Wedding Dresses & Style

Jenny’s Down-Home Elegance

posted: 03/20/13
by: TLC
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She's in the borrowed dress, but Sam and Kelly are both just thrilled that analytical bride Jenny made a decision!

San Jose bride Jenny was planning a garden wedding full of down-home elegance. The petite bride had fallen for lace dresses with sashes, but she had yet to find the right gown. After trying on dress after dress after dress, Mom intervened, thinking her vintage gown might be the way to go. The delicate Taiwanese design had charm, but it was too dated for the modern bride. Could Sam find the right new style for the choosy client? And could Kelly make the heirloom design less restrictive? Find out in their style report on Jenny!

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Jenny's Borrowed Gown After

What were the basic details of the original dress?

As soon as I saw this dress, I was reminded of my own heritage. The dress was beautiful! The style and delicate craftsmanship reminded me of my Japanese grandmother's clothes. I was immediately full of smiles and was excited to get to work. The dress was simple with lots of pretty details. The appliqu? lace flowers were nothing like the lace that was available in the U.S. at that time.

What were the elements that really dated the dress?

The high neck and the long sleeves definitely dated the dress. It was also an extremely conservative dress, which was the style back when her mother wore it.

What were the biggest challenges in transforming the dress?

The biggest challenge was showing the bride how much this dress could transform -- and that she should keep the original lace because that's what made the dress special! She was also unsure of the neckline I suggested for her. She couldn't quite see the vision of a transparent V-neck, but once the dress was finished, she understood what I meant ... and she LOVED it!

What was your inspiration for the transformation?

My inspiration was the beautiful lace and the transparent fabric. I loved Jenny's mom's dress, and while I wanted to drastically update it, I didn't want the dress to be unrecognizable. I channeled Jenny's mom's past and meshed it with Jenny's current expectations.

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

This was hands-down one of my favorite outcomes! I loved that the dress stayed bright white -- it made my job easier. And I loved the back of this dress; it was a perfect balance of sexy and classy!

What did you think when Jenny chose your dress?

I knew she would choose mine! How could she not have? I transformed her mom's dress into exactly what she wanted and it fit her to perfection! But what's funny is that Sam chose her a new dress that looked like it came from the same runway show! They were very similar. Either way, she would have had a beautiful dress, but in this case, her family history really worked in my favor.

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Jenny's New Gown

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

Looking back, Jenny's venue played only a small part in my dress choices. I knew I could find a dress that suited the venue. That wasn't really my biggest challenge. I was far more concerned with finding a dress that was unique enough to please the bride and make her feel like one of a kind on her big day. I think that was more important to her.

I learned during our initial conversation that Jenny had shopped three times before coming to us, and all the dresses she tried on failed to impress. Jenny was looking for that moment and it hadn't happened yet. That bit of information was my biggest influence. This bride had set the bar high and was not satisfied yet. I think she had overdosed on dress shopping and was losing perspective.

That said, a bride that's considered "picky" never puts me off. I would be ten times worse if it were my wedding. Jenny should be picky because this is the most important dress she will ever wear! I welcomed the challenge and wanted to be her fresh pair of eyes to help her select the perfect dress.

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

Since Jenny had a great figure, she was pretty easy to dress, so her body type was secondary to the style of dress we chose. That meant I was looking for special dresses that were different from the norm. This shopping trip was really about catching her eye and surprising her with something unexpected. I was looking for styles that fit her body perfectly, but they had to have some kind of twist. That could have been an interesting fabric, a special detail, an unusual color or a convertible style. Well, we tried all of those things, and nothing really spoke to her.

While shopping we learned that Jenny looked great in fitted trumpet style dresses, but the softer A-line skirts felt more romantic and right for her venue. We finally landed on a twofer style dress by Jasmine Couture from fall 2012. The body of the dress was a structured lace strapless trumpet style, but the skirt had an A-line overlay of tulle with lace appliqu?s. It was light and airy but had a touch of sexiness to it. I think it hit all the notes and made Jenny feel great, but most importantly: special. Since she loves sashes, we added a grosgrain ribbon sash in a muted gray tone, which helped to seal the deal.

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

Jenny had great hair, and since the new dress was strapless, I knew I wanted it down with soft romantic waves that kissed her shoulder line. I wanted her look to be modern and a little fashion-forward because she could pull it off. In the event Jenny chose my something new, I selected a long sheer veil to play on the ethereal look of the dress. The jewelry was clean and simple: small crystal earring and a subtle bracelet. I didn't want to weigh Jenny down, so I kept all the accessories soft and floaty. The makeup scheme was romantic with an edge, and I chose cool tones like lavender, gray and pink to complement Jenny's raven hair and pale skin.

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

I loved the remade dress! Kelly did an amazing job and I thought Jenny really shined in it. The dress was simple, traditional and spoke to her culture, but was totally modern at the same time. I did love how my something new fit Jenny's body, and I know she did too, so I was torn! In the end Jenny was caught offguard by the borrowed dress and surprised by how much she loved it. This was the reaction she needed to seal the deal. She was looking for that moment, and she got it. Kelly rocked this one, Jenny looked stunning and I was thrilled.

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