Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yellow Dress No. 2

One from the archives...my Music Box dress from Fall 2006. Shown here in Venus Magazine. I wore this style to my best friend's September wedding, so it always has a fond spot in my heart. Canary silk georgette with gilt bodice. And here we are, the sunny bridal party.

Love.

That's all I can say about this beautiful wedding between Alistair and Casey (lovely girl and owner of the Parts +Labour boutique in Hood River, OR). Casey's dress is champagne shantung gathered asymmetrically into pickups tied with bias strips of the fabric. Ruched bodice with a blush velvet ribbon sash.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

last chance summer dance.

It's been gushing warm rain for the past three days, and while I'm excited to be sewing fall clothing (coats!), I'm not quite ready to give up summer. This is a photo Pete Springer took of my Spring '08 "Eggy Pop" dress. I'm wishing for another hot spell--to give my chiffon dresses one last day in the sun...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Robe Jaune.

I originally wanted to name my blog "Yellow Dress," since I design one every season, relentlessly acquire them for myself, and am generally besotted with them. Instead, I'm going to start documenting my evolving obsession here, starting with this amazing photo by Gwendolyn Kraehenfuss.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What I've Been Dyeing...

Occasionally someone will ask me if Elizabeth Dye is my real name, and I'm always surprised...I guess it kind of suits being a designer, but I don't think it has quite enough flair to be a stage name. But sometimes, like today, when I'm standing over a steaming kettle of dyeing abric, trying to achieve just the right shade of honey gold, my name feels pretty suitable. I've been asked to contribute a project for a DIY fashion crafts book...here is an early how-to shot...

Friday, August 8, 2008

SO much harder than it looks.

Coco + Kelley is hosting a "wedding inspiration board" contest, in which you design the look of a wedding based on one of 36 photos of interiors (you can see all the choices here). Normally I'm more bridal blog voyeur than participant, but I was intrigued and decided to go for it. Here's the interior I chose:
This room is very much my taste--organic-modern, lots of neutral, natural materials, shades of grey and gold, monochrome prints, the rhythmic repetition of simple shapes. I thought that choosing the room most like my own home would make designing a wedding easy. I also thought that since the room is so non-fluffy, even mannish, making it "wedding-y" would be a cool creative challenge. But after spending a shocking amount of time prowling the web for wedding inspiration, I have to stop myself and return to work. Here is my board:
Credits: Angel Sanchez gown and matchstick cake via Martha Stewart, flowers and place cards via Bride's Cafe, birch ring pillow via Etsy, shoes by Miu Miu, plaid bridesmaid dress by Luisa Beccaria via Style.com, flower plate via {this is glamorous}, outdoor seating photo from Soirée Charleston, stone candle by Cox & Cox, Hazelnut Vodka by Integrity Spirits, layer cake slices via Nordljus.

I tried to respect the color palette, and introduce natural substances--wood, stone, leather--into the wedding without it coming across too clunky or earthy. I love the vertical striping in both the wedding gown and the cake--that was my favorite touch. But I couldn't warm up to introducing palm leaves, like the potted palm in the corner of the room--I've never been a fan of tropicals. I think/hope the bouquet of succulents gives the same verdant, non-floral effect. This was a great project--I really had to "dig in" to my own sense of style. It also made me realize that my style has a feminine side...I love ruffles, glitz, and pink too (I was starved for them after trolling the web for earth tones)! I may need to do another board based on this room...but only after I get a little work done...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We're blushing.

We received a really nice note from June bride Sam about her dress shopping experience:

I am writing to thank you so very much for helping me create the most perfect wedding for my husband and I! ... I was dreading shopping for and buying a wedding gown because lace, tulle, and rhinestones are just not my style. And, although I wanted to look great on my wedding day, I did not want to spend thousands on a dress I'd only wear for 8 hours.

The first (and only) day I went shopping, I visited several wedding boutiques that 1) looked at me like I was nuts for just starting to look for a dress only (gasp!) 8 months before my wedding date, and 2) pulled out only dresses priced well over what I said I wanted to pay. The last place I stopped at was the English Dept. I knew as soon as I walked in the door that this was where I was going to find my dress! Not only is your shop beautiful, but your clothes are incredible! The simple elegance of each the special-occasion dresses you chose to sell was such a welcome relief from the torrents of corsets, taffeta and ruffles I had been around all day. With the non-pushy, non-intrusive and very knowledgeable assistance of Erin (and, of course, my mom) I tried on many dresses - and loved most of them! I left that day with two dresses to decide between: the Thread "Tori" and the Jenny Yoo "Kayla". I mulled it over for several weeks before coming back, trying them both on and deciding on the Thread dress...I cannot remember the name of the woman who measured me that day, but she did an amazing job. My dress needed absolutely no alterations! It fit perfectly.

I absolutely fell in love with the English Dept. and can't wait to return for other special occasions and everyday wear! Thank you all so much for your service, style and for understanding that some brides just need something understated and simple.

Sometimes in the mad flurry of bridal season, there isn't much time to reflect. Thanks, Sam, for reminding all of us here at The English Dept. that this work is really fun and rewarding. Brides like you make it so. Photo: TJ Cameron.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Kelly's Wedding

Some great Flickr pictures of Nat and Kelly's wedding at Holocene last weekend. Guest Lisa Hough also wore one of my dresses--the Palace Shift from Spring '08.

Coming up roses.

My little romper (from last fall's collection) peeking from behind the "BEST" hedge on August's Portland Monthly cover. Love those shears.

Fashion Design Camp Fashion Show

I participated in Portland's Fashion Design Camp finale fashion show on Friday, and what a blast it was. I've never seen little girls with such style and attitude (where was fashion camp when I was 9?). There was plenty of backstage chaos, but the whole beautiful mess was ably managed by the lovely Adazoe (who also modeled). Cheers to the camp's class of 2008. May their glitter never wash off. Left to right: me with Tacee, new Seaplane owner and camp founder, campers backstage awaiting their moment in the spotlight, Adazoe flashing her pearlies. Photos courtesy Willamette Week.