This wedding dress was created as part of a challenge for the David Tutera Wedding Experience which was held at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Alongside my classmates, I was asked to create a wedding dress for the modern day bride using unconventional materials. We were also required to incorporate wedding invitations donated to us by a local vendor into our dress. We were also supplied with some old drapery and upholstery fabrics for the base. Additionally, we had to create our dresses with a budget of $20 or less which encouraged us to use bargain, recycled, and found objects to create the final looks.
I drew my initial inspiration from some of the fabric supplied to us. The fabric I chose was sheer with peony flowers woven into the pattern. From there, I researched peonies to see if they had any cultural significance and discovered that they are important in Chinese culture. I then explored traditional Chinese silhouettes and culture. Additionally, I drew inspiration from Asian gardens and their intricate nature.
The final product is my modernized interpretation of the Chinese Cheongsam dress which is elegant and more fitted to the body. I started with a classic fitted mermaid gown silhouette which flairs out mid-thigh and then created a top that would be worn on top of the gown. I wanted the focus to be around the neckline as a Cheongsam traditionally has a Mandarin collar and I chose to remove that from my design. To create this focus, I created leaves out of recycled, melted Pepsi bottles and the wedding invitations. I also added focus to the bottle of the dress by making peony flowers out of coffee filters and cucake liners and adding some of the leaves to the bottom.
Drapery Fabric, Muslin, Pepsi Bottles, Cupcake Liners, Coffee Filters, Buttons, Rhinestones, and Wedding Invitations.
Each leaf was created out of part of recycled Pepsi bottles and Wedding Invitations. The beadwork was created out of found rhinestones which were spray painted to have a metallic finish.
I was fortunate to have my dress featured in my university's Design X fashion show which showcases students' work in our Problem Solving course. This course is where we are challenged to create looks out of unconventional materials on limited budgets. With these confines, we are challenged to explore different textures and shapes and are encouraged to think outside of the box.