The aim of the EcoBride collection is to create bridal gowns through a slow and considered process, using materials & procedures that do not harm the environment in any way. This can be done by using new fabrics which are certified organic (cottons & hemp), are produced in environmentally-friendly & ethical ways (peace silk), are handmade by highly skilled artisans (crochet & lace), or by using reclaimed fabrics from other textile items to extend their lifespan.
Some of the design concepts include:
• Zero waste (no waste fabric created during pattern-cutting),
• Slow fashion (hand-sewing rather than machining),
• Emotionally durable design (importance of sentimentality and durability of style), and
• Reclaiming both vintage items and off-cuts to make new fabrics.
Another consideration is for the lifespan of the gown: some gown styles are designed as separates (corsets & blouses) which can be worn after the wedding as part of the brides wardrobe.
|Chevron gown lace detail - vintage edge laces stitched together by hand to create a new textured fabric.|
|Zero Waste - seams stitched to the outside of the Tulle-Bi-Telli bridal gown are trimmed in vintage edge laces in order to celebrate the principle.|
The result is a collection of gowns with strong themes of lace-mixing, colour-mixing, fabric-efficient pattern styling, and artisanal crafts of lace-making, crochet & appliqué. Conservative necklines are balanced out by sheer sections, lending a flirty edge to some of the more traditional or demure styles. These pieces designed for the debut EcoBride collection, each epitomised a specific design concept; illustrating the many ways in which bridal fashion could be earth-sensitive. This in itself is a long-debated issue - the paradox of sustainable fashion - and it was Wendy's intention to highlight areas of design that could address this debate.
|Veneto gown: Vintage Chantilly, dotted tulle, tatting and needlepoint laces stitched by hand.|
It is becoming more important to people to know and celebrate the origin of the items they save for. A bridal gown, possibly the most important dress a girl will ever wear, is the culmination of her personality and what is important to her. EcoBride gowns take all of this into consideration, allowing a bride to display her care for the environment (through careful fabric choices) and the people who live in it, through development of rural skills of crochet & lace making.
All of the Dimity EcoBride gowns are available to order and are cut to the brides measurements. However, it is important to note that since many of the laces used in the original gowns are vintage, the exact lace may not be available anymore, and would need to be replaced by a different vintage piece, chosen by the bride.
Bridal Gowns: Dimity Bridal Studio www.dimity.co.za
Photographed by Allen E Schultz www.aesp.co.za
Model: Samantha-Jo Chandler
Hair & MUA: Adelle Jung www.facebook.com/AdelleJungMakeUpArtistHairStylist/
Jewellery: Chey Michau www.cheymichau.co.za