All posts by Lianna K.

Victorian Petticoats, Corsets and Wedding Dresses

Steampunk Wedding Dress
Wedding Dress Sketch

When we make a wedding dress for a customer, we help you think about not only the parts of the garment that show, but also about the hidden parts of the garment that make the body look awesome.

Our Studio

Our little workshop has been hard at work making dresses and suits for the many weddings that we have booked this summer.

So many amazing looks!

But some of the most fun that I have had has been working on the pieces for a wedding that is particularly important to me—my wedding!

The sketch shows the most recent version of my wedding dress that I am working on.

Victorian PetticoatBut the pictures show our engagement photos.

I spent so much time making the corset and petticoat that will be worn under my dress that I thought they deserved their own photo shoot. Hand Embroidered Corset

Not too often that a wedding photographer gets a request to do the engagement photos of the bride in the undergarments that she will be wearing for the wedding!

But these aren’t just any undergarments.Lacing on Corset

The corset is made from a heavy denim with steel boning and hand-embroidered sea creatures.

The petticoat (which I will wear under the dress to make it poof out in the back) is made from a cotton twill with horsehair bands on the ruffles to make them keep their shape.

Steampunk Corset and Petticoat

Both pieces are completely washable and can be worn for years to come under other dresses, for costume parties, and on the dancefloor.

We can make any style of corset or petticoat.
So if you are looking for something unique, just contact us and we will sketch something for you.

The groom is wearing some of our custom tailored menswear pieces (check out www.DenverBespoke.com for more of our menswear).

The vest is a military style regency piece made from seersucker and linen and is shown with a hand shaped wool felt cowboy hat.Custom Vest and Corset

We are a small couture studio located in Denver, Colorado and we make custom dresses and suits for customers around the world.

One of our specialties is making attire for unique and alternative weddings.

Why get married in a dress made in Asia if you can work with us to design every part of your look down to the undergarments?

All of our wedding dresses are fit using out muslin fitting technique.

For this, we draft a unique pattern to your measurements (we can mail you a measuring tape if you are a distance customer) and then cut and sew a rough cotton mock-up of the dress to mail to you.

You try it on and send us you feedback and digital pics, and we alter the dress pattern to fit you perfectly before we even cut the final pieces.  (If you are near Denver, we can also fit this in person).

This means that we can make a beautifully fitting dress for every shape and size.

No worries about cup size, waist size, height.  We start with your body type and build a dress from there.Victorian Corset

Plus-size and petite customers are welcomed.

Our prices for a full length dress start at around $1200—but if you just want a petticoat or corset the price will be much less.

Contact Lianna K (superhero@vigilantelabs.com) for more info and we will get started designing something just for you.

Engagement pics by awesome Denver-area photographer http://www.sarahchristinephotography.com

Designing a Wedding Dress

An 1876 fashion plate from Harper's Bazar

We are making many wonderful wedding dresses this season, but especially exciting is the dress that I am making for my own wedding.

A.J. and I are getting married this summer and are planning our wedding attire.  Right now I am in the process of designing my dress.

If you order a custom wedding dress, I will work with you in much the same way to create a unique dress that reflects your style and inspiration.

Inspiration for a wedding dress can come from all sorts of places.

I have always enjoyed looking through old fashion magazines and studying vintage garments.

1875 Ball Gown from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The 1876 fashion plate to the left shows the general silhouette and details that I like.

Silk duppioni in a variety of colors, along with a maize taffeta and chartreuse duchess satin

The mid-1870s is a popular period for steampunk wear as you can get very creative with trimmings but the bustle shape is still fairly subtle and flattering.

The red dress pictured is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, an extensive collection worth browsing online.

(And if you find a dress that you love in the MET’s collection, I would love to recreate it for you with some modern touches).

Worth dress c.1900 of flocked silk satin

I love the gathering & puffing details on the skirt, the lacing on the back of the dress, and the color.

I knew that I wanted to have a colored dress, and I can’t wait for the fabric swatches I ordered to arrive.

While the Victorian era saw the establishment of the white or ivory wedding dress, many brides at the time wore colored dresses that they would rework and wear again after the wedding (most wedding gowns of the time were high-necked and long-sleeved, so they would serve as day wear once retrimmed).

Silk duppioni is one of my favorite fabrics, and I hope to combine a main dress fabric of greenish gold with accents of vivid blues, violets, and greens.

A Haeckel illustration

A.J. and I have also been discussing using our vinyl cutter to create custom heat-transfer flock prints for parts of the dress, to create an effect like the 1900s Worth dress of flocked satin above.

Haeckel illustration of jellyfish

It is amazing how the panels of the dress are cut and sewn to maximize the effect of the print.  I was lucky enough to see this dress in person at one of my History of Costume classes held at the Met Museum when I was at Pratt.

For motifs, we are thinking to do something along the lines of an Ernst Haeckel jellyfish or other sea creatures.

Here is the sketch I did based on my ideas above.

The bodice will be fully boned with a lace up back.

I will trim it with tulle and flowers made of some of the accent colors of silk .  The panels of the bodice will feature some of placed flock printing towards the waist.

Lianna K's Wedding Dress

These flowers will also trim the dress in various spots.  The bustled overskirt is draped in front and back, and trimmed with tulle.  The underskirt will be covered in puffed tulle similar to the 1876 illustration.  The dress has a train and will be supported by petticoats and a bustle that I will make.  We will also do placed flock printing on the train.

As I select fabrics and begin creating the initial patterns for the dress I can rework the design further.

If you’re as excited about the Victorian era as I am, I’d love to make you a dress as well.

Using our unique muslin fitting process, we can get a great fit on a dress no matter where in the world you live and usually for less money than a dress plus the alteration costs for a factory made dress.

You send us measurements you take at home, and we make a full mock-up of the dress and send this to you to try on before we even cut the fabric.

Then we create a new pattern that is perfectly adjusted for your body, and everything is guaranteed to fit exactly the way you would like.

This means that we can draw from all of the spectacular dresses of the past to get something that is perfect for the present.

Women’s Three Piece Suits and Vests

Women's white pinstripe suitWe recently won the Fashion Guild International Rising Star Award for the menswear category.  Women's ivory stripe suit

For those of you who don’t know, we also run the custom menswear site, DenverBespoke where we specialize in making the most unique men’s suits in the world and have made suits for hundreds of weddings.

In the last couple years, we have begun making suits for women as well.  All of our women’s suits are made using the same gorgeous wool, linen, and silk fabrics.  And all of them have the same high level of structure and tailoring.Women's Pinstripe Vest

The results have been amazing.

We have made women’s suits such as are not available anywhere else and have become a tailor of choice for professional women (especially lawyers!) and for lesbian women around the world who want a gorgeous suit to get married in.

Our suits can be modern, retro, elegant, mod, feminine, masculine, Victorian, traditional.  We will work with you to design the perfect suit for your taste and sketch ideas until we get the perfect look.

What is more, we use bespoke patternmaking techniques and create a unique pattern that is just for you.

You send us your basic measurements and we cut and sew a muslin prototype of the suit.  A kind of rough draft that we mail to you to try on.  You send us a few pics of yourself trying it on, and we modify the patterns to fit you exactly.

The result is a truly custom suit that is made for you in every way.

We can get virtually any type and color of fabric.  Just ask and we will start sending you swatches.

Women's white wool pants

The pictures show an ivory women’s 3pc suit cut from an Italian pin-stripe linen fabric with horn buttons.  The jacket is three button with notch lapels and the pants are cut with our signature “no-gape” L-shaped pockets.

The vest and pant suit shown with the tie is cut from an Italian superfine wool with brown gabardine pants and contrast details and a tuxedo stripe on the pants.

The shirt is a fitted due-bottoni collar shirt with french cuffs (yes we make women’s dress shirts also) in a dobby weave.  It is also show with a handmade and hand-beaded silk tie.

The final vest and pant are made from a classic wool gabardine in white.

Contact Lianna K (superhero@vigilantelabs.com) for more information and to get started on the ultimate custom suit.