Dresses That Inspire: Portrait of a Lady

Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2001

The elegant contours of this silk-organza A-line gown recall the paintings of Whistler and Sargent, who captured the great beauties of society in the early twentieth century in all their majesty. Appliqued, re-embroidered lace bands encircle the skirt like spun sugar on a tiered wedding cake. Freeze-dried roses are tucked into the bride's flowing hair, which echoes the gentle sweep of her calla-lily bouquet.

Below, black-satin stitching and jet-beaded applique embellish this ice-blue silk Rasmir gown, which looks as if it just swept out of a ballroom at the court of Versailles. A deep scoop neck, three-quarter-length calla-lily sleeves, and a full pleated skirt with a scalloped train give the dress a grandeur worthy of a marquise.

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