Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm Obsessed With Couture Wedding Dresses! My love hate relationship with couture and a true story of my brush with couture models.

Elie Saab Haute Couture Wedding Dress 2012.....its not lined, its sheer!

My favorite time at bridal market was looking at the couture wedding dresses and talking to the designers, even though I wasn't going to buy any of the dresses. Yes, I am obsessed with couture wedding dresses for a lot of different reasons.  Most of them are not apparent to someone who doesn't have a background in dressmaking and wedding dress construction....like: 
  • The fit of the dress.
  • The construction of the dress.  The design techniques just fascinate and amaze me. You don't learn these at the local sewing store. You learn them with years of schooling, training and apprenticeship with a couture house.
  • The laces.  The laces are the highest quality and not available at your local sewing store.  You won't see them on any dress other than that couture dress.  The designer probably designed the lace just for that dress and it was produced just for them.  The laces are intricate, I could stare at them all day.  I am a "lace head", even though the only time I remember wearing lace is at my own wedding. The rest of the time I dress more tailored or funky.
  • The bead work.  I have always been distracted by shiny objects.  I appreciate bead work not because its shiny, but because of the work involved in producing it. Its all sewn by hand with a needle and thread.  I've done bead work and its the most tedious time consuming job on earth.  It's also nearly impossible to do with anything but short fingernails.
  • The fabrics.  The fabrics are not the satin polyester you see in dress stores, they are silks and blends that are sumptuous and rich.  Not only do I want to pet them like my puppy, I want to hug them and rub them on my cheeks.
What I hate about couture dresses:
  • Couture wedding dresses are for a specific customer, the one in a million bride who can afford to spend $$$$$ and want the couture look and the couture label.
  • Many couture dresses are never produced, except for the fashion shows and fashion week.  Some are designed for dramatic effect, some are designed for shock value and some are designed just for just to get press and buzz.  Most of them are not for the average bride.  Elie Saab has a fabulous collection that I love, but you can see through all of them! They aren't lined!  See the picture on top. (I am sure you can get them lined, but I can't get past see through dresses for a wedding!)  The groom's mom would surely have a heart attack at the wedding!
  • The prices.  You get what you pay for, but sometimes you are just paying for the designers name. (My lips are sealed.)
  • The models.  Couture models are so skinny thin and always looked pissed off when they walk the runway.  Maybe its because they are hungry.  Anyway, its hard to translate the look to an average size or plus size bride.  
True story time: I once was in the bridal market hotel in Chicago in a room next to the couture models.  I was in the elevator with a group of tall, skinny gals with huge tote bags and I kept thinking...where have I seen you before?  I passed a news stand and the blonde was on the cover of that month's Vogue!  In person, she was thinner than she photographed. I kept running into them in the elevator or hotel hallway. The three days I was there, room service trays were outside their rooms after dinner.  All they had was diet Coke.  OMG!  My wedding pals and I went out for deep dish Chicago pizza and we invited them along.  Their answer...we wish!  I actually felt sorry for them, their feet ached, they were exhausted and they were always hungry.  I don't care how much money they make, its not the glam job its made out to be...its grueling.

Here are some pictures of St. Pucci's Haute Couture wedding dresses by Rani.  I met Rani years ago when she was starting out and was impressed by her skills and the quality of her dresses, and she was so nice! To this day, I still consider her dresses to have some of the best workmanship and quality. 


 Beautiful picture, great theme, look at the details on the hat.



 How cool is this pic?   It got my attention, which was the purpose of the stylist.





 I LOVE how they made up the model to look like a mannequin, her skin even glows like a mannequin.



OMG, the lace on this veil is to die for....notice how the dress only has a bit of lace on the skirt front? The details are in the bodice front,  the fabric flowers and the deeper color of tulle bustle in the back. 

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