NK Bride at Manus X Machina... The Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of the best things about living in New York is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has been an incredible source of inspiration and information for me since I first moved here. Every year they have a special fashion exhibit starting with the opening ceremony known as the MET Gala. I am always amazed by the spectacular presentations. 

 This year the exhibit is called Manus X Machina. It explores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. With more than 170 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present, the exhibition addresses the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production. It explores this ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and questions the relationship and distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear.”

Opening Piece- Karl Lagerfeld for House of Chanel -- Wedding Ensemble -- Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Haute Couture

I tried to pick only my favorites to share with you but it has been hard to choose just a few… From Karl Lagerfeld to original Coco Chanels, Valentino, Givenchy,  to one of my favorite dresses of all times- the Dior scalloped evening dress circa fall/winter 1949–1950.

“This extraordinary ball gown by Christian Dior, of gray silk tulle, arrayed with an overlay of scallop-shaped petals The bodice and shell forms of its skirt are embellished with nacreous paillettes and sequins, iridescent seed beads, aurora-borealis crystals, and pearls. Dior is best known for his revival of the wasp-waisted silhouette seen here. His celebrated first collection of 1947 was dubbed the "New Look" by the influential American editor Carmel Snow, because the corseted, full-bosomed, and hourglass shaping had not been seen for decades. In fact, the "New Look" was an old look revived. After the deprivations of World War II, Dior believed that the survival of the haute couture relied on its ability to restore fantasy and luxury to women's wardrobes. The fragile effects of this gown, which merges Second Empire romanticism with the classical iconography of ideal and eternal beauty, recall Dior's belief that "fashion comes from a dream."

NK Bride Manus X MachinaIMG_20160709_181832.jpg

House of Givenchy

3-D Printed Designs by Treeasfour andIrene Van Herpen

The Process: Coming Up With The Design

When creating a custom bridal dress, you have the opportunity to make anything you want – anything you can imagine. I know this is kind of self-explanatory, but when planning a wedding we often think about finding the perfect dress first, and then the rest of the wedding theme is dictated by its design. But what we often don't think of is that when you make a custom bridal gown it can be created to match your vision. The place of your wedding or the flowers you are going to have or any other details can be used as the inspiration for the dress.

I would like to share the story of one of my favorite dresses because it illustrates this part of the process so well. When I met Angela about five years ago, all she knew was that she wanted a gown. So I sat down with her and we went through a few of her favorite outfits so I could get to know her style. She also shared that she was planning to get married in the garden of the Science Museum in Richmond, VA. She related to me that when you walk through the grounds you are surrounded by butterflies.

I thought that was going to be such a magical setting for a summer wedding. I knew that it would have to play a part in my design. Angela also shared with me that the signature color she had picked for her wedding was the iconic Tiffany blue. At the end of our meeting Angela said she loved the clothes she had seen on my website and my style and gave me complete freedom to come up with anything I could imagine.

I knew I had incorporate both the garden and the fact that she was using Tiffany Blue. I wanted to create something that brought both of these ideas together…

When I presented my sketches a few weeks later, I told her to imagine the following:

The small Tiffany boxes walking down the aisle first. Cute little bridesmaids’ dresses made out Tiffany blue taffeta and wrapped-up and finished with the iconic white satin bow. One by one they would come down. And then, after you opened the box, the crown jewel comes – Angela sparkling in her beautiful wedding gown. The butterfly design flapping its wings as she moves forward. Sheer silk organza topped with tiny but immensely shiny small Swarovski hand-sewn crystals wrapped around her body over a very fluid, almost liquid silk satin…

 Later on Angela changed her wedding venue to Glen Garden, VA but nonetheless the inspiration for the dress was still the same....