The prettiness…..and a plea.

Following on from my previous post where I did a lot of whinging and a bit of showing pretty dresses, I have a possible solution to my problem. 
A friend here in Russia has found a wedding dress maker. Wahoo you might say. Well yes, in one way I’m rather excited about the fact that I might not longer have to wear a dress that I’m not all that keen on on a rather important day. However if you read the comments on my previous post you will have seen that I’m not all that keen on the Russian style wedding dresses. 
They mainly look like this
Or worse, this:
Yes girls. This is a real Russian wedding dress. Do you see my point?
I am not one normally to pass judgement on other peoples weddings, in fact, I’d say I feel quite strongly that everyone is entitled to have the wedding that they want. But I have to say that this really wasn’t the image I was hoping to achieve on the day. In fact, not really the look I hope to achieve on any day if we’re being upfront and honest (which I’d like us all to be please).
So here comes the plea.

I am going to visit the dress maker on Friday. She’s already been told roughly what I’m looking for, and she says she’s happy to make something like that, and that we would be able to choose everything from the shape of the dress to the material so it is exactly how I want it to be. She has made smaller dresses before, and even some lace dresses before, but has never made a smaller fishtail lacy dress. She will even make a ‘calico’ dress beforehand so that we can agree on the fit and shape before the real one is made.

However I am what you might call creatively challenged. I like a lot of things. I like a lot of pretty things. But if you asked me to actually make a pretty thing, you would be sorely dissapointed with the outcome. So, hypothetically speaking (as of course, I couldn’t possibly tell you what my dress will look like before the big reveal), if I wanted a dress to look like the jaw droppingly pretty Miranda, what would I ask for?
The ever beautiful Miranda by Monique Lhuillier
This is the list that I have made so far but I fear that the dress maker may not be able to interpret this:
1. Fishtail.
2. Lacy.
3. Not bright white but definitely not ivory. No not cream. Nothing yellowy. But definitely not bright white. Or ivory.
4. Swishy.
5. Heavy enough to look nice when I’m walking and not cling to all of the parts of me that are bigger than I would like.
6. Buttons – not the criss cross lace up back thing.
7. Swishy.
Do you see my problem? When we combine this with translation issues, there is a high probability that I may end up with yet another dress that I’m not all that keen on. To have one dress that I dislike could be seen as a misfortune. To have two dresses that I dislike is pure carelessness (Or something like that. A level English Lit and The Importance of Being Earnest was a worryingly long time ago now).
So a plea to any of you who have ever had anything to do with dress design or making, or even if you’ve ever worn a dress (I’m not fussy, just desperate) – What should I ask for. What type of lace would be best? What should the under layer be made of? Should there be more than one layer? Is it possible to have the lace one colour and the underlayer a slightly different colour? What should I have for lunch? Oh sorry, got carried away with the questions there.

Oh internet I hope you can help me, for otherwise I will be forced into wearing a dress where my nipples are playing peekaboo with the bodice of my dress or where I strongly resemble Jordan crossed with a toilet roll holder on steroids (see above).

Categories: Wedding Planning, Wedding Pretty
10 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted July 28, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Hey Fliss,

    The last paragraph made me laugh, those top two dresses are certainly interesting but I much prefer the third one!

    I'd definitely take pictures with you, I think that's the best way of showing her the style. As for lace, in my research I come across a lot of Alencon Lace & Chantilly lace, both beautiful.

    Afraid I can't help with under layers and amount of layers though…

    Hope it goes well, looking forward to reading about it :)


  2. Posted July 28, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Hey Fliss,

    Ok from one serial dress buyer to another, my advice to you is this; take the photo of the dress with you to the dress maker. Chantilly lace is expensive but beautiful! The Miranda is beautiful, and I think you know if it would look good on you. Get a feel for what the dress lady says and does, you will know if she is 'getting' what look you are after. If not, I would be very careful!

    As for underneath you want a later of tulle/netting so the fishtail hangs right and doesn't trip you up when you walk. To help this, do what I am doing and buy a fishtail petticoat from Jupon you want style 189. This will sit nicely underneath and give your dress a nice shape.

    Alternatively, have you thought of buying a chinese made dress? I bought a lace dress from Milly Bridal in China – a V neck lace, fishtail dress, ok i'm not wearing it now and sold it on Ebay for the exact price I paid for it, but the dress was beautiful! And made to measure me.

    I have no quarms about recommending them to anyone, the dress was beautiful! If you wanna see pics of the one I bought let me know and i'll email them to you.

    For approx £200 you get an absolutely stunning dress.

    Good luck honey!

    Jenny xx

  3. Posted July 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I'm not going to be particularly helpful here on the technical/creative side, but my suggestion is pictures, pictures, pictures. Something about being worth 1000 words, and I'm sure it'll help the dressmaker no end. Even if her usual style isn't your sort of thing, there's still a good deal of skill in putting together the Russian style of dress, and that should definitely translate to whatever style of dress you prefer.

    @Jenny – I've also heard good things about Milly Bridal. My reservation was that I'd end up spending a fortune on import duties – if you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for those?

  4. Posted July 28, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Hi Becca,

    I think I paid £30 for import duties, not bad!

    I highly recommend them. You don't have to buy a custom made size dress either, you can buy standard UK sizes and then have your dress maker fit it properly to your shape. I wouldn't rule it out as an option anyway.

    How much is the Miranda? I would agree with Charlotte that it can be sold as second hand, either as a worn once dress (or unworn should you not wear it) but you will lose money on it, so be prepared for that.

    I hope this has helped x

  5. Posted July 28, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Girls!

    @ Debs – Ok, so Alencon and Chantilly Lace are good. Will remember that.

    @ everyone – I have approximately 8 million pics of dresses on my phone to take to show the lady so hopefully that will help.

    @ Jen – ooh yes please to the pics (If you accidentally mes up and send me pictures of your cats I won't mind that either). I had thought about doing that but I was really worried about the quaility, and you read a lot of horror stories don't you. My email if you need it is anyotherwedding {at}

    Fliss xx

  6. Posted July 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh and I wouldn't buy the Miranda full price (I think its about 5k!!), but I was looking at it second hand for around 1500USD – which is still one hell of a lot of money for a dress I've never seen or tried on….in fact, scrap that, it's a hell of a lot of money full stop isn't it….


  7. Posted July 28, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Hey Fliss, I'll drop you an email later on this evening petal! It sounds like you have it all under control and I am having visions of a beautiful dress being made. You're right it is a lot of money to spend blindly on a dress, don't listen to me i've notoriously wasted money on numerous dresses so you're right to be careful. Good luck with your dressmaker! xx

  8. Louise Musgrave
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi Fliss – Just checked with Browns bride and Monique Lhuillier dresses are made with Alencon and Chantilly Lace however they say that the dresses with Alencon are better as they are corded. The best thing to have underneath both of these lace options is a silk satin slip and the dresses do indeed start at £5k. I am sure you have done this already but it is always good to see her the dress makers previous work and to find out if she has created anything similar to what you want. Sorry I did laugh at Russian Bride no 2 Jordan eat your heart out xxx

  9. Posted July 29, 2010 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Louise I have said it before and I will say it again, you are an absolute star! Thank you so much for doing that for me (not sure why it didn't occur to me to do it actually). If any one is looking for a wedding planner, or just someone to help you out on the day, Louise is your woman.

    Will take all of that information to the dressmaker and see what she says. So we think just one underlayer (silk satin) then, with a tulle/netting petticoat like Jen mentioned.

    I might be saved from the peakaboo dress yet!


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  • By The tale of the unloved dress on February 29, 2012 at 12:33 am

    [...] Those of you who’ve been following Any Other Wedding for a while will remember my dress drama back in August, when I realised that I didn’t love the dress that I had already. This (I can see [...]

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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