Wedding Gown Woes
Posted on 28 May 2017
Post was written on 26th May 2017
Many of you would’ve known this by now but just in case you don’t, I’m getting married! Whooop whoop *pops confetti and light sparklers (although not at one go because it’s a fire hazard and I can’t multi-task)
Do you have snacks with you because this is gonna be a wordy and lengthy post.
This post has taken me months to compose because as you know, I have a full time job on top of this business. Therefore, I have not done much for my wedding due to my busy schedule. *conveniently sweeps the fact that I’m a procrastinator under the rug. I’m also woefully behind on establishing any sort of pattern with my launches, it’s terrible.
When I started planning for my wedding, I knew for sure that I want a 1950s themed wedding (that’s right behind making sure that I’m marrying the right man, that we’ll have an intimate gathering to celebrate the union and that we won’t have to wake up at ungodly hour on that day). I’m sorry I keep typing with so many brackets; I have way too many things to say at one go.
I am also severely fickle-minded so I couldn't decide if I want Audrey Hepburn vibe, modern Hollywood glamour or In The Mood For Love vibe.
Love the way she pulls off all the cheongsams in the movie with elegance. Here's the tricky part, this hairstyle can easily add 20 years to my face.
Amanda Seyfried and her irritatingly flawless hair sigh.
When I said Audrey Hepburn, I don't mean her actual wedding because I am 100% sure that I cannot pull this off.
What I really meant was this look when she went for a fitting with Givenchy.
All pictures taken from Pinterest.
In the end, I’ve decided to go for all 3 if time permits and if my makeup artist happens to be a magician. It’s very hard to find anyone who can do vintage hairdo and makeup that’s flattering for Asian features here. As much as I want to keep to my theme, my ultimate goal is still to look ‘chio’ (drop-dead-gorgeous) on my wedding day so we’ll see how this goes.
I've already purchased a cheongsam for my tea ceremony when I went for a sourcing trip and popped by Hong Kong last year. Thanks to the power of Google, I managed to stalk the tailor that made Maggie Cheung’s cheongsam in In The Mood For Love. I was quite sad when they no longer have beautiful silk/satin prints she wore. They only had ‘orh biang’ (old fashioned) prints but I was still happy that I found her tailor. Occasionally, I’d suffer from buyer’s remorse because I think I was too hasty when I bought it. I was so hung up on the idea that he made her look super gorgeous in the movie that I forgot putting on a cheongsam he made would not turn me into Maggie Cheung. I know, it’s shocking that I can be that delusional sometimes. (note to self: what looks good on someone else doesn’t necessarily work for me and my body type.) *insert sad violin music here. I hope I can make it work. The good thing about timeless pieces like that is I can wear it again 30 years from now and it will still be in style. All I need is for my body to still stay in shape by then. *slowly tucks away potato chips that I’m eating as I’m typing this.
If you follow me on instagram (it’s @shopbluebelle), you might also know that I found the supplier that stocks fabrics used by Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab when I went for one of my work trips to Indonesia.
Seeing the exquisite fabric, I knew then that I would love to start a haute couture 1950s bridal collection. I did purchase fabric from there to kick start my intended first dress in that collection but I bought something fully embellished instead of lace and something in blush instead of white/cream/ivory.
Big mistake there. Every time we cut the fabric, my heart dies a little. The embellishments drop with vengeance. Instead of being sewn onto the shell with a sewing machine, the intricate details require hand stitching. Also, the initial shell (base of the dress) had poor fitting and neckline so I was just marinating in sadness for some time because there was such a drastic disparity when you compare expectation with reality. I know that the original design I had in my had to be discarded. We’re still in the midst of doing whatever we can to rectify the dress because I’m not a quitter (also because fabric is super expensive *stabs self). I intend to wear it as my last dress so that I can move with ease while mingling with my guests; I might attempt to dance under the influence of alcohol so at least I am in a gorgeous (hopefully!) midi dress with 50s silhouette while embarrassing myself. Most importantly, I can stop sucking in my belly while pretending to be Audrey Hepburn.
This ‘failure’ brought me sleepless nights (not because it’s my wedding dress but more of because it’s from Shopbluebelle and I do not want to disappoint customers who have been waiting to see the end result) and disappointment but it has also taught me important lessons if I still want to start my 50s inspired haute couture wedding dress collection in the future.
- I really should’ve picked lace for the first dress.
- I would prefer to hire local tailors because multiple fittings are required per dress and shipping the dress back and forth increases the cost and risk of it going missing.
- I would need to rent a space because of the fittings.
So that left me with the white/ivory/cream/beige (I really can’t tell the difference) Hollywood glamour dress for my holy matrimony. I am very certain that I want a backless dress with mermaid silhouette. I keep alternating between not wanting to spend much on my wedding dress and being willing to splurge a bit more because being in this industry, I know that quality fabric and workmanship cost more. Part of me feels that the money can be spent on important things like our future house, honeymoon or things that would improve our relationship (pats my practical self’s back) and frankly, I’m not even going to wear the dress for more than 3 hours.
However, another part of me just cannot justify paying around SGD2k to rent a wedding dress here when I can get the exact same dress, brand new and done to my measurements for a fraction of the price in Guangzhou. No wonder people take up bridal package here, they're left with not many choices. This option is eliminated for me as I already took my pre-wedding pictures in Korea and only need one dress for actual wedding day.
If you want good quality and workmanship, based on the prices that I was quoted, rental can start at SGD4.8k and go up to SGD6.8k. RENTAL. You cannot even sell the dress after your wedding to try to recoup some losses because the dress is not yours to keep.
Or you can go the other way and get a very affordable wedding dress from Taobao or other wedding dress websites. However, based on my many years of experience in online shopping, I know that sometimes the fit and material are not as pictured (ahem, Taobao is reknowned for this) but sometimes it’s because the model has a completely different body shape from mine. I’m just not willing to risk it and with the amount they charge for the dresses, it’s unfair to expect it to be made with high quality material and in my desired cut and silhouette. There’s nothing wrong with not being particular with a dress that you’re only going to wear once and only for a few hours but personally, I cannot look past the quality but yet cannot accept the exorbitant price of renting a high quality gown.
Either way, I didn’t find anything I like enough to rent or buy online. I did find something I like but with it being sold at a steep price, I will get it only if I’m confident that I can sell it off after the wedding.
Yup, exactly 3 months to my wedding and I haven’t found my dress yet. How typical of me. (UPDATE on 27th May 2017 - I just confirmed my dress OMG!)
Since I announced my engagement on instagram, I’ve received a lot of support from followers and customers who suggested that I should make my own dress! While starting a bridal line sounds really exciting and fun, my risk appetite is ridiculously small and after The Embellishment Fabric Gone Wrong Incident (which shall be known as TEFGWI henceforth), I had second thought about it.
So when some of you suggested that I can make some of my existing designs in white/cream/nude so that you can wear them for you ROM/wedding ceremony/pre-wedding shoot, I started sampling fabrics immediately.
Bardot was one of our most loved designs but the initial fabric used (bengaline) is way too sheer in ivory/cream so we couldn’t use it for this design. I made a sample using the cotton stretch used for Lou Swing Dress and while it’s slightly less stretchy, it’s slightly thicker and has a luxe touch to it.
However, less stretchy does mean that the arms part isn’t as flexible so when I wore it for my casual pre-wedding shoot, I decided to not put it into production and just make one more for one of my bridesmaids. However, I’ve received special requests to make a few more for some keen brides.
If you’d like to pre-order this piece as well, you may do so here.
Pre-order will close on 4th of June or when all the slots are taken up.
The dress should be ready by October 2017.
Hello! Are you still here?
Here's a virtual hug for you if you managed to read everything without falling asleep.
Have a wonderful week ahead!