On 24th August 2019, bridal beauty Sara Brown married her groom, Joey Acreman, in a gorgeous woodland ceremony in Falmouth, Cornwall. Fashion designer, Instagram blogger and podcast Co-host (@eightyeightpodcast) Sara, is a firm believer in creating colour confidence and her love for colour certainly shines throughout her big day.
We were delighted to help Sara make her colour dreams a reality with our custom printed fabrics. Saras dress is made from Poly Tulle and Duchess Satin.
Read on to find out why Sara decided to make her own dress, the processes it involved and her design inspirations.
What made you want to design your own wedding dress? - Was it something you always thought you would do or did you make the decision after a while of searching for the perfect dress?
I think deep down I had always thought I would design my own dress, and then when it came to properly looking for one I quickly realised as a plus size woman my options were incredibly limited to styles which felt about 20 years out of date. Practically none of the lovely bridal shops, which most brides have magical moments in, even stock dresses over a size 18 and I was looking for a dress 3 sizes bigger than that. So I knew designing my own was the best option.
Did you know exactly what you wanted as soon as you decided to make your own dress or was there a lengthy design process?
I think like most brides to be, I started a Pinterest board pretty much straight away. I have a very varied style and was struggling to decide on one single style, so I think that is what led me to in the end having 3 wedding outfits. For my printed dress I started by thinking of the silhouette I wanted, I went to a bridal shop to try on some dresses, simply to get an idea of how big I wanted the dress, whether I wanted a massive skirt or something more fishtail. From there I knew the shape I was working with and then I started to work on the print to fit in with that look. It took me about 9 months to go through the whole process, but the actual making part of that took only about 2 weeks.
What is your design process? Which mediums do you use?
I started by sketching the dress by hand, but as soon as I got to print I started to work on the computer on Photoshop as I like to see things in full colour and it gives you the chance to move things around quickly. For this print I used photos of flowers, as I wanted them to feel realistic rather than painterly.
What is your favourite part of the design process?
I think my favourite part is always towards the end. Although you might have been staring at a certain print on your screen for weeks, nothing compares to when you see it on actual fabric for the first time. The same goes for seeing the transition of a sketch into as dress that you can actually wear, trying it on for the first time is the best bit.
How did you decide on fabrics? (Duchess Satin & Poly Tulle)
I think the fabrics were decided by the style of dress I had already designed. I knew I needed something sturdy enough to hold the shape of the big skirt, but I also wanted the more delicate and see through aspect of the tulle for contrast.
What is your favourite part/feature of your dress?
My favourite part of the dress has to be the little drawings of our kitty, Paisley, that I snuck into the print as a little secret/surprise. I made my niece her flower girl dress out of the same fabric and print and she absolutely loved the secret kittens just as much as I did.
Do you design/make clothes as a hobby or is it a service you offer?
I work as a Fashion Designer, so this is very much my job. I have designed for ASOS and MaxMara but now I am taking the plunge to start my own brand, which is something I have always dreamt of. I am creating Dolly Rocket (@dollyrocket_london), a size inclusive brand offering bold and colourful styles in sustainably sourced fabrics. Alongside this I also design and create bespoke bridal. My clients are normally similar to me, plus size, knowing that they will not find what they want in existing bridal shops.
What are your design influences? Do you follow trends when designing?
I think I usually draw influence from vintage styles and I am often drawn to the 70s for inspiration. I absolutely adore the bright colours that seem more prominent in vintage fashion. After working as a designer for ASOS for so many years, trend following is just 2nd nature to me, however I do always like to take that and then put my own spin on it. I think especially with bridal designs, I am inclined to lean closer to more classic styles that don’t seem to date as quickly. But I also think that if you design with your heart and create something that you really love you will always like it.
Sara was recently feautured in Cosmopolitan Magazine and photographed wearing the Dolly Rocket brand.
How did you hear about Fashion Formula?
I first started working with Fashion Formula years ago when I was designing at ASOS. We often got fabric printed with you to make into samples to test designs before they went into production.
Tags: bridal, wedding, dress, floral, duchess, satin, tulle, designer, bride, groom, custom,