Introduction and


Home 2


& Mediaeval


Bridal Gowns



The William Morris


Classical Tutus
& Dance Costume


16th and 17th Century

18th and 19th Century



Design Process

Sample Sale


1880s Style Gown "Lily"
This style was inspired by fashions of the late 19th Century: tight bodices moulded to the hips, draped skirts with fullness at the back and long trains with decorative trims. Unlike the extremely tight-laced bodices of the time, this version is constructed as a multi-panelled bodice with light boning. It provides a very flattering shape without the discomfort! It might be noted that a well fitted bodice combined with a horizontally draped skirt gives the illusion of an even smaller waist.

The sample gown shown was constructed in a gold silk taffeta. This fabric is available in around 70 different shades. (It also works just as well in silk dupion - over 300 shades to choose from, or duchesse satin.) The draped skirt shown was a beautiful indian silk brocade in peacock blue and gold - many alternatives can be choosen or the entire gown can be made in the same fabric as the bodice.

The train reflects the full skirts of the 1880s which would have been worn bunched up and draped over a bustle. It is in a toning colour, but again could be in the same fabric as the bodice and front skirt. It is edged with a contrasting line of piping, lace and pleated organza. See the details shown below of the hem of an original 1880s wedding gown.


Many stunning design details can be reproduced from original 19th century evening and wedding gowns and applied to 21st century designs. The hem of an original antique nineteenth century wedding gown is shown on the right above.

Please enquire for estimates/quotes for all possible design variations. To reproduce this gown as shown, in silk taffeta, silk dupion and toning brocade (or similar), with pleated trim would be £2300. The same shape, but entirely in silk dupion and with no trims would be £1900. (Within our vast range we have over 800 different shades of silk dupion to choose from...!)

This design can be varied and individualised
to each made-to-measure order.

"Lily" in green silk taffeta, accessorised with tartan

Karen chose a green/ black shot silk taffeta for her version of the "Lily" design above. The colour was chosen to co-ordinate with her husband-to-be's O'Connor clan tartan. This theme was continued with her hand-made victorian style boots. The boned bodice was enhanced with scattered bugle beads in "petrol" shades around the neckline. A matching cropped bolero/ shrug jacket was also designed. Although a midsummer wedding, it took place in a scottish castle and some protection against possible chills was needed.

Strapless Corset Gown with Adjustable Bustle

Lara's stunning Celtic looks meant that she could have chosen virtually any design from any period. She decided on a strapless version of the "Lily" bodice combined with the original draped and bustle-backed skirt. The resulting effect was totally 21st century with the glamour of a late Victorian bustle gown. It was the client's inspiration to decorate the gold/black silk dupion corset bodice with semi-precious stones. These included rock quartz, amber, citrine and a few interspersed Swarovski crystals for extra sparkle.


Lara's wedding photographs by kind permission
of Andrew Hazard Photography.

Copyright © 2005 - 2011Theresa Blake. All Rights Reserved.