Friday, March 18, 2011

Wedding Dress Design

My dear friend Jennifer got married 2 years ago this July.  It was my pleasure to design and make her wedding gown.  It was pretty difficult starting off... I redesigned the gown almost 5 times and still didn't feel like any of them fit Jennifer's personality.  The major roadblock was that Jennifer wanted to cover her tattoos for portraits and the wedding album.  Now that would be easy, but she is covered in tattoos.  

Jennifer's tattoos are insanely bright, colorful, and actually fit her personality perfectly.  After I realized that, I told Jennifer that she shouldn't worry about her tattoos.  My thought was that covering them would be covering who she is.  She agreed with me allowing the design of the gown to evolve organically.  Jennifer didn't really know what she wanted, but luckily for both of us she trusted me completely.

We decided on a simple figure hugging bias cut silk charmuese gown in a light champagne tone with the same color silk chiffon accents.  The chiffon gave a wonderful mix of texture in the gown without making it too busy.  The top of the dress had bra cups that were draped delicately with the charmeuse and chiffon.  The chiffon was embellished with clear seed beads applied in a spray pattern for added detail.  Each cup had three spaghetti straps that hooked together behind her neck then spread down out as it reached the back of the gown.  The body of the dress consisted of two panels with only a center front and center back seam.  All the fullness was drawn to the back to create body shape.  When the fullness reached the back it released into cascading pleats.  The dramatic chiffon train of the gown was sewn into the seam under the bust.  It followed the top finished edge of the gown and was caught up into the back pleats.  The train was left as two pieces and came to points at the end.  Clear seed beads were also added to the chiffon under the bust.  They were sewn closer at the bust and scattered looser as they sprayed to the back.

A wedding in Japan requires Japanese photography.

-Philip Estrada


  1. Now, I got to see this dress up real close. The beading barely visiable here, was done with precise placements so as not to drag or over power this beautiful dress. At the wedding, in Japan, the train of this dress came together during the ceremony. Making it even more of a dramatically exquisite design. My colleagues and friends loved it.

  2. haha! Love that you used the last photo <3 It's one of my favorites. I couldn't have asked for a better dress! It was perfect! All I knew was that I really really really didn't want to look like an ice cream sundae!

  3. Absolutely wonderful dress. You can totally make a killing designing more dresses. Ahem, me next!!

  4. Thanks K.T.! I love making special occasion gowns like this. You got the dime and I've got the time! ;)


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