Friday, March 13, 2015

Dress Design 101: All About That Silhouette

Have you ever wondered how wedding gowns are designed? Join us for Dress Design 101, a small series about the steps we take when we create a unique Lu Raquel design. Follow us through the step-by-step process of designing our beautiful Leigh Anne gown. For more of our unique designs, check out our website.

Step 2: All About That Silhouette

Once you've found your inspiration for your dress design, the next step to take is to consider the basics of your dream gown. What are the basics? Our design team is prepared to walk you step-by-step through them! Ideally, steps 2 and 3 are discussed in-length at the same time. However, for this series we're splitting them up into two separate steps to help make things more understandable. This step will detail the construction of the gown itself, including details like the bodice and skirt, the train and hemline, and the neckline and backline.

The first item on our list is the silhouette of the gown, because without an idea of the silhouette, we can't even begin to image the other parts of the gown. Take a quick look at this handy infographic that demonstrates the different kinds of silhouettes wedding gowns can have:

This infographic is a great tool for brides and potential designers alike! If you're a bride, print it out or have it handy on your phone for when you go gown searching, to make sure you pick the right silhouette for your dream dress.
Leigh Anne | Front

After taking a look at the infographic, do you have your perfect silhouette in mind? Great! We're using our beautiful Leigh Anne for an example. She's got an A-line silhouette. You can tell because the fitted bodice meets the skirt at the waist, and then flares out from there. This dress shape, as the infographic points out, fits most body types, making Leigh Anne a very versatile gown!

The next item to think about on our list is the neckline. Do you want a fun and flirty sweetheart, or modest square neckline? Looking for something more vintage? Check out the bateau neckline for retro-inspired gowns.The neckline is an important building block to the gown, because it's one of the first aspects of a gown that other people see, and can really highlight a bride's beauty on her special day.

Screenshot courtesy of Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses

Our Leah Anne has a standard sweetheart neckline -- but she's anything but ordinary! Because we offer customizations here at Lu Raquel, Leigh Anne's sweetheart can become a modified sweetheart, or the height of the neckline can be adjusted to fit a bride's needs.

Following the neckline details is the bodice and skirt pieces. Bodices can be fitted or loose, depending on the style of gown and the type of fabrics that you have in mind. Since we're focusing on the construction of the pieces in this step, we'll save discussion on the impact fabric choices have on gown design for step 3.

Standard boning, which is present in our Leigh Anne gown, consists of two boning pieces that provide support from underneath the cup down to the waist. Leigh Anne also has two additional pieces in the middle to provide extra structure. The amount of boning present in your gown design will ultimately be decided by the type of fabric you want and how that relates to your silhouette.

Straps are also discussed as a part of the bodice. How do you want them to attach to the front? Are they a spaghetti strap or a caplet? Once you've answered these questions, continue to think about how you want the straps to be attached to the back of the dress, which will be discussed along with the backline.

The skirt of the gown is closely related to the silhouette of the overall dress. Is is an A-line skirt that flares out from the waistline or a mermaid that flares out closer to the bride's knees more suited to your design?

Leigh Anne | Back

The final two items for this step are the backline and the train style. The backline of your gown refers to how low the backline of the gown should be, and if there is any specific styling details for it. For our Leigh Anne gown, we chose to have a straight backline that rests just below the shoulder blades.

Leigh Anne has cap sleeves that turn into spagetti straps in the back of the gown, and are attached to the top of the backline of the gown.

This gown is an A-Line silhouette, so that's the style of skirt for this gown. Gathers and pleating also need to be considered when thinking about how full you want the skirt to be, because they will impact how "poofed out" the skirt will be -- along with the choice of fabric for the underlayers.

There are four different kinds of train lengths: sweep, court, chapel, and cathedral. The length of the train ascends in that order, with sweep being the smallest and cathedral being the largest. Our Leigh Anne has a modified chapel length train.

After the construction  of the gown is planned out, you can move on to fabric choices and detailing, such as closure types and beading. We'll save those choices for the next step, however.

For more gown examples, check out our website!
If you're looking for more information on what Lu Raquel can offer you, please contact us at, or on our website.

Stay Tuned For Next Week:

Step 3: It's All In The Detailing

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.