Monday, 30 January 2012

Designing Kate's Wedding Dress

I felt mixed emotions when my friend Kate asked me to design her wedding dress. I felt honoured, excited and even a little anxious. Sure, I had designed my own wedding dress but it was the first time I'd designed one for another person, let alone a friend. Designing a wedding dress is a lot different to designing a collection. I see it as selecting every perfect piece of clothing from the persons wardrobe that they love and feel good in and including it in their wedding dress. Now it wasn't going to be difficult for Kate to look incredible as she is an absolute beauty and would look good in a paper bag. It actually made my job a lot easier.
In this post I will share the entire process involved in designing Kate's wedding dress. 
  The wedding was taking place in  Byron Bay which meant the dress had to be appropriate for a beach wedding and Kate didn't want to look too formal. Kate initially came to me with three dresses that she loved; Kate Hudson's famous yellow dress from the movie 'How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days,'  Rebecca Twigley (now Judd) in her  J'Aton wedding dress and finally Mila Kunis wearing the incredible lavender  Elie Saab dress from the Oscars. Each of the three dresses are so different however small elements from each were used to help finalise Kate's dress design. The simplicity and elegant low back line from Kate Hudson's dress, The french lace trimming with soft draping and neckline in Mila's Elie Saab dress and the elaborate, detailed lace on Rebecca Twigley's wedding dress. 
 I always believe before you get a wedding dress made it's essential to go and try wedding dresses on. You may have always dreamt of wearing that simple elegant strapless empire line dress on your wedding day but then find that the shape is not right for you. Kate tried on some dresses at Collette Dinnigan and found a shape that worked well on her as well as the fabric that she liked. She found she loved soft flowing silk.  Then I asked Kate to try on my wedding dress (which of course finished at her knees due to the slight height difference..ha ha!) My dress was made with hand beaded french lace on the bodice and this inspired Kate to consider the idea of using beaded lace.

Below are some initial sketches. Here I experimented with shapes and details. Without the final selection of fabric it was a little challenging to make a final sketch because I find as a designer, fabric often inspires my designs.


Kate did some fabric shopping in Sydney where she is based and I did some in Melbourne. She really wanted an Art Deco themed lace and not floral. That became quite a challenge as there were few laces without floral details. 

After many MMS and emails Kate fell in love with this incredible Art Deco style French Chantilly Lace shown below.

 Once the fabric was in my hand I had some fun draping on my mannequin. This made me realise that the fabric was so beautiful it really needed to stand on its own and just rest on the body and shine.   Below are some photos of draping throughout the design process.

After draping I was able to come up with this sketch which took on the base shape of the final design:

I had suggested the idea of putting a brooch on the back to help finish off the dress but nothing really stood out  to us until the actual wedding day.  Dustin and I were having breakfast the morning of the wedding and the cafe happened to be next to Mimco where I discovered this beautiful white brooch in the shape of a rose.  It was the perfect finishing touch to the dress. It looked like a match made in heaven when we put it on the dress. You wouldn't have guessed it was bought a couple of hours before the wedding. 

 After working closely with my amazing dress maker we finished the dress and Kate looked absolutely incredible.

Here's the final piece!

Thank you so much Kate for inviting me to share your special day. I had so much fun working with you.
Kate's wedding was absolutely perfect. I had the most incredible time. I will never forget this experience.

Kate used amazing photographers on the day.
 Andrew McIntosh (Ocean Photography) and Dean Mansbridge. 
Check out their websites below:

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Happy Australia Day!!!!

Happy Australia to you all!!! Today provides us Aussies with the opportunity to celebrate and be thankful for the beautiful country we live in. I wish you a fun and relaxing day with your close friends and family. 

Below I've styled my fun Aussie bikini tank with my vintage high waisted denim shorts and Nine West shoes. And what better setting to shoot this look than in front of a beautiful gum tree. 

Also check out some fun Aussie themed outfits I've styled below. Each item is referenced with its online shop for you to purchase. 

Australia Day Look 1

Justin Wool Felt – Taupe, $85.00
77 Skinny Braided Canvas Belt, $15.88  
Madewell The Suede Zipcode Boot, $188.00,

Australia Day Look 2

Abelly Hat,   $74.00,
Subtitled Striped Collar S/Sleeve Shirt, html  $59.95
Red Audrey Sun Reading Glasses, $27.00
Monsoon Fusion Sally Stripe Skirt  $52.00,
Womens Vans Authentic Trainers – Red, $52.00

Australia Day Look 3

Avezzano Hat, $28.00
RED VALENTINO embroidered top, $295.00
Stella McCartney Sunglasses  $250.00
J Brand Denim Cut-off rigid-denim shorts,  $135.00  
B Store Janis4 Shoes, $200.00   

Australia Day Look 4

Illesteva Leonard 2 Sunglasses – Blue, $245.00   
Monsoon Red Square Scarf $12.00
Bag - Clutch Glomesh Australian Flag,  $60.00
French Connection Arte Wool Pleated Skirt, Red, $80.00
Blue peep toe platform court shoes, $41.00  http://www,

Happy Australia Day!!!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Let Vintage Take You Back In Time...

Happy New Year to you all!!!! I hope you've had an amazing start to the year. I'm sorry for being a phantom over the past couple of weeks, we opened up our frozen yoghurt bar 'Yo Pop' for summer again and we have been extremely busy although, I haven't forgotten about you all!

I wanted to share with you my newest vintage purchases that of course I bought from my favourite vintage shop 'Friperie.'  I was fortunate enough to be asked to design my dear friend Kate's wedding dress late last year (which I will share with you in a future post) and I wanted to wear something classic and elegant. I love how wearing vintage can make you feel like you are escaping into a past era. I came across this gorgeous 1960's vintage gown in a perfect dusty pink colour with detailed pearl beading around the neckline and waistline. I was a little uncomfortable wearing a long gown to a beach wedding in Byron Bay so I had the dress cut just above the knee and left the train at the back. It added a modern twist to the vintage dress. I know Martez the owner of Friperie vintage was  sad to hear I would be cutting her amazing vintage find but I assured her I would photograph the dress in its original form and post it on Dusty Petals before doing so. I'll share the reconstructed version soon.

I have selected some vintage dresses available through Etsy at the bottom of the post. Don't be afraid to make small alterations with your vintage items like removing the sleeves, shortening the hemline or changing the neckline.  I encourage you to go back in time through vintage, it is so much fun!!!

1- 1960s Silver Metallic Embroidered Formal Cocktail Wedding Party Holiday Dress with Ostrich Feather Trim, $85.00  

2- Cotton Candy Pink Vintage 60's Chiffon Party Dress, $138.00   

3- Vintage 1960s Nautical Living stripe baby doll summer dress,  $48.00

4- DAINTY 1960s vintage Peachy crochet skooter dress, $48.00

5- 1960s Navy and White Nautical Sailor Themed dress (Size Extra Large XL)  $69.00

6- Vintage 1960s dress floral cotton mod sun dress  $28.00  

1- Vintage 1950s Baby Doll plaid cotton swimsuit  $184.00  

2- 1950s vintage floral silk cocktail wiggle dress  $245.00  

3-Vintage 1950's Dress Floral Print Garden Party Cocktail Dress (small) $116.00

4- 50s Flocked CHIFFON Petticoat Dress, $220.00  

5- 1950s Nude Peach Organza Woven Floral Lace Formal Cocktail Prom Wedding Party Dress,  $300.00

1- 1980s Vintage Dress with White corset / gold star rhinestones , $128.00

2- 1980s Vintage 80s Ball Gown in Periwinkle Blue  (Size Small)

3- Vintage 1980s Pink Beaded Cocktail Dress by CONTINENTAL COUTURE Art Deco Style Design,  $89.00

Have a wonderful week! See you soon.