Hilary is really a work of art, because there are so many layers of the most exquisite laces all mended together, creating a really rich texture. It’s like putting on a Rolls Royce!
Even though Hilary’s silhouette is column-like, very sleek and streamlined, there are so many different elements in this dress; it’s a collage. Every single piece of this dress is made with a different kind of texture. But everything is combined so beautifully, so that you get a lot of detail that comes through in the layers, while still appearing very seamless and crisp overall.
You can see this especially in the train of the dress: how there’s just so much richness that shines through all the various levels. The train is layered with a new type of lace that we’re calling “honeycomb Chantilly.” It’s a Chantilly lace pattern with big, almost diamond-shaped holes. And then you have re-embroidered lace with Guipure lace on top of that, as well as an array of floating organza floral sprigs very gently drifting, almost like blossoms in a bowl of water.
Because lace is so thick by nature, when you use a lot of different laces you have to be really careful about the way in which you mend them together. You don’t want to end up with a lot of bulk and heaviness—especially when using a denser lace like Guipure, even the exaggerated, blown-up version of it that I used here. That’s why I varied the amount of Guipure lace as you move from top to bottom. At the bodice, it’s very dense, and then gradually it disperses.
This is definitely a dress for the Romanticist who still wants to be modern—it’s opulent, but understated.