Jessamyn's Regency Costume Companion: Contemporary Garments

Romantic Wedding.

This is my own wedding gown. It is made from many, many yards of antique-cream colored silk duppioni (I wanted a stored-in-a-trunk look), with silk fabric roses in cinnamon and dark pink and tiny light-pink rosebuds, peeping out of individual pearl-beaded lace motifs cut out and applied by hand around the neckline and at intervals around the skirt. It buttons down the back with close-set pearl-bead buttons. The bodice is boned for shape and so that when the sleeves are pushed off the shoulder it stays up! A net petticoat and horsehair edging give the skirt shape. I loved this gown and wore it afterwards to a couple of balls - it's wonderful for dancing in. (After all, Victorian brides wore their wedding gowns for "best" after the wedding. What a shame to encase it in plastic and never enjoy it again.)

Click on the thumbnails for more detail. Price: $1600 as shown

Classic Couture.

A COMPLETELY CUSTOM GOWN; most of the pattern pieces were created from scratch to the customer's proportions. Tara loved the less-is-more style of classic 1960s evening and wedding gowns, and came to me after becoming frustrated by the strapless bodices and fluffy skirts filling today's bridal shops. Armed with a handful of her carefully hoarded vintage clippings, I created this silk satin gown with an empire waist, fitted columnar skirt, elegant train, and bodice hand-embroidered in silver thread and adorned with tiny crystal beads. The train is detachable, to make riding in the car and dancing afterwards easy.

"I really loved the dress and it looked and fit fabulously.
Everyone kept telling me what a wonderful dress it was.
I was very happy. Thanks for making the day special!"
- Tara

Click on the thumbnails for more detail. Price: from $950

Elegant Alternatives.

LIS WANTED A BEAUTIFUL OUTFIT for her commitment ceremony but didn't like to wear dresses. We worked together to find something that would make her feel comfortable, beautiful, and special. I wound up creating this fitted frock-coat-style jacket, made from deep cream silk duppioni, and a coordinating pair of coppery shot-silk cigarette pants. The jacket closes with ten self-fabric loops and creamy buttons with chased-"gold" surrounds, and has a stand collar and deep vent in back.

Lis is tiny, but this semifitted style is flattering to most figures. This jacket would also be beautiful rendered in an elegant brocade or patterned velvet, and could be worn with equal success over a simple skirt; it would even be wonderful in a slightly more masculine cut for a man's wedding coat.

Price of coat in silk duppioni: $300; in silk brocade: from $350

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Copyright 2003 by David and Jessamyn Reeves-Brown. All rights reserved. Please do not use any images on this page without permission.