How does someone without design experience manifest a wedding gown from her imagination? This is the story behind how Lacerlot's Fairy Godmother Magic (and international team) transformed Evie's fantasy wedding dress into reality.
Lacerlot's raison d'etre is our conviction that the dress you design for yourself will dazzle far more than a pre-designed dress sold in-store. We believe the most magical dress is one whose creation traces back to your own individual imagination, because every aspect of the dress you create will reflect your precious, inimitable self.
WHY SHE DECIDED TO DESIGN HER DRESS WITH LACERLOT:
Evie, a bride with the soul and looks of a mermaid, reached out to Lacerlot in February to create her dream dress for her coastal summer wedding.
The dresses she previously found in San Francisco stores evoked mixed reactions among her bridesmaids and family: everyone picked a different favorite, and while Evie appreciated elements of several gowns, she felt no single dress exhibited all of the attributes she envisioned. Nothing sang out "I'm yours!"
"Wedding dress shopping was fun the first day, but I was overwhelmed by the prices and the inability to find just the right dress. The prospect of jumping into another frustrating day was exhausting," she explained.
Evie had designed a special occasion dress with Lacerlot for a previous event, so she trusted us to craft her wedding gown from scratch.
Evie didn't know exactly what she wanted, which is an expected starting place: our goal is to listen & observe intensely, and then guide each client through the creative process until we reach something uniquely reflective of her.
Evie explained that she wanted something comfortable; she hoped to slip into the gown at the beginning of her wedding day and feel unconstricted by the cut and fabric. While she prioritized breeziness, she also imagined a dress that made her feel beautiful and bewitching.
THE LACERLOT SOLUTION:
To accomplish the feat of making one gown at a time, when manufacturers produce at the very minimum 25-50 copies of every dress, we searched the globe for the best couturiers.
I've been told "no" by design studios about 250 times for every "yes" I received, which filtered our partners into a select group of gems, who dream as big as we do, and believe it's a worthwhile pursuit to give each woman the freedom to bring her dream dress to life.
Our teams are able to nimbly respond to original dress designs, and focus our energies on one-of-a-kind requests.
For example, Lacerlot has custom manufactured sequins for a single dress, we've hand-stitched secret messages from a loved one into a wedding dress, we've embroidered a client's favorite flowers into her silk tulle skirt, and we've molded a single set of gold buttons for a client's dress clasp.
Creating a Sketch:
I sat down with Evie and placed a sketch pad between us. We talked through the gown from neck to waist, waist to hem, front and back. We discussed questions including: What would be your perfect neckline? What should the straps look and feel like? Where do you want the dress be the most slim? What's the transparency? How should it move? How do you want the dress to close: zippers, buttons, or elastic? Train or no train? If a train, then include a bustle? Should the dress include beading? Lace? How shall we arrange the placement of the lace? What lace motifs are preferred? Should the lace be multi-dimensional or flat?
Trusting yourself to know the answers to all these detailed questions is daunting, which is why we break it down into tiny pieces and begin to understand your preferences step-by-step. Evie & I looked at photo examples from the runway, red carpet, and Pinterest to help her decide how each element of the dress would reflect her personality, her taste, and best suit her individual figure.
Evie thought out loud while I sketched. Like most creative processes, there was a lot of erasing as vague preferences crystallized into distinct style choices.
By the end of the night, we had a front/back and side view sketch of the dress. I left her with the sketch and asked her to sleep on the design, and allow it to marinate before we sent it off to Lacerlot's seamstresses.
The iconic sculptor Brancusi said "Simplicity is complexity resolved." Evie called the next morning and intuitively followed that advice: layers were erased and elegance remained.
For the final in-person step, I measured Evie's body from head to toe. In addition to general body measurements, we also established distances and slopes particular to the dress: the plunge of the low back and v-neck, hypotenuse of the bust, and the length of the train.
(There are so many design-related math problems Lacerlot should submit to elementary and high school teachers to help interest students who are, like I was, bored by car sales questions.)
As I was walking out the door, Evie ran to her kitchen and brought back a clove of garlic to illustrate the warmth of the white she preferred for her dress fabric, which has become my favorite color reference to date.
In Part 2, learn how our production team metamorphosed Evie's dream dress into the gown she wore on her wedding day.
Interested in creating your own magical gown? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation. You can reach Lynn Bagley Photography here.
Continue reading about how we made Evie's wedding dress here.