Stretch Mikado mermaid gown with floating tulip and rose lace overlay accented by table pleated organza rosette skirt
Lark is all about lace. What makes this particular lace so modern, and so exciting in a fashion context, is the sculptural quality of the shapes in this particular pattern, and the way it’s right there in the spotlight, in the neck piece and overlaid on the bodice. It’s not so much lace as a decoration, or as a piece of clothing; it’s lace as a visual idea. The flowers I chose to create are roses and tulips, because they have both a very recognizable, big profile and because they’re so symbolic and timeless. By blowing them up and making them very oversized, you can see the fine lines in the lace process close up, so the flower is abstracted, almost like it’s been screen-printed, or, in the case of the diaphanous neckpiece, even tattooed on the bride’s skin. It’s so delicate, and it’s such a fascinating interplay between the bride’s complexion and the ethereal outline and detail of each blossom.
This neckpiece, of course, is extremely classic and traditional. It deliberately makes lace the focal element of the bodice, which is a nod to the old-fashioned that feels delightfully fresh. Lace was originally used in bridal wear because it was so expensive to fabricate, and so it signaled wealth and opulence. It’s true, even today, that handmade lace is a prized commodity. And, of course, it’s just beautiful.
This collection has been about discovering new inspiration in classic bridal elements: the world of lace and embroidery. There’s still so much you can say with lace, and when else are you going to get a chance to say it, if not at your ceremony? It’s a real heirloom material, and it resonates with me as a way to return to some of these authentic, hand-crafted materials and processes. The Lark gown might be for a bride who’s inspired to choose something with almost a bit of a vintage feel to it, a heritage.
Of course, this gown is also quite up-to-date and exciting for another reason, and that’s the dramatic mermaid shape. It’s a long, lean, bombshell silhouette: it’s almost red-carpet. It’s all for that gorgeous, siren-like bride who wants to celebrate her body. For good reason! The mermaid gown has always been a favorite for me, as well as a challenge, because it’s so glamorous, and can also be unforgiving if you haven’t gotten every detail of the presentation right. In the end, I find it most beautiful because it celebrates the female form – and after all, is there any design more classic than that?