Wedding Dresses & Style

Amy’s Boots and Boho Chic

posted: 02/22/13
by: TLC
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Amy is regal in her borrowed dress after its update.

Texas transplant Amy had just six weeks to find a dress for her outdoor wedding! With an incredibly supportive mother in tow, Amy knew the choice was totally hers: a bright white new bridal gown, or an updated version of the heirloom that had been worn for two generations in her family. The sentimental bride wanted the something borrowed to work, but she couldn't see past the tatters and tears. Here's how Kelly and Sam styled the bride for her big day.

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Amy's Borrowed After

What were the basic details of the original dress?

Old silk -- 100 year old! This dress had beautiful hand-sewn pearls and hand-crochet appliqu?s. I was scared to touch this dress. I wanted to do it justice and make Amy happy at the same time.

What were the elements that really dated the dress?

It was a very regal dress, and the only things that dated it were the discoloration and the sleeves!

What were the biggest challenges in transforming the dress?

It was a challenge restoring the fabric and getting the yellow out of the crochet appliqu?s. Also, I needed more fabric to complete the dress, so I had to find a new silk charmeuse that was close in color, and then I had to wash it and age it to look similar to the old silk. Meanwhile, the old silk was being soaked to restore it to its original color, so I had multiple aspects going on at the same time!

What was your inspiration for the transformation?

The dress itself was inspiration enough! It had been worn by two previous generations, so I wanted to update it without ruining the look and time period it came from.

What details from the transformation would you like to point out?

I loved the tails on the back of the original dress, but they were too tattered to use, so I created new, more dramatic ones to complement the back of Amy's dress. Also, my idea for the back jewelry was for them to use a family brooch or pendant to hang from the back, but they didn't have one so they just removed the chain. Also, at the wedding, you got to see the final product, which had little flowy sleeves added. They really made the dress. Something the viewer might not have noticed: the straps were made from the original trim of the dress, so the pearls were never removed. The fabric with the pearls was just relocated and redesigned.

What did you think when Amy chose your dress?

She chose right on this one! Although Sam's pick was gorgeous (I even wanted to try it on for myself), the vintage dress suited Amy perfectly. After the transformation, I think the dress became that much more special!

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Amy's New Gown

How did Amy's wedding venue and theme influence your dress choices for her?

Amy wanted a rustic country feeling for her wedding, and right away that makes think of something effortless and simple, or something in lace. Amy had never tried dresses before, and she was getting married in 6 weeks! For me, this meant finding a dress that was available for rush order or choosing a sample dress. We ended up trying both styles of dress--which all looked good, but in the end, the Anne Barge lace sample dress won out.

Based on her body shape and personal style, what types of dresses did you pull for Amy?

Amy was long and lean and had a great figure, which meant almost everything looked good on her. At first, I think Amy was a bit of a doubter and not really into the dress experience. That all changed very quickly once the dresses started going on. I really liked strapless on her because she had great arms and shoulders, but because Amy didn't have a big bust, semi-sweetheart styles worked best. The more plunge you have on a bust line, the more it minimizes the bust. We wanted to do the opposite. We tried a lightweight modified A-line dress that looked gorgeous, and then a very structured architectural style dress that worked great with her height. We landed on the Alencon lace Anne Barge dress because the work and detail were just incredibly special. The dress hugged her body and created curves. The tulle over the lace gave the dress an airy quality, and the clipped flowers on the back added a romantic country touch. I nipped in the back of the skirt to create a bit of a mermaid shape that Amy learned she loved and lowered the top of the sweetheart neckline to bring better proportion and maximize her bust.

Do you have recommendations for Amy's hair, makeup and accessories for an overall bridal look based on the dress she chose?

I loved the idea of Amy wearing her hair loose, natural and bunched into a side updo with a small headband. I would have added a simple tulle veil low in the back of her hair that fell down to the end of the dress's hem. Amy was pretty simple, so small jewelry would have worked best, and I would have loved to see wildflowers everywhere. The makeup would be super simple, a soft natural eye, peachy cheeks and sheer pink pout.

What did you think when Amy didn't choose your dress?

I know Amy loved both dresses and had a really hard time choosing. There was so much history behind the borrowed dress, and when Amy came out in it at the end she looked absolutely perfect. Kelly had a big challenge, and she rose to the occasion. I loved Amy's choice and was excited we got to see her in it on her wedding day at the end of the show!

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