1930s | Hats

From the Reel Screen to Real Life

June 4, 2010

A while ago, I wrote about the green silk dress from the movie Atonement and how it was created. Well, Gemma commented here and on my personal blog that her wedding dress was inspired by that movie costume and that she had pictures. So, of course I emailed her to send those pictures to me. After I saw them I knew I wanted to ask her some questions on why that dress and how. Here are some gorgeous pictures of her completed dress and please enjoy the rest of her answers on my blog.

I’m Gemma McCrory from Belfast, Northern Ireland but now living in London, England. Any spare time that I have I love to shop! Depending on my mood I either like trawling through vintage shops and warehouses or searching on the high street for vintage styled pieces. I am not very good with my hands so am a bit hopeless at actually making my own, but what I am good at is finding vintage patterns and emailing them to my sister-in-law in Belfast to make for me. It was Marie, my sister-in-law and 1940s fanatic, who actually alerted me to Lsaspacey’s post about my wedding dress.

Were you influenced by the movie Atonement in choosing your dress or was it a coincidence?
I watched Atonement and hated the movie but instantly fell in love with the dress, when my husband proposed I knew that I had to get that dress made. Being 6 feet tall I knew that any ‘off-the-peg’ dresses just would not do. Also being a lover of 1920s/30s clothing, the dress ticked all the boxes!

How did you find your dressmaker or did a family member/friend make it for you?
My dress maker was the wonderful Lucia Silver based in London. Believe it or not I just googled “1920 wedding dress maker” and up she popped! She has an amazing studio in Notting Hill which is dripping with vintage gowns, clothing and jewellery, as soon as I walked in I knew that she was the one for me. There was a hand made flapper dress hanging in every panel in the bay windows- stunning! When I arrived Lucia was just as excited as me when she saw the pictures I had brought with me as she was just about to start designing a dress similar- so I guess I was the guinea pig. She now uses the dress (a.k.a the goddess dress) on the main page of her web site, The State of Grace.

Did they use that same Vogue pattern to make it or did they copy the dress from pictures? How many tries (muslins) were made before the final dress?
No, they made the dress from a block which they drew my measurements on. From this they were able to make one toile then finito! Experts!

What fabric is your dress made out of? It moved so beautifully in the wind.
It is made from pearl crepe-back silk satin bought from Morocco.

Did you buy or make the fascinator/headdress?
The hatlette was also made by the same team it is made from the same fabric as the dress with hand stitched silver seams. The feathers and veil were also hand attached. Lucia also made some vintage single drop rhinestone and pearl earrings which she gave me as a gift.

The happy couple!

Join me in wishing the McCrorys the best in their life together and thank you, Gemma for sharing your story!

Images: property of Gemma McCrory, Focus Features Films, State of Grace
  1. i am blown away by that phenomenal wedding dress. the veiled hat complements the dress perfectly. sublime!

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Your dressmaker did a wonderful job designing and making that dress. It fit you perfectly.

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