I just got my wedding photos back from Simply Jessie. While I sift through those to compile a post about the details of the day, here are some photos and a story about my dress. More specifically, the train of my dress. (Get ready for a bum-load of pictures, folks!)
All photos by Simply Jessie. Click images to view larger.
Oh, how I love this damn train, and it was something that happened somewhat by accident. (If you want the full story behind the dress, click the break at the end of this post.) I am so happy that all these odd road blocks kept getting in the way to fit these pieces into the dress I finally wore.
I had the dress custom made for me by Dame Couture (which, shockingly was much much cheaper than any off-the-rack stuff I saw) and then my sister-in-law (fiber artist extraordinaire) made the silk train lining. I really wanted a rose window design (as in, church stained glass), because I've always loved stained glass and because of my art history background.
I originally went into my Art History MA for Medieval Art, but switched to Contemporary Art because I became obsessed with Street Art and just couldn't stop write papers on different projects. Either way, Medieval art is still close to my heart and I wanted to express that love in my dress. I also loved the idea of having a shock of color in my dress that changed depending on how I moved.
Silk train, in process. Created by Nicole Crock.
When I say she made the lining, I mean she drew out the rose window pattern, transferred it onto silk, and hand batiked the design herself. Yes, melted wax and dye. The white lines you see in the design are actually negative space; they are the white of the silk that was resisted from the dye she used.
The train itself is removable, which was a huge deal for me. I wanted to be able to display Nicki's awesome work after the wedding and I also wanted to not have to worry about tripping over it during the reception. So, I found a lovely bakelite buckle on Etsy and had Holly of Dame Couture make a lovely 30s style belt for me to wear.
I'm wearing the belt with the shawl I made for myself. It is the same pattern I used for my bridesmaids, but I made mine in a steel gray color rather than the blue I used for them. All in all, I was so comfortable in that dress and so happy that I will be able to wear it after the wedding (after it gets the chop). Below is an image of my lovely ladies wearing their shawls right after I gave it to them.
So, there is the awesomeness that is my dress & train. I will make a post about the actual day itself as soon as I get my crap together. If you want to know about the gory "How I got the dress" details, click on the break below. There are a couple more images in this section, but it is mainly just me being honest and cursing, and who wants to read that?
- - Gory dress shopping details - -
I was initially looking for a vintage dress. The problem I hit with this route was that I rarely found anything in my size, and when I did, it was wildly expensive. I finally found a vintage dress that fit all my wants and was quite inexpensive, so I pounced. I was so happy when it arrived on my doorstep and then suddenly sad as soon as I put it on. It wasn't flattering, or comfortable, and it just wasn't me.
It was in that moment, looking at myself in this 50s confection (can you imagine?) that it hit me: I was trying to dress myself the way other people expected me to. I also realized I had no freaking idea what kind of dress was flattering to my figure. So, I did the one thing I dreaded, I went to a bridal shop.
To be more precise, I wandered over to the bridal area in a large department store and had (hands down) one of the worst experiences I've had trying to buy something. For brevity sake, let us say it went something similar to this, and then ended with me questioning the sanity of an industry whose dress prices start at $7k. (I actually got laughed at for asking to see their dresses under $900.)
Somehow, in my fog of frustration I remembered this dress shop in the suburbs that I once looked at because they made custom vintage dresses. I called them up and they were actually a bridal shop. I decided not to let this scare me, made an appointment, and dragged Donovan with me to see if there was anything they could do for me.
We met with Holly, the owner, and I must admit - I thought the whole thing was going to dept. store bridal shop part 2, electric boogaloo. Thank goodness Holly was actually a sane person in this sea of bridal crazy. After trying on her samples we figured out that I was actually much more comfortable in a long dress that had, of all things, a REMOVABLE TRAIN.
Y'all - I was in love with this removable train. It had pleats and color and ohmygod the actual dress could be shortened after the wedding and look like a nice everyday 40s inspired dress that I could wear whenever I wanted! Holy crap, it answered all my needs. Not only that, Holly was absolutely awesome and actually listened to me. I decided that even though the dress was more than I initially wanted to spend on it, I was willing to pay a little more for a better experience that resulted in a re-usable dress that was tailored exactly to me.
So with the dress I had to come-up with a fabric lining for the train. I looked and looked and found nothing that I liked and then I remembered that C's sister is an awesome fabric artist. She had made silk scarves for me in the past, so I asked her if she was crazy enough to hand dye a pattern on a couple yards of fabric. Who knew, she is just that crazy, so she did it. And let me tell you, it is so stunning and really made this dress be my ohmygoditsmywedding dress.