This was my ultimate art project, which indulged my longing to make something beautiful, whimsical and magical, something BIG.

The concept arose from fairytales; more specifically from the language of fairytales and how we often apply this language to our discourse on relationships and marriage. Women are subtly being exposed to the dream of a knight in shining armour and their own happily ever after everyday through the media. All this aside, the dress represented that dream - with its large ball-gown skirt and train, the soft shade of gold, and the bazillion buttons down the back. I researched into every nook and cranny about my topic, looking from the past (Jane Austen, Queen Victoria and Dior) to the present ( including the more recent royal weddings). The dress itself is made from silk Dupioni, in a gorgeous champagne gold. 

I personally made the pattern using a dress form and draping techniques, then sewed the underskirts with ruffles and hoops, then hand-stitched the entire outer dress including the silk corset panels lining the inside, and the tiny thread button loops for all those buttons. To top it all off I embroidered the opening in the train with ribbon, thread and pearls in a thistle design. 

All this hard work was part of my dream - I felt as if I was stitching magic into the dress as I sewed. Every time I sew, I spend those hours thinking of the result: of the 'oohs' and 'ahhs' and the delight of any recipients. This dress was no exception. It was all well worth it, as I was allowed to exhibit the final piece in the Public Library ( a fitting place for an artwork with a literary theme). Then, to top it all off, I got the dress and an article into New Zealands Bride and Groom!

P.S. Although I did iron it carefully before the shoot, the dress was having a bit of a Princess Diana moment... 

Bride and Groom cover