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Behind the Dress: Jade

Strapless full A-line gown with pleated tulle swirled ruffle and asymmetrical sheared flange

I’ve mentioned the Exhibitionist bride before. There’s probably just a little of her in  every bride-to-be: we all want to shine on our big day, and to be the center of attention. For some brides, that means a show-stopping, luxurious, absolutely extravagant gown. And I do love it when a bride is honest about what she wants! Jade more than fits the bill. It’s strapless, it’s hip-defining, and it’s a spectacularly flattering fit.

Just about every technique I’ve developed for the collection this season is on view in Jade. I’ve put texture upon texture into this A-line skirt, until it’s beyond decoration—it’s a total work of art, in motion. In the bodice, you can see a new technique we call sheared flange, in which strips of cut-edge organza are spaced together so minutely that the effect looks almost like fur. It twists and transforms and enthralls as it weaves around, and down the skirt, adding dimension and elegance.

The skirt is built up from pleated tulle, and against that you have a delicate arrangement of ruffled tulle, which almost looks like billowing vapor, drifting through light and darkness. It’s ethereal, and extremely evocative. And then there’s a swath of stiff gathered tulle which brings even richer, deeper tones, and draws the eye in, really grabs you. It was such a pleasure to draw all of that color out of so many levels of pleating and gathering: every pinch and gather transforms the shade. There’s so many blushes, golds and ivories, and dusty pinks cascading. This starbust pleat I’ve put at the hip is a bold way to accentuate not only our lovely bride’s silhouette, but also the sheer depth of the tones and play of light here. There’s so much motion, and so much richness in the play of textures and layers and densities here, it’s almost too much—it just swallows up all your senses. And yet, it’s suffused with airiness. Light almost seems to pour through this gown.

JadeStrapless full A-line gown with pleated tulle swirled ruffle and asymmetrical sheared flange | Collection: Vera Wang Fall 2012 BridalPhotographerMichael Beauplet

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