Frockumentary


Garnet and pearl ethereal wedding gown.

I had a flash of an image in my mind of a gown that I haven't been able to put down so it has to be made. With custom orders and tax returns, I started these experiments several weeks ago but have only had the time to dip in and out as I went along.

I drew a vague sketch without really having a clear idea of how the final gown would turn out. I only knew that the basis for the design was garnets and pearls. I wanted a princess feel to the gown but with an ethereal, distressed look to combine the traditional feminine approach with a modern twist.

I already knew the colours that I wanted to use and one of the design aspects was an off the shoulder detail that would work in to sleeves, this detail was made up of distressed lace flowers, I started by making lots of these using different materials to see the effects.
 The next stage of the plan was to work out how they were going to be arranged, I didn't want to over do it but it really needed to be dramatic too. With a little playing around, I settled on three for the front panel.
Using that as a starting point for the main arrangement, I wanted to experiment with other elements
to see how they could all tie together. I looked at laces, buttons, beads, ribbons and a whole range of pieces to see how I could best enhance the gown.
It was a careful process of adding each element at a time, taking it away and bringing in another until I was happy with the feel.
Bringing in the pearl detail at the top and adding the drop pearl beading gave the feel a huge lift to the aged lace and vintage trims.


With the top of the corset arranged, I looked at the bottom edge, this still needed work and felt quite awkward so I set to work to tie this in with the whole look. It can sometimes be the simplest of things that bring a design together. Besides the aesthetic arrangement, the corset was just a little too long so I tailored an inch off the bottom line to suit the design.


 The slightly shorter length made a huge aesthetic difference and re arranging the laces on the bottom edge created an entirely different feel.
So overall I feel quite happy with the plans for the front of the corset, there is quite a lot going on so
the rest of the corset design can be more simple, I am thinking of carrying on with the ivory laced overlay on to the next panel, I'll see how that looks before deciding on the rest of the panels, except for the back panels, I would like to balance out the drama down the back with a little extra detail and compliment it with a wide burgundy ribbon for lacing.

The next stage will be to sew the first panels together to gauge a true feel for the garment as it comes together.

I have already decided to make a version of this in black!