Close up: Beaded English garden dress

As a designer who is commission based – my customers come to me with ideas for their special occasion or big day and I  bring my own creative twist to them – I seldom have the opportunity to create dresses with my ideal woman in mind.

Occasionally I’ll be so inspired by something (generally nature or a scene, occasionally another designer) and it will stay with me until I have the time to recreate it and show off my talents.  Which brings me to the green beaded silk georgette dress showcased recently in Valley Gardens.  This is a dress which I feel seems so quintessentially English garden but was actually inspired by the beautiful beaches on our 2012 trip to the Isle of Harris.

Beautiful beaches of the Isle of Harris
Beautiful beaches of the Isle of Harris

As we walked along the beach, battling the stiff breeze(!), I noticed the ripples in the sand as the tide went out.

Ripples in the sand as the tide goes out
Ripples in the sand as the tide goes out

Back in the studio, and I tried to recreate the ripples by gathering silk georgette across the bodice.

The bodice was first gathered and then hand beaded (15 hours of beading for the entire bodice).
The silk was gathered across the shell of the bodice, and then hand beaded into place.  The beading alone took a back-breaking, eye-tiring 15 hours to complete!
Muriel is ready for her close up
Muriel is ready for her close up

Muriel Mannequin shows off the piped edge, and platted ribbon and silk straps.

The gathered georgette moves with the gentle wind
The gathered georgette sways gently in the light summer breeze
The Eliza Wyke English garden dress in the beautiful setting of Valley Gardens, Harrogate
The Eliza Wyke English garden dress in the beautiful setting of Valley Gardens, Harrogate
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