7 January 2010

wedding dress try-on

I spent a lovely morning yesterday looking at wedding dresses, first up visiting Smith and Caughey, a lovely 100+ year old department store, as I knew they stocked Collette Dinnigan. The selection was pretty limited (hence there being only one white one to show here), but it was helpful to try on a few styles and get an expert opinion. The nice Max Mara sales lady thought what suited me was warmer cream or even pinky tones, an empire waist, ruching or detailing at the bodice and skirt front and, fabric-wise, silk chiffon rather than silk charmeuse. She also declared me to be short-ish in the torso as all the bodices would have required an adjustment. She suggested having a dress made (which I'm attempting), and also flying to Australia to visit a Colette Dinnigan store where there would be a complete collection to try on.

I then went on to Tutta Bella, but alas they were still on Christmas vacation, how inconvenient of them. I did take a few photos through the front window as the store is quite lovely, albeit overtly bridey. It didn't make me queasy though, like many do. I wonder if they charge a poultice to try the dresses on. Gawd, I am such a newbie to this world!

And since I was in Herne Bay I decided to pop into Yvonne Bennetti to look for bridesmaid dress ideas. At the time I thought some were lovely, but now I'm not so sure.

Although unsuccessful in finding a dress (not that my hopes were high), it was successful in terms of seeing how dresses were constructed, how they fit and of course the opinion from someone who knows about colours and styles to suit.

On a side note, I love seeing how professional garments are constructed (I'm sure I get sideways looks from sales people as I turn seams inside out and fossick around inside garments). It's the level of finish I am interested in, especially when garments herald a high price tag. A couple of non-bridal Colette Dinnigan dresses, around the $1,000 price mark, declared themselves to be made in China/India. I don't know about you, but those three words immediately shed the garment of any lustre and appeal. I also looked at a simple Max Mara top/dress and the cut was extraordinarily simple (rather than cleverly simple), and the price on it was $995. It looked much like these simple dresses I used to make (this was my first garment sold on Etsy!). Far. Out. I think in the case of that dress Max Mara is definitely adding on a fair whack for having their label inside.

As for Tutta Bella, I'll try them again next week which I'm looking forward to, and in the meantime I'll keep at my own version(s).


  1. Some of these dresses really are gorgeous, but I FAR prefer the pieces you've made up yourself. Forgive me (because I don't actually know you!) but they seem more "you", with a beautiful simple aesthetic. The bought dresses all seem a little fussy.

    Isn't trying on dresses fun though?

  2. The first dress is really pretty, but I like the short white dress you made more (I think).

  3. I agree with the other gals that I prefer your dresses over the ones here. That said, I do think you look lovely in the pale pink (first photo). Goes well with your skin tones. And that little ruffled hot pink number sure is fun. Wouldn't that be a racy style to get wed in? I mean that in a good way.

  4. I have to say, I agree as well - that the dresses that you have made up have been nicer than any of these!

    I am in Melbourne if you want someone to pop into Collette Dinnigan and try on their range - with my camera.

    I just clicked on that link of your first dress sold on etsy - and saw a very little Lucy!! What a doll! She has grown so much!

  5. that dusky pale pink is a really beautiful color for you.

    if i could do it again, preferably at city hall or out in the woods, i would toss on something simple like this: http://www.calypso-celle.com/One-Piece-Dress-p-16622.html, and spend the rest of the money on food, liquor, and a lovely vacation.

    i still like your marchesa mock-up, but i know what you mean about second thoughts. best to have them before you hand your credit card to someone! i learned the hard way, being a two dress bride.

  6. That dusky pink is a great colour for you

    Hoping you have fun in the search and the right dress finds you (mine did but only after I'd accidentally bought the very wrong dress)

  7. Ella, thankyou. You know, the more I read the more I worry that what I make will be too simple and I might be confused for being a guest at my own wedding!

    I appreciate everyone's comments and critique, so thankyou very much.

    As for colour, the one I keep going back to is the palest pink - one you look and don't instantly recognise it as being pink at first. It's such a lovely colour in silk because of the play of light on the fabric.

  8. Simple Things - thanks for the genreous offer!

    I'll work on my own dress for a bit and then reassess - those Colette Dinnigans sure are beautiful but they're certainly a specific look - pretty full on.

  9. You're completely right! I guess the challenge is having something that's still your own (beautiful, simplistic-ish) style but also making it really special in keeping with the occasion. I know you'll come up with something completely stunning, whether you buy or make it.


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