SOMETHING BORROWED / by Elizabeth Leese

I’ve never been much of a rule breaker unless I know I can get away with it.

In graphic design, mixing font moods is a death sentence. Moods must compliment, not contradict. The same can be said in fashion design, which introduces my current challenge: how do I combine my modern, minimal style with my whimsical Irish venue? There is an undeniable fairytale quality to Ireland and it's a direct contrast to my basic, boxy wardrobe. Yet, the beauty of art and design is that rules can be bent and broken if you know how to do it.

So here I am. I have a sketchpad full of minimal and modern designs and I’m trying to find a way to blend in frill. The more I sketch, the more progress I make, but the game changer has been sitting in my closet for months: my mother's lace wedding gown. Initially I did not think I would use anything but silk, but with my mother's full permission to take apart her dress and borrow the lace, it is looking like the perfect solution to blending minimal and fairytale. 

My parents were married in the 80’s—you know the look. Enormous sleeves, a neckline that comes up to your ears and a train the length of a football field. Mothers of anyone my age were married either in a dress similar or a pantsuit. God bless the 80’s. The lace from her dress, however, is timeless and has been very inspiring through the evolution of my dress.

Being in fashion, it’s expected for my design to change at least 10 times, it’s like a hair stylist trying to make a decision about their hair color. Despite the constant changes and daily tweaks, I am getting closer to my dream dress! As of now, I have decided on a silhouette, received my silk fabric, and have made three preliminary dresses to perfect the fit. My mother’s dress has been whitened and I am working to remove the damaged beading and take apart the seams. It's the first step to an evolving process and only the beginning of blending my styles. Can't wait to let the scissors fly!

-E