Caroline Z.

Behind the Scenes: Designing a Custom Dress

Caroline ElenowitzComment

One thing that is great about working directly with my clients is the potential to design something entirely custom. The ability to have a collaboration between client and designer creates beautiful pieces that could never have happened without each side bringing something great to the table. 

I want to share my latest custom evening gown with you, which was actually inspired by a photo of a dress worn by the client's mother in the 1950s. I wanted to take that original inspiration point and combine it with the concepts from my debut collection in order to create something new.

Photo of the Client's Mother which was inspiration for her dress

Photo of the Client's Mother which was inspiration for her dress

My original sketch

My original sketch

The client and I met to discuss what she wanted and to take her measurements. Then, I created a sketch to share with the client to make sure we were both on the same page as far as what I would be making. Originally, we were discussing two different color options, but ended up going with navy and black in the end.

After that, I created a mock-up in muslin, tulle and paper to make sure that the fit was comfortable, flattering and well-proportioned. We ended up cutting back on the amount of laser-cutting on the top and adding more to the bottom in order to make a design that best suited the client.

The final dress

The final dress

Finally, the dress was finished! I try to always have a last fitting, however, to deal with tiny details of fit that might have changed or hadn't been fully corrected yet. Here, I ended up trimming the hem and very slightly shortening the sleeve in order to make everything lie perfectly.

Dress details

Dress details

The back

The back

My favorite part is when the dress is finished and the client gets to wear it to an event! She said it 'made me feel like a princess' which is all a designer could hope for.

Two Caroline Z. dresses in the wild! On the left is the Lucy dress and on the right, the custom dress .

Two Caroline Z. dresses in the wild! On the left is the Lucy dress and on the right, the custom dress .

If you are interested in ordering a custom Caroline Z. design or inquiring about one, please email me at caroline@caroline-z.com and I would love to see how I can help create something unique for you!