Inspired by his fiancee's working with me on custom bridal accessories, and disappointed with the tent-shaped, mass-produced, yet overpriced options available, Lev contacted me about having a custom kittel made for their Jewish wedding. I was thrilled to take on the project, and went about researching kittels to start the design.
Lev informed me that kittels were often worn not only on a man's wedding day, but also when he leads passover, on Yom Kippur, and when he is buried. I discovered that kittels were not meant to have pockets, because a man should be marrying for love, not possessions, and should also be buried without any belongings. For the silhouette, I created a pattern that was tailored for Lev's slim build, but would also fit comfortably over a suit jacket. We hemmed the length just above the knee, added a vent in the back, and a belt to tie at the waist. For design details, we wanted to keep them subtle but tasteful and unique, so opted for a Mandarin collar, and a decorative trim at the front placket and sleeve cuffs.
Lev and Gabby had previously lived in NYC but recently moved to San Francisco; we were able to manage our design discussions over email, phone, and text, and fittings during already-planned trips on both of our parts to the opposite coast(s). Together, we picked out the high-quality cotton from a wealth of options at Britex in San Francisco. I sourced heaps of different trim options from the garment district in Manhattan until we both agreed on the perfect one, which just so happened to include bells in its pattern. We were pleased to learn that bells had been worn on the hems of garments by the High Priests, and carried positive symbolism. I also found lovely white covered hook & eye frog closures for the front opening and cuffs.
Lev and Gabrielle were married at the Metropolitan Building in Long Island City, Queens in NYC.