Tag Archives: wedding dress

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!

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.

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.