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Wednesday, February 26, 2020


As I've mentioned before, re-styling a wedding gown is something I really enjoy.   Obviously, I love creating custom gowns, but when a bride wants to wear their Mom's gown, I can't resist!  The creative challenge is preserving some of the original design so we can pay tribute to Mom, while also updating it so that the second generation bride feels just as beautiful on her wedding day.   This bride and her Mom came to me in February of 2019.    The gown has been finished for quite awhile, but since the wedding was just a couple of weeks ago, I haven't been able to share much up until now.
This is Mom's original Oleg Cassini gown.  It was in beautiful condition.  The hem lace was a bit soiled, but other than that, it held up very well over the years.  Hailey, the daughter was planning a beach wedding and had a few ideas of what she was looking for.
She wanted a strapless gown with a corset back and lots of lace on the midriff which would continue to about the hipline. 

There were obviously some beautiful elements on the existing gown that definitely needed to carry over into the new design.  For one......that train!   It was long, and had some beautiful lace medallions near the bottom.  Also, the hem lace was very pretty (I took it to the bathtub to get some of the grime out of it), and obviously the pearl detailing on the bodice was exquisite. 

The first step was to dismantle the bodice to remove the sleeves and modify the cut of the front and back bodice.                                           

I needed to change the shape of the front bodice to make it into a sweeheart shape, and remove the zipper portion of the back bodice to accommodate the corset back as well as lower the line.     

After I removed the bodice from the skirt, I took a closer look at the front panel of the gown.  The original gown had an inverted pleat from the empire waist to the hemline with a beautiful panel of lace and beading hidden inside the pleat.  I opened the pleat and took a picture of it and sent it to the bride and recommendation was to really show off all that beautiful detailing on Hailey's gown!                                                                           
I found some beautiful lace appliques to sew onto the bodice....I wanted to create a continuous line from the sweetheart neckline to the hipline, actually camouflaging the empire waistline.  I was able to re-apply a lot of the pearls and sequins (from the back bodice pieces I was no longer using) onto some of the appliques to create continuity.  I had a nice surprise when the appliques arrived realizing they had a shimmery thread running through them that helped catch the light.  Between the original sequins and the shimmery thread in the appliques, the bodice really looked beautiful in the sunlight.  I hand sewed on a total of 20 appliques to the gown.

I used some of those same appliques on the matching fingertip veil I made for her.  It created a beautiful cut edge veil with light gathering at the comb.  It allowed that gorgeous corset back to shine through.

I'm anxiously awaiting some professional photos, but in the meantime, here's a couple of cell phone pictures from the actual wedding day!                                                           
What a beautiful bride.  It must have been really special for Hailey's Mom and Dad to see their daughter in a contemporary version of her Mom's wedding gown!   Congrats Hailey and Cody!                                                                                                                                             

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