Almost two years ago one of my clients was so excited contacting me, and she had an idea… She wanted me to repurpose her wedding dress that was sitting in the box for years. I think her excitement simply infected me and I said yes to her, let’s try this.
So the dress made its way to me over Atlantic. When I opened the big box, I had ambiguous feelings – fear to take the dress apart, excitement to repurpose it and…worry when I saw it was all synthetic and not silk as my client thought of it.
I don’t usually use anything synthetic in my pieces or projects, I don’t feel connected with the synthetics. And especially having to combine it with the natural materials… The other problem was that most of the fabric of the dress was not suitable for felting at all.
As the excitement and enthusiasm of the first moments faded away, I understood I could do nothing unless I build a connection with this fabric. I needed it to speak to me. There were dozen of times when I took it to my hands and then put it away. I took it apart, carded some fabric into fibers, and removed the embellishments to be felted on something I still didn’t know what. I was lucky to have such a wonderful client who understood my creative process and was ready to wait even for a year or more.
Concentrating my thoughts on my client, opened up my mind. Though the fabric was synthetic, it was a part of my clients image some years ago – I was sure this dress was soaking in most positive feelings, love and adoration during those times when my client was marrying a man she loved. It wasn’t just a piece of polyester to her. This was the point where the fabric could speak to me and I could listen. My work began.
It wasn’t all about felting, just a few pieces, it was more of interpretation in textiles. I applied several techniques and thought a lot about colors. I was sure the colors should be softening the feeling of synthetics and should be something that would look worth of a woman whatever her age would be. As the woman who decided to repurpose her wedding dress wants to cherish the things made of it for years or maybe a lifetime.
And…the best reward for this “communication” with the dress was my clients reaction – she loved every single piece. And I hope she is going to cherish it for years.