Plunging lines, timeless shape, intricate fabrication, and eye-catching details. Inspired by taking elements of the past by incorporating sleeves and fabric mixing, Gretchen created a modern take on a vintage-inspired gown for Diana's whimsical nuptials.
This look includes two layers of light mocha silk charmeuse, two overlays of lace-one in light ivory Chantilly lace and the top overlay in light ivory double embroidered French alencon lace. It is complete with a built-in bustier and petticoat, hand-stitched lace scallops along every neckline and hem, and covered buttons lining the sleeves.
The most special part of this gown was the gorgeous texture the two laces created. It gave the dress dimension and romance and let it speak for itself. Because of the sleeves and daring necklines, she decided to keep her accessories minimal and opted for a single layer cathedral veil for the ceremony and kept her wedding ring the only bling to her look.
Classic shape, timeless lines, clean silhouette, decadent fabrication and effortless beauty. Being the first bride to walk down the aisle in a custom Gretchen Dawley gown, Kayla set the tone for the brand. This gown solidified Gretchen's vision of using simple, elegant blocks for her dresses and letting the bride's form and personality take it to the next level.
After sifting through concepts and sketches of different styles and silhouettes, Kayla opted for a more classic look with focus on fabrication and fine details.
This look is made of champagne silk satin with a full overlay of French alencon lace, complete built-in bustier, hand-stitched lace scallops along every neckline and hem, and 85 covered buttons running down the entire back of the gown.
To perfect her custom look, she wore a single layer chapel veil, silk chiffon floral hair piece encrusted with vintage rhinestones, satin ribbon sash, vintage rhinestone and pearl broach, and completed it with a true vintage pearl necklace and clutch belonging to her grandmother.
Dramatic back, sleek fabrication, intricate seaming, and lace with a touch of sentiment. Rachel's gown is inspired by the classic 1920s-1930s bias cut dress. A bias cut dress is draped to match the curves of a woman's body and echo its fluidity of motion. Gretchen modernized the age-old concept of a bias gown by playing with seam lines, necklines, and dropping the back all the way to the waistline.
This look includes two layers of light ivory silk charmeuse, hand-stitched vintage lace around the neckline, and French seams.
To carry out her flawless look, she completed it with a single layer-raw edge chapel veil, deep red lips and nails, and mix and matched delicate gold necklaces. Her simple and timeless look spoke volumes with the drape of the fabric and the details that told a story.
The greatest detail of this piece is the vintage lace trim adorning the neckline. During a fitting, Rachel brought her mother's wedding gown dating back to the early 1980s and asked if she could incorporate any part of it into her dress. After sifting through thousands of pearls, yards of diamond white polyester and puffy sleeves, this sweet and subtle lace was found and incorporated into the dress
A sweetheart neckline with geometric elements, a mix of soft and textured fabrications, draped panels, and the sweetest of details all come together to bring just the right touch of romance and elegance to Avila's spring time nuptials.
Inspired by the open countryside and the beauty of nature, Gretchen brought her vision to life by incorporating the ornate detail and texture of lace and mixing it with the whimsy, breezy feel of chiffon.
This gown offers two looks. The fitted underskirt is made of silk charmeuse with a full overlay of re-embroidered lace and hand-stitched scallops along the slit and hem. The fitted bodice is made of silk satin, and features a front silk chiffon draped detail with chiffon off-the-shoulder straps. The most unique part of this gown is the detachable silk chiffon wrap skirt with a full 15-yard sweep at the hem. Complete with a built-in bustier, hand-made covered button details, and clean lines, this gown is truly one-of-a-kind and tells an enchanting love story all on its own.
To play up her fairytale woodland ensemble, she completed her look with a darling floral crown to rest on her tousled waves.
Geometric shapes and lines, princess seams, a mix of hard and subtle details, ornate fabrication, and a killer train all join together to bring just the right touch of statement and drama to Christa's summer nuptials. As a lover of fashion, hip hop and the city lights, Christa's dazzling gown was inspired by the woman herself bringing together all those aspects of who she is and how her personality and flavor would shine through in her look on her wedding day.
This look is made of a fully sequined fabrication. The sequins are double-sided offering champagne elegance on one side, and show-stopping gold on the other. This dress includes a full bodice structure for added shape and support, structured necklines and cut-outs creating clean lines, handmade covered button details lining the back neck and sleeves, and a full 5-yard sweep at the train for just the right amount of drama. This gown weighs in at 25 pounds making it the heaviest gown to ever walk down the aisle within the Gretchen Dawley label.
The most special part of this gown is the sparkly fabrication mixed with the easy, yet cool shape of the high-low front and exaggerated train. Being this is a statement gown, Christa opted for subtle accessories with sparkly drop earrings and glam side-swepted hair.
Looking like liquid mercury gliding down the aisle, this gown will be one for the books.
Plunging necklines and a simple, yet bold silhouette made for the perfect gown for Alexa's summertime nuptials at this picturesque villa nestled in San Juan Capistrano, California.
After sifting through inspiration and sketches, Alexa chose a more minimalist, contemporary approach to her gown highlighting the sleek fabrication and powerful hourglass shape. The drama of the exaggerated front and back necklines, brought the whole piece to the next level.
This look is made of 4-ply French silk crepe and lined to perfection with 100% silk charmeuse. It features a v-shaped front panel of illusion mesh, hand-done hems and finishings, a fingertip bustle, and gorgeous seam lines to enhance her perfect s-curve form. To complete the look, Gretchen created a single layer cathedral length veil to complement the daring lines of the gown.
The Alexa embodies the perfect mix of sexy sophistication, and only validates that fact that you can never go wrong with the feel of buttery silk crepe and a low back.
Captured by the ever-talented and romantic photographer, Johnny Tinahui.
Plunging necklines at the front, back, and side featuring a soft ruffle and yards of silk chiffon blowing in the wind made for the perfect gown for Melissa's end-of-summer beachfront Malibu nuptials.
Since meeting Melissa, she couldn't get her mind off the Aida gown from my 1950s Havana collection, but wanted to make it custom and one-of-a-kind. After deciding on an oceanfront affair, it was a no-brainer to add a flowy silk chiffon overskirt with a 20 yard sweep to let blow in the ocean breeze. Her gown embodied romance in the most effortless way. It was the perfect look for her Malibu Love Story wedding.
She completed her ensemble with a cascading pearl necklace by Southern California bridal accessory designer, Sara Kim. It played well with the plunging necklines and softness of the fabrication.
A sweetheart neckline, plunging back, the tiniest of straps, a sexy fit and flare silhouette, and the most dramatic and romantic off-the-shoulder straps dripping in French lace made for the perfect gown for Emily's fall nuptials.
When Emily came to me looking for her dream dress, her main requests were lace and long sleeves. Through getting to know her, I decided to test a few other options. After going through all of the sketches together, I was beyond thrilled when she chose to go down the sultry off-the-shoulder route playing with dramatic lace draping.
This stunning look is made of three delicate layers to give the lace a subtle textured feel. The creamy shell is made of a buttery 100% silk 4-ply crepe, followed by a layer of mesh with hand appliquéd French flowers scattered throughout, finished off with a full French chantilly lace overlay. The icing on the cake was the 20-yard sweep of lace scallops finishing the hem, 100 covered buttons sewn down the center back of the gown, and a single-layer cathedral length veil.
Emily had the true look of elegance, yet with a touch of effortless bohemian flair.
Nude mesh, a built-in bustier, hand-cut flowers placed just so, and a bias-cut skirt complete with a high slit made for the perfect gown for Katie's industrial Seattle nuptials.
After a long hunt for the perfect dress, Katie came to me with three main requests: lace, an open back, and a fitted silhouette. I played with the idea of off-the-shoulder and sleeves, but at the end of the day, Katie chose the simple, yet subtly daring option.
Her look is made up of silk, French lace, and mesh. The creamy shell of the skirt is a light ivory silk charmeuse to give an effortless natural drape. The lace overlay is a re-embroidered French chantilly lace, finished with a hand-sewn scallop at the hem. The most intriguing part of this piece is the illusion mesh bodice crafted with hand-cut and sewn French flowers, completed with a thorough bustier structure underneath. We decided to bring the whole look together with a single-layer cathedral veil to add just the right touch of drama down the aisle.
Layers of light ivory and nude mesh, a built-in bustier, 200+ hand-cut and sewn embroidered flowers, a fit and flare bottom, and a detachable ballgown skirt were all incorporated into the perfect pieces for Teresa’s cathedral to backyard tent affair.
Venue, location, silhouette, and fabrication were the key factors to these looks. She had always dreamed of having a tent wedding, and was particularly drawn to lace gowns with interesting backs. However, during the sketch phase the Basilica in downtown Minneapolis opened up for a potential location to share their vows, and this factor changed the game in the silhouette department. As much as I wanted to make her lace gown dreams come true, I knew I couldn’t send her down a cathedral aisle without a proper modern ballgown.
The base gown is a fit and flare silhouette made of light ivory silk charmeuse, an overlay of French chantilly lace with hand-sewn embroidered flowers scattered to add dimension, a mesh floral-engineered bodice complete with bustier closure and covered buttons, and an attached scallop hem along the sweep. The piece that takes her look to the next level is the detachable ballgown skirt made of 35 yards of silk organza with lace patches sewn between the layers to give a shadow of texture and romance. This statement piece is finished with a horsehair hem to give it a light bounce to ensure that it floats properly down the aisle.
Her pieces were envisioned and crafted to embody a modern romantic fairytale. What made this gown so special was the fact that it was created for the love of my brother’s life. Teresa is my new sister, and it was the sweetest, most memorable thing seeing my big brother’s face as his bride walked toward him, and they vowed their lives to each other. I will never forget it.
Architectural shapes, sleek fabrication, and minimalism at its finest. Inspired by modernism and the sophistication that coincides, this timeless number became the perfect focal point overlooking the Pacific Ocean for Danica’s nuptials.
This look is draped in silk crepe-back satin, the fabric of Old Hollywood. It features a strapless neckline, side zip, minimal seamlines, and front and back cascades down the left side. The hemline features an inner horsehair finish to give it extra volume and drama.
The best part of this gown was the incorporation of her mother’s dress, in which pieces were sewn into the bodice of the finished product. Too perfect for words with just the right touch of nostalgia.