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Wedding dress

Audrey’s character Jo wears this dress in the film twice- once to be photographed on location, and once in an actual fashion show. Click on any image for a larger version. (The dance sequence by the chapel may have been filmed using a misty filter for romantic atmosphere. That and the constant dance movement makes it quite hard to capture any screen caps that aren’t quite blurry!)

The bodice has a fairly straightfoward bateau neckline, roughly the same height front and back, which extends out slightly over the shoulder into little cap sleeves:


In this shot we can see the armhole tapers into the side seam of the bodice rather than being round:

Although it looks deceptively simple, the bodice appears to be in two sections. Under the bust shelf there appears to be a seam that runs around the underbust:

This allows the actual bust section to have a little room in for movement, and the section under the bust to be fitted tightly to the figure like a corset: (I presume the back bodice is the same)

This fitted lower bodice section extends down over the hips to a dropped waist. (There does not seem to be a seam at the actual waist.) The bottom of the bodice is cut to be slightly higher at the front and lowest at the centre back:

This fitted lower bodice section appears to be heavily boned to keep its shape. (This boning would need extend down into the hip section of the bodice to stop that part from riding up.) My guess is that the boning in the dress is to keep its shape and structure, but that Audrey is also wearing separate underwear which moulds her figure into that hourglass waist.

I can’t see any fastenings, but I’m guessing there’s a concealed zipper down the centre back or a side seam?

The skirt is made up of lots of layers. The top layer is the same fabric as the hood- a tulle (I can’t see whether it’s dotted or not)?This is pleated/gathered very finely into the dropped waist to give volume. Not only that, but when Audrey twirls it is clearly at least a full circle:

Under this top layer of tulle is a more substantial layer, roughly the same fabric as the bodice:

Under this layer are petticoats too numerous to count, in white rather than ivory. They appear to be out of a stiffer net than the tulle top layer, and add volume. They would need to be petticoats with hip yokes not to add bulk at under the fitted hip.

Under the net petticoats there appears to be another more fitted stiff silk petticoat for modesty, given all that twirling! There may even be more petticoats under this to give it structure:

In the picture below, there appears to be band around the bottom of the skirt of a shinier fabric. I’m assuming it’s the second layer down, the heavier silk skirt, as in the bottom right corner we can see it’s not the tulle top layer. Perhaps this band matches the bodice fabric and rest of the skirt is a different silk? The skirt certainly looks like it may be a swingier silk that the bodice and thus have a stiffer band at the hem:

The hood and floating panel appear to made from a dotted fabric. I’m assuming it’s a tulle? The front of the hood secures in place in Audrey’s hair with a small comb concealed by a small satin bow.

A similar small satin bow hides the spot at the centre back edge of the bodice where the hood is gathered in and the fabric releases out into a long floating panel down the back:

Side view:

When the comb securing the hood is removed, the hood can be thrown back, revealing the back neck:

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Henry permalink
    January 13, 2010 7:31 pm

    i LOVE this dress. at the moment a replica of this dress is being sold on ebay for about 148.00 i think but it does not show you a picture of what it looks like.

  2. Emma permalink
    July 24, 2010 4:49 pm

    That “dotted tulle” is actually called “point d’esprit.” Thanks for showing us the complexity and sophistication of this Givenchy couture dress.

    • glassoffashion permalink*
      July 24, 2010 5:10 pm

      Good to know- thanks for the info!

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