I had created the dress for a previous shoot in 2014 but sustainability in fashion runs deep in my philosophy and so it was the perfect canvas for my next project.
Usually, only natural fibers (silk, cotton, linen etc) can be dyed so the mixed fibers of this dress (silk dupion and polyester tulle) presented something of a challenge. In the end, I used a spray called ‘Oasis’ which is designed for use by florists on flowers! But I tested it first on some pieces of the same fabrics and the effect was perfect. I lined up 6 colors of spray to create the ombre look I wanted.
I put the dress on a stand in the garden, with the plastic sheeting to protect the dress, not the paving! I masked the lace trim with tape, took a very deep breath….. and began. I worked from the lace downwards layering up the colors in bands that faded one to the other. First yellow and orange then three shades of red graduating to purple and violet at the hem.
When I removed the masking from the lace I decided to add a light spray of yellow to ensure a smooth transition to the white above. Three coats, each with two hours to dry and a total of seven hours of spraying took its toll on my back and trigger finger but the labor of love was worth it. The dress was finished and ready for our photoshoot.
The team did not hold back and our shoot captured incredible moments of Autumn color, sunlight, and creativity, perfectly complimenting all my hard work on this beautiful dress. With thanks to all the other creatives on the photoshoot team!
The virgin dress, before spraying, modelled by yours truly
Oasis spray for the colour
Testing the materials
Lace masked, and first colours begin
Layer upon layer
The colours get deeper
Removing the masking from the lace it looked too ‘stark’
So a sprayed a little yellow onto the lace and just above to ‘fade’ the design properly
Photoshoot pictures in the beautiful English Countryside
Photography by Jessica Jill Partridge,
Dresses made & designed by Felicity Westmacott
Styling by Jessica of www.foxandpartridge.com
Model, Keely Simeoni
Hair styling by Alex of Very Bettie
Make up by Charlotte Light
Bespoke Shoes by Marsha Hall
Jewellery by Vicky Forrester
Veil and headpieces by Jen Levet
Floristry by Michelle Knibbs of Muscari Whites
Garden wreath by The Girl who Gardens