Petals, Lace, and Sweeping Trains: Our Autumn 2015 Jill Andrews Brides

This autumn, we've had the honor of working with so many delightful brides to make their dream wedding gowns come to life.

It's one of the greatest pleasures of our job to get to know each bride's personality, loves, and inspirations. 

Some truly magnificent gowns have passed through our studio doors and down the isle these past few months. Each is unique, and every one has a special place in our hearts. We felt these beautiful brides and their gowns should be showcased again, now that their wedding days have passed. Without further ado, here come the Autumn 2015 Jill Andrews Brides!


Krysta

Krysta's vision for her custom wedding gown was crystal clear from the start. Her dress's dramatic mermaid shape fit and flattered her incredible figure, and its lace bodice couldn't have been any prettier!

Krysta during her final fitting, looking every bit the bride – even before hair and makeup!

The back of Krysta's wedding gown – flattering cut out and a mermaid tail that would make Ariel jealous!

On the left, Krysta during her mockup fitting. The middle and right photos show the intricacies of creating her gown's bodice. For more peeks inside our couture garments, see our blog post from this summer.


Caroline

Caroline was the third bride in her family to wear her wedding gown! The stunning confection was worn for the first time in 1953 by her grandmother, then by her mother in the 80s. After multiple wears and six decades, the dress needed some TLC. We restored and refreshed the gown, and altered it to fit Caroline like a dream.

The lovely Caroline, in a dress fit for a princess.

Grandmother, mother, daughter – three generations of brides!

We made Caroline a custom veil with a thin ribbon trim to accentuate the luscious folds of the gown.

This dress is photogenic from every angle! And how sweet are the flowers peeking out at the neckline?


Kristyn

Kristyn is a fantastic hair & makeup artist. We've worked with her on many projects, so we were thrilled when she came to us with a somewhat unconventional request... a white satin motorcycle jacket! Needless to say, Kristyn is super cool. Her jacket was the talk of the studio for months!

With her crisp and clean white dress and funky accessories, Kristyn's satin moto jocket was spot on!

We had gold zippers on white custom made just for Kristyn's jacket.

Our friends over at SewLab USA helped us get all the hardware juuuuust right.


Carter

Carter used to work here at Jill Andrews Gowns, so making her wedding dress was special for everyone! Her gown was straight out of a fairy tale, with a sweeping overskirt and fabric flowers and butterflies light as air sprinkled about.

Daisies, roses, and butterflies, oh my! The details on Carter's gown were light as air.

Pictures do not do the guipure lace of Carter's dress justice. And check out those shoulders!

Even the shadow Carter's lace casts is fantastic! 


Barbara

Barbara's wedding gown was another restoration project – it was her mother's dress! It's always a treat working with a family, hearing the history and stories contained in a wedding dress. 

A perfect fit, and look at that beautiful train!

Jill added pearls and beads to the comb of Barbara's veil for an added dose of bridal sparkle.

The shoulder detail on Barbara's wedding gown is ever so lovely, don't you think?


Maria

Maria's custom wedding gown was inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream. Every feature of her dress is soft and romantic, from the watteau back and draped shoulder detail to the effervescent lace at the bodice. 

Maria knows how to work her angles in her custom wedding gown!

The watteau back of Maria's gown was the finishing touch.

The lace used on Maria's bodice is called "Angel," and we can see why!


Analeigh

Analeigh's wedding gown is simply, in a word, exquisite. The classic shape flattered her beautifully, and was brought to life by the phenomenal French lace she chose to cover the entire dress. 

We love to see our brides smile!

Though the shape of Analeigh's dress may be somewhat simple, the little details that make it special are everywhere you look.

Stunning from every angle.


As the end of the year approaches, we love to look back and appreciate the incredible projects and people we've been so lucky to work with. We are thankful for every bride, every dress, every detail, every stitch.

Thank you all for giving us the gift of your happiness, and of doing what we love!

One Night One Show One Cause: A Special Night with PRS Guitars and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center

Passion is a beautiful thing. Passion can create change, inspire, help others, and spread beauty. 

Our beautiful models, preparing to take the stage.

Our beautiful models, preparing to take the stage.

We believe that when we share our passions with others, truly incredible things are bound to happen.

That’s why we were so thrilled when we were asked to be a part of the One Night One Show One Cause benefit for the second year in a row! This amazing event is put on by PRS Guitars, and brings music, art, fashion, and fun together to raise money for the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. PRS Guitars has been putting on this event for over 15 years, and their passion for the cause is truly inspiring. 

We were tasked with organizing and dressing models for the live auction portion of the evening, during which the models held - and flaunted! - gorgeous customized guitars. In six days, Jill designed and made 7 dresses, we held fittings with all 7 models, we styled each model with accessories, and enlisted a beyond-talented hair and makeup team to bring Jill’s beauty vision to life. It was a whirlwind week, and we couldn’t be happier with how everything came together.

It’s a gift to work with the fabulous teams at the Kimmel Center and PRS Guitars on this event. Their passion to make a difference for a cause so close to our hearts inspires us to no end. Thank you for letting us share our work and be a part of such a special night! 


Hair: Kristyn Wink Hair
Makeup: Miriam Ault

And now, pictures!

Jill adjusts the drape of this elegant sleeve so that's it's just right.

Jill adjusts the drape of this elegant sleeve so that's it's just right.

Playing with jewelry options - this one's a winner!

Playing with jewelry options - this one's a winner!

All this costume jewelry had us seeing stars.

All this costume jewelry had us seeing stars.

Every dress was made from white silk jersey, a beautiful fabric that moved like water. And we're having a love affair with chain fringe!

Every dress was made from white silk jersey, a beautiful fabric that moved like water. And we're having a love affair with chain fringe!

After a week of designing and bringing these dresses to life, it was so satisfying to see them all hung up together in our dressing room.

After a week of designing and bringing these dresses to life, it was so satisfying to see them all hung up together in our dressing room.

Paging Cinderella...

Paging Cinderella...

The shoes were real sparklers!

The shoes were real sparklers!

Models gathering before the show.

Models gathering before the show.

Caye swings her cape and gives Serena a giggle!

Caye swings her cape and gives Serena a giggle!

Just try staying away from an enormous mirror when you're this dolled up!

Just try staying away from an enormous mirror when you're this dolled up!

As you can see, we had lots of fun even before hitting the stage!

As you can see, we had lots of fun even before hitting the stage!

Miriam is a cancer researcher as well as a fabulous model.

Miriam is a cancer researcher as well as a fabulous model.

Alyssa strikes a killer pose, in killer heels! 

Alyssa strikes a killer pose, in killer heels! 

Paul Reed Smith himself, making sure everyone in the room knows just how special the guitar Alyssa is modeling really is!

Paul Reed Smith himself, making sure everyone in the room knows just how special the guitar Alyssa is modeling really is!

Caye's mega-watt smile was surely responsible for some of the interest in this PRS guitar signed by Ravens players ;)

Caye's mega-watt smile was surely responsible for some of the interest in this PRS guitar signed by Ravens players ;)

Sarah lifts a stunning guitar signed by Carlos Santana.

Sarah lifts a stunning guitar signed by Carlos Santana.

Melissa, London Calling!

Melissa, London Calling!

Colline and her new friend, an artist-designed PRS guitar - with a face!

Colline and her new friend, an artist-designed PRS guitar - with a face!

After the live auction, the Lyric filled with rock fans, and Paul Rodgers took to the stage for an epic performance!

After the live auction, the Lyric filled with rock fans, and Paul Rodgers took to the stage for an epic performance!


The Making of A Dress: Aden's Blue and Silver Deco Wedding Dress

I tend to attract brides with an interesting and uncommon aesthetic. Brides who love taking risks and making statements. It's so fun to make a dress that doesn't fit the traditional idea of 'wedding dress' and yet, is unmistakably a wedding dress. And so, I give you Aden. 

weddingdresssketch

Aden wanted something Art Deco and geometric. She had a vision of ultramarine and silver. I drew up this sketch as our starting point .

Mood Board for Aden's dress. I was inspired by Erté, Egyptian motifs, and classic Art Deco forms. 

I sourced silver appliques and blue silks. 

I made a mockup out of a thin charmeuse and organza so I could see how the two layers would play with each other. During the fitting, I used a blue, water-soluble marking pen to start planning the applique pattern. 

I cut the silver fabrics into individual circles and started playing with shapes and motifs to use on the dress. I was looking for a pattern with a large, medium and small version, each a bit different, all working together. 

And then I placed Aden's custom applique design on silver bobbinet. 

Front and back in progress...

Art Deco Blue Silver Wedding Dress

The dress doesn't truly come alive until the bride puts it on. Here is Aden just a few days before her wedding. 

4 Easy Ways Make Your Wedding Outfit Feel So You

Of course, I think the best way to personalize your wedding outfit is to get a custom gown designed, but if you don't go that route, here are some tips on how to personalize your wedding day look. 

bohobeachbride

If you're like me, wearing a gown isn't an everyday affair, so it can feel like playing dress-up. You don't want to play it so safe that you look as if it's just another day, but you also want to stay true to your own personal style. Here are four ways to find that sweet spot. 

1. Shoes

They barely peak out from underneath your wedding gown, but that doesn't mean no one notices them. Shoes are a great opportunity to play and add some personality (and color!) to your ensemble. What shoes do you feel best in? Shop for a shoe in that style. Wedges, flats, stilletos, your shoes can be whatever you want. You can use a modern shoe to offset a vintage-inspired dress, or a metallic shoe to make your princess gown a tad edgy. 

2. Hair. 

Think about who your style icons are. Have you always likened yourself an Audrey Hepburn, a Marilyn Monroe, a Brigitte Bardot? Now is your chance to go all out, in the style of your choice. Stick to looks that have always been your favorite. Don't get sidetracked by the endless photographs in a "wedding hair" Pinterest search. 

3. Lip Color

Berry, watermelon, nude, wine, you know as well as I do that there are more lipstick shades than any one woman can handle. My big tip for lipstick is: choose two. Choose a favorite neutral for the ceremony and then layer on a playful pop color for the reception.

4. Jewelry

You have your own collection, run of the family heirlooms, and an excuse to break out of the expected and get something new! Jewelry is your chance to take your outfit to the next level of opulence or to dial it back with something earthy. Don't have access to exactly what you want? Remember, there are fabulous places to rent jewelry so you can drip with diamonds even if your grandmother doesn't collect them! 

 

The Making Of A Wedding Dress: Emlyn

When Emlyn came to me in November, I knew hers was a dress to document. Not only did Emlyn have a great vision for her dress, but she was had a bun in the oven! By the time of her wedding, she was 5 months pregnant. I've never seen a more radiant bride. 

Emlyn started out with a wonderful concept- long sleeves, lace, high collar, not trying to hide her baby bump. I started sketching, Mia pulled the perfect English lace- peachy white with a silver metallic motif. I'd had that lace for over a year! It was just waiting for Emlyn. 

I added a last minute sparkle ruffle to the collar, sleeves and underskirt, it needed that extra decadence. Plus a vintage shoe buckle! I am waiting with bated breath to see the wedding photos taken by the incredible Lindsay Hite of Readyluck. I will be sure to share them with you! 

Tropical Escape

It's cold. Here's some warmth. 

This shoot, done in our disguised studio, gives a divine and much needed escape into the tropical.

Lauren wears an asymmetrical apple green gown inspired by Charles James. The bride I made it for said she wanted to look like a rock star at her wedding. 

Molly wears the ballet pink Iron Heart bodice and 16 Ton Organza skirt from my Collection along with the perfect blush organza sash. 

I hope these photos provide a delicious reprieve from this icy February. 

shot by Lindsay Hite at Readyluck 

event design by Intrigue Designs

hair and makeup by Amie Decker Beauty 

Are Sleeves The New Strapless?

A custom consult starts with me listening, and my client talking about her wedding and her dress vision. At some time during this chat, almost every woman I meet lists something she doesn't like about her body. The most common complaint is arms. I don't know why the gorgeous ladies I see aren't in love with their arms, yet this has been my observation. So over the years, I have made many beautiful wedding gowns and evening dresses with sleeves.

September brides in custom wedding dresses with long sleeves 

It seems that the bridal gown industry is starting to catch on. Which is great, because sleeves are beautiful for everyone, they are chic, sexy, elegant. Even ladies that like their arms have been asking me about sleeves. 

Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton know what's up. 

Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton know what's up. 

Thinking of going long-sleeved yourself? A few things to keep in mind:

  • The more fitted the sleeve, the more slimming the silhouette. The secret? A few buttons at the wrist or invisible zippers.
  • To check the fit, hug your mom. That’s right. If you can wrap your arms around her without moving the rest of your dress–it fits!
  • Sleeves that end just over the wrist, a la Kate Middleton, elongate the armand they’re devastatingly chic.

I Can't Resist A Winter Wonderland

In case you missed it, or if you live somewhere besides the Northeast of the US, I'll fill you in- it's been snowing. I love the snow for many reasons. One of them is it makes a good excuse for an impromptu photoshoot. We set out to the back of our atelier- me to take photos from the cocoon of my coat and Mia to blithely freeze in our 16 Ton skirt, a sequined cashmere sweater and her prized possession- a rabbit fur hat from a Parisian flea market. 

If you like Mia's skirt, you can order your own! just click on the collection tab in the menu. 

Shot with my iphone :)