Impromptu Autumnal Shoot

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  Well, I do love autumn – it is by far my favourite season – not too cold, not too hot, stunning, ever changing colours, varied weather… Love it. And one day  coming back from a hack in the fields around Thureigh Equestrian Centre, I was struck  by the mesmerizing quality of light  sifting through the yellow gold leaves  of the birches in the compound. Dreamy and magical.  And so, having obtained permission for a few quick snaps from the owner, I decided to have a quick shoot in a a few hours time – true, the light would be changed a bit, but since Lucas was not available till  the afternoon, I had to wait. No photographer, no fun.

 I used the  time wisely – had a rummage through my own historical costume wardrobe, the bridal samples and the stock items and  quickly cobbled an outfit together.  I didn’t want a historically correct shoot – but a fantasy one, combining different elements together, simply having a play:-) After an hour of mixing and matching i had the following motley ready:

 1. 12th century bridal gown in silk satin, a sample – too small for me really, but could just put it on and simply not lace the sides.

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2. an Edwardian style corset I wore for the New Year’ s Eve last year –  satin and brocade creation, with about 500 freshwater pearls

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3. a long red wig I used for the Spirit of Autumn  Leaf dress project

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 4.a silver wire tiara, elven style

 Quick make up, and I was ready. Seconds before we left I grabbed my harp and a medieval chair and Lucas grabbed a staff… props are good.

 We arrived at the centre and yes, the light was different, much lower, so the blazing glory of gold was slightly subdues, more nostalgic. Still – very pretty.

 It was time to have some fun –  for Lucas it was the  composition of each shoot, the light etc – for me – it was trying to hide my wellies.  Yes, forgot nice shoes…

 First sitting  shoots with the harp.  We had a bonus sensory experience  – the gentle breeze stroke the strings and the harp sang by itself. rather cute!

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you can almost see the wellies….

Then I was handed the staff and we had some fun pretending I was Gandalf on the bridge of Khazad Dum. Minus the beard and the pointy hat.

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  We were almost about to leave but we decided to take a few more shots on the other side of the paddock – there is rather delightful birch alley that was just too tempting….

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alas, the wellies have made an appearance here… 😦

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I am an angel! Ha! as if…

Needless to say the residents started to get interested at that point. First a pony trotted over so see what all that fuss was about…

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Don’t be deceived by that innocent smiling face –  at that point he was deciding whether the pearls on the corset are edible…

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and then decided to go for it. His clever ploy was avoided with an adroit maneuver and the pearls survived.

 Then a distinct sound of galloping horses was heard – it was only Blackie and Elgar running across the paddock,  no doubt eager for another apple – I gave Elgar one in the morning  after our hack and he was obviously hoping for seconds. No luck thins time, boys!

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  Then it was time to pack up and go  – though I did manage to sneak a few restive moments on the bench!

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Yep, wellies fully exposed here….

Shortly after I was freed from the clothes and wrapped warm ( it was rather cold….) and we  got back home – me back to stitching, Lucas – to editing the pictures!

Many thanks to Beth from the Centre  for allowing us to use the premises!

The Summer Bride Collection part 1 – the dresses

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And we did it again! The Syummer bride collection is done and shoot – and while we are awaiting the professional images from Mockford Photography, I thought I’d treat you to some more info on the dresses – the story behind the dress,fabrics used, estimated cost etc. the photos used here were taken by my ever patient hubby, Lucas, in a spectacular location of Gosfield Hall

Once we have proper photos, I will put a post giving credit to all our contributors, suppliers and models:-)

To start with, I must admit that summer is not my season at all – so designing a summer collection was a bit of a challenge – especially, since they are smaple dresses, one has to make do with primarly the fabrics etc in stock. still, I hope you like the finished products!

1. Athena

The first thought that springs to my mind when you say ‘summer’ is – sea, beach, destination weddings –  and I tried to wrap it all up in a dress that woudl say it all – with a hint of a classical goddess thrown into the mix…

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the original design

and 15 metres of silk chiffon later, the final product…

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full view of the underbust corset…

fabrics used:

15m of silk chiffon and gold braid for the dress – for the corset, silk taffeta, coutil, steel boning, lace applique, cotton perle for flossing. Estimated cost of the sample, £400, bespoke dress in this fashion will start from £500

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2.Arabella

A proper Disney princess gown, with a 17th century inspired bodice…

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the original design…

In the end I desided to do away withthe underskirt and keep the dress plain, with just gold braiding…

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the gown with the sleeves…

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and without the sleeves…

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the back view…

Fabrics used: 10m of duchess satin and lawn for lining, 12m of gold braid, coutil for the strength layer in the bodice, boning. The dress is worn over Victorian cage crinoline in satin, but modern hoop skirts can be used instead. Cost of the sample – £600,  bespoke dress will start from £700, depening on the fabrics used – and it can be rendered in any colour, with a customised decoration.

3. Alexandra, the Edwardian Bride

This one was a bit special- I fell in love in a 1905 wedding gown from LACMA collection, and wanted to recreate the feel – perfect for summer garden party. Since  I wanted to keep it, or at least most of it, i decided to do it the proper way and stick to the iogiginal layers and design, so that i can use it later for re-enactment purposes.

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Original design included a bridal corset based on the Edwardian ashions – in the end  I didnt have time to make another corset – but dont worry, it will happen :-). no time for florrs on the skirt either, they will be added at a later stage – once i make a proper, historically correct bodice to go with the dress. but for the time being, this is the result…

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 and there is a whole story what is underneath… first, an antique chemise and my brand new split crotch drawers – sexy! a brouche coutil corset gives the silhuette…

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 then an antique petticoat – last time I wore it for my wedding!

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 and then the skirt, bodice, tiara and a veil… 🙂

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Fabrics used: 6m of silk satin, the same of lawn for lining, silk taffeta for the girdle, 9m of wide cotton lace ( import from Australia…)4m of lace for the bodice. the corset: 1m of broche, steel boning, cotton lace. plus the undergarments, in cotton lawn, with lace.

Estimated cost of the whole outfit made bespoke – from £1400, depending on fabrics, corsetry and decoration used.

4. Celeste.

One of the more modern designs, at least originally –

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In the end I went with an alternative skirt option, adapting an original Victorian pattern – the umbrella skirt. i still have some of the silk, so may end up making a more modern mermaid skirt with it anyway… 🙂

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back view

Fabrics used: 9m of silk , and 8 of lawn for the skirt lining. for the corset – silk, coutil, silk lining, boning, swarovski crystals, andgold lace motifs for both the skirt and the corset.

estimated cost of this sample – £1000. Bespome dress, depepding on fabrics and decoration chosen, form £1200

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5. Jeanette.

I had the taffeta  in bright yellow for over a year – and was looking for ways to use it. It screamed 18th century to me, and since the collection was all about summer colours, i decided to go for it…

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 and the end result, worn over authentic 18th century stays,a hip pad and a net petticoat..

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Fabrics used – 13m of silk taffeta, purpkle slik taffeta for thebows, coutil and boning for the stomacher;80 flowers and purple braid…

Estimated cost of the sample, not counting the stays – £800. bespoke outfit from £1000- and it can be made in any colour, not necessarily that bright:-). stays from £300

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well, that’s it for the time being – more information about the suppliers  ( the usual suspects, btw, at least most of them:-0 ), the day, and most importantly , professional photos – bridal collection Part 2 -!

Spring Bride Collection, part2: official photos!

 

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 As promised in part 1, in this post i will credit all the contributors who took part in the shoot – and illustrate it all with insanely stunning photos from our photographer, Paul Mockford.

  and so, here it goes!

 Spring Bride 2013 photoshoot team;

 Photography:

Paul Mockford from Shears and Mockford Photography and his trusty assistant, Jason Huckle; fb page

 Styling ( make up and hair) Sarah Dunn from  Sarah’s Doo wop Dos, fb page

Bridal shoes and accessories ( tiaras) – Tracy from Crystal Calla Tiara, fb page

 Florist Anita from Vintage Rose, fb page

Accessories and bouquets: Tina from The Haberdashery Bride, fb page

Jewellery: Tina from The Unfound Door, fb page

hair flowers and the fascinator: Lizzie from LiL MIschief

 Gowns:me! Izabela from Prior Attire/ Prior Engagement, fb page

 Models: me, Gem Bow Tyke,  Anett Novak

 venue: Moggerhanger Park, fb page

  The day was lovely – and we were glad we moved the shoot back by a week, as after a very slow start Nature picked up the pace and we even got a few flowers:-)

 Danielle from the venue organized our changing room and sorted out a very appreciated tea, coffee and biscuits.

   Everybody was in sity by 10.30, unpacked and ready to work so whilethe  boys were walking around the venue  discussing the best places to shoot, the girls  started to get ready..

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Sarah setting up her tools…

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hair flowers from Lizzie!

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stunning shoes from Tracy ( Crystal Calla Tiara)

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and loads and loads of jewellery from Tina ( Unfound Door) – all ours to pick from!

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gvoodies!

 

First was Briar Rose – here shot in a Sleeping Beauty convention…  took us ages to get the light and composition in that room…

 

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outside, the light was much better and we were way happier with the results:

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loving the soft 70ties feel to it – very hippie, flower power mood here

 and the best two shots , the true Sleeping Beauty images:

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sleeping so peacefully…

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and awake…

 

Next was Gem in Alice, the 50ties corseted frock.

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picture i snatched on my phone while changing…

 looks everybody was snatchign photos on their mobiles… 🙂

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happy snappers – Sarah with two phones no less!

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and a professional one:-)

  Next in line was Anette, sporting the elven Lily of the Valley – a true wood nymph!

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very dreamy…

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 As Anett was climbing the trees, Gem was being prepared for the next dress – the model who the dress was for cancelled the day before, so Gem stepped in – the dress was a bit too big  but it still looked great on her!

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Sarah working her magic… pic by Lucas

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she looked so gorgeous that everybody was snapping away…

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In the meantime I was also to stand in for the model who cancelled – so Sarah got some more work to do on me!

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going from the blond to the brunette…

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love this shot – stunnign tiara form Tracy, l;ovely earrings from Tina and the bouquet from Tina ( haberdashery bride…)

 and the last frock – Helena, for  Anett, who had to be coerced to emerge the Lily of the Valley corset ( she is a tighlacer so corsets are very much within her sphere of interests!)). Sarah worked her magic and transformed her from the nymph into a silnet movie era star – 20ties suited her very much indeed!

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Anett having fun 🙂

 

and one of my absolute favourites:

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catch!

 The whole shoot took us several hours, and some of us felt we deserved  cuppa and a scone at Frosts – just around the corner…

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  more pictures  can be seen here:

 

 and , to finish the post, a few ‘after hours’ shots..

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sleeping beauty – well…. a bottle of whisky would complete the image nicely…. 🙂

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Gem trying to eat her sandwich in a dignified way

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when not snapping away, Paul makes quite a model too!

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important people on a mission…

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having a sneak peak at the guys at work…

 

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Jason shining away…

 

   next collection- summer bride,will be shot at Wrest Park in July….   better start designing and sewing…

 

Spring bride collection part 1 – the dresses…….

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And so it is done! The collection is finished and photographed and as we are awaiting the professional pictures,  I thought I would post some technical information about the frocks themselves – fabrics used, pricing, etc. this post is illustratedwith the pictures taken on the day by my hunband, Lucas, the proper images and a blog about the day of the photoshoot with all credits etc, will be posted in a few weeks time!

 

 The theme: Spring, flowers, pinks, greens and whites, all freshness.

1. Briar rose ( already photographed extensively at St. Audries – link here)

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Briar Rose

17th century inspired bodice, fully boned, coutil base covered with silk satin, linen lining,decorated with antique metallic and silk ribbon lace, plus the skirt fabric at the neck; lacing at the back. here size 12 ( so a bit too big for me);

 Skirts, worn on net petticoats and muslin petticoat, are in 3D rose fabric, mounted on cotton organdy base. fabric used – 9m or the top and lining,

Price bracket – this design  can be rendered in any colour and almost any fabric with labour prices starting from £800 for a bespoke item. 

2. Alice

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back view

A 50ties inspired gown consisting of a corset in silk taffeta and an assymetrically draped circle skirt in silk taffeta (James Hare, 5m), worn on  a net petticoat and a funky flounced petticoat, the corset and the  skirt are decorated with a pink trim.

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the petticoat under the skirt

 This design can be rendered in any colour, with taffetas and satins working best for the skirt. Labour prices starting from £600

3.Lily of the Valley

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A truly fairytale gown, ideal for summer and spring weddings, especialy for handfastening ceremonies in the fields ( but that just my imagination running wild towards the vision of celtic priestesses, elf beauties and woodland nymphs…)

 The outfit consists of a silk brocade corset, decorated with simple lace trim. The skirts  of silk georgette ( 10m) are worn on a light petticoat  for decency’s sake:-) silk armbands with the flowing sleeves add the elven, 12 century look to the ensemble

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Again, can be made in any colour, labour prices starting from £800

4. Gwendoline

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 A Victorian inspired ensemble: corset  and skirts in silk duponi (2 shades, altogether 15m used) lined with organdy and silk, with braid ( 10m),  lace( 15m), fringe (4m) and flower decoration. the skirts can be worn with or without the apron fronted overdress.

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 The design can be reproduced to match any colour scheme,  with the labour prices starting from £1000

5. Helena

 

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A simple and graceful dress in white embroidered cotton (4m), with a silk sash. Inspired by the 20ties and Downton Abbey series, this dress is perfect for  brides favouring  freedom of movement and natural lines – ideal for boho and destination weddings!

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 Can be customised to fit with any colour scheme and the dress can me made more elaborate by adding  a short train. Labour prices from £400

6. Rosamund

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 A 18th century inspired gown consisting of a silk petticoat with a flounce, silk skirt with a train (7m) and  a cotton stays ( corset) with decorative lacing. All worn on a muslin chemise and hip pads:-)

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 A Rustic Tuscany vineyard look, can be rendered in many colours and many different trims. labour prices starting from £900.

 some of the dresses may be offered on sale as samples, please do enquire!

 And that’s it in part 1 – in part two we will no doubt drool over Paul Mockford professional photos: I will also provide a full list of all the suppliers involved in the shoot – so stand by!

Spring bride 2013 – Briar Rose dress shoot at St. Audries Park

   I am currently working on the Spring Bride 2013 collection – 6 frocks with a spring theme of pinks, greens and ivories. The big photosoot is scheduled for the 23rd of April, but since we were in Devon and … Continue reading