This dress was part of the most beautiful collection for SS12 by Roksanda Ilincic. I remember being seated next to Diane Pernet and having a vibrant conversation about the plight of the UK bumblebee. So much so, she asked me to write a piece about it for ASOV, which I did. The collection was so ridiculously gorgeous that I dreamt one day of being one of these otherworldly women. Cut to the next summer, when I was all of a sudden proposed to and we decided to get married quickly, for no reason other than it felt right; all systems go, I organised a wedding for 150 people + in the space of six weeks.
An afternoon spent with my mother looking at classic wedding dresses, nothing sprang to mind, then having an epiphany in Browns(!), beside a mainline Roksanda jacket, I spoke to my friend Mandi Lennard her previous pr and within 24 hours was looking at dresses at her atelier. This immediately I knew was the dress: I loved how the overskirt felt bridal and coy, yet bouncy and unorthodox, while the handmade silk flowers added their own note of romance.
I was so nervous (plus doing a lot of Tracy Anderson!) in that six weeks that my dress was fitted down a size – loved that! I wore it with a Stephen Jones veil, for which he used the fabric from the skirt and other dashes of glory, with some Christian Lacroix shoes I had from when I styled for him. For when I felt a chill Shadiye the kindest mentor of a previous client Mustafa Aslanturk reworked a pink silk velvet long cape I had picked up for a song at Walthamstow car boot sale for a song over a decade before and never felt was quite right unless I went to the opera (which sadly, I hadn’t), into something small, petite and perfect.
Last Thursday evening I had a rare moment of doubt, that possibly my dress was not ‘the’ one. Looking at a friend’s photos of their white lace ensemble, then tidying a shelf where our photos are, I said to Jeremy, perhaps I should have worn white. No… he said in that way men speak when they know there is no right answer. The next day, I had a rare moment of that precious thing called time, between a meeting at Island records and another in Shoreditch. As there was a bus strike, I thought by chance, let me turn that into a positive, the weather is decent, I know I shall go to The V&A. It is always lovely to visit: and indeed it was, having a ‘The Ballet Shoes’ meets arts and crafts moment admiring the Kensington architecture, then into the museum. Imagine my timely surprise when I chanced upon The Ballgowns exhibition, swooped on the catalogue the first image I saw in the book was of ‘my dress’!
The exhibition attendant was so kind, I think bemused by my smiling shock that she let me in for free. What a pleasure of an exhibition: Bellville Sassoon swinging 60’s zingy creations, couture latter-day glories by Worth, as well as a rolling film show of debutantes and cigar smoking aristocrats sitting through staged shows of elegance in Mayfair. Upstairs, there she was. Amongst the contemporary dresses my wedding dress shared the space with feathered glories by Alexander McQueen, printed sheaths by Jonathan Saunders as well as a beauty of a dress by Erdem in blue, yellow and floral.
Sitting on the bench in front of my dress, it brought be back to my wedding day, forwards to now, as well as realising of course the dress was the right choice.
It was and remains my beautiful dress for a perfect wedding day.