It all started, as it usually does, with a sketch!
Originally we set out to look for pearl grey taffeta and tulle, but due to unforeseen circumstances and a lucky turn around of events, we stumbled upon beautiful pale green taffeta with a very rich sheen to it and a matching chiffon from across the island. The bride loved it, her mother too, I couldn't but.. so we settled for it; and may I just say I'm still proud of the decision. Pale green gets a bad rep because it re minds many of us of the nightmare 'mint' craze of the late 80s and early 90s weddings But this green is special. It harks back to 50s summer weddings and that's an era we're all, somewhat, ok with it.
For this wedding, the bride also graciously asked me (*may i just point out that this bride in particular cannot help but do everything graciously.. so well mannered and graceful..) to take care of some minor embellishments for her dress as well. So I decided to create these beaded scalloped shells to go on her hand-made shoes (yes, made by the trusty shoemaker I keep mentioning in every post!) and dress. I had seen a small (*damn those pixels!) picture of her simple 1920s inspired wedding dress before and thought that aesthetically and symbolically the 'shell' would go well with the whole theme. Notice that this picture was taken in artificial light in the early hours of the morning. That, my friends, is when beading is finished, late at night and well into the early hours!
This is how her belt turned out. (*and now I eagerly await a good photo of it as worn, by the bride's chosen photographer as he seemed to be doing a really good job on the day. So much so that I felt intimidated to bring out my camera and try)
This is a photo of the flower girls' and maid of honour's dresses plus underskirts hanging in my sewing room. I have to admit, I always feel really restless with clothes hanging on a hanger lifelessly.. only when worn do they make sense. So I'm always looking forward (perhaps even, to a certain extent, anxiously) to see them on their intended wearers. It is for this reason that I'm very happy I was given the opportunity to join the bridal party on the day!
oh and matching hairbands (which the Gozitans, I've been informed, refer to as 'geishas')! also finished in the wee hours, of course!
Here, on the hand, is the mother of the bride's dress.. a beautiful sea blue satin and matching chiffon cape. Cut on the bias for it to flow (perfectly airy for a July wedding on these islands). See what I mean when I say I keep obsessing about the need to see the clothes I make worn. I simply couldn't take a decent photo of this dress at home but at least I got a good shot of the sweetheart neckline that mothers favour so much. What I did to update it a bit is relax the neckline so as to complement the flow of the dress. In an ideal world, necklines and skirts exhibit mutual respect for each other, you see!
Have I already told you I was super happy with the cape? .. too much coffee when sewing is not a good idea. It makes you prop your mannequin on things and tip toe around like a demented, ill equipped and sorry excuse for helmut newton in the yard.
Here you go, she looks effortlessly elegant and prepared for her daughter's big day!
More close-ups of the flower girls' and maid of honour's shoes. So pretty, they remind me of marzipan wedding sweets - the traditional kind every one likes to look at but few actually eat!
.. and the crazily wrapped around matching sashes with silvery beading and artificial flowers from a vintage stock I had luckily come across!
The clothes are on, we're all in a state of 'aww' and 'yay' and also a bit of 'oh I'm so glad, so very happy for you all' .. the atmosphere at a wedding makes everyone go a little soft .. but time rolls on and it was time for me and my mum (who accompanied me on my first Arriva trip to Gozo for this purpose) to head back to Malta.
Here she is, suppressing a laugh (we suffer from the same photo-related predisposition) and contemplating the sea. She's a multi-tasker with a love for both big and small adventures, African Safaris, Oriental cuisine, Gozo afternoons, (etc), here she comes.
And with this sunset over Gozo I wish Maria and Mark all the very best! They deserve nothing less!
back soon with more sartorial adventures!