Sunday, 4 September 2011

Bridal wear and its dire straits

Okay.... first time posting a blog so please let there be exceptions :)
This month I have been preoccupied in making a wedding dress which I have designed. The dress is for this catwalk show on November the 6th. Basically I managed to get this because of doing a work placement at a wedding shop.
It is the first time for me in making a wedding dress so I have been engrossed in research. The research has been very pleasant, bridal is certainly something I would consider in doing as a job in the future. 
There seems to be a plentiful amount that needs to be adjusted in Bridal wear, designs need to change, eco-friendly fabrics are being introduced, we need ranges designed for larger people, I was very well-informed at the bridal shop that the majority of brides are on the whole a size 14 or above. These brides generally have a very large bust which needs to be cupped in. What I learnt was that customers are very different sizes, some have big hips, small bust or big bust, small hips, it would be rare to see a woman enter in the shop and not need her wedding dress fitted.
The dresses were made by Romantica, San Patricks, ellis, Kelsey Rose, Ronald joyce. They were beautiful dresses but each one was designed for a six foot tall woman size 12. When I helped put the dresses on the customers the decorations which were supposed to be on the hip were placed randomly on the thigh instead. My favourite dresses were the San Patricks, they were of intricate lace, indistinguishable to the Duchess of Cambridge's but when I looked underneath at the way the dress was made, it was an embarrassment, some of the seams weren't overlocked so the material was fraying, they were definitely only worn for the one occasion, but to be honest I wouldn't be amazed if the bride stumbled down the aisle with the underskirt falling from the dress.

Basically at the bridal shop they have a fixed charge for the fittings, most the time the charge is too little as the seamstresses need to put work into mending stitches, altering the heights of decoration as well as fitting the dress on the customer. What is more disconcerted is that people in society today have no idea of how much work is put into altering these dresses because of how easy it is to buy a cheap outfit from a shop like Primark or H&M. People have no idea that in the past clothes used to be fitted perfectly to a person's shape. Clothes have become monotonous. They are dulled down considerably. Only affluent individuals can afford to get clothes which are made as what I would say "properly", but still those who are wealthy still contrive in buying clothes from designers which are just as uninteresting as those found in cheap retail outlets predominately because of the "LOGO". An exemplary retail outlet that primarily indicates how easy it is to make an inexpensive version of a"designer" which may have been sewn to lesser a degree and made with affordable fabrics would be Zara. This is one reason why I shop there, some of the clothes have just as much detail as what some of the designer's clothing has. I find this especially shocking in the men's wear. Take a look at the suits and blazers on:

and then take a look at the suits and blazers on:

There isn't much difference between the two, except for the price tag. To be honest if I was wealthy and to buy some clothes at the prices D&G charge I would expect it to be made for me, the colour, shape, form,proportion, everything about the garment. This is mainly why I would love a time machine and experience the parisian fashion world with Charles Worth as he designed clothes for the individual person, the clothing was only to be made for that person because of its colour, it's pattern, it's everything.

People need to be educated more in how important fashion and design is and maybe their perspective would be different towards everything, in colleges and universities being a design student can be difficult when mixing with people who don't do it, most believe that it's an excuse to go to uni when you have no brain. To be honest when I hear that, it definitely amuses me. Without fashion and design they wouldn't have wetsuits and trainers to keep them going in sports activities, we wouldn't have got man to walk on the moon without a spacesuit, what would they do without gloves, hats, jumpers, waterproofs. Fashion isn't only about sewing, it is an ongoing thing, trends change, materials change, people keep on changing. Fashion is everything, it's our influences put together as a whole, we change our impressions of things through what we watch, read and experience. We design what we predict to be in fashion as well as to make it comfortable, easy to walk in, we have to think about everything before we even manage to draw it on paper. And then there is the pattern cutting, a person isn't a cube, we've got hips, waist, bust, height of different measurements to think about, a t-shirt didn't start from nothing, someone had to design it and pattern cut it to make it. Clothes are unusual shapes which have to be designed so they are easy to put on and take off, people suite different types of clothing, obese people need clothing which hide their figure, but also make them comfortable, policemen need a uniform which will be comfortable for the job but protect them from being stabbed or shot at the same time as showing their status. I could go on forever about fashion but at least I have pointed out a few things which show that there is a lot to my subject.

I don't have a camera at the moment so I'm sorry that you will not be able to see my progress in producing the wedding dress and the design process. Hopefully in the next post it will be a different matter. 


  1. "People have no idea that in the past clothes used to be fitted perfectly to a person's shape. Clothes have become monotonous."

    This is exactly why I fell for the 1940's / 50's asthetic and I'm trying to get back into sewing so I can make my own outfits. Plus reproduction vintage is SO expensive. I recently bought a dress and sent it right back because it was £80 for what was effectivly a black sack.

  2. Reproduced vintage clothing is never the same as the clothing of that time because our materials have changed, we now have cheaper, inexpensive materials that companies can make more profit out of. Making the clothing is definitely a better idea but research is needed to accomplish the design of that period, buying thicker materials, fabrics that haven't got much polyester will make it more effective. Christian Dior and Coco Chanel are good influences of the 40s and 50s. Abstract art of that period was certainly a good impact on that phase.

    If one doesn't have experience in making clothing, before I had the knowledge of making clothing I used to hang the clothing around me and pin to my body shape, then draw with a fabric crayon of where I needed it to be altered and cut a few centimetres from the line. Even a simple sewing machine will help, just make sure the edges are overlocked to stop the fabric from fraying. Looking at how your clothes are made undoubtedly helps. When we are determined to make what we want, things seem to happen automatically for us. The more we play with it, the better we get. :)

  3. I put a pencil skirt on my head once to check out the construction.

  4. lol, that would be quite amusing x