Classic ivory silk and lace low back dress and veil for Charlie
Charlotte commissioned a dress in layered silk satin and Georgette with a dramatic low back filled with beaded lace.
Official Wedding Pictures by Sarah McDonnell
The dress has a fitted and boned bodice with a sweet heart neckline below a yoke of beaded lace. The back of the main dress plunges low but is filled to the neckline with beaded lace and trimmed with satin covered buttons. The higher boat-neckline of the lace and the armholes are bound in satin. The skirt is fitted over the hips before flaring into a gentle fishtail with ivory chiffon layered over ‘Champenoise’ coloured satin. The skirt hem was cut to reveal the layering with the shine of the satin peaking out beneath the matt georgette. The ‘reveal’ is deeper at the back where the skirt flares into a train, which came with a bustle to be hooked up in the evening.
Detail of the back of the dress with the main dress cut away in a curved shape below exquisite ivory lace, specially beaded to order in Italy. Tiny buttons covered in the same champenoise silk satin as the main under-layer of the dress highlight the centre back seam. The dress actually fastens at the side with a concealed zip.
Original Design sketch
Charlotte’s veil was also made bespoke in ivory tulle. Single layer on a comb, worn like this veils are sometimes called ‘Spanish or Mantilla Style’.
Charlotte wrote: Thank you so much – I am soooo happy with the dress, cannot tell you. You are truly amazing and thank you for everything. Charlie xx
Thank you so much for everything. The dress is absolutely wonderful and you have you have been amazing. You are so talented and I am so lucky to have found you. I genuinely meant it – if you ever want to borrow the dress for a show, please only ask. Let’s keep in touch and, again, thank you for everything. Lots of love Charlie xx
Charlotte’s train was made with a bustle-up so it could be hooked up for dancing or when she walked outside.
This picture of Charlotte’s pretty shoes also shows off the graduated layers of hem on her skirt.
Making Charlotte’s Dress
The lace that Charlotte chose on the page from my sample books.
The first fitting is always in the ‘toile’ or practice run made up in cheap fabrics to perfect the fit and style before cutting the expensive silks and lace.
First fitting in the ‘real’ fabrics which look very yellow in the electric light. Here the flesh coloured organza which will support the lace back and yoke is being pinned into the main dress to sit as flush as possible.
Creating the lace yoke front and back meant carefully choosing to cut so the lace pattern would lie pleasingly and symmetrically in the dress design. Silk organza dyed to match Charlotte’s skin was used behind the lace to support the delicate fabric
Buttons covered in silk satin were hand sewn to the back centre seam.
The wrist loop sewn to the underside of the train meant Charlotte could hold up the train easily when she needed to. A hidden ‘something blue’ is always sewn in somewhere on all Felicity Westmacott’s creations.
At Charlotte’s final fitting, detail of the lace back.
At Charlotte’s final fitting, detail of the front lace yoke and neckline.
Close up of the beaded lace on the finished dress
A happy Charlotte at her final fitting in the finished dress and veil.