Posts Tagged ‘Illustrations’

Romantic & Elegant Church Appropriate Bridal Gowns

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Hello everyone!

With the trends towards sleeves and illusion necklines coming through in a big way for wedding gowns at the moment, there is more opportunity for brides who want or need a Chapel ready (Church appropriate) wedding gown that covers the arms, shoulders and decolletage (think Kate Middleton’s gown).

Exploring this trend, while knowing that most brides still wanting to feel alluring and beautiful, I created some sketches and here is one of them:


This gown is all about the amazing French lace which is cleverly cut and stitched on to tulle around the neck and shoulders. It also accentuates the back with pleats creating a bustle effect which is very elegant.

A gown like this would also look super cute with a small ruffle right down the centre back all the way to the skirt train. (Can’t imagine this? I’ll have to draw it for you sometime..)

If you are looking for a Chapel ready gown you will find they are extremely hard to find. A lot of brides end up buying a strapless dress and having it altered to have the appropriate coverage, but it just won’t have the same effect as a bridal gown that was designed to have sleeves.

So talk to me about having a wedding gown created especially for you!

I am still taking bookings for as early as February 2013 weddings but not for long! So contact me asap if you want a couture dress made just for you for an early 2013 wedding!

Send us an email or call us: Contact us here:

Twitter – @SarahCouturier


Pinterest – sarahaandrews

Happy Wedding Planning! x Sarah


Check out today’s Friday Roundup for our feature on Polka Dot Bride:

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Hello everyone,

I’m doing an extra snippet blog today to mention a news item being featured on today’s Polka Dot Bride’s Friday Roundup:

That’s right – I am making a trip for two days to Brisbane on Friday 14th September until Saturday 15th September (2 day trip) and I will be doing bridal gown consultations for Brisbane brides looking for a couture made-to-measure wedding gown on those two days between Friday 14th Sept morning 11am – 6pm until Saturday 15th Sept afternoon 10am – 5pm.

These consultations are strictly by appointment only as I have a very limited number of spots still available and I give totally dedicated time to each Bride.

At your appointment, I will sit down with you and we can talk about your dream wedding dress and what ideas you have or if you’re not sure what you would like, you can look through some of my designs and I’ll sketch up some ideas that I think would suit you.

We will then discuss suitable silks, laces and other materials to start bringing your gown to life!

Consultations are free and there is no obligation to go ahead with the design. – I always welcome plenty of discussion via email or phone as you have a think about the designs I have done for you and decide if they’re right for your wedding.

If you’d like any further info about how I conduct a consultation for my interstate brides you can see my blog link here:

Look out for the 7th September 2012 Friday Round Up blog post on Polka Dot Bride here:

To book an appointment please call or send me an email – details on my contact page.

Phone: 0431 977 814 (Sarah)


x Sarah

New Trends in Bridal Gown Inspiration – High-Necked Details and Capped Sleeves:

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Hi to all the lovely brides planning your weddings and of course to my fellow wedding vendors and friends,

This post is about some of the new wedding gown styles I have been working on recently. – There is a trend towards vintage looks with high necklines, small capped sleeves, bustles and stunning delicate details in chiffon and lace. It’s a very soft look, sweet, innocent and perfect for an elegant, romantic wedding.

These gowns are devoid of stiff structure or excessive boning and have a natural flow. They could be bias cut in silk satin, with silk organza inserts, soft silk tulle, silk-cotton voile or French Chantilly laces.

I also explored a bit of an Indian sari feel to some of the designs as well. It would be gorgeous to use a stunning embroidered and beaded sari as the main fabric for your wedding gown. And then you could wear a veil with the same embroidery and detailing.

If you like some of these ideas and you would like to discuss further, just give me a call or send me an email – details on my contact page.

You can also chat with me on Twitter – @SarahCouturier

Or become a fan on Facebook.

Or find us on Pinterest.

x Sarah

For Beauty’s Sake! Don’t be in Pain on Your Wedding Day!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

With all the media coverage of the Logie Awards recently, I’ve been hearing about celebrities who were instructed by their gown designer to wear corsets beneath their dresses that cinched them in so tightly they hurt their ribs and got bruise marks! (talk about unrealistic expectations!)

The same goes with footwear. These women were told to wear heels so tall that they could barely walk – just to add 10 inches to their height.

Of course I adore heels! (Every girl does..) but as a designer, I love to make women look their best. My aesthetic is that women should look beautiful and feminine, but they should also FEEL beautiful and feminine! If you can’t walk, it hurts to stand and you can’t sit down, let alone comfortably breath – then there is a problem with what you are wearing!

My version of the cinched-in look..

It truly is possible for you to look gorgeous without forcing yourself into uncomfortable garments. By considering your propotions, height and colouring as I do when I design, you will absolutely look your best!

If you love huge ballgowns, but you’re very petite and could be engulfed by wearing such a design – I can craft a design with these features that works for you.

Or if you want something figure hugging but that gives you a slim waist look, it’s all about playing with the proportions of the design strategically. Even ‘semiotics’ can play a role in the visual appeal of how a gown looks..

So don’t fear – you don’t have to be in pain on your wedding day! It’s such an incredible day you only get to enjoy once, so don’t make the mistake of being uncomfortable..

As always, love to hear your comments. Check out my Facebook & Twitter to share your thoughts on this topic!

x Sarah

Inspiration from Other Realms of Design: Pencil Skirt & Jacket

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Illustration of the day:

An unusual concept for a draped jacket and pencil dress. Very kimonoesque with the twisted belt and bow at the back:

I was inspired in part by the Industrial Designer Tord Boontje (of whom I have a wonderful ceiling light). See some examples of his work here & here.

Couldn’t you just imagine a wedding gown design inspired by these? Well I must admit I do find inspiration from some very abstract sources sometimes, so you might not see how this could translate into bridal.. But that’s where my expertise comes in!

But if you like the inspiration and are prepared to see an idea transformed by myself, then I’ll design and create a big frothy gown with extraordinarily intricate detailing for you – and not only will it be wearable, it will sparkle like snowflakes falling..

Check my contact page to get the ball rolling.

x Sarah

Wedding Gown Illustration of the Day: Elegant & Kawaii (cute)

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Hi everyone,

This sketch below is what I call ‘kimonesque’ because of the huge bow sweeping across the bride’s shoulders which is a reference to the Japanese Harajuku & kimono styles that I love, but adapted for bridal.


It’s a long flowing gown. The bodice is formed in lace which tapers off at the hips. The cut out back is framed by the sheer bow in a silk organza with a satiny finish.

It’s a simple, but dramatic dress, which would look good from all angles. That’s something I’m very passionate about too – a gown must look amazing from every view – even from the side.

I like to think of fashion and wedding gowns as a living, breathing sculpture that you can wear. Because as you move while wearing it, it can be seen from different angles and as you lift your arms to throw your bouquet or as you dance the night away with your new husband, the sides of your gown will be seen as much as the front and back.

So have a think about that when you’re choosing your wedding dress – has the designer thought about the ‘flow through’ of the design from each angle? Does it have a consistent, lovely design as you move around in it in front of the mirror?

I’d love to hear what you’ve thought about when searching for your wedding dress and you can leave comments on my facebook and twitter. Details on my Contact page.

x Sarah Alice Andrews – Bridal Couturier

Video: The Design of a Wedding Gown – Illustrations by a Couture Designer

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Hello to all my lovely friends, brides & clients!

If you’ve ever wondered what a couture fashion designer does when they are creating a new gown design, than this little video will give you some insight!

I get down to basics with lots of sketches.. Putting graphite or pen to paper & getting immersed in creativity before I start draping fabric on the mannequin & creating the real shapes.

It’s very short & simple video created in my studio but I hope you enjoy!


As always – I’d love to hear your thoughts & comments. You can contact us via Facebook, Twitter & email me – find all the details on my Contact Page. Also, we’re now on Pinterest!

x Sarah.

New Trends: Inspiration for your Wedding Dress in Unstructured, Bohemian, Diaphanous Design

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

This week I’d like to inspire those brides who have been searching for a different look for their wedding day. Perhaps something looser and less tightly structured, or just a more relaxed fitting.

You may have been searching for something romantic for a garden wedding like the flowing empire waisted gowns worn in ‘Pride & Prejudice‘ a Regency Period (1800’s) drama or a gown you saw in another splendid film or on the Red Carpet.

Or you could be wandering other wedding gown boutiques searching for the ultimate destination wedding dress that you can ‘throw in your suitcase’..

Below are some ideas we could create for you at Sarah Alice Andrews – Bridal Couturier. As you can see we are also big fans of the T-Length (short) bridal gown look – even as an option to change into for your wedding reception so you can ‘dance the night away’ with your new husband! But the concepts I have illustrated also lend themselves to a longer length as well.

All images copyright Sarah Alice Andrews – Bridal Couturier 2012

All images copyright Sarah Alice Andrews – Bridal Couturier 2012

Elements we’re loving are ethereal, sheer silk organzas with the finest chantilly laces cut precisely and appliqued by hand. Beneath you could wear a fine silk satin slip that will feel lovely against the skin, so you could even surprise your husband to be on your wedding night by taking off the outer silk organza layer and wearing the silk satin slip to bed!

Fabrics we’re loving include: Fine silk satins, cotton voile, silk/cotton blends, silk crepe & fine laces with a natural texture. Hues could include Optical Whites through to Antique Ivory or Gold.

Think loose fitting gowns in silk chiffon, with handwork reminiscent of vintage lingerie slips from your grandmother’s chest or the grandest of ballgowns with tiny pearls stitched along the lace, free of the boning and letting the fabric fall lightly about you or – in a slinky bias-cut that hugs your figure. These looks could be done with a short or long length.

All images copyright Sarah Alice Andrews – Bridal Couturier 2012

And of course we Love veils at our studio! Play up the drama with a long veil in silk tulle edged with French scalloped lace which we will create to match your wedding gown perfectly..

Or try a sweet birdcage veil over your face, or even a lace cloche hat. We love the ones by Maudies Millinery which you can find here or you can see more of Maudie’s hats, veils and bridal accessories at A Very Vintage Fair which is being held at The Bleeding Heart Gallery in Ann St, Brisbane city on 24 & 25 March 2012.

Both photographs are copyright Maudies Millinery 2012

If you’ve enjoyed gleaning some inspiration from any of these images, then give us a call or send us an email to discuss how we can create your dream wedding gown!

You don’t need to be sure of what you want – you just have to contact us and I will listen to your ideas (or I’ll suggest some if you’re not sure) and I will then design the most flattering style possible for your wedding day!

Enjoy! Sarah – Contact Us Here or chat with us on Facebook & follow us on Twitter.

Will you get your Wedding Gown Couture Custom Made vs Off the Rack? Tips to help you decide:

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011


A decision you may find yourself needing to make in the hunt for your perfect wedding gown is whether you’re going to buy it “Off the Rack” or if you will have one “Made to Measure”.

In my career I have designed bridal gowns for international labels who mass produced & also small couture labels who created one-off dresses, so I have a lot of experience in both choices. There are significant differences between the two, so I have endeavoured to list some of the major differences and benefits as follows:

Buying your wedding gown off the rack:

  • This is a good option if you would like a traditional style of wedding dress.
  • Buying your gown off the rack normally means that it is a mass produced style. Most stores will carry just one sample gown in stock and will have the factory make it in your size after you order it.
  • Generally samples are stocked in a size 10 or 12, so if you’re a different size you’ll only get a rough idea of how it will fit and look on you in your true size.
  • Your gown will come in a standard size so you may require alterations if it doesn’t fit you perfectly as is. It is a good idea to ask your sales consultant about possible alterations that may be necessary prior to purchasing your wedding gown so you are aware of any additional costs that may be incurred.
  • Length – if you are very short or tall, you may need to have the length adjusted on your bridal gown. Some boutiques will order your gown with a different length (usually up to 3 inches shorter or longer) depending on the style. Gowns that have full pieces of lace or embroidery may not be able to be adjusted because it will alter the whole look and proportions of the design. Your bridal consultant will explain to you which styles can be adapted. I would definitely recommend having the gown ordered with the correct length if possible as it is more likely to retain the original proportions of the design.
  • Straps, Sleeves & Jackets – Honestly these are not easy to find in a bridal boutique simply because there is still such a strong preference for strapless wedding dresses. If you shop around you may find them, but be aware if you’re looking for a wedding dress with a sleeve or a strap, you most probably will require alterations. This is because it is difficult for (any) designer to create a fitted sleeve style that fits ‘everyone’ as women are very different shapes around the shoulder/arm area (that’s why bespoke suit tailoring is so popular for men!).
  • Another option is to add a small capped sleeve to anexisting strapless style – talk to your bridal sales consultant if they offer this service or if they can order a small length of extra fabric or lace when they order your gown, and you can then have a dressmaker add these for you.
  • Design Options – An off the rack dress is limited entirely to the fabric the sample is made in and there may be a limit of 1 – 3 colour options. It’s generally not possible to customise the trims, lace or beading unless you take your gown to a dressmaker which is an extra charge.
  • So who should buy off the rack? I would suggest it if you are extremely time poor or feel more comfortable seeing EXACTLY what you are getting in front of you rather than going through the design process and viewing sketches and fabrics etc.


Having your gown made by a couture designer (made to measure/bespoke):

Obviously I do consider this a wonderful option – as I myself offer this service. However here are some reasons why:

  • The process of having a couture gown made begins with a consultation, followed by a series of fittings, and finally picking up the finished gown. So you get to enjoy the experience of wedding dress fittings! It’s a much more prolonged experience than just walking in and buying your dress off the rack and being done. It’s very exciting seeing it all come together and watching the design and fitting process.
  • It’s a perfect fit! Nothing will fit you better than a design customised to your bodyshape! Even the little details are customised including extra boning and support in the bust or waist if you need it. You’d be surprised how many little details are considered and refined for an individual bride’s gown both inside and out! This is part of the couture experience and truly is an art in itself.
  • On that note it makes it easier to find lingerie for under your gown. There is nothing worse than choosing a gorgeous low back wedding dress and then you can’t find a bra or corset to match because everything is too high at the back. If you have your gown made-to-measure then you can have the neckline of your gown adjusted if necessary to fit the lingerie. Or we can make special allowances in the design to allow you not to wear a bra etc.
  • You have limitless options in fabric and colour, lace and beading (depending on your budget). Dresses off the rack are only available in one fabric or lace.
  • The design is TOTALLY customisable. If you want sleeves/straps/a little matching bolero, garter or a veil that has matching lace to your gown – we can do this for you and more!
  • If you’d like a little button hole or fascinator/hair-piece for each of your bridesmaids that has lace from your gown, it’s also possible!
  • If you have religious or personal requirements about the height of your neckline or sleeve length etc, these are easily accomodated and we can still creating something very flattering for you within the boundaries.
  • I also offer my clients a special gift of a sketch of your gown to keep as a memento of your couture bridal gown experience.
Of course the decision is entirely up to you and there are many advantages to both. I wish you the best of luck in your search for the perfect wedding gown and I hope this was helpful for you! As always if you’d like to leave me a question or comment, check my Contact page.
x Sarah

Would you wear a T-Length gown?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Sometimes I’m approached by brides who would like to wear a t-length wedding dress or something a little shorter than the traditional floor length style. T-length dresses (a skirt usually around knee length) are perfect for a relaxed, informal event such as a beach or destination wedding, or an intimate church wedding with a cocktail party reception.

You might even prefer to wear a full length gown for the ceremony and photos and afterwards you could change into a t-length gown for the reception so you can dance comfortably and move around easily.

Of course wearing a t-length gown means you can show off your gorgeous shoes & pedicure! You could even wear a closed toe shoe and beautiful hosiery – there are so many beautiful lace patterned styles available. (Ask me for suggestions but here are a few I love: PantyhoseAnklet Socks or you could wear an elegant pair of La Perla Stay-Ups or Stockings.

When I’m designing a shorter length gown or a gown that doesn’t have a train, it’s important that the gown still has a very ‘Bridal’ feel and all the splendor and significance of a full length gown and that it doesn’t look too casual.

Maybe this can be achieved with an extra special lace – on a short gown we could add some frivolity such as an all lace skirt with a pretty scalloped hem or silk organza with hand stitched lace appliqued delicately so it’s all frothy and wonderful!

Even adding a silk organza train which can be detached for your reception.

Maybe we could make a special feature of the bodice with ornate beaded lace or lots of intricate panel work such as a gown like this:

On the gown above, the skirt is a gorgeous silk satin in a 50’s style box pleated look, so no other embelishment is needed. How pretty would it be to wear a small fascinator and veil with a gown like this?

Or you could have a pretty low back, we could even add some lace scalloped cap sleeves to this design for a romantic look. A birdcage veil would be so sweet over the face with this gown and we could put some of the same lace motifs into a clip on the side of the veil.

So before you decide to buy or commission a gown you might be wondering if a T-Length gown will suit you. I suggest that you think about the skirt lengths you normally wear. Do you like short or long styles? Are you comfortable showing your knees or would you prefer to hide them? We could make the gown above your knees, just below the knee, or ankle length if you prefer.

T-length gowns can also be any silhouette – even a fitted sheath like style.

If you work with a designer such as myself you will have our expertise to ensure that the length and proportions feel comfortable for you and suit you perfectly. Your gown will be first made up in a calico fabric (basic cotton) and at this stage we can easily change the skirt length and proportions as necessary. Whether it is above the ankle or above the knee we will ensure it suits your silhouette and the type of venue you’ll be wearing it in.

If the fabrics are chosen well and the design is well proportioned we can ensure that your gown sparkles and is truly bridal! So… The next question is: What should your maids wear? Well short length dresses too! Something pretty in a vintage style with plainer fabrics and demure colours, maybe pretty sleeves or shoulder straps, a higher neckline or strapless with soft ruching. You could even have each maid wear a slightly different style for an ecletic mix. – Talk to me about getting your bridesmaids gowns bespoke made too, or I can give you some advice on styles to look for.

x Sarah