“At first there is nothing to try on,” says Camper, owner of Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture in Hillsborough. “We are just starting with ideas.”
Gown designers are masters of design, custom tailoring and sewing. They build one-of-a-kind pieces that capture the spirit of a bride who isn’t wowed by the selections in stores or who might have a specific look in mind.
Cordella, owner and designer at Cordella Bridal in Raleigh, says she loves consulting with brides and guiding them through every step of the process.
“Every woman is beautiful,” Cordella says. “I work to make my clients dresses that fit them and make them feel beautiful. I’m always fine-tuning a gown. I ask, ‘Are we done?’ instead of stating, ‘We are done.’ I think this is one of the ways working with me is different than buying your dress from a large retailer.”
Cordella opened her studio in 2009 and was selected as a featured designer for theCharleston Weddings’ Spring Bridal Show that took place in March. She specializes in lace and custom beading and has the ability to unite modern and classic bridal styles.
Cordella believes commitment is an important quality for a custom gown designer. “I really care about my work, and the whole process is an emotional one,” she says. “I want my brides to feel heard, and I don’t let them leave until I feel that the energy at the end of the meeting is great.”
Camper, who began creating custom couture bridal gowns in 2009, uses her experience in costume construction to build a portfolio of dresses spanning from whimsical to traditional: a plain cotton damask dress covered by an unexpected vine-patterned jacket; an heirloom quality lace gown inspired by Grace Kelly; and a pink, orange and neon green gown with a hidden “space-bustle.”
She doesn’t see herself as part of the bridal industry because she doesn’t build trendy pieces or gather inspiration from top designers. “The brides that hire me can’t find what they want in a store,” Camper says. “They either have an unusual figure or an unusual sense of style.”
Custom gowns can take up to six months or longer to finish. The process includes concept design, sketching, pattern making, multiple consultations and fittings up to the wedding day. Camper and Cordella recommend that brides contemplating custom gowns contact a designer as early as possible. Camper focuses on one custom gown at a time, and usually will only complete one per season. Cordella tackles six to 10 custom gowns a year, on top of gown modifications and alteration projects that she either oversees or completes herself.
“It is a very personal experience, and I really get to know my brides and their families,” says Cordella. “I even get invited to some of the weddings!”Read more at:cocktail dresses australia
Emma Hayter and Graham Slade will be taking to the catwalk at The Hawth Theatre on Wednesday, June 29 night as part of an evening of fashion, music, dance and shopping.
The evening is in aid of the Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre, a small independent charity which provides a wide range of free support services to local people affected by cancer.
Emma, an occupation special educational needs and disability caseworker from Maidenbower got involved after attending the Olive Tree’s AGM last year.
She said: “It was at the AGM that I saw the importance of fundraising and donations in order to keep the Olive Tree running and providing its valuable resources. It was following this meeting I volunteered to be a model, I feel so appreciative of the support I have received from the Olive Tree that now it’s my turn to give something back.”
The 34-year-old was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer, known as adenocarcinoma in July 2013.
Subsequent to this, Emma underwent major surgery using a Da Vinci robot to perform a trachelectomy (removal of my cervix and surrounding tissues) and lymphadenectomy to remove all of her pelvic lymph nodes.
She added: “Since the initial diagnosis I have undergone eight operations and procedures, including a scare of recurrence along the way.
“With a diagnosis at the age of 31 I felt isolated and alone, I didn’t know of anybody remotely close to my age who had experienced a diagnosis - not that I would wish it on anybody. A few months into my cancer journey I discovered the Olive Tree after searching for a local support group. It has been an absolute lifeline.”
The Olive Tree also provides an array of complementary therapies, workshops and classes. Over the last three years Emma has taken part in yoga classes, mindfulness sessions, cancer survivorship programme, massages, reflexology, reiki and kinesiology workshops and she is soon to attend the Penny Brohn-Living well with cancer two day course offered at the Olive Tree.
She said: “Knowing that all of the staff and therapists are working within a cancer support centre helps me feel comforted and confident that I am understood.
“The work that they do is truly amazing.
“Everything the Olive Tree has offered has enabled me to re-evaluate my lifestyle and reflect on the importance of life.”
Graham, from Maidenbower, was diagnosed in July 2015 with bladder cancer. He had intensive Chemotherapy to shrink the tumour before undergoing surgery in December 2015 which removed his bladder.
The 50-year-old, who is retired after 32 years of service with London Underground as a station supervisor, said: “I first ventured into The Olive Tree in July 2015 after my diagnosis and was immediately put at ease by kindness of the staff during my visit and while I have a great family support network it was nice to talk to someone else.
“I ran into difficulties in February when i got very low and I visited The Olive Tree to see if i could have the benefit from counselling which was arranged and I had 10 session during which time I managed to get myself in a more positive frame of mind which in turn helps my family by not worrying about me.”
A Funeral Mass will be held Friday, June 17, for Diane Augustine Dagit Sommer, 81, of Wayne, a mother and clothing designer, who died Friday, May 20, of cancer at her home.
She was the daughter of the late Philadelphia architect Albert F. Dagit, who designed Catholic churches and schools, as well as the library and a residence hall at Chestnut Hill College.
A former resident of Ardmore, Mrs. Sommer graduated from Lower Merion High School, where she was a varsity lacrosse player and a member of the cheerleading squad. She majored in Spanish at Rosemont College. While there, Mrs. Sommer played tennis and taught English as a volunteer to disadvantaged young people in Philadelphia.
After graduating from Rosemont, Mrs. Sommer had one career in advertising and a second in clothing design.
She joined the Philadelphia advertising agency N.W. Ayer & Son, where she met G. Treacy Sommer. The two married in 1958 and were together for 58 years.
By 1970, the couple had four children. She embraced motherhood, and spent the next several years leading the PTA at St. Margaret School in Narberth.
In 1973, Mrs. Sommer had a fifth child and also had returned to school. She studied design at the Philadelphia Fashion Institute, laying the foundation for her second career at Middendorf Enterprises on Filbert Street as a designer and master-pattern maker of women's nightwear.
"She could make anything from a slip cover to a tiny outfit for a Barbie doll," her family said in a remembrance. "She made a lot of our clothes."
Mrs. Sommer was lively, creative, and generous. She enjoyed dancing, gardening, painting, and playing bridge and tennis. She was a member of the Merion Cricket Club and Glenhardie Country Club.
"A fierce competitor on the court or at the bridge table, she always demanded your best," her family said.
She liked to laugh and tell stories, and was always able to come up with a fun word, rhyme, or jingle at the drop of a hat. "Diane could light up a room with her joie de vivre and had a sparkle in her eye that would disarm the disagreeable or embolden the meek in spirit," her family said.
Besides her husband, she is survived by sons G. Treacy Jr. and Sean H.; daughters Josephine, Leonide DelGatto, and Dandurand S. Conway; 10 grandchildren; a brother; and three sisters.
A visitation starting at 8:30 a.m. Friday will be followed by a 10 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Isaac Jogues Parish, 50 W. Walker Rd., Wayne. Interment will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Casa del Carmen Family Service Center, 4400 N. Reese St., Philadelphia 19140. The center provides social services to members of the Latino community.Read more at:evening gowns | cocktail dresses online