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A nautical inspired evening gown

compass rose by draconicparagon

Bespoke evening gown

There is a real thrill of excitement when beginning a new commission – each bespoke piece is a journey of discovery and this one was no different…

Hannah asked me to create an elegant evening gown for her on the occasion of being the maid of honour at her school friend’s wedding. She didn’t have a clear idea of the design in mind, but wanted something nautical. We started out by looking at dresses she already owned to see what style of dress she liked and felt comfortable in. By doing this we very quickly narrowed down the silhouette to a column dress with a structured bodice. Hannah also provided the following Diane von Fuerstenberg dress as inspiration:

dvf scarfgown

We picked up on the colour scheme and rope detail for her design and I then created a sketch based on these. Once she was happy with the overall direction of the dress it was time to cut the pattern and make up the toile (a mock-up of the dress in a cheap cotton). With the pattern adjusted we could discuss and assess the proportions of the design and play around with different ideas for the straps.

Nautical evening gown design

Hannah was very clear from the outset that she wanted the dress to be versatile and suitable for more than one occasion. The yellow chiffon train ads a lot of drama to the dress, so to tone it down and give her more of an understated option we made it removable.

Nautical dress frontNautical dress backnautical dress chiffon train

The dress is cut from heavy silk crepe which has a beautiful drape and fluidity to it. Silk is a natural fibre which is breathable and has both warming and cooling properties. Perfect for a dress that can be worn in the summer and winter.

The bodice is reinforced with soft boning on the side seams to support the shape. In order to keep the dress as comfortable as possible this was kept to a minimum. Assymetrical rope straps with gold eyelets and a matching clutch purse give it the finishing nautical touch.

Hannah was thrilled with her dress and even wore it for the evening reception of her own wedding.

Have you got a special occasion coming up and like the idea of getting a bespoke dress made? Please get in touch for a free consultation and to find out how I can help you.

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