All About Bustles: Ballroom Bustle Part II

A few weeks ago we shared a bit about what bustles are and a specific type of bustle called The Ballroom Bustle. A Ballroom Bustle is when you take the train of the dress and you bring it up on the inside of the dress. It is the perfect solution if you don’t want to have the look of bustle folds and pleats on the outside of your gown. This is Part II of the Ballroom Bustle but featuring a simple and elegant style gown. 

When your wedding gown has a Ballgown or A-line silhouette the Ballroom Bustle is a nice solution to accentuate the silhouette. It keeps the focus on the silhouette rather than on the bustle. When you have a sheath silhouette with a train, the Ballroom Bustle is another perfect choice for the simple, elegant essence of this dress. It helps maintain the length and clean appearance of your gown.

Hiding the existence of a bustle, the Ballroom Bustle is the ultimate 2-in-1 solution for your wedding dress. It allows you to flaunt your gorgeous gown with train and all, and then like a new gown, you can delicately pin the train inside to create a dress that is ready to dance the night away.

We recently worked with a bride on Maui, Erica, on her beautiful sheath silhouette wedding gown. There are 29 bustle points that hold up this bustle. You can see in this picture how we fold it inside and create bustle points to support the train. For this exquisite gown it is the perfect solution to secure the train while maintaining the elegance of the gown.  

When choosing your wedding gown, it can be very useful to see how different silhouettes work with different bustles. It helps give you a better idea of what styles you are drawn to. Stay tuned for more bustles from JOA to help you dream-up the perfect wedding gown!

 

Finding the Right Alteration Specialist for your Gown

Finding your dream wedding gown is such an exciting moment! There is joy, relief, enthusiasm, and more. Though it feels like you can check the wedding gown off your list, it is very likely that you will need to have a few alterations done on your dress to ensure it fits just right. Sometimes these can be simple fixes, but often wedding gowns are more complex than your average dress and will require a specialist with years of experience working with wedding dresses. So how do you go about selecting the right Alteration Specialist to work on your wedding gown?

  • Find a Professional Dressmaker – Working with a professional Dressmaker is the best way to ensure your wedding gown gets handled with the utmost care and precision. The wonderful thing about working with a Dressmaker is that they understand how to construct a gown so they are very skilled at reverse engineering some of the more complex alterations. Plus, if you want to modify the design of your dress, they will know exactly how to help you transform your gown.
  • Find an Alteration Specialist with previous wedding dress experience – When it comes to altering a wedding dress, there are a significant number of factors to consider. Is your wedding dress a particular brand, has your Alteration Specialist had experience working with this brand? What type of fabrics are they familiar with? What types of bustles can they create? Can they add beading or any other extra embellishments? When you find an Alteration Specialist with years of experience working with wedding gowns, chances are they have a wealth of knowledge for each of these elements. This will only make your wedding dress experience more pleasant and stress-free when you can rest assured that your dress is in good hands.
  • Look through their work online (websites, social media, etc.) – Social media and online portfolios gives you a nice opportunity to see some of the previous work of your potential Alteration Specialist. You can see pictures, client testimonials, success stories, and maybe more details on what types of dresses they have previously worked with. Pictures are some of the best ways to get an idea of the type of work they have done.
  • Word of Mouth is always our favoriteIf you are still hesitant about choosing your Alteration Specialist for your beautiful wedding gown, then ask around! Word of mouth is our favorite way to meet new clients. Ask friends or family in your local community for their recommendations. Chances are they know someone they highly recommend.

We hope this helps you in finding the right Alteration Specialist for your wedding gown! If you are located on Maui and need assistance with your wedding dress, then we would love to help you. Visit our website or social media accounts to see some of our previous work. We hope we can help give your wedding dress those final touches to make it absolutely beautiful! Send us an email at love@jenniferoberg.com to book your appointment. 

Designing Your Wedding Gown

Where do you start when dreaming up your wedding gown? Well, there are many different places to start, but the most important is defining the essence of your dress. Are you going for a classic look, vintage, bohemian, sexy, elegant, bold, alternative, minimal or flashy look? Ask yourself, what is your style and what essence do you want to emit with your dress? 

From here you can begin to shape the vision of your dress. Once you have defined the essence of your wedding dress, selecting the details becomes much more intentional and intuitive. Do some research and find different images of wedding gowns that fit the essence you want. Check out social media, wedding magazines, blogs, or designer websites. Gather a collection of images you are inspired by and that fit the essence of your dress. You can make a few sketches mixing and matching inspiration from the different images you gathered. Try to pull together your favorite elements of the dresses you are most drawn to.

Now comes the fun! Selecting the details to truly define your wedding gown and create your vision. So I bet you are wondering, what exactly are all of the details to consider in a dress? Well, here are some of the main points to consider:

  • Silhouette Type – Mermaid, A-Line, Trumpet, Modified A-Line, Ballgown, Sheath, Tea length
  • Neckline – sweetheart, straight across, semi-sweetheart, v-neck, off-shoulders, Queen Anne, high neck, halter, bateau, jewel, illusion, square, asymmetric, cowl neck, scoop, grecian, and many more. 
  • Fabric – Silk shantung, taffeta, guipure lace, chiffon, point d’esprit, organza, satin, crepe, dupioni, batiste, brocade, charmeuse, damask, dotted Swiss, faille, gazar, georgette, mikado, moire, pique, tulle, velvet, voile
  • Train or No Train – Long train, medium-sized train, short train, no train
  • Bustle – French Bustle, Ballroom Bustle, English Bustle, American Bustle, Bow Bustle, Royal Bustle
  • Embellishments – lace appliques, beading, sequins, border trims, pearls, fringe, ribbon, crystals, edging, embroidery, gems, buttons

Before you know it, you will have a clear vision of your dream wedding gown! Now you can bring your wedding dress design to a dressmaker and truly bring your dream dress to life. Alternatively, if designing your dream dress seems daunting or intimidating, then consult your local dressmaker to help you dream up and design your wedding dress for you. If you work with a dressmaker they will collaborate with you every step of the way to ensure the details align perfectly with your vision. 

Master Dressmaker Jennifer Oberg is available for wedding gown design consultations and for creating custom wedding gowns. With over 20+ years of experience, Jennifer can help create the most complex, intricate gowns or the most classic, elegant gowns. Visit our gallery to see some samples or check out our social media accounts for past gowns. Email Jennifer at love@jenniferoberg.com to book your appointment. Happy wedding gown designing! 

All About Bustles: Ballroom Bustle Part I

Good things come to those who bustle. If you aren’t familiar with bustles, we are here to tell you all about them and give you some examples of the many ways you can have your wedding gown bustled. In this first post about bustles, we will talk about what they are and we will share a ballroom bustle we created for a past bride.

What is a bustle?

You know the moment you watch the bride walk down the aisle at their wedding and you admire that beautiful train from the wedding gown trailing behind her? And then maybe some of you wonder, how on earth are you going to dance in that at the reception? And then the reception happens and perhaps you forget about that gorgeous, long train you were admiring earlier. 

Well, this is the beauty of a bustle. It transforms a wedding gown with a long train into a gown ready to take on the dance floor at the reception. The bustle brings up the train so it is completely off the floor. Bustles are both practical and fashionable. There are an infinite number of ways to bustle your gown. Every dress is very unique in regards to the bustle. Some dresses have just 1 bustle point and some can have 50 bustle points. The number of bustle points will depend on the length of the train and how complicated the train is. When you add a bustle to your gown, it is almost as if you have two different wedding gowns. Two for the price of one?! How lovely! 

The Ballroom Bustle

Below you can see some pictures of a ballroom bustle. Rather than creating the folds of a bustle on the outside, this bustle is created by bringing the train up completely on the inside of the dress. It is attached to the inside of the dress with hooks and eyes or ties and loops. The ballroom bustle is the most detailed bustle you can do on a big train because it takes dozens of bustle points to do it right.  I’ve done a ballroom bustle with up to 50 points on the inside. It is a wonderful option if you don’t want to have the look of bustle folds and pleats on the outside of your gown. 

The mother of the lovely bride pictured below, reached out to me and said the bustle worked perfectly during the reception. We were so happy! Stay tuned for future bustle posts where we will be sharing other styles and types of bustles. Happy Bustling!

Inventing the Abbotts

Inventing the Abbotts + 1950s Dresses

When I worked in Hollywood, I made costumes for various films, tv shows, and private clients (you can see the full list here). Inventing the Abbotts (1997) was a fun assignment. I worked on a vintage 1950s dress for Liv Tyler which was worn in the dance scene. The dress was covered in a beautiful small flower trim. It turned out that the dress was too small for her. Our skilled costume shop team had to get creative to find a way to make it fit just right!

We ended up adding panels on the side to make it larger around the body. Then we went on a scavenger hunt for that vintage trim in one of Los Angeles’s enormous fabric stores. Guess what?! We found the exact same flower trim to match the dress! We carefully attached the new trim to the panels and blended it seamlessly with the old trim. It was perfect! The dress fit perfectly and you couldn’t even notice the difference where the new fabric and trim were added. 

Recently, we have been working with a client who had the same issue. She came in with an adorable 1950s style dress that was too small. We took fabric from the skirt and made clever panels on the sides to help extend the dress to fit her just right. It was the exact same problem we had with Liv Tyler’s dress. Steady, careful sewing by skilled artisans make this problem not a problem anymore. It is amazing how any dress–too small or too big–can be altered to fit just right.

Also, fun fact, Liv Tyler is the daughter of Steven Tyler who happens to live on Maui. It is a small world!

A story behind the gown

We worked with the award winning graphic artist, Wailani Artates of Artistry8, on a custom wedding gown a few years ago. Wailani came to me with a clear vision of what she wanted her wedding gown to look like. It is always such a treat to create and collaborate on a dress with another artist.

Wailani recently won her 4th Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for the graphic designs of Amy Hānaiali‘i’s 15th album, Kalawai‘anui, alongside Kumu Hula and fashion designer Micah Kamohoaliʻi of Waimea. We did a Q&A with Wailani to chat more about her custom wedding gown inspirations and process, memories of her wedding, and about her recent award! Find out more below…

Q: What was your inspiration for your wedding dress?

A: Well, at the time, I despised anything sparkly and lace for some odd reason. My tastes were more structured, less traditional. I actually couldnʻt find a single silhouette that had this shape without sparkles. We even traveled to Oahu to find something that sufficed. 

Q: What was the dress design process like for you?

A: Being a designer, I literally took two silhouettes and photoshopped them together to create what was in my head. I then found Jen by googling “seamstresses on Maui” and was so lucky to have found her.

Q: How was it working together with Jennifer? 

A: She is the most amazing person, with or without a needle and thread in hand. We became fast friends andended up creating together at different capacities beyond my dress. She suggested this structured translucent fabric for the bottom half of the dress to provide some texture and it was gorgeous, something I didnʻt think of. She also created a bra in the dress because the back was low and it held up literally so well.

Q: What was your favorite memory from your wedding?

A: My favorite memory was seeing my husband cry when we said our vows. He is a reserved person and doesnʻt show his emotions publicly ever, but as he said his vows he cried. It was unexpected for me and such a beautiful memory Iʻll always hold dear.

Q: Can you share more about your recent win at the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards! 

A: Sure! The Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards is like the Hawaii Grammyʻs. Itʻs such an honor to just be nominated. Iʻve been nominated 7 times and won my 4th this year. The gravity of being a Hoku award winner is huge for me, being on a stage and holding an award that music legends my grandparents grew up with, music that we were raised appreciating, itʻs just so big for me and my family. Music plays such an important role in life, it takes you to a time in your past, an instilled memory. We create these memories for our children and music plays a big role in our day to day from morning jam out sessions to bbq live streams (these days). 

The other part of this event that I love is the fashion. Oh, the fashion!!! Jen and I should get together one year. Every year, my husband and I try to be thoughtful of the album Iʻm nominated for by being inspired by  the experience, the name of the album, or even the artist to honor them and that process in some way. We also love to honor our ancestors and Hawaii. One year we wore kapa, another lauhala. I took my daughter one year when it was too difficult for my husband to leave our baby, and we wore lā’ī (ti leaf) that was treated to look like leather. Always so fun to do it up and try to top it every year. 

We can’t wait to see what Wailani creates next! Such a wonderfully talented artist in the community. We wish you all the best with your beautiful family! Thank you for sharing your insights and reflections with us! Follow her Facebook Page to see what she is up to next: facebook.com/artistry8. And for any custom gown inquiries send us an email! Mahalo!

Fashion History: Art Deco & Erté

Paper dress by Jennifer Oberg. Commissioned by Hui No`eau Visual Arts Center.

I have always been inspired by the artist and designer, Erté. I love his designs so much! Two years ago, I was commissioned by the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center to create a paper dress for their end of the year, annual shopping extravaganza, Hui Holidays. Erté was my primary influence for creating this dress! Find out more about him below…

Born in 1892 in Russia, Romain de Tiroff, known as Erté designed his first dress for his mother at the age of five–a natural talent. Erté left Russia to go live in Paris with the aspirations of becoming a designer in 1910. He worked for Paul Poiret for a year before entering an esteemed illustration career. In 1915, he began his twenty year work relationship with Harper’s Baazar where the magazine included a color illustration by him every month. He created over 240 covers for the magazine! He went on to create entire wardrobes for theatres, screen actresses and Operas. He even created elaborate production designs at the Paris Opera, New York’s Radio City Music Hall and Casino de Paris. 

Erté’s work captured the art deco movement, which was known for having bold geometry, bright colors, order and glamour. Art deco was a very popular design style during the 1920s and 1930s. It drew inspiration from Cubism, Constructivism, Futurism, Bauhaus principles and the de Stijl movement. A significant amount of the architecture, design and art around the world is inspired by Art Deco. Architects Edward Durell Stone and Donald Deskey drew inspiration from Art Deco when designing the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Look around and see where you notice Art Deco influences in your towns or cities! What art movements and artists are you inspired by? Comment below!

Pictured are some photos of Erté’s work! Click here for more information about the paper dress I made for the Hui! 

 

Sources

https://martinlawrence.com/pages/erte

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ert%C3%A9

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Deco

https://www.art-critique.com/en/2020/02/art-deco-art-lesson/

Dressmaking & Falling in Love

At the Atelier, we do many different things!  We wanted to share a bit more about our custom wedding gowns, what that experience entails, and a little love story of our own.

For many brides it is their first time going through an entire dressmaking process, and it is amazing for them to see how their idea can be transformed into the sample toile, into fabric, and then all the way through to the final, finished gown.” — Jennifer

The custom wedding gown process includes an initial meeting, a design consultation, a visual design, a toile (or sample of your gown), the creation of your final gown, and before you know it, you have your custom wedding gown complete! After you’ve undergone the dressmaking experience, there is one final perk to ensure it is a memory that stays with you forever. A beautiful painting of your custom-made wedding gown will be created by Maui-based artist, Craig Mullins, who also happens to be my husband.

Craig is a wonderfully talented artist and concept designer. He has created art for numerous films: Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Babe, Flubber, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Matrix Revolutions, and many other feature films. He has also created art for books, video games, and films. You can find his work at www.goodbrush.com. And if you are wondering how we met…We were both working in Hollywood at the time. Mutual friends set us up on a blind date. Our first date was at the Hollywood Canteen. And you know how people say it was love at first sight, and often you brush it off and think that isn’t actually a real thing? Well, that’s exactly what our first date was, it was simply love at first sight.

So to conclude, the dressmaking process is a very unique and special process curated to you and with you the entire way. It is accentuated with the perk of a one-of-a-kind painting by my husband Craig. And every part of the process is woven with love, care, and the most meticulous attention to detail.