Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No. 1: Honeychurch

I'm really excited to be launching my 2010 bridal collection, and while the formal lookbook is still a few days out, I think it's okay to leak a photo...every dress is named for a literary heroine (I know, I am a giant nerd). Chantilly lace and English tulle over silk charmeuse.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

For keep's sake.

Kelsey and I worked together last summer to create a new wedding dress from her mother's (read what we did here). She just forwarded these photos from her wedding, and I love everything about them--the colors, the composition, her hair (like she stepped out of a Botticelli painting). Congratulations, Kelsey.
Photography by Emily G.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The English Dept. on TV!

Myra over at Twigs & Honey just let me know that "our" television commercial is now making the rounds. We were honored to be chosen for one of a cluster of TV spots featuring unique downtown Portland businesses. We're featured in the "Shopping" segment. All of the ads are so, so witty and stylish. Cheers to Food Chain Films and the Downtown Marketing Initiative for showing our familiar little city in such a fresh, fond light. Go here to view our ad and here to watch them all.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Color 243 + me = love.

If you know me, you know I am a bit of a grey fanatic. My favorite New York fabric company has a pale, pearly, seashell-y grey silk that I believe was created for me to love. It has no name--unless you count 243--but it will always be oyster to me. So I was really excited when Erika ordered a version of my Honeychurch dress with my beloved oyster underlaying the lace and tulle. I do like her style.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Need a little party dress?

...has a Best of Portland guide, and they named The English Dept. one of their favorite boutiques in the Holiday Party Wear category. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I'm playing with this neckline idea of gestural details creating "jewelry" on the dress. Hard to get a decent photo in this rainstorm!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Remember summer?

After a week of freezing winds and apocalyptic storm warnings, I was thrilled to receive these photos of Emily's wedding. She wore my Keepsake lace dress and Dreamland silk organza bolero for a summer wedding that looked awfully fun (and enviably sun-kissed). Looking through the photos reminded me that yes, the sun will come back again. It will. It must!
And, of course, it was lovely to see the dress again. Ivory Alençon lace over silk duchess satin, silk shantung ruched sash.
Photos by Tom Oliver and Cameron Browne.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The 2010 bridal season has crept up on 2009, and I have started some new custom dresses. If they're all like Tasha's, it's going to be a smashing year. This very special dress is embroidered all over with 100-year-old guipure lace. This lace is all made from small pieces from my collection, cut apart and reassembled as a collage of blossoms. They've been hand-tinted and tea dyed to harmonize in color. The bodice will be fully covered in lace, tapering down the skirt in a scatter pattern to the hem. More pictures as it comes together.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow & Smoke

Really love these images Sarah sent me of her wedding--she wore my Snow & Smoke dress. English tulle over duchess satin.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chorus girls.

I finally stumbled upon these great portraits Lisa shot of all the participating designers at Content. I co-created an installation based on a 1930s backstage dressing room with the lovely Sarah of Lille Boutique. I think I kind of resemble a creepy doll in this picture (compare with Sarah--there's a girl who knows how to strike a pose), but this photo does really capture the scene. You can view more portraits here.

Release the hounds(tooth)!

I have had this fabric for years--1950s houndstooth wool in vivid magenta, scrounged long ago from some estate sale or other. Barely a yard, a bit shrunken and felted, but with its own quirky charm. The bitter winds and drab palette of winter oddly inspired me--I had a sudden passionate urge to make it into a tiny hooded shrug. I really had to dig to find that little scrap, since I never thought I would use it (never say never). I also never thought I'd like purple. Never, never say never. I think I have found my purple, and I am taking it on the town.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Winter blossoms.

Custom dress embellishment for Clare. Velvet dusty miller leaves, silk peonies and hydrangeas. Such a lovely, ghostly palette--as if every petal had been delicately frosted over.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Treasure Chest.

Shannon is a talented photographer who paid the shop a little visit a few months back. She ended up walking out the door with one of my favorite pieces--my Treasure Chest dress, which she planned to wear in a portrait shoot where, she (for once!) was the subject.

It makes me happy when creative people/makers of things treat themselves to something made/done by someone else--it reminds me that the handmade, artisan, one-of-a-kind love really is circling, circling the universe. This sounds a bit grand, but it feels kind of world-changing. Thanks again, Shannon--for loving the Treasure Chest and wearing it so well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

American Gothic.

Customized silk chiffon gown with dotted tulle flounce, silk flower embellishment, dotted tulle ruffle bolero. Congratulations, Christine!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I might freak out just a little bit...

...because I finally have pictures of Robin's totally delightful wedding. I loved making her dress so much. Silk satin and blush organza and vintage pearls and dotted tulle, oh my!
Sunlight cooperating. No mean feat on windswept Orcas Island. I think the dress has magic powers.
I mean, come on.
...and one with the ladies, adorable six times in Simple Silhouettes' Aster dress.

Robin, thanks for choosing me to design your dress, and for your bold sense of style.

{pssst, being a total knockout doesn't hurt}

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Okay, one more.

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Lisa Warninger, my favorite photographer. This is from a photo shoot we did back in February--two of my dresses, one modeled by the lovely Anna Adams. Lisa is shooting my 2010 bridal collection next week and I feel like the queen of the prom...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cupcake, revisited.

Nikki contacted me about a custom version of my cupcake dress, with little cap sleeves. She sent me her measurements, then road-tripped it out from Idaho to do a fitting. Miraculously, the dress only needed a couple of nips and tucks, and she was able to take it home with her.
Silk shantung, silk tassel organza, vintage lace appliqués. I'm impressed she can hold that pose and smile with her heels in the air--he looks fairly collected, too. What a team!

An old fashioned girl.

Isn't Morgan just a pitch-perfect vintage '50s bride? And she's protecting her complexion, just like a real lady. I love the lace-edged veil, too. Gush, gush. Alençon lace bodice with layered tulle skirt.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Taking the plunge.

New photos of Brittni's wedding...she wore the Jenny Yoo "Alana" dress in silk shantung...

...and I embellished the plunging back with silk organza flowers and streamers.
Her mom even added little silk streamers to the back of her wooden peg cake topper.
Pie topper, I should say. Congratulations, Brittni!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A star is born.

Love this photo Kimi Kolba shared with me of Annie's dress (Jenny Yoo's Jocelyn, ordered from The English Dept.) and jacket (custom designed by me). I love how the dress appears to be waiting...this little lady is ready for her debut!