Strapless mermaid gown with Chantilly lace illusion neckline, gathered tulle bodice and degrade ruffle seam with eyelash organza flange skirt
This is a soft, pliant mermaid gown, very bold and body-conscious. You’ll usually find that more rigid gowns in the mermaid shape can make it difficult to move, but I wanted a bodice that would hold, without being constricting. It updates a classic silhouette with a very seductive shape. This is for the bride who wants to stop the show at her ceremony.
In the bodice, I started with a foundation layer, and then worked in this contrast-color Chantilly applique over the top—you get a hide-and-seek intrigue that’s almost too gorgeous to believe. I really love this effect: I think it’s compelling, even delirious, and it would be understatement to say it enhances the back view. This is dangerous magic! Every single drape and pass is a brushstroke, it’s like doing a Japanese ink painting over the statue of a goddess. It’s brazen, for a bride who’s well-versed in the art of feminine presence.
“Eyelash flange” is how we describe these organza layers in the skirt. It’s another little bit of sorcery. Picture a square of fabric slowly unraveling in a perfect line, so that the warp of the material flies off in a delicate fringe—that’s how I wanted these built-up flanges to look. From every angle these “eyelashes” are waving—winking—and the light touches every edge so finely, and then plunges and gets lost in this dramatic accumulation of textures in the depths of the skirt. It’s really a study in saturation, and decadence, and it perfectly accentuates the hide-and-veil, high-contrast effect in the bodice.
June: Strapless mermaid gown with Chantilly lace illusion neckline, gathered tulle bodice and degrade ruffle seam with eyelash organza flange skirt | Collection: Vera Wang Fall 2012 Bridal | Photographer: Michael Beauplet