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Behind the Dress: Joanna

Joanna; strapless mermaid gown with chiffon laddering and tumbled skirt

One of the themes of my collection this season is mystery: it’s always there for me when I’m working, because beauty itself is so mysterious. I love to design pieces that hide, that reveal, that stir our senses and our imaginations. With this collection, I wanted to invite my audience to experience the mysteries that lie beneath the surface. And of course, sometimes the best way to celebrate mystery is by reveling in lightness and frivolousness.

In this strapless mermaid gown – softly corseted that hugs and flatters the bride – you see this sense of movement and lightness most in the tumbled skirt. I wanted the skirt to be in constant motion. It’s airy and ethereal, and it sets off the classic silhouette of the mermaid gown very nicely: it’s quite a signature silhouette for me. The whole gown is enfolded with laddered fabric, which is a technique I love. It’s done in a pattern that swirls around and around the dress and then opens out as it descends – subtle but rapturous.

The skirt is a real confection. It’s got so many different tones playing together and shading in and out, and the textures are gorgeous. The crinkle tulle is also pleated in a leaf pattern, so it’s very textural. There’s something so delicate about it, that it almost takes your breath away. And at the same time it’s so full of free-flowing energies and just lots of frantic detail, racing away in every direction.

I love a frothy skirt paired with a more statuesque, classic bodice, because it’s a chance to marry the elegance of my more fashion-forward textures and patterns – like this laddered chiffon—with the lightness and whimsy of traditional bridal.

Joanna: Nude chiffon strapless mermaid gown with degradé laddering detail and tumbled tulle skirt | CollectionVera Wang Fall 2012 Bridal | PhotographerMichael Beauplet

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