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Outerwear

Custom Coats and Leather Jackets
Custom Coats and Leather Jackets

We make some of the most amazing custom coats and jackets that you can find anywhere.  Every type o…

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Wedding Dresses

Amazing Victorian Wedding Dresses
Amazing Victorian Wedding Dresses

“No two wedding dresses the same”—-this is the motto of the dressmaker. All of us …

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Sportswear

Couture Blouses---For Weddings and Everyday Wear
Couture Blouses—For Weddings and Everyday Wear

We started making custom made-to-measure blouses for women a couple years ago. Many of our clients w…

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Tailored Suits

Lesbian Wedding Suits (and Custom Tailored Suits for Every Event)
Lesbian Wedding Suits (and Custom Tailored Suits for Every Event)

  Although we call ourselves “Denver Dressmakers,” a dress doesn’t feel quite…

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Our Process

Fashion Patternmaking
Fashion Patternmaking

How do you do it? For our retail clients who order a dress or suit, our whole process seems simple a…

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Recent Projects

The Superhero Gown

Skates

The pics show two of our most amazing recent dresses.Silk Wedding Dress

We can make almost anything—–and we are never too afraid to fly head first into the face of the unknown—–at least when it comes to dressmaking.

So we wanted to make a dress that symbolized the superhero spirit!

Handmade Ball Gown

The first dress (in most of the pics) is cut from a gorgeous silk duppioni fabric in black and then hand-painted with metallic silver and gold paint and fluorescent sign painter’s enamel in neon pink.

Colorado Couture Gown

The paint makes the dress literally glow in certain lights.

Under blacklight, the dress is almost shocking.

Black and Silver Gown

The dress has a 1950s style ball gown shape that can be worn bustled or let down for a full train.

It is cut with pleats at the front and side and a princess line in the front.Wedding Dress

Of course, this is only one example of a dress that we can make.

We design each dress from scratch for each customer.

And we work with you to bring out and express your inner super powers.3447001134470007

When a client contacts us to order a dress, we talk with her about the styles that she loves and the life that she lives, and then we start sketching until we get a style that is exactly what she loves.

Then we draft a pattern from scratch that is exactly to her measurements.

il_fullxfull.473298109_qin5Store-bought dresses start out as a B-cup and then need to be altered to fit.

Our dresses start out as a cotton muslin which we mail to you to try on.  You send us digital pics and comments and we alter the patterns to capture exactly the right fit and style.il_fullxfull.473273696_ehbx

Finally, we make a dress that is designed from top to bottom to fit your body and style.

il_fullxfull.473273674_nurwThe final few pics show a second version of this dress that we made for a client.

This dress is cut from 3 tones of silk duppioni for a similar look that isn’t quite as shocking.

il_fullxfull.473298039_2d7uIf you are looking for a wedding dress, the best way to get in touch is to send us an email.

You can write Lianna at superhero@vigilantelabs.com to talk more.

We would love to get started designing the perfect thing for you.

 

Lesbian Wedding Suits (and Custom Tailored Suits for Every Event)

 

Lesbian Wedding Suit

The Romeo Suit

Although we call ourselves “Denver Dressmakers,” a dress doesn’t feel quite right for every client and every event.

We specialize in formal attire and a huge part of that is traditional bespoke tailoring.il_fullxfull.530015582_hvgr

We also run the menswear site www.DenverBespoke.com, and we would constantly get enquiries from women requesting custom tailoring.

il_fullxfull.530100341_g13u

Soon we incorporated women’s tailoring into our dressmaking site, and today we make at least as many custom women’s suits as we do dresses each year.

An excellent women’s suit can be impossible to find.  It is easy to find a business suit in a rayon fabric with a cropped jacket and a skirt, but what about something a bit more formal, a bit more fitted?  il_fullxfull.530016096_du1t

What about a suit made from a gorgeous menswear wool or a couture silk?  What about a 3pc suit?

Lesbian Wedding Suit

Silk Brocade Vest and French Collar Blouse

We quickly realized that tailoring for a bride meant creating a piece that was as gorgeous, fitted, and flattering as any one of our gowns.

It wasn’t enough just to create a suit with a traditional fit, instead we needed to make pieces that expressed just as much individuality as one of our dresses and flattered each individual body type.Lesbian Wedding Attire

Clients come to us and tell us a bit about the looks and styles they love, and we start sketching until we get the perfect look.  This means that we can do pretty much anything with any color and texture.

We also realized that a traditional menswear fit just didn’t work for women that were a bit more curvy.

IMG_0089A traditional menswear fit would make the shoulders and bust boxy and that look didn’t feel right at all.

But luckily, we also had tons of experience fitting dresses.Brown Women's Suit

By combining the types of internal structuring and pattern-making that is found in a couture wedding gown with traditional tailoring techniques, we were able to develop designs that could be 3-4 inches more fitted in the shoulder and bust while still hanging perfectly smooth on the body.il_fullxfull.473273611_gyvh

For brides with a larger cup size, this meant that we could make the whole look of the custom pieces much more trim.

Black Women'sTuxTo get the perfect fit, we actually cut and sew a complete prototype of the suit and first mail this to the client.  These prototypes (called “muslins”) mean that the client gets to test out the fit and look before we go into the final fabrics.Lesbian Wedding Attire

The bride sends us her feedback and some digital pics of her trying it on and we adjust the pattern and rework the design to get exactly the look she is going for.Corset Back Vest

The entire custom process ensures that every part of the suit from the design to the fabrics and fit is created to match the desires of the bride.

The pics show some of our more recent suits.

The classic look of the Romeo Suit is designed to be a piece that looks extraordinary at a wedding and has just enough satin trimming to give it a formal look.  On the other hand, it is conservative and durable enough for business.

Lesbian Wedding Suit

The next suit shows a gorgeous silk brocade vest with subtle cherry blossoms.

This is paired with a custom blouse with a collar that is designed to be worn open and french cuffs.

Other suits show some of our most popular details:  satin and ribbon trims on the lapels, corset lacing on the backs of the vest, three piece suits (where the jacket can be taken off during the reception), gorgeous linings, and classic wools and silks.unnamed-1

The next set (of the black suit) shows a classically tailored black jacket and pant with a grey pinstripe vest.  Picking a vest in a contrast fabric can be an awesome way of adding an additional style detail while keeping to a very traditional look.

We love to make custom suits, so just contact us and we can start working on something for you.

The best way to get in touch is to email me (Lianna) at superhero@vigilantelabs.com.

You can also browse more of our recent suits in our sportswear store: www.vigilantelabs.com

 

 

Amazing Victorian Wedding Dresses

Dress 2“No two wedding dresses the same”—-this is the motto of the dressmaker.

All of us are so different—different lives, different interests, different bodies.

Inspiration Plate

Inspiration Plate

So why should we try to fit ourselves into ready-made wedding gowns?  Or try to fit a wedding gown to our selves when the style and fit aren’t quite right?

Of course, getting a custom gown isn’t for everyone.  The process is a bit more intense—-an unlimited amount of choices, thousands of possible fabrics and textures, a custom fitting process that begins with a cotton prototype that we mail to you, and lots of sketching.

Victorian Wedding GownBut the result is something that you were involved with from start to finish.  It is simply a piece that is more individual.

Original Sketch

Original Sketch

The pics show one of our most recent “natural form” style Victorian gowns.  This gown was made from gorgeous silk shantung in a gorgeous cream color with vivid teal blue and brown deerskin leather trimming.

Like many of our Victorian gowns, this one began with an inspiration from a Victorian fashion plate.

The client loved the ruched front and the draped contrast bow on the side.  We also loved the idea of doing a very trim late Victorian silhouette—definitely not what you usually think of as a ball skirt shape, but something with a more modern (and yet still Victorian) feeling.

Victorian Bustle DressBut we didn’t want to do a straight reproduction style dress either.  Custom Victorian Wedding Gown

The Victorian-era was one of the most inventive and experimental periods in history.  And so we wanted to be equally inventive.

We embroidered the corset and added flower shaped filagree buttons and draped chains and added filagree buttons to the bows.

Dress CHARMSBut we had the most fun designing the deerskin trimmed shrug and the deerskin belt and pouch (in which the bride kept the groom’s ring and vows).

We also added heavy swing clasps to the corset.

All of our dresses are so different and unique—just like the clients that contact us.

So if you are getting married and might like a dress, just contact us and we can talk more.

Every year, we make outfits for clients all over the world.  To get the ideal fit, we cut and sew a mock-up version of the dress and mail this to you and then have you send digital pics of the fitting so we can get the perfect style and look.

To get started, send us an email ( superhero@vigilantelabs.com ) and we will get back to you with more ideas.  We can do pretty much anything and make any dress in any size!

 

Couture Blouses—For Weddings and Everyday Wear

Bias Cut Blouse Made from Silk DouppioniWe started making custom made-to-measure blouses for women a couple years ago.Wedding Blouse

Many of our clients weren’t quite sure what to wear with one of our suits and struggled to find something that looked right without being too masculine or boxy.custom silk blouse

Although we do make buttondown dress shirts for guys, we tend not to love the way that dress shirts look on curvier women—they always seem a bit too tight to too loose or even both at the same time.

But on the other hand, we didn’t want to do knit blouses—-there are so many cheap knits out there that clients could always find something if they wanted to go with that (less formal) look.Collared Blouse

Silk Noil BlouseInstead, we began developing “bias cut” pullover blouses.

Fabric that is “bias cut” is cut diagonally across the fabric so that the grain runs at a 45 degree angle.

Raw Silk BlouseThis method of cutting uses much more fabric, but creates a piece that is quite stretchy and drapes beautifully.

These blouses can also be made from the most gorgeous of our woven silks and wools—the result is crisper and much more formal than a knit, but still has all of the great qualities that we associate with knits.

ruffle blouse from silk noil and duppioniThe first blouse pictured is our take on a “shirt and tie”.

silk noil blouseThe blouse is entirely made from a gorgeous necktie silk with subtle multi-colored stripes.

This piece is pictured in a sleeveless version, but all of our blouses can be made sleeveless, with cap sleeves, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, or long sleeves with any style of dress shirt cuff.

il_fullxfull.481757349_tos5As each piece is completely custom, we can mix and match any details to get the perfect look for you.

The second top has a large 1920s style collar and bloused cuffs with gathering.

women's tuxedo shirtThis shirt is shown made from off-white silk noil (a soft “raw” silk with short fibers) with a bright white-on-white striped cotton collar.il_fullxfull.435473835_qxbv

The result is a feminine take on the dress shirt with an utterly soft and stretchy body and sleeves and a crisp collar.

The third top pictured is also made from a soft silk noil with a surplice front with gorgeous iridescent silk duppioni ruffles.il_fullxfull.411780457_9en9

This piece is one of our sportswear looks and is pictured with a silk tweed pencil skirt that we made—a piece like this is great for business or pleasure.

Pinstripe HoodieThis look also shows our cap sleeve.il_fullxfull.411780659_cu6l

The tuxedo top shown here in blue silk douppioni is another version of our necktie look, but here in a more formal version designed to look great with one our tuxes.il_fullxfull.402898025_fog5

The top has a built in bowtie and cummerbund.   The ties can be tied in a bunch of different ways.

We can get a over a hundred different colors of silk for this look.

The look with the orange and yellow silk burnout velvet is one of our cowl neck styles.  The draped triangular inset looks gorgeous with lots of our suit and vest styles.il_fullxfull.402897671_hxmg

Finally, the last few pics show one of our hoodie tops.

This blouse is cut from a gorgeous superfine wool menswear fabric.

The result is a gorgeous pullover that can be layered into all sorts of gorgeous outfits.

Most of the tops that we sell are part of a larger custom outfit.  But if you are thinking of a top, contact me at superhero@vigilantelabs.com so that we can design something for you

Or check out our Etsy sportswear store: www.vigilantelabs.com

We can really make almost anything you are looking for!

 

Art Deco Wedding Dresses

Lavender Wedding DressWe only make a couple dozen custom wedding dresses every year.

And every dress that we make is a distinct work of art—designed and created to have the perfect fit and look for an individual bride.

Often we sketch, design, and source fabrics for the dresses for months before we even start making the dress.

And the whole process of making and fitting the dresses (which we can do locally or via the mail) is intense.

We spent 40 hours just sewing the lace and trimmings to this dress—and creating the beaded tassel for the back.

But in the end, the process is worth it.

A dress that is made just for you is a dress that reflects your individual personality and passions.  Art Deco Wedding

It is a dress that will symbolize you and your hopes and aspirations.

Having the perfect wedding dress isn’t just about how the dress looks, but also about what the dress means.

And taking the time to design a unique wedding dress makes for a piece that is interwoven with your life.

This dress is designed with an art deco look in mind.

A bit of the silent movie star on the silver screen.

A bit of the Grecian drapery inspired pre-Raphaelite look.

The dress itself is made from a gorgeous lavender chiffon with a crisp iridescent duppioni skirt, and multiple vintage laces and trims.

Lavender Wedding DressGlass and seed beads were strung together to make the gorgeous detachable jewelry for the back neck.Lavender Art Deco Dress

From the front the dress has a trim silhouette, but from the back the chiffon drapes into a beautiful cascade.Deco Dress

Everything in the color scheme compliments the bride’s features which is amazing for a wedding dress—because not that many of us look good in stark white.

Initial Sketch

Initial Sketch

The Muslin Fitting

The Muslin Fitting

The sketches show two iterations of the dress—-both the initial concept and finally a colored illustration.

Also shown is the cotton “muslin” where the trims are just drawn on in sharpie.

For local customers, we fit this in person.

Final Sketch

Final Sketch

For long-distance customers, we mail you the muslins and you snap a pic or two so that we can adjust the pattern to get just the right look.

We can really make just about anything.

So if you having been looking and looking for a dress and nothing out there seems right, just drop us a line.

1000046_10152268378190283_678425075_nWe can also make any dress in any size.  So no need to buy a dress with the wrong cup size and then pay someone to alter it.

If you would like us to start designing a dress for you, just drop me a line via email (superhero@vigilantelabs.com).

Wedding Suits for Women–Custom Made 2- and 3-Piece Suits

Womens Black Tuxedo JacketWe make many suits every year for all occasions.  And many of those occasions are the most formal ones.womens peak lapel jacket

Finding a beautiful wedding dress or evening dress can sometimes be difficult.  But if you would prefer to wear a stunning white or black suit?  That can feel impossible.

Custom Made Women's TuxedoIn addition to our custom dressmaking shop, A.J. and I run a top notch men’s tailoring business (Denver Bespoke) which specializes in non-traditional and individually handmade suits for guys.

Women's Tuxedo From The BackEach of our suits is designed from the top down to fit the body and the style of the individual customer.

We can get thousands of different types of wools and silks, and whether you are looking for a solid or a stripe, we can almost always provide a number of options in the color and quality that you desire.

Women's Tuxedo Jackets for Lesbian Weddings

Tuxedo Jackets

Over the past several years, we have recognized the demand for custom women’s suits of all types and have been able to combine traditional tailoring with traditional womenswear techniques to create pieces that are beautifully tailored but designed to fit well on women.Women's Vest for Lesbian Wedding

We do many suits for same sex weddings every year, making pieces for some of the most amazing lesbian weddings all over the world.

Suit for Lesbian WeddingFor brides, getting something that is unique and made to fit your personality and body type, can make all of the difference.

We also make many suits for difficult to fit women in many professions where looking sharp and distinctive is at a premium.Vest for Same Sex Wedding Bride

Finally, we often make tuxes and other garments for performers to wear on stage and at movie premieres.Women's formal Vest

The pictures in this listing show a few of our most recent styles…..

Women's Dress PantThe black suit is made from fine wool crepe with a cowl neck top cut from silk metallic paisley.  The style is a cropped tuxedo jacket that ends at the thinnest part of the waist for an utterly slimming effect that lengthens the legs.

The pant is boot cut for a very modern and trendy look.

We can make cropped tux jackets in many many different styles, and a sketch showing more of the styles is attached.Women's White Wedding Suit

The white suit is shown accessorized in two ways.  First as a three piece women’s suit with a hand-dyed and hand-woven silk matka vest in rose, and second with a silk velvet burnout blouse in our popular cowl style.White Wedding Suit

The suit jacket is cut from a gorgeous brushed wool that is always crisp and won’t wrinkle for your photos.

Women's White Dress PantsA classic sailor collar gives the piece a feminine touch and adds a bit of distinction to the traditional look.White Wool Suit with Sailor Collar

The pants for this piece are full pleated pants with a wide leg.

Pants of this sort, although more traditional than a bootcut, stylize and flatter the figure.

Suit Jacket Catalog

Our jacket catalog is attached as well.  Every detail can be mixed and matched, and once you contact us, we will work with you to create a style that is ideal for you.

Suit Jacket Catalog pg2

To contact us about getting started on a suit, send me an email (superhero@vigilantelabs.com) and I (Lianna) will get back with you asap.

 

 

Victorian Wedding Gowns

Victorian Wedding GownWe make some of the most amazing custom dresses out there.

You let us know a bit about yourself and your style and we start sketching.Victorian Wedding

This dress, however, is the one that I have been promising to post for the last few months:  My own wedding dress.

As a designer and dressmaker, choosing the right fabrics and details for a once in a lifetime experience is especially challenging.  Victorian Wedding Ceremony

I had so many strange and wonderful ideas and obsessions, spent so much time thinking about different colors and textures.

What I ended up making was partially based on a pattern that I recreated in my size from a Victorian-era fashion magazine, and partially emerged from my own fantasies and a lot of thought about what would look good on me.Bustle Gown

Gold Wedding DressThe base fabrics are hand-underlined silk duppionis:  iridescent gold and brown for the body, with flowers handcrafted in purple, teal, and gold-orange iridescent colors.

Victorian Steampunk BustleHand underlining the silks adds structure and wrinkle resistance and makes it possible to sculpt the silks into any shape you can dream up.

The front of the dress has a wide panel of tulle that is gathered over the base fabric to add dimension and texture.  The green detailing on the bodice is made up of many sewn on iridescent beetle wings.  The wings of these gorgeous Asian dung beetles can be pierced easily with a needle—a traditional Victorian needlecraft.

Steampunk WeddingMy hat is made from sculpted leather and was made to go with the outfit by ArtsMyths here in Denver.

So if we are making you a dress, we can definitely help you out with a hat as well, either a silk, straw or wool hat made by us or an incredible leather hat made by Tiffany Smyth of ArtsMyths and her workshop.

We specialize in making non-traditional wedding dresses.  Some of them are tea-length 1950s style dresses.  Some of them Victorian and Edwardian.  Some of them incredible fantasy dresses.  And many of them are in full color—white dresses are gorgeous but don’t look great on everyone.

We also do make dresses for customers all over the world.  To make sure we get the fit right, we mail you a cotton mock-up of the dress first to try on.  You send us digital pics of yourself wearing it, and we alter the pattern so that we can get something that fits you wonderfully.

We can make dresses to fit every size and shape!

If you are thinking about a custom dress, please contact us via email (superhero@vigilantelabs.com) and we will get started sketching something unique for you and sourcing gorgeous  fabrics from around the world.

Amazing photographs are by Denver/Fort Collins area photographer Sarah Christine Photography.  Be sure to check out her website if you are getting married in Colorado!

1950s Style Wedding and Evening Dresses

Our Wedding

Our Wedding, Suits and Dresses from Our Shop

1950s style dresses—which are fitted at the waist and full in the skirt—are one of the most flattering silhouettes for all body types and figures.

We make a ton of 50s style dresses in all sizes, often for weddings, but also for other formal and semi-formal occasions and for customers in Colorado as well as around the world.

You choose from hundreds (or even thousands) of fabrics, and we sketch your ideas until we find something that you just love.

1950s Wedding DressA.J. and I just got married ourselves, which was quite an experience for us, given that we make the outfits for client’s weddings every week.

A Dress By Charles James from The Met Museum

For our own wedding, we weren’t content to make just the bride and groom’s attire, but also insisted on making as many dresses, vests, shirts, and hats as possible.

I will post more about my own dress sometime in the next week.  This posting is about my second favorite dress at the wedding—the one we made for AJ’s mother.

Charles James from The Met Museum

She had seen my Pinterest pins of my favorite designer from the period, Charles James, and wanted to see if we couldn’t design her a dress in the same vein.

After some sketching, we settled on a dress with a large pleated cowl.  The dress has sleeves that sit off the shoulder, a built in corset, a flared skirt, and a large silk flower on the sash.

1950s Wedding DressThe fabric is an iridescent purple and bronze silk duppioni.

Like many of our couture dresses, this one is completely hand underlined in cotton.  This underlining makes the seams crisp, the body wrinkle resistant, and the shapes and forms of the dress utterly sculptural.

We can make full length 1950s style dresses as well.  But tea length dresses are wonderful for weddings as well and can be a more flattering length for certain clients.

We muslin fit most of our dresses so that we can get just the perfect fit and look for each customer.

1950s Style Wedding Dress

Dress Sketch

This means that we mail you a mock-up of the dress that is cut from cotton so that you can test out  the fit and look before we make the dress.

You send us digital pics, and we adjust the pattern to get the look just right.

This means no local alterations.  Everything is included in one price.

Local customers are,  of course, welcome to come in to fit the muslins in person.

So if you have ever wanted to look like Liz Taylor or Grace Kelly, we can help.

Contact Lianna K. (superhero@vigilantelabs.com) to get started on a custom dress and we will send swatches and sketches.

Completely Custom (Steampunk!) Wedding Gowns

Steampunk Wedding DressA custom wedding gown is a different animal from the mere store-bought.Steampunk Wedding Dress

It might be strapless–but it doesn’t have to be.

It might be white–or gold or silver or pink.

It might be a classic style that everyone will love—or something eccentric, bold, utterly simple, or madly embellished.

Victorian Wedding DressA wedding gown from the store is one that has to “mostly” fit well and flatter 100s of body types.

It is one that 10,000 customers across the country will need to buy for the designer to make money,—so anything too different must be avoided.Top Hat

A custom wedding gown is a gown that is designed from top to bottom to look great on your body.  The waist of the gown can be placed at the exact spot on your body that looks best.  Leather Corset

Its cup-size begins life as your cup size.  And the sleeves and hem are cut for your height the first time around.

Victorian DressBut the real beauty of a custom gown is that it is designed for you and can be as rich with everything that you love as you can imagine.

We work with you sketching ideas and sourcing fabrics that match your taste and give your wedding a style that matches you and your setting.

The outfit in these pictures is from a recent steampunk style wedding and draws upon Victorian sporting dresses.  

The gown is floor length, but cut with handmade suede ribbons with brass buckles that allow the hem of the dress to be raised off of the ground for dancing and strolls in the woods.

Victorian Steampunk Wedding AttireThe skirt itself is made from two tones of iridescent silk duppioni that change colors depending on the angle and look incredible as the sculpted folds of the bustle.

The corset is made from leather and an iridescent brocade fabric with a medallion pattern and is worn over a cotton batiste blouse with suede straps to cinch in the belled sleeves.

Also shown in the pics is a matching silk mini-top hat with leather and peacock feather embellishments.

The groom’s matching outfit (which we made for our menswear shop www.DenverBespoke.com) has a matching vest and string tie, with a brown tropical wool duster and pant and a stand collar shirt.

Victorian Leather CorsetAll of our wedding dresses are MUSLIN FIT.    For this process, we first make a mock-up of the pieces to mail to you (if you are a national or international customer) or fit in person (if you are local).

You try the pieces on and send us your comments on the fit and digital pics, so that we can analyze the fit and adjust the look so that it is perfect on you.

Using this technique, we make pieces for weddings around the world.

Full length silk custom dresses start at $1200.  This includes the muslin fitting, your choice of hundreds of fabrics, a completely unique design, and couture dress structuring with hand underlining (for a stunning sculptural look).

But much of the cost of a dress is the embellishment and fabric, so some dresses are much more expensive.  Let us know if you are on a budget and we can design something that will keep within your price range.

Because each dress is fully custom and muslin fit, the prices include any and all possible alterations (usually we don’t need to make any!).  So when you think about pricing, keep in mind that alterations on store bought dresses often cost hundreds of dollars.

To get started on a custom dress contact Lianna K (superhero@vigilantelabs.com) and we will get back to you with sketches and swatches.