodriguez was the brilliant artist that created these.

the cake

the bride could not decide what kind of cake to have, so i made her all three of her favorite flavors in different forms.   the tiered cake was enrobed in fondant and wrapped with a satin ribbon and adorned with sugar paste leaves that i cut out and hand painted.  the cupcakes were iced in chocolate before i piped a chocolate rose on each one and dusted it with gold luster dust. the third cake was a carrot cake that i intentionally iced  rough and fluffy to create a juxtaposition between it and the tiered cake.

additional credits:

photography: michele m waite

venue: resort semiahmoo

creative collaboration: lynne baron design