Sparklewren

aesthetic art corsetry

Bridal Week - the Sunshine gown

You will have seen Louise's lingerie corset in yesterday's post. In champagne and muted off-pink, it was a delicious little treasure. But the gown. Oh the gown... 

Sunshine was one of my favourite ever pieces to work on. Not just because it was made for a friend (I feel genuine affection for everyone that I make things for), but because of the opportunity to expand upon our aesthetic. As you may now, we mostly make stand-alone corsetry. Which is a joy. But taking an aesthetic and creating something with more scope for playfulness (in both silhouette and surface decoration) is a treat. 

So I thought I would share a load of my snaps from the making-of process. I hope you'll see why Sunshine was such a joy. 

We started with sketches, as you'd expect. I've known Lou since we studied art together at university so this part of the process was a breeze, naturally. But interpreting ideas is my job anyway and most of our clients are just like Lou actually. Very trusting of our aesthetic and trusting of the process. 

We started with sketches, as you'd expect. I've known Lou since we studied art together at university so this part of the process was a breeze, naturally. But interpreting ideas is my job anyway and most of our clients are just like Lou actually. Very trusting of our aesthetic and trusting of the process. 

Alongside the lingerie corset, we also had a cotton petticoat, just for a small amount of shape and weight. 

Alongside the lingerie corset, we also had a cotton petticoat, just for a small amount of shape and weight. 

The gown was tailored to fit over the lightly cinching corset. Using an underlying structure (or separate corset, as here) to create shape is something that I think a lot of contemporary bridal lacks. Gowns end up tightly clamped around the bust and constantly being pulled up by the bride, whereas a gently shaping corset allows for the weight of the gown to be taken by the waist. 

The gown was tailored to fit over the lightly cinching corset. Using an underlying structure (or separate corset, as here) to create shape is something that I think a lot of contemporary bridal lacks. Gowns end up tightly clamped around the bust and constantly being pulled up by the bride, whereas a gently shaping corset allows for the weight of the gown to be taken by the waist. 

We played with a couple of tulle combinations, but settled on pure ivory in the end. It lightened the warm champagne silk duchess and muted pink lace beautifully. 

We played with a couple of tulle combinations, but settled on pure ivory in the end. It lightened the warm champagne silk duchess and muted pink lace beautifully. 

Oh, I still love the way the tulle drops from the lace at the back here... We've referenced this idea since (for example in the Cloud gown), but I'd love to visit it once again. I think it's so timeless and elegant. 

Oh, I still love the way the tulle drops from the lace at the back here... We've referenced this idea since (for example in the Cloud gown), but I'd love to visit it once again. I think it's so timeless and elegant. 

One of our fittings. We ended up arranging the veil differently, but I love this shot just because of how elegant Lou looks. That veil's lace edging was all hand cut and sewn, muted pink or champagne organza. An absolute dream, like a faded vintage gown. This is what we strive to create, future heirlooms. 

One of our fittings. We ended up arranging the veil differently, but I love this shot just because of how elegant Lou looks. That veil's lace edging was all hand cut and sewn, muted pink or champagne organza. An absolute dream, like a faded vintage gown. This is what we strive to create, future heirlooms. 

Ready for another fitting. 

Ready for another fitting. 

A little collage that I made at the time. Oh, how I wish I'd had a proper camera! You know, writing about this gown is dangerous... All I want to do now is make another! That lace, those pearls... 

A little collage that I made at the time. Oh, how I wish I'd had a proper camera! You know, writing about this gown is dangerous... All I want to do now is make another! That lace, those pearls... 

A couple of special details for this ensemble were the hand-embellished comb and the touches of hand-embroidery on the train. Hidden beneath the ivory tulle you could barely even see the birds we embellished... But they're there, as a personal expression of affection for my friend and for the gown. A wren and a dove. For the comb, every strand of pearls was hand-knotted for security whilst two identical lace motifs were layered up with some silk for structure. 

A couple of special details for this ensemble were the hand-embellished comb and the touches of hand-embroidery on the train. Hidden beneath the ivory tulle you could barely even see the birds we embellished... But they're there, as a personal expression of affection for my friend and for the gown. A wren and a dove. For the comb, every strand of pearls was hand-knotted for security whilst two identical lace motifs were layered up with some silk for structure. 

Lovely Lou at her final fitting. 

Lovely Lou at her final fitting. 

And on the wedding day. That organza neckline was so delicate. The edge was hand-finished with thread. 

And on the wedding day. That organza neckline was so delicate. The edge was hand-finished with thread. 

The veil and the comb were the perfect finishing touches. And I absolutely adored the classic and timeless style Lou chose for her hair and make-up. The absolute embodiment of elegance. 

The veil and the comb were the perfect finishing touches. And I absolutely adored the classic and timeless style Lou chose for her hair and make-up. The absolute embodiment of elegance. 

What a dream of a bridal ensemble. I'll finish with some photos from the wedding, courtesy of Chris Chambers Photography