As a designer, I have so many sides to my aesthetic, I love vintage, i love modern, I love pretty and edgy.
Ella let me capture a new look, I think, with her dress design though still in keeping with my signature pretty and delicate details.
Designing for Ella was impossibly easy, after a meeting talking over her ideas and inspirations, I made one quick sketch and we were agreed! Magical little personal details appeared along the way too, which is always my favourite thing to happen!
Ella wanted subtle volume that was sleek and modern, but not heaviness or mass. I made for her a dress with a voluminous crepe skirt with a train, but that was lifted in volume by a petticoat with minimal ruffles so that it did its job, but was easy to handle and not cumbersome. The petticoat was also easy to remove if more freedom was wanted for dancing in the evening!
The bodice was to have a Chanel/Dior couture corset feel to it with a cupped-style bust, but not to be too overt. We used Silk Shantung for the bodice which has a similar crepe texture to the skirt so that it didn’t look entirely separate from the skirt of the dress, but also reflects the light so beautifully which is why I wanted to use this fabric.
The neckline was softened with a delicately frilled Chantilly lace with an eyelash scalloped edge, which over-lapped the edge of the bodice. This was over-laid with a matte silver motif and embroidered with vintage crystals and Swarovski pearls. As Ella’s maiden name sounds very similar to ‘Bee’s’, I searched for a cute honey bee brooch, which proved very difficult, and instead I came across some sweet little pale gold bee earrings which I fashioned into beads and attached one amongst the embroidery at the bust, nestling on a flower.
The silver embroidery was mirrored at the waist and set upon a deep grosgrain ribbon.
Another of my favourite details (they’re all favourites!), was the dipped lace peplum, which is really pretty and delicate, but gives a modern twist to the dress.
I made a silk chiffon veil and hair accessories for Ella too, and used some silver lace motifs to decorate the comb. I made twists of pearls to be placed in Ella’s hair in a wreath design, and I used the second bee earring/bead to decorate one of the pearl clusters. I really liked the idea that the pearls were like little honey drops for the bees, (or maybe that’s just me!?)
During our meetings Ella always expressed her excitement at having booked Tom Arber to photograph her wedding as he’d done such a grand job at her friends wedding the previous year! I’m also thrilled to share these images that Tom has taken of Ella and James!
Toms website is here www.tomarber.co.uk