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					CustomMakingYourDress 3/15/06 08:55 AM Page 1

       creating your

       If buying a car for a man is an emotional, exciting and sometimes expensive
       purchase for him, then the correlating purchase for a woman must be the
       purchase of her wedding gown. To help take some of the mystery out of the
       search for the perfect gown, following are some suggestions…..

                                                                                                    1. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Look at
                                                                                                    magazines. Current magazines will
                                                                                                    indicate the latest available styles.
                                                                                                    Determine your likes/dislikes in terms
                                                                                                    of silhouettes; keep your eyes open for
                                                                                                    special details. Consider that the
                                                                                                    gowns you see in magazines may be the
                                                                                                    catalyst for designing something even
                                                                                                    more creative and beautiful!
                                                                                                    2. VISIT STORES. Pay attention to
                                                                                                    fabric, cut, fit – learn why one is a $700
                                                                                                    dress vs. a $7000 gown. Be open
                                                                                                    minded, do try on a variety of gowns.
                                                                                                    Do NOT get talked into buying a dress
                                                                                                    (by the salesperson, your mother or best
                                                                                                    friend) if it’s not absolutely perfect.
                                                                                                    After all, you can have EXACTLY
                                                                                                    what you want, if you have it designed
                                                                                                    for you.
                                                                                                    3. DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET. If
                                                                                                    you HAVE to have the $7000 gown
                                                                                                    that your budget forbids, maybe you
                                                                                                    can rearrange your budget, i.e., get less
                                                                                                    expensive flowers, music, food…often
                                                                                                    with a custom gown, you can have
                                                                                                    the perfect gown while you control
                                                                                                    the cost.
                                                                                                      Remember, of everything from the
                                                                                                    wedding, your gown, ring and photos
                                                                                                    are generally the only items you take
                                                                                                    home (along, of course, with your
                                                                                                    groom!) So keep in mind that whether
                                                                                                    your gown is $500 or $15000, it should
                                                                                                    be one you are excited about.
                                                                                                      One way to be truly excited about
                                                                                                    your gown is to have it custom designed
                                                                                                    – a couture gown will fit and flatter
                                                                                                    your figure and personality in the way
                                                                                                    an off-the-rack gown can only dream
                                                                                                    about! If you are going to consider
                                                                                                    couture, again, do your research.
                                                                                                       Go to the internet, ask for referrals,
                                                                                                    visit studios/shops. Inspect the quality of
                                                                                                    the work and fabrics presented. Find out
       written by Janice Martin, Janice Martin Designs • photo by Phil Kramer Photographers, Inc.   if you must provide your own fabrics or
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CustomMakingYourDress 3/15/06 08:55 AM Page 2

       whether you may purchase it under the
       auspices of the shop. Is the work done
       on site or off premises? Ask questions.
       Determine if you are comfortable with
       the person you will be working with...
       do you prefer a designer/collaborator or
       designer/dictator?       Do ask for
       an estimate.        Does it include
       fittings? Fabric? Trims? Pressing?
       Taxes? Shipping?

          Discuss costs. Be honest/realistic
       about your budget. Most designers
       require a deposit with final payment
       due prior to delivery. If your budget is
       generous allow the designer some
       creativity; if stringent, be honest and
       let him or her know so that they will
       present you with realistic ideas for
       your gown. There are many ways to
       increase or decrease the cost of a
       gown depending upon the fabrics,
       trims and styles chosen, so don’t
       assume that the estimate you receive
       is unalterable. Remember that the
       gown being designed for you is one-of-
       a-kind and so may not be less
       expensive than that found off-the-
       rack (although it could be)… but it
       will certainly be more perfect for you!

       HOW DOES IT HAPPEN? Designing
       is a very logical process which
       produces the most magical of gowns…
       during the consultation you will
       choose fabric, discuss silhouettes,
       ideas, details (your figure, personality,
       the location and date of the event will
       all influence the design of your gown).
       Measurements are taken and a muslin
       (fabric pattern) is made from which
       necklines are cut and waistlines
       determined. The muslin fabric dress
                                                   IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
       allows you to draw in design lines so         The White House: 202-456-1414
       that you know exactly where each
       dart, tuck and pleat will go. You            The Vatican: 390-66982-69883511
       become part of the process as you
       see/try on/alter and change the muslin
       before it gets cut in silk… you
       influence the design of it even as it
       evolves from sketch to muslin to
       finished perfection!
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                                          THERE ARE SEVERAL REASONS
                                          WOMEN CONSIDER COUTURE:
                                          1. They hate to shop or don’t want
                                             to waste their time shopping.
                                          2. They want better design and
                                             quality than that found
                                          3. Their time is too limited – they
                                             need the dress in three months
                                             or three days. OR
                                          4. They have already been to
                                             32 stores in three states, tried on
                                             75 dresses and none of them
                                             were "quite right".

                                          THESE PHOTOS FOLLOW
                                          THE DEVELOPMENT OF
                                          KAROLYN'S GOWN.
                                          1. The hand beaded chantilly lace was
                                             chosen from among numerous French
                                             lace patterns available. The color of
                                             the lace was influenced by Karolyn’s
                                             coloring and the fabric chosen to go
                                             under it. Often, a gown is layered with
                                             silk organza in pink, peach, etc., to
                                             lend more depth of color and richness to it.        Janice Martin Designs is located
                                                                                                 on Main Street in Philadelphia
                                          2. A bustier is built on which to support the          and has been producing couture
                                                                                                 women’s wear for over fifteen
                                             heavily beaded lace. The bustier is made from       years. In addition to creating new
                                             Karolyn’s measurements that have been turned        pieces, the studio also specializes in
                                             into a muslin or "first pattern".                   re-designing heirloom gowns, a
                                                                                                 niche developed as a result of
                                                                                                 restoring Princess Grace’s bridal
                                          3. A second muslin pattern becomes the dress. At
                                                                                                 veil for the Philadelphia Museum
                                             this point, any fit or design issues get hammered   of Art. Ms. Martin offers exclusive
                                             out before cutting into the final fabric.           and/or custom made fabrics from
                                                                                                 small European mills. For clients
                                          4. Lace is cut/draped over the four-ply bias silk      whose time and budget allow, the
                                                                                                 design services of the famed French
                                             under-dress. It is hand basted, trimmed and
                                                                                                 embroidery firm Lesage are
                                             sewn into place.                                    available. You are encouraged to
                                                                                                 visit      the       website        at
                                          5. Finishing details, trim, hand-beading, buttons, and/or call
                                             train are all discussed and determined… et voila,   215-487-7171 for an appointment
                                                                                                 or to have any questions answered.
                                             c’est magnifique… and all done in under three
                                             months!!!                                           Whether you need the gown next week
                                                                                                 or next year, the staff at Janice
                                                                                                 Martin Designs looks forward to
                                                                                                 meeting you. They are highly
                                                                                                 experienced perfectionists who won’t
                                                                                                 let an imperfect stitch slip by!

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