What is it about wedding dresses ?
My earliest memory of a dream dress was from when I was about nine, My parents had been invited to a wedding reception and dragged me along, not my idea of fun how wrong could I be.
When we arrived a vision of beauty befell me. Yeah the bride was pretty but her dress was just so captivating, It was like nothing I had ever seen long elegant covered in embroidery pearls and sequins it had full length sleeves with a big puff at the shoulder and buttoned by seven or so buttons to the wrist. the train was about a mile and a half long....ok a few foot but it just flowed from the rear of the dress.
I sooo wanted to be that bride! What was I thinking? but she was gorgeous as was the dress and I wanted to be wearing it. This is was what set me on the road to being attracted to these wonderful dresses.
So what was the attraction?
I don't really know! maybe it was how the bride was centre of attention, maybe because she looked amazing but in all truth it was the dress that made the girl. it controlled her every move. How she stood, sat, walked and breathed.
It was many years before I would ever get the chance to wear such a gown. for the time being I had to make do with the fashion of the day and oh how dull the fashion was.
You see I am bit of a romantic I love flowing dresses and flowers in my hair. I blame my parents for this. Darn hippy types!
Jump forward nine years. I have my own job and car and money to spend. My wardrobe had started to expand but I was still missing that one elusive Item the wedding dress.
As luck would have it I was driving past a charity shop in Wembley London when I saw in the window the dress of my dreams an almost identical one to that I saw all those years back.
Well I parked up walked in and enquired about the size and cost. It was a size 16 ( yeah) and only £60. Oh my I was in heaven I had to have it and did indeed buy it.
Problem! How on earth do you get a boxed wedding dress into the house when you live at home with your parents? I went away for the weekend booked a room lol. well it had to be done.
I hung it up to let the creases drop out and looked at it. The dress was white satin with pearls, sequins crystals and lace it was high necked as was the fashion with full length puffed sleeves a long train with button detail up the back the last ten buttons being real.
Not the dress that started it all.
This one I came across by chance and it was given to me to be converted into a Victorian style dress I wanted to make
As you can see it never got converted.
I really like the jacket it gives an otherwise plan dress that something special.
I am often asked what the compulsion is to want to wear a dress that is so totally impractical.
Well I can tell what it does for me.
After looking at the dress for an hour of so I finally got down to getting ready and as you will know what one wears underneath is as important as the dress its self.
So a nice bridal Basque with stockings was put on first followed buy the underskirt. By this point I was already feeling special the Basque was hugging my curves what curves I had and the tug of the stockings felt wonderful topped by the full four layered undershirt encapsulating my lower body I was beginning to know how that young bride must have felt.
After doing my makeup I stepped into the dress. Ok that was a lie No way was my underskirt going through the unzipped dress so it was an over the head job! putting my arms through the sleeves the dress started to fall into place. I puffed out the skirt over the underskirt and started to zip it up, with every inch I felt the dress becoming part of me. from the small of my back to my just below my shoulders was a struggle but after breathing in and holding my breath the zip slid up those final few inches.
The dress was starting to hinder my movement now. It held me tight around the waist pulling in my stomach and arching by back pushing my rather insignificant breasts forward and caused my to take short shallow breathes my legs no longer felt like they belonged to me the skirts basically stopping me falling over.
My next task was to button the back upto the small of my neck followed my the ten buttons on each cuff. The dress was now on fitted like a second skin when I moved it moved only slower. Doing my hair was next and that was finished by fitting the veil and a tiara this all came with the dress.
Only the shoes to go. a nice white satin heeled slingback with sparkly buckles.
Moving to sit down was a task trying not to knock things over and gathering up miles of skirts so as I could get my shoes on was a game in its self. But the end result was worth it.
The feeling I got was one of safety! this dress was like a suit of soft white satin armour nothing or no one was going to get to what was beneath it all. It made me feel beautiful and the reflection in the mirror agreed. my happiness was unequalled. But then I started feeling vulnerable the dress restricted me I couldn't run or move freely and my breathing was so shallow I thing I would have passed out if I had to. all these emotion combined are what makes wearing a dress like this a wonderful experience.
These are from a recent set I did. this dress is a lot easier to wear and less restrictive but still makes me feel special .
Sadly I will never get the chance to be a bride not that I want to marry again! or even do an outside photo-shoot! and as the years roll on dressing as a bride is becoming rather sad.
Looks like it will have to be mother of the bride or grandmother of the bride.
Maybe I should just start ballroom dancing. They have nice frocks and I could do with the