This is a post written by Gretchen.
Heathe is a dramatic yet understated wedding dress. She’s glam yet elegant. And of course, vintage yet modern. Her soft silk crepe fabric drapes over the bodice into a bloused waistline. The keyhole back with its single crystal-button closure reveals hand-appliqued crystal petals at the waistline. The fit-and-flare skirt features rows of bugle beads that follow the curve of the seams.
The Original Sketch
This dress was one of my favorites to work on. I have always gravitated to the very fine details in not only wedding dresses, but all things in handmade. In the original sketch for the dress, I had drawn symmetrical rows of stitching, as well as, gathers in the skirt. The rows of stitching were to give the illusion of padded hips without actual padding. The placement and shape of the hip curves accentuated the lines of the body. The gathered skirt reflected the gathers in the bodice.
When Lourdes and I got together to review our sketches and finalize designs for the first collection, Heathe was one of those dresses that stood out. She became a final contender fast. What happened next, though, was pure “creative misinterpretation” ... if you want to call it that. My lack of description on the sketch led Lourdes to believe that there was beading on the hips instead stitching. In that moment we decided: stitching out, CRYSTAL BUGLE BEADS IN!
The First Dress Fitting
Patterning the dress was easy. Lourdes and I both agreed the dress should have a long train to give it the drama that it well deserved. I flew to Charleston to have the first round of fittings with our model. But once I arrived and pulled Heathe out, we both knew that there was a problem. The gathering on the skirt completely overpowered the dress, and it had to go. With the skirt solved, the rest of the dress fitting went well. Heathe became a favorite of the collection, and we knew it was going to be something special.
Constructing the Dress Sample
After cutting the pattern pieces from the silk crepe, I started on the beading. I wanted to get it out of the way and it was one of my favorite parts. After finishing both hips, putting the dress together was very satisfying. And it was the final touches of the Swarovski crystal button on the back, and the two crystal trim pieces at the waist in the back opening that took the dress from beautiful to BREATHTAKING!!! (sigh)
Heathe is a classic silhouette with vintage splendor. There is movement, there is charm, and there is a classical beauty to the dress.
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Heathe Pictures by Juliet Elizabeth Photography