Tuesday, 11 December 2012

One Size Fits All... Doesn't it?

Just because you can buy it in your size, doesn't mean you can wear it!  ....                                 Chris Avis (my mum)

After a week of disastrous shopping, trying to find clothes to fit my heavier bust, slight ‘spare tyre’ (that seems to change depending on the weather) and my minimal hips my appreciation for pattern makers grew immensely.

Having the pleasure and privilege to work with an amazing pattern maker has helped me realise they are either highly under rated or simply misunderstood.  Patterns do not just fall out of thin air and a pattern maker is not there just to add extra cost onto your dress!

It starts as a scribble on a piece of paper.

Pattern makers are trained individuals very much like surgeons; they train for years to learn the craft of proportions and shaping.  Working out how to cover a person’s body with a design, which ultimately starts as a scribble on a piece of paper.  Most importantly they make it to fit you!

When you want to buy a fabulous dress for that special occasion you quite possibly have a boutique or shop that you ‘love’, this can be for a number of reasons; you like the designs, the clothes fit you well, whenever you go in, there is always something you want to buy.  

 Finding a special place like this can be a mixture of all these things or it can simply just be luck. 

BBB House Model
Photography Adrian Tuazon
BBB House Model
Photography Adrian Tuazon

Most boutiques, shops or even designers will often have a house model, all the samples are usually made for this person, this is why when they are aired at fashion launches, photo shoots and in advertising campaigns the model looks as if the dress has been made for her… Well it often has!   
It’s possible that you have similar proportions to the house model, or you could love the garment so much you don’t notice the floors (Slight gaping on the bust, tightness over the midriff, slightly too long).

When it comes to Bridal gowns however, why would you take the risk by not having a gown made for you?   You may find you become more aware or even picky about the finish of your gown; for you are going to be the centre of attention and all eyes will be on you.

Tweaking the bust, nipping in the waist or letting out the hip is not quite the same as having a garment made especially for you and with all these talented pattern makers out there, why wouldn't you utilise the tools available to you? 

An Artists Tools
With their expert skill and knowledge, they fashion a garment that works every perfection and desire for you and your gown.  

With one of the biggest moments you may encounter in your life you should want to feel like the time and effort has been spent making you look, feel and be as beautiful as you are.  

A 'statement' wedding dress does cost more then your average gown, this is because there can often be more complications in design, more fabric involved and it may have foundations such as large petticoats.  With all this in mind, really it therefore, should be made to fit you!

Sometimes it is worth looking at things from a slightly different perspective; a pattern maker is an artist in their own right, whose materials are rulers, maths and paper.  

Paper pattern to Fabric

Their craft comes from training, understanding and knowledge.  A good pattern maker has flair and can see a sketch through to actual garment without changing the look of the desired outcome.   They use your body measurements as the foundation that their pattern then develops from.  

Curvature in a pattern piece.

Understanding this may help you to see that the extra money that may be required when having a pattern made and a dress designed for you is worth every penny. 

For if your budget allows there is nothing better then treating yourself to what is basically 'Wedding Dress Pampering'.  Relaxing, Safe and Serene… An excellent way to start your big day!

For those of you who may not have previously realised the importance of a pattern maker I hope I have enlightened you a little; hopefully it is enough to get you to support them, for we have to keep them in business otherwise we risk loosing what is ultimately the foundation of any garment and before you know it the latest trend may simply be just a sack!

Chat Soon!

Natalie Hutton

Over the years of working together I have gained the utmost respect for Natalie Hutton, without whom Beautiful Bird would not be able produce the garments and gowns we have become so respected for. 

A pattern maker extraordinaire!

Thank you

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

He asked and I said yes...Now...Where do I start?.

"Start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start..."  Julie Andrews - The sound of music.

It can be from early childhood or simply from when he asked you; the ideas for your wedding day start rolling in. What will you wear?  Who will be bridesmaids? Could it be overseas? Would great Aunt Ethel be able to make it?...  

When I take the time to think about how I would like my wedding day to be, it is almost like I am dreaming (and not because I am yet to be asked) but because all the ideas I have are fragmented.  You try and grab solid memory from your nights sleep so you can tell your friends about your fabulous dream only to realise it makes no sense and all you have is snippets of images that really don't blend.

This is the perfect starting point for planning a wedding!

Throw everything you love into the mix!
The dress, the venue, the bridesmaids, the table centres, the lack of table centres, the flowers, the shoes, the tux, the car, the food, the wine... the list goes on, they all need to work together to make a cohesive day that you will remember fondly and want to re-live over and over.  This may sound daunting... I would suggest not to worry, you have to have a little bit of faith in your own style and personality, for this is really what it all comes down to.

I was recently asked about Bridal Gown ideas for a wedding that is somewhere on the horizon but with no cemented details.  This bought up the conversation about 'where do you start?, where might the wedding be held? In doors, out doors, function rooms, marquee.  What flowers will be in season?  What season shall I Pick? etc...  There are SO many options that you really do have to start somewhere... So I suggest this,  throw ALL your ideas out there!

When you look through magazines and I don't just mean Bridal Magazines, all types of mags; the gossip mags, the fashion mags, travel brochures, interior decorating, food mags... your aim is to start collecting images of the things you like; the neck line of a top, the fit of a dress, the colour of wallpaper, the beach, the sparkles on a cup cake,  the moonlight over a rippling river, etc.  All these images will start to build an idea of where and how you are going to celebrate your big day.

Ball gowns on the beach?
These collections of images can be done in a week or it could have been done over the past few years;  I do suggest however,  before the paper cuts start bleeding and half your wedding budget has been spent on magazines, every now and then go through your images and lay them out to see the direction you are heading in.  You may be pleasantly surprised, for the person who thought they had no idea may be actually quite focused. 

Unfortunately this can also be the point where some people get lost and want to throw in the towel;  at beautiful bird we help to guide people through their choices, selecting and discarding images and ideas to create the perfect over all look... this is what I always suggest for my brides to do...

Ball gowns in Billiard Room.

Try and order your images so that they work together, for example you may love a structured dress with corseting and a figure hugging silhouette, but put that somewhere in the Mediterranean on a beach with coconut cocktails and white sands you may start to see that they clash a little.

This is where you can start getting rid some of your images; If it is the gown you love then you can push the beach aside (just for now) and see if it works with any of your other images, maybe a 'glass of red', a chandelier and possibly and glass fronted room that looks over the roof tops of a sparkling night time city.

Ball Gowns in Bordeaux.
It is all these little things that can help you to decipher exactly what it is that you want for your wedding day, you will find the things that you really, really don't want to change and things that you are happy to let go of.

Do take time and really look at what you like in the image you have chosen, sometimes it isn't actually the product in the image you have selected, it can simply be the way it makes you feel.  Take note of your reactions, these can help when you get down to your final few choices and when you start piecing it all together.

I believe that unless you have thrown all your ideas into the pot together your wedding day may lack the ingredients that make it about you.
Ladies it is always worth keeping in mind, as excited as you may be, the 'Dress' is what makes you look and feel amazing on the day, but the wedding day as a whole is something you will remember forever.

Photography - Benedict Morgan

Brides Own Photograph

Chat soon.

I would personally like to thank, Vogue, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Dita Von Teese and all the other fabulous models and designers who took part in my wedding  boards.  
            Thank You.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I think I want a White Dress!

There are always a myriad of colour choices that will work in any situation, as long as the tonal value is appropriate. 

Gaye Adams- teacher and painter

Whilst shopping this weekend I was looking for a bag, anything that would carry all my worldly possessions; whilst not being too big and bulbous or small and ridiculous, it also had so be the right shape, size and colour.  Who would have thought it was so difficult! 
As I traipsed up and down the shops with my reusable supermarket shopping bag looking for that perfect brown leather number that would fit wonderfully to all my imaginary occasions and my personal image of what a bag should be, I came to thinking it is not so different from my brides who go on the tireless journey to find  which 'White' would suit their dress best! 

Benedict Morgan Photography
White is not just White, there are endless tones ranging from snow white through Ivories and into the creamier Oyster.  When presented with this question I have systems in place to help our new brides-to-be.  There are important factors that I feel must not be ignored when faced with this conundrum.  It is true you should be able to  wear whatever you want but there are sometimes barriers that are in place that stop you from wearing a tone that will ultimately make your chosen gown look like it was designed and made for another, or even that you may have picked it up in a blind panic just moments before your wedding day. 

Benedict Morgan Photography

Each skin tone has a certain amount of pigment that will be highlighted by the types of dyes used when making 'White'.  If you are pale in complexion with alabaster skin it may not suit you to go with 'bright white' as this may simply highlight the cooler elements of your skin tone resulting in you looking washed out, heading more for a 'magnolia white' or cream with its hints of yellow could on the other hand make you look positively unwell.  Adding a slightly warmer white, a soft ivory or natural for instance, which generally have a red dye within them, will help draw out the colour that is hidden in your complexion making you look warmer and healthier. 

Colour Wheel - Bridal Whites

You may have a darker complexion; Olive skin tones wear Brighter Whites , Ivories and Creams really well, the yellow, blue and green tones found in the brighter whites can add a freshness to a gown on darker complexions.   Now it is quite hard to explain all of this without meeting the individual, the 'systems' I referred to earlier is simply this; holding up swatches of white against the skin! 

At beautiful bird we are lucky enough to have a full Colour wheel of 'white' samples.  I go about holding them against the skin of each bride and seeing which one suits their complexion best.  It is amazing to see how a very slight difference in the shade of white creates a world of difference to the complexion.  

Penny - Personal Photographs
The trick is to hold a decent sized piece of fabric under the chin and over the shoulder, as it is the reflection on the face and neck that really give the clues on the best choice.  Once you do this you will see the subtle dye colours in the whites highlight your natural complexion .  For example you may see more yellow in the fabric making it seem acidic and cold or it could look dull and lifeless as a blue/green shade works against your natural highlights. This can be worrying for those who may be buying a manufactured gown, however, you can always do your own research by using this same process in a fabric shop and purchase samples of the 'white' that works with you best, this can then be passed on to the makers to ensure you get the correct tone of 'white'.  If this is what you are thinking of doing, always look in a mirror while colour draping as the reflection helps you see the change in tone clearly (remember it is only subtle).

Adele - Personal Photographs

I believe that it's these small details that make all the difference to your gown and how you feel on your big day, it's also extremely fascinating to see how your body reacts to different dye tones in a fabric, this also works when choosing bright colours.  For as with White; Red, Blue and even Black (to mention just a few), all have many different tonal ranges and your body chooses what suits you best.  

Danae - Personal Photographs

As with perfume and as I recently found out, handbags, they belong to different people in many different ways.  Is it strange that actually it is your body that gets to decide? ...

Goodness, thinking about it, it has so much responsibility...best look after it (and treat it to a new hand bag every now and then)!

Chat next week! 

For more images of Brides we have worked with in this way, please visit www.beautifulbirdboutique.com