If there is any one dress in my Spring 2012 collection that epitomizes the pageantry of the Paris Opera, it’s Hayley. The centerpiece of this dress, for me, is the absolutely stunning, theatrical cascade of organza petals in the skirt, all cut from the most delicate tissue organza. They just float on the dress like a spilling bouquet. I did the petals in two tones: first, in a soft sand color, and then a nude, so it just gives you a complex tonality that’s a little more special.
For even more movement and excitement in the skirt, I’ve also used pleated honeycomb tulle—it gives you a whole other texture and volume underneath that petal effect. You almost picture Hayley swirling across the stage in a Degas painting.
The dropped-waist bodice features softly draped illusion organza over a corset. That transparency effect—that play between “reveal” and “conceal”—is one of my favorite techniques.
I’ve used all the textures in this dress, particularly in the petals, to give Hayley a rich, luxurious look, instead of going with traditional bling. For me, it’s about using fabric manipulations to make things look new and modern. And it’s also all about the motion in the whole gown, not the static detail. I love being able to achieve slouch and ease in a gown, and I always do this very purposefully, with layer upon layer of organic elements, as you see in Hayley. Getting that stunning combination of seemingly effortless beauty that’s so perfect and strategic: that’s what brings a dress together for me.
I like my bridal collections to be filled with unexpected touches—everything is very deliberately mixed up, assembled together, and then taken apart again, until I’ve found that perfect balance between architecture and effortlessness.