Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tales of Love and Foliage

Perhaps I ought to have waited a while longer for the pro photos to make it to my inbox.. but I just couldn't resist! This 23rd August wedding had been on my mind since March .. so, I couldn't but share!

Yasmin wanted something figure-hugging that brought together the couple's shared love for everything Sicilian and Lord of the Rings' Galadriel whilst remaining true to the laid-back feel of the whole wedding they had in mind. I went a step further and threw in a nod or two to the Swan Lake ballet costume tradition and Lepape's illustrations for Lanvin. Till the very last day I was still crossing my fingers hoping that I had struck the right balance. One could say that working with such a beautiful and obliging bride who could literally carry off anything she put her mind to wearing made my life easy - however, and may I say, typically - I wrecked my brain with worry that I was suggesting too much or too little by way of design or embellishment! 

In retrospect .. I'm really really happy with what we settled for in the end .. a crepe satin bias-cut high-waisted skirt with just a hint of a train underneath a matching corset trimmed with a wreath of heavily beaded handmade leaves; and a two-part veil hanging from two clusters of leaves at the back of the head. Her bouncy curls hanging loose, I was so relieved to see this bride move around in her dress unhindered by excessive whale-boning or undergarments. A Maltese summer and a jolly disposition require and deserve nothing else but comfort and simplicity.

photo credit: Hauke Eggert

One of several sketches I'm glad to have held on to

early on in the process - I started making the leaves from left-over scraps of crepe-satin and, let's just say, they took close to a lifetime and a half to finish

Some of the leaves were put aside to create the clusters from which the two-part bias-cut veil hung

.. hours later .. the early morning saw me half sipping on some strong coffee, half nodding off whilst taking photos of the finished result

one last late-night fitting before the big day ...

.. and voila! a smiley bride playing around with discreet ribbon loops for the fingers from which the veils could hang

getting a still shot proved almost impossible #infectious_excitement

I was also entrusted with making two dresses for the brides' sister and sister-in-law .. the bride, being the kind soul that she is, wanted to treat her bridesmaids to a dress that wouldn't make them cringe, so after consulting them we came up with a simple design for an ivory chiffon dress with touches of the wedding colour - purple! 
The corseted sweet-heart top of the dress was embellished with a wreath of hand cut purple guipure lace motifs which I then beaded over in pearl and gold - a humble nod towards the rich Indian embellishment tradition so close to the family's heart

a quick shot from our last fitting shows the removable shoulder cape-let in matching purple chiffon for both bridesmaids to wear to church ...

On the day, waiting outside the dressing room for the final make-up touch-ups, both bridesmaids made for the best models one could hope for.. tanned, relaxed and super cool!

And so I leave you with a picture from the 8th of August of a sea of crepe satin and an army of pins. This was my summer and this was my sea. Several spools of white thread later, I'm sitting at my usual chair and the droplets of summer rain outside fail to put a damper on my excitement for the next wedding on the horizon.

A while back, I was considering switching lanes completely in order to take up a slightly more 'useful' career but I just might have to re-consider.. at least for a while longer! I love what I do but I worry about being useful and of real service to society. Why? - that I don't know. The only thing I'm pretty much convinced about is the utter sense of pride and joy I experience when I deliver - literally (in my cranky granny of a car) and metaphorically..

*cheers* to a future of bias cuts and smiley brides!

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