IN THE BAG
Stephanie Watson had her wedding gown in the bag—the bread bag, that is. The Australian fashion designer whipped up her gown using 10,000 bread tags that she collected over the years.
BY ANY OTHER NAME
A dozen long-stem roses wasn’t enough for one man on Valentine’s Day. Xiao Fan opted for a wallet-stretching 9,999, which he fashioned into a lavish gown before proposing to his girlfriend, Yin Mi, at the Guangzhou amusement park where they met three years ago. (Yin had just been crowned Miss Bikini 2009 when they first locked gazes.) Dressmakers toiled unceasingly to create the remarkable garment, which includes delicate rose-petal shoulder straps and a sweeping five-foot train made from individually stitched blooms.
HAVING IT ALL
Why settle for one wedding dress when you can have 10? Upcycling maestro Gary Harvey whipped up his matrimonial confection from nearly a dozen secondhand dresses.
Dana Jasinkevica and Dita Enikova’s wedding dress is a page from a gothic fairy tale come to life. The two Latvian fashion students created Swan in Oil.Before and After from more than a thousand paper ovals, artfully cobbled together to resemble the plumage of an elegant bird. The photo series juxtaposes images of the dress in its pristine glory with its double splattered in black paint. The emerging narrative, the designers say, encapsulates the “painful question of birds suffering from oil pollution in their natural habitat, with swans frequently among the potential victims.”
NOW YOU SEE IT
Here comes the bride…aaand there goes her dress. British researchers have developed a wedding gown that can be dissolved in water—just in time for the honeymoon—to transform it into five new wearable pieces. The trick: Polyvinyl alcohol, an odorless nontoxic polymer that breaks down in water without harming the environment. A project by students at South Yorkshire’s Sheffield Hallam University, the dress and its subsequent permutations are the result of an unlikely union between the college’s fashion and engineering students.
HERE COMES THE TWO-PLY
Every year, Cheap Chic Weddings.com plays host to the Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest, based on the popular wedding-shower game. But don’t mistake the competition for amateur hour at the local craft fair. Previous winners have included a sweeping Gone With the Wind-inspired ball gown—the dress was compared to an Oscar de La Renta couture creation—and a thigh-skimming bustier gown with a plunging sweetheart neckline.
Michelle Brand isn’t your typical wedding-gown designer, but then again, “Green With Envy” isn’t your typical wedding gown. Trailed by a 16-foot train and weighing more than 22 pounds, the gown is the sum of 2,220 recycled plastic-bottle bases, 6,512 plastic-bottle tops, 13,880 tags, and months of tireless labor. The wedding dress, which debuted at Britain’s largest inner-city shopping center in April 2011, isn’t just a sly nod to the Windsor-Middleton nuptials. It’s also designed to encourage shoppers to ditch plastic bags in favor of reusable canvas totes.
Who says you can’t wear your cake and eat it, too? Created by Lukka Sigurdardottir, this one-of-a-kind wedding gown features a full skirt made of flour, sugar, and frosting. Even more impressive: cutting out a slice reveals a multicolor checkered interior.
For bride-to-be Lydia Tayler, hunting down the perfect wedding dress took no time at all. Putting it together, however, was a different matter. The owner of a yarn store in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, Tayler spent four months knitting the 100,000 stitches that made up the intricate lace sheath. “Knitting is a huge part of my life and I always knew I would want it to form some part of our wedding,” Tayler told the Daily Mail in July 2012. “The dress is the hardest, and most important, garment I have ever made but I’m so glad I did it.”
We know you’re meant to wear “something old” on your wedding day, but at 127 years, Allison Rinaldi’s wedding gown far surpasses expectations. Not only does the ecru-colored silk-brocade dress hail from 1884, but it was also worn by Rinaldi’s great-great-grandmother, her grandmother, aunt, and mother when they tied the knot. The 23-year-old bride looked ravishing as she swept down the aisle in the chrysanthemum-patterned gown, which, despite its age, is still in pristine condition.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
With flashing lights, movable parts, and a Frankensteinian assortment of secondhand fabrics, Matthew Reading’s reclaimed-cotton gown is a far cry from the elegant frocks most brides choose for their big day. Then again, the Maryland Institute College of Art student, who designed the dress for the Wash and Wear Electronics course, didn’t intend to laud the traditional matrimonial affair. “As a performer and costumer I thought the whole production really relevant to my work,” he tells Ecouterre. “I wanted to, through lights and motors, use this piece to exaggerate the already absurd costume that is the wedding gown.”