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Craving Custom | Downton Abbey or Bust

This year has got to be one for the books. In addition to some of the over-the-top wedding dresses that we've done, we also got to go to Downton Abbey! Well, I didn't go to Downton Abbey, but my creation did!
David Peck, photo by Dena Rafte
It all started when Rob called. He was throwing a surprise birthday party for his incredible wife Amy, who happens to be one of our favorite people. He asked if I would be interested in designing a gown for the party which was to be held at Downton Abbey (aka Highclere Castle) of all places, but Amy couldn't know any of the details... AS IF THAT WERE A QUESTION!!! 
Downton Abbey, photo by Dena Rafte
The only thing that Amy knew was that she was going to a white tie dinner in London with a 1920s theme, supposedly for Rob's work. Little did she know that behind the scenes, he had orchestrated 40 of her nearest and dearest to surprise her for dinner, including her 4 kids.


Back to the dress... I knew it had to be special and over the top, but how to do that without spilling the beans???? Luckily, Amy is one of the nicest people and was game as soon as I texted her the sketch and the swatch of fabric that I wanted to use.
Vintage lame velvet and custom beading
Can we talk about that fabric? It's to DIE FOR. I've literally been hoarding it for 2 years, waiting for the perfect person/dress. It came from the Warner Brothers studio in the 60s, probably for some star, but one of my suppliers found it for me and knew that I would have to have it.  I DID.
Amy Pierce Sketch by David Peck
Fast forward to 2017. We had the sketch, the fabric, and did I also mention the vintage beading that I had from Paris in the 20s? Yeah, well I did and that was that. We also had some black jet beading done exclusively for us that we added to the cape and shoulders of the dress.
Amy Pierce fabric on the cutting table
I don't think I mentioned that we barely had a month to get this all done, but we did it, feathers and all!
Ostrich Plumes
Ostrich Feather Application
Beading and Ostrich Feathers
Amy Pierce Final Fitting
Beaded Cape Front DetailBeaded Cape Back Detail
The combination of people, place, and creativity was magical. The whole studio was so excited about working on the dress, and we gave it all our love before it made it's way across the ocean to Downton Abbey.
Amy Pierce at Highclere Castle
Rob and Amy Pierce at Highclere Castle
Needless to say. Amy was in for the shock of her life. I'd like to think that we helped to make the evening that much more special, but we all know it was in the hands of Mr. Carson and that magical dinner at Downton Abbey. 
Amy Pierce at Highclere Castle
When it was all said and done, Amy's friends presented her with a BEAUTIFUL, handmade book from Gunter Creative that documented the fairytale evening.
Handmade Book by Gunter Creative
Photos at Downton Abbey courtesy of Dena Rafte.
Book Layout and Design by Gunter Creative
Contact or call 281-888-6391 for more information about our custom services. 

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