For over four months we have been working on a wedding dress for an amazing client that was introduced to us at Clockwork Couture in Burbank. Until now, in deference to confidentiality, we have only been able to give vague hints as to the specific details but now that the wedding done and the client happily married off, we are free to reveal all and our future design plans! So join us as we reveal an exciting new side of Lily Absinthe Couture…
Behold, thirty yards of the most glorious Cambodian Silk, hand carried on a plane across several oceans by a close friend of the bride. It was only a meter wide, around 10 momme (a term used for the weight of silk) and a satin-faced faille…there is nothing that can be found like it in this country…believe me, I tried. The closest equivalent started at the $80 level and it didn’t even compare to the wedding silk…This textile was amazing to work with!
The patterns? Why ours, of course! I drafted a basic curved bodice block (worn over one of our own Lily Absinthe Corsets) and started from there. The entire gown (except for the pleats, ruches, and ruffles) are flatlined on ivory polished cotton and cotton batiste, and like all true couture…it’s completely hand sewn and finished except for the foundation seams, it’s beautiful inside and out.
The bodice has an additional embroidered cotton bordered net overlay from the same cotton net that makes up two of the four front skirt swags. The neckline has an amazing stand_up collar that tapers to nothing in the front neckline, it’s completely lined with hand-shirred English Net. The sleeves have a front sheer insert of more English cotton net that I shirred, then used some antique corded lace that had a strategic decorative edging that I used for negative space so the netting would show. The gorgeous embroidered tambour lace flounce at the elbow is…antique, of course. It was my gift to the bride for her “Something Old.”
The Skirt with the Six Foot Train…all of the Sixty panels of pleating were all done in house, with double narrow hemmed edges via one of my antique sewing machines here, just like it was traditionally done. All the bustles and swags are lined with inner ruffles of netting for shape, so no matter how the bride moves, the gown moves with the wearer with no adjustments needed. I constructed a petticoat from the same draft as the skirt, filled with ivory taffeta ruffles, and ties that correspond to ties underneath the actual skirt…which makes both garments move as one, with that wonderful rich swishing noise that gorgeous fabrics make. There are vertical panels of knife pleating edged with corded lace with shirred English Net panels that are completely undersewn (invisibly to hold those pleats in place), and to put a crown on top…the amazing traditional fleurs and orange blossoms that the talented bride hand made herself were the perfect accent!
This gown was a joy to design, pattern, and construct. I cried a bit when I delivered it to the bride, it was like losing a beautiful friend that lived here in our atelier for so long. Here at Lily Absinthe, our clients come here for gorgeous gowns and corsets, but tend to remain friends. It’s an unexpected surprise that we don’t take for granted, but consider it a perk of this place! I’m already constructing the next gown (not much sleep lately) so stay tuned this winter for more gorgeous Lily Absinthe Couture Corsets and Gowns and sharpen your pencils… come visit me with your ideas and we’ll make your Dream Dresses and Corset Fantasies a Reality <3