January 13, 2012 - Comments Off on Janine – Evening Gown from Bride’s Own Wedding Dress
The idea of wearing something only one time, or of storing that item away indefinitely, was not one that resonated with Janine. Therefore, she decided to turn her wedding dress into something new and completely re-wearable! Janine attends formal events on a semi-regular basis, so we decided to design an evening dress for her.
Her wedding dress was made of a blush-coloured silk shantung, which we considered either dyeing another colour, or overlaying with a contrast-coloured lace. From my material library, Janine selected a beautiful French Chantilly lace with a semi-abstracted floral design, to overlay the blush shantung. While the ballgown silhouette of her wedding dress had been fun to wear at her wedding, Janine's typical aesthetic is more streamlined. We wanted the evening gown to be classic enough in styling to transcend seasonal trends, but also with design elements that provided an element of surprise and sexiness.
I designed a full-length sheath gown with soft v-neckline in the front, and an almost completely open back. We loved the look of the lace sheer on the skin, so the straps and back were constructed with no shantung underlining. To support and cleanly finish the lace, I used tea to dye sheer silk organza the same shade as Janine's skin to appear invisible behind the lace. I found two delicate vintage black buttons for the back closure.
Here are some pictures of tea-dyeing the silk organza, with tea bags I created for the process.
Using haute couture construction techniques, each pattern piece's individual layers were cut separately and stitched together by hand, and then the layered pattern pieces were sewn to each other. Here are some images of the cutting and sewing of Janine's gown.
Here are some photographs of the cotton muslin fitting process.
Photography by Janine's husband and sister-in-law, George and Julie Guerrero.
Janine wore her custom evening gown to a friend's black tie wedding in Puerto Rico, which she attended with her husband George.