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The Evolution of Wedding Dresses

Status Symbols in Eastern and Western Culture

In Western culture, white wedding dresses gained popularity since Queen Victoria was married in white in the 19th century. In contrast, Eastern culture chooses Red as the preferred colour for their wedding dress attire. Red is believed to symbolize good fortune, prosperity and future success to the couple getting married.

Traditionally, wedding dresses were made to symbolize wealth and social status of the family being married. The bride was representing a larger group of individuals beyond herself. Marriage was often driven by political influence and more broadly, consisted of the marriage of countries, businesses and people.

Brides from wealthy families were often clothed in the richest fabrics money could buy. Wedding dresses were meticulously constructed from French silks, natural furs and the finest European velvets that were available on the market. Historically, brides dressed in the height of current fashion trends. The materials chosen were visual cues used to illustrate status to other families. Poor brides often wore their best church dress on their wedding day.

Real vs. Fake

Today, we still see the trend of luxurious materials being used to construct wedding dresses, but if we take more care in breaking down the trend we begin to notice that cheap, mass-produced embellished fabrics are used to capture the appearance of wealth using fake, plastic jewels which give the sparkle but cost much less. It’s fascinating that mass-produced objects aim to capture a look but only ever so superficially.

White wedding dresses have often been considered to represent virginity and purity, though this was not the original intention as we have learned from Queen Victoria. Today we still see white as the typical colour chosen for the majority of wedding dresses and bridal occasions, with variations of Ivory, Shell and Cream. More recently we are seeing an under-current of very soft Pastel Pink wedding dresses also coming onto the fashion scene, so pretty.

Sculpted and Embellished Wedding Dresses

Wedding dress silhouettes have also changed over centuries from exuberant fuller gowns to slick, ankle length designs in the 60’s and recently the trend has reverted back to fuller skirts again and strapless bodices. As we all know so well, trends keep cycling back into fashion, so it’s probably not too long until we see the 60’s back again.

Interestingly; Wikipedia states that Strapless bodices are mainly used for wedding dresses as they are easier to ‘make’ and ‘fit’ for designers. Our experience tells us the contrary – strapless bodices rely on the same rules of fitting (in particular through the bust) and require fabric reinforcement to stay firm on the body, so it is questionable whether they are infact ‘easier’ to make, it’s taken us years to perfect the shaping and proportions on our strapless bodice. Sleeved and stringed bodices are also becoming more common in our modern environment and some women are choosing stream-lined alternatives without added embellishment for a simple, easy-to-wear option.

Evolution from Context

House of Ezis wedding dresses have gradually evolved from our formal wear collections that have been developed over the past 8 years. Youthful, simple and flattering to the female form; our focus has always been on experimenting with shapes, lines and tailoring methods to achieve the perfect proportions which flatter the female form. House of Ezis started the backless formal wear trend for women in Australia and we can see this influence starting to trickle through to our bridal clients. Our wedding dresses blur the boundaries of what is typically worn as a wedding dress, opting for current alternatives that suit the Australian climate and mood. House of Ezis gowns cross-over between special occasions, offering a unique alternative to the mass-produced currently on offer. Our focus is to produce spectacular, sculptural special occasion dresses which look and feel amazing on the body.

Fashion & Film

Whilst we write this blog, our soon to be released exploration of fashion & film is being edited by Paul Christey Photographer. The video will showcase 3 gowns in transformation. Although represented in 3 colors, the styles can be reproduced in any colour depending on the event and particularly white for bridal occasions.

The featured red gown is an exploration of tensile forces: it is the only one of the three gowns which is theoretically underpinned and it is driving the direction of the fashion film over the other two gowns.

The layout of the tensile surface used to construct the red gown is a neutral, ordered, grid which becomes transformed by applying compression throughout the grid. The outcome is a 2D surface becoming a 3D structure.

The resultant geometry is an expression of the opposing natural forces in tension with one another. Here, the ‘idea of beauty’ is not determined by the designer as an artist, it in fact allows the designer to stay separated from subjective decision making allowing unfolding forces to act as agents which govern authorship. An example of this it is what most 1st year design students try to achieve when they talk about ‘dichotomy’ and ‘duality’ or ‘opposites’ and then they forcefully try to create beauty.

On another level, the tensile surface aims to inscribe upon itself that which resists being drawn, eliminating preconceptions of what the results may be. It is a metamorphic act. Metamorphosis is a transformation of one thing into another without ‘adding’ or ‘subtracting’ other elements.

The movement of the body whilst wearing the tensile structure also influences the movement of the smoke which nicely ties in to the gesture as an expressive extension of motion.

The core idea of the film is the influence of forces in motion and collision with one another and the way they influence each other. This also happened metaphorically when we all came together ‘without any ideas’ about what we are trying to achieve. I enjoyed this ‘not knowing’ and ‘purity’ of the encounter of disparate forces of influence.

Designer Bridal Couture Trends 2017

We’ve taken the time to explore several of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses to discover and highlight significant designer bridal couture trends emerging for the 2017 Spring Bridal Wear season. The designers have been selected based on our favourite wedding couture collections shown on Vogue.

ZUHAIR MURAD

Zuhair Murads’ Spring 2017 Bridal collection is shot in a beautiful rocky ocean setting with a breeze blowing his lightweight silk skirts, creating natural billowing silhouettes full of life and dreaminess. The bridal couture collection is a strong reinterpretation of the traditional bridal look with subtle refinements. The collection incorporates laces with sequined and beaded detailing in luxurious paisley patterning and floral motifs.

The classical silhouette has been extensively explored in this bridal offering – focusing on bodice and skirt combinations and manipulations. The range is heavily embellished in a general sense; mixing skirt combinations, 2-piece options with overskirts and flowing 1 piece mermaid styles. A variety of traditional, conservative wedding styled gowns appear in this wedding line all the way through to edgier mesh, full length designs with applique panelling of lace selectively hand sewn throughout in different densities.

VERA WANG

Vera Wang chose a unique way to communicate her latest couture wedding addition by employing Gordon von Steiner to create a film to capture the mood of a bride to be. Her usual edgy approach questioning what a bride could wear was once again explored in her Spring 2017 Bridal collection, no fear hear. Her signature structured approach to design is once again apparent in her silhouette with pronounced, sculptural neck pieces, oversized collared tops and heavily pleated structured skirts with asymmetric volumes and great fullness.

Varieties of gathering techniques were explored to create fullness in Vera Wangs’ latest bridal gown offering. Another major feature of this collection is the use of boning to create structure. The boning has been cleverly expressed as a feature of the work both for tailoring and aesthetic purpose. In selected areas the cased boning has also been used to create further volume, reminiscent of peplums in heart shaped, fluid surfaces extending out from the waist line.

Vera Wangs’ collection is clearly an exploration of the traditional bridal fashion silhouette and its possibilities to create an alternative, new look for fashion savvy brides. In a deliberate move away from traditional lace, Vera manipulates her chosen textiles in a particular way to create shape and volume, allowing the materials to express their own beauty rather than relying on surface embellishment to do so. The result is an edgy alternative to your traditional bride, without being ridiculous nor over-designed.

TEMPERLEY LONDON

Temperley London Spring 2017 Bridal Collection offers a delicate, feminine take on the classical bride. The range explores chiffons with embroidered sections and cord detailing. Subtle ruffling is cleverly positioned to soften the silhouette whilst creating a distinct feminine edge, making this bridal collection a standout for a light summery wedding gown option.

OSCAR DE LA RENTA

Oscar de la Rentas’ Spring 2017 Bridal Collection is nothing short of exquisite. The wedding range offers a variety of options from a short, minimal strapless knee-length dress for bridesmaids and flower girls, all the way though to big sculptured, pleated, asymmetric skirts. The core of the range explores varieties of a strapless bodice for a bare shoulder look, tucked at the waist, flowing through into mermaid skirts and climaxing in boxy pleated low-heavy skirt details. Harmoniously balanced classic and modern, no stuttering here, utter perfection. This is a designer wedding collection that cannot be missed for your special wedding occasion.

MARCHESA

The Marchesas’ bride for Spring 2017 is embellished with floral 3D appliques and laser cut flowers constructed from Organza, layered and crafted into beautiful delicate feminine silhouettes, floral bunching and feathering. In some parts the use of flowers tends to be clumsy and over-bearing, taking away from the flattering possibilities of a simple tailored gown and tending to read heavily on the body. Even the poor size 6 model is struggling to look good, ultimately looking a bit frumpy in these numbers. The classical silhouette in this bridal collection is cut in all the wrong places, making the female form look short and stocky. The overly soft and delicate use of tulle walks a fine line of annoying and barely acceptable, you be the judge.

Several simple alternatives have also been included in the mix for a bride that prefers something cleaner and more elegant. The result highlights poor tailoring making you wonder why there are so many flowers in this range? Could they be there to conceal the imperfections in construction techniques? Overall, the collection is fragmented and forced, not telling a coherent story as if the initial mood board won the race. For a brand of this calibre – this collection is a disappointment.

ELLIE SAAB

Ellie Saabs’ 2017 Bridal Collection explores surface embellishment, through fine French hand beading, making you wonder if the textile manufactures should be applauded or the fashion house itself? The results is a traditional and standard looking collection that is not doing anything particularly interesting nor innovative, obviously playing it safe.

Finely tailored with distinct waist-lines, full skirts and bolero frilled styled over pieces, Saabs’ bridal collection is a must have for a traditional wedding occasion. The silhouette offers high necklines and cropped sleeves in all varieties for a more covered up look, layered with vails and tulle throws. Beautiful, not overly exciting, this collection is a solid offering for Saab followers that like to cover up.

ANGEL SANCHEZ

Angel Sanchez, my sweet heart, it’s obvious when something traditional is done exceptionally well and in a modern light. This bridal collection is a beautifully balanced, fluid and structured silhouette. The range is extremely well-tailored and the careful gestures are sharp and clear, but ever so gently.

This collection shows tailoring and design at the highest degree. The fit of these gowns is immaculate, feminine and refined. The collection is delicate and the composition of the elements is superb. The proportions of the different materials in this wedding collection is what true mastery and craftsmanship is about.

BRIDAL by House of Ezis

Made-to-Measure Bridal Collection for the alternative bride. Reserve Appointment.

Lee Maxi

Lee Maxi

Conjure Gown (detail)

Conjure Gown (detail)

Manifest Maxi

Manifest Maxi

Conjure Gown

Conjure Gown

Embrace Maxi

Embrace Maxi

Wow Gown

Wow Gown

Tension Maxi

Tension Maxi

Crusader Gown

Crusader Gown

Panic Dress

Panic Dress

Recognize Gown

Recognize Gown

Recognize Gown

Recognize Gown

Ascention Gown

Ascention Gown

Eternal Gown (2-piece)

Eternal Gown (2-piece)

Aryan Gown

Aryan Gown

Aryan Gown

Aryan Gown

On-Point Bodice & Cigarette Skirt

On-Point Bodice & Cigarette Skirt

Sustainable is not a spectacle

Spectacle is about show and tell, whilst the act of becoming sustainable can happen in the privacy of your own backyard. Start with a compost heap, some home grown herbs and plenty of tender love and care.

Living in the age of social media, where substance has lost its worth in favour of fast, superficial, smooth, fake, exaggerated imagery, we have to be careful when we hear brands promoting themselves as ecologically sustainable. Are these statements true? Why are these brands still doing promotional SALES then? Why are they mass-producing? Why are they making ‘many’ of the ‘same’ thing for everyone, as if everyone is the same? Why are they referring to the materials they are using as ecologically sustainable without truly understanding or explaining to the consumer the ecological footprint that their ‘sustainable’ fabrics are making on the planet?

From a sceptics’ point of view; being sustainable is just another shallow buzzword of the moment. Think about all the stories we hear: one-day soy milk is great for you and then the next day it clogs your liver and you must stop drinking it. Even beer these days apparently has great benefits for the liver. Don’t just stand there and listen to the stories advertising campaigns feed you with a few fancy words, it’s all a big marketing strategy trying to put a tick next to the brand to ‘get’ some attention, be it from the government, industry or the media. Stand alone and see the difference for yourself, don’t be under the influence of what you see and hear.

At House of Ezis we don’t promote ourselves as sustainable, but if you actually break down the service that we offer, we are the most sustainable fashion label and retail situation that you can find anywhere. Every individual formal and bridal gown ‘order’ we complete is based on our specific clients’ requirement. It is this form of tailoring that results in ‘no waste’. Even our off-cuts serve a purpose: the larger pieces are put aside for smaller sections of future orders and smaller off-cut pieces are salvaged by our seamstresses to make garments for themselves and their own clients. We don’t have spare fabric or dresses sitting around waiting for a big end of year sale so that we can create space for more new things to quickly sell more. We only make what is actually ordered by our clients.

Selling quickly and making more space for new things is what I hear from particular boutique owners on Brisbane streets referred to as ‘milking it’. Milking a consumer to buy ‘more for less’ is disgusting as it takes out the quality of the thing you are buying in favour or the quantity. Another example of this is ‘Buy 2 and get 20% of the 3rd’, the point here is that you are buying to have more, believing that you’ve saved money but really you’ve actually spent more. This method is old and it lacks ‘care’. We must slow down, it’s hurting the entire industry, this mad rush without consideration of what really matters takes us away reflecting on our choices and meaningful experiences.

At House of Ezis, we prefer to turn down a sale if we feel that a genuine connection has not happened. We encourage our clientele to slow down and have a good look at what we do, ‘STOP SHOPPING’ and come closer to the act of choosing something that you really connect with. Forget about running to the ‘next’ boutique as you will only see more of the same thing as most boutiques carry the same brands and the only way they stay on the market is by under-cutting one another and reducing their prices to be the most competitive. How is that sustainable?

We choose to postpone and extend the experience to the point where we would prefer that you take our business card, go to the comfort of your home and view our collections at peace. If afterwards you still feel the urge to visit us and make an appointment, it is a conscious choice that you are making without being rushed. We care about the choice you make and we understand that it’s an important decision and it takes time. Allocated time to meet during our appointments allow us to have shared, focused, dedicated time together that we have both chosen and committed to. This is sustainable.

Formal Wear & Bridal Couture

House of Ezis formal wear in Brisbane is excited to announce that we are working on a collection of Bridal Couture gowns for alternative weddings which we will officially launch in early 2016. The decision to expand into the Bridal Wear market is due to a growing demand for our evening wear and formal dresses being ordered for weddings and bridal occasions. We feel that we can bring a unique edge to traditional Bridal Wear and Weddings in Queensland due to our fine cuts and modern takes on classical shapes for formal and evening wear. Keep an eye on this space as House of Ezis Bridal Couture is going to be next level extravagance.

FORMAL WEAR ON THE EDGE

This collaborative photo shoot captures our Summer Formal wear collection, featuring techno stretch fabrics. The scene is set on a rooftop in the heart of Brisbane overlooking the cityscape, softly lit by our beautiful city’s sunset. The collection features a range of timeless, finely balanced designs constructed for a tailored, body-con fit. The series explores 2-piece formal dress options, giving you the freedom to mix and match different tops and bottoms to increase the wear of your House of Ezis garments. All the featured garments are made to measure and tailored to your requirements, available in a diverse range of colours and tones available for viewing in our Brisbane based boutique located in Fortitude Valley.

Photography: Michael Vanarey
Hair: Dimitri Fronis
Make-up: Danielle Pedrina

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ALTERNATIVE EVENING WEAR

House of Ezis specializes in designing evening wear tailored to the current mood with reference to a classical silhouette. We offer a diverse selection of formal dresses and formal gowns for evening occasions, ranging from formal to bridal and red carpet events. Our collection is comprised of body-con, stretchy styles through to avant-garde, structured, custom made formal attire. If you are looking for innovative formal solutions, suited to a contemporary, youthful spirit then House of Ezis in Brisbane offers a unique alternative. All our gowns are individually made to measure in a selection of over 100 colors, including a complete alteration with each finely crafted piece.

Hair: Dimitri Fronis
Make-up: Desiree Vogelsang

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THE FUTURE BEAUTY OF FORMAL WEAR

Andrzej Pytel the creator of House of Ezis, was invited by Queensland Art Gallery | GOMA to share his journey from architecture to fashion with a focus on formal wear. Transforming from hand-printed t-shirt design for men to made-to-measure formal gowns for women, Andrzej continues to adapt his direction to suit a niche market of individuals seeking something special that they can treasure. Throughout his career in fashion Andrzej has maintained a minimal aesthetic; fine cuts and clean lines have become the signature look for House of Ezis. The latest printed floral collection, composed of formal gowns, seperates, coats and boleros were officially launched during this memorable event.

‘My dream was to make art, so I decided to leave architecture and pursue fashion. Clothing seemed like a much simpler way to allow people to connect with art by wearing it. I find it fascinating how we return to where our dreams began after taking a divergent path.’ – Andrzej Pytel.

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BRIDAL WEAR FLORALIZED

Our current winter floral collection of formal wear and alternative bridal wear was designed for the Louis Vuitton competition held in Paris in 2015. Originally the collection of prints was developed for a range of cushions for Brisbane based Emrajo Linen. The prints were later incorporated into the formal wear and bridal wear below. The Floralizm collection was officially launched and showcased at the Queensland Art Galerry | GOMA Uplate; celebrating 30 Years of Japanese Fashion. Andrzej Pytel the designer of House of Ezis presented the capsule evening wear collection with a brief talk about the brands’ journey over the past years and it’s transition from menswear into the current womens formal wear market. If you love flowers, these beautiful prints can be reserved exclusively for your next formal occassion. Enjoy!

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