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A Dream Dress for a Modern Gothic Bride

There are few times in my life, for me at least, when I have met someone so on my aesthetic wavelength, that the work I do with them supersedes anything I've ever done or possibly ever will do again.

When I met Clare at a curated wedding fair I co- organised, the planets must have aligned. Clare's dream like magical wedding has just been featured on Rock My Wedding so I thought I'd take you behind the scenes and explain a little about my collaborative and creative process.

Our starting point was a blog I had written moons ago about Gothic Forties Wedding style (read it here), the witches marks found in Clare's beautiful wedding venue (The Pilgrim's Rest in Battle) and Victorian wedding dresses that were disintegrating.

We were both intrigued by Medusa, so I created a sketchbook full of images, fabrics and embroideries based around all of these ideas.

Although we were making the dress in the palest smoke grey, I sampled initial fabrications in scraps I had so as to not waste either my bride's precious budget or be generally wasteful. Sustainability is a huge part of my ethos.

The dress we chose to develop into Clare's dream dress was the 4th one from the left and we incorporated the cut out detail, shown on the 3rd idea, on the back of the gown. It would have a long line integrated corset inside and we wanted it to look like it was wisps of smoke around her, both modern and old and completely unique! The wonderful thing about having a gown designed and made for you, is that it can be absolutely what you want. A true one of a kind! The only limits are your imagination and, unfortunately, budget.

Clare also wanted me to design her veil and crown to go with the dress so I hand embroidered the witches marks on the train of the tulle veil and embellished them with antique seed Pearls which had been part of my Great Grandmothers Pearl necklace. Each silk flower was hand cut, sewn and embellished with Pearls, then sewn onto a band.

Clare looked so breathtaking in her dress and I felt ever so lucky to be there to put her into her dress on the day. I feel we achieved everything we set out to and I'm so proud of the work and the heart I put into making this dress for her. It was such an adventure to go on together. I just wish we could do it again!

For Clare's take on having her dress made, you can read her blog about the process on her website Relics on Sea. For the feature on Rock My Wedding, you can read here.

If you would like to work with me on a bespoke commission, whether it be for a wedding dress or otherwise, send me a brief outline of your idea, some visuals if possible and a rough idea of budget to

I hope you have enjoyed this little journey into my creative mind as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you!

Tara x

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