January 20, 2011

on lace

Image The Knot

I am so excited today!..the reason for that is I've been contacted by a beautiful girl who wants me to custom make her very special wedding dress. In addition to that, she is getting married in Positano, Italy on a villa. How romantic is that!! There are still 3 more months till the wedding but I can't wait to get my picture! Julie, I hope you are reading this..

But more than anything else I am excited about the dress itself [who could've guess?]. Julie did very good research and I believe she couldn't have chosen any better style than she did. I feel I should keep the dress design a  secret before the wedding, the only thing I can reveal is that the bodice is going to have some lace. What I love about the lace is the fact its timeless beauty can transform any ordinary girl into a princess, not to mention what it can do to a gorgeous girl. I love working with lace, the result is so rewarding.      

My favorite two are probably French Chantilly and Alencon laces. They are also among  the most popular. Chantilly is a lightweight delicate lace with floral or vine motifs embroidered on fine net. Because Chantilly lace has a more fragile look it works great with most lightweight fabrics like chiffon or tulle. Designers love this amazing lace for a reason. The name comes from a region in France where it was made originally but it is often used for a lace with that recognizable pattern and delicate look. You can tell good quality Chantilly when it has a clearly woven pattern with little knots on it without major synthetic shine to it, even though some hi-end laces might have a lot of shine. The difference is rich vs.cheap. Also a good lace should always have a well clipped scalloped edge, like this one below I had work with not too long ago. 

 Alencon is a heavier-weight lace that starts out as Chantilly. Lace makers hand-apply fine satin cord around individual motifs to create this type of lace. Alencon is considered the Queen of laces, and its unmatchable beauty and elegance make it very popular for bridal gowns. Alencon comes beaded or unbeaded.


I've noticed that long forgotten Venice lace is making its way back. Although it's relatively easy to work with this lace is still on the bottom of my list, not only because it's hard to find a good quality Venice but also because of its low versatility, to me it looks good only in the structured fitted gowns. By the way its popularity is coming and going, one year it looks great next year it might look too old fashioned.

Venice lace via The Knot                  and  Martha Stewart Weddings

Another type of lace that deserves attention here is Brussels lace. The best of it comes hand-made which makes it rare for using in bridal gown production. Below is a picture of a magnificent piece of nineteenth-century hand-made Brussels lace over a tulle ball gown. Dress by Pat Kerr.

And finally Dentelles Leavers, the leavers lace. This type is popular among high-end Fashion Houses because it can be ordered and produced in France by several exquisite manufacturers like Solstiss or Sophie Hallette .


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