You want to know someone like Gloria. She’s the kind of individual who really pushes the limits on what you think a person can be. She’s wildly intelligent (super-doctor-level intelligent), obviously beautiful and, most interestingly (for my purposes), she has a highly refined sense of personal style.
I drove through the rolling hills, up the California coast to see her. The more I got to know her, the more I understood why she had called me. Her sense of style and singular personality would never be satisfied by anything intended for the masses and she needed a custom gown, period.
Her own brand of glamour
Gloria’s vibe is clearly glamorous, and her dress needed to be too…but in an updated and modern way, with drama and nods to her own power. Her dress gives me golden-days-of-Hollywood but with a dose of confidence and poise of the kind only possessed by the female among us.
Let’s get into the details of the dress, shall we?
About the design of the dress
Gloria’s matte off-white (but not ivory) wedding gown was made in heavy stretch crepe. You can tell in the photos just how stable and firm it is. We lined it thoughtfully to prevent any variation or show-through in the white…sooo important and a mark of a well made garment if you ask me.
Let’s talk about that neckline…
The deep V neckline was finished with a squared point, giving one of many modern updates to a classic silhouette and creating a dramatic and tasteful result.
That deep V demanded the right support for her bust and, because the back is so open, it meant that any bust support that she was going to get had to come from the dress. We tried formed cups but that was not modern nor was it right for Gloria. We needed un-padded and un-formed lift and support. Eventually we crafted (rather ingeniously, I think) a technique that gave her the truly enviable cleavage that you see here, all without adding out-dated shape or visual weight.
In the photo above, you’ll notice a ribbon around her waist. The waist tape, as we call it, is there to support the weight of the dress from the hips rather than from the shoulders, ensuring that the dress stays where it’s intended.
Open back, fresh details
In the next photos, you get to see the stunning open back. One detail worth mentioning here is the closure. We used silver hooks to close the dress at the neck and normally, we would mask them so no skin or hooks remain visible but, not in this case! Gloria liked the look of the hooks, so we left a tiny strip of skin free to shine through, punctuated by a row of silver that gave just the right industrial touch. It’s a tiny detail that has a big impact on the overall modernity of the gown.
All custom everything
Of course, the back wouldn’t be quite as striking if it weren’t for a completely hidden detail; the silhouette of the shoulders. Important as they were to this gown, I decided to custom make her shoulder pads in our studio. Yes, there are a lot of shoulder pads available on the professional market but none of them were as perfect as what we made by hand. Our work paid off and the result is shoulders that are dramatic but sleek, slightly exaggerated but sharp and yet somehow natural. I could go on and on…The shoulders of this dress are quietly a big part of why it’s so stunning.
Looking at the photo above, once we pick our jaws up off the floor, we get a chance to see the shape of the dress and the length of the train. The strong shoulder combined with the fit and flare shape of the skirt gives a very va-va-voom effect.
Bracelet length sleeves? Yes, please!
Some other details worth noting: The sleeves are bracelet length because it was the coolest and most flattering length but also because it made space for her sculptural bracelet, the only noticeable jewelery that she wore.
The sleeves were made with zippers at the wrist for function and to provide another industrial touch. No bridal buttons here!
For the love of couture geometry
Another architectural nod lives in the seams of the dress, the same seams that give it shape were also used to create visual interest. The darts that shape the bust radiate from the waist, where they meet the waist seam and modified princess seams that shape the front and back of the skirt. (Sorry to get couture-nerd on you but the seams really are special and in person, they create a beautiful detail.) Translation…it was really complex and really worth it. From the side, all of these seams meet to form a star like shape that radiates in every direction, for a truly captivating effect.
I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this little sneak peak behind a real dress for a real bride. Special mention to Helena & Laurent Photography, the photos are beautiful.
Enjoy the rest of the gallery!