Gorgeous Cowrie Shell Adorned Wedding Dresses!

therez fleetwood cowrie shells 2MAKEDA wedding dress – natural silk dupioni and hand-sewn cowrie shells.

cowrie shells

The ever popular cowrie shell has many uses and meanings. It has shown up in the form of money, jewelry, and religious accessories in almost every part of the world. Found in the islands of the Indian Ocean, the cowrie shell soon gained popularity throughout much of ancient Africa.

zariZARI wedding dress – light blue double silk satin bustier dress with front slit, hand-sewn cowrie shells and Swarovski pearls.

cowrie shells

Its influence, however, also spread to China, where it was used as a form of currency to such an extent that the Chinese used its shape to form their pictograph for money! Today excavations have found some of the money of ancient China in the form of brass and silver cowrie shells. Wherever the cowrie shells were found, it seems as if it has been symbolized. 

therez fleetwood cowrie shells 1TYEKA wedding dress – silk shantung sheath dress with cut-out sides, front slit and hand-sewn cowrie shells.

cowrie shells

Spiritually, according to African legend, if you are attracted to cowrie shells you could be family to an ocean spirit of wealth and earth. It also represents Goddess protection which is very powerful and connected with the strength of the ocean. Throughout Africa, and South and North America, the cowrie symbolized the power of destiny and prosperity. Thought of as the mouth of Orsisas, it also is believed to have taught stories of humility and respect. 

therez fleetwood melodyMELODY wedding dress – silk taffeta empire waist dress with hand-sewn cowrie shells.

cowrie shells

However you interpret these beautiful white shells, they are a fascinating, unique addition to your wardrobe. Whether used in jewelry, or in crafts, or in any other use you can imagine, these shells are sure to add an exotic feel of Africa and make an excellent, one of a kind, fashion statement.

amaliaAMALIA wedding dress – silk shantung ballgown with hand-painted pearlized cowrie shells.

cowrie shells

therez fleetwood cowrie shells 3ASHA wedding dress – silk brocade two-piece dress with hip-hugging straight skirt and natural cowrie shells.

cowrie shells

zaharaZAHARA wedding dress – double silk satin sheath dress with cut-out sides, trumpet hemline,  hand-painted cowrie shells and Swarovski pearls.

cowrie shells

therez fleetwood cowrie shells aminaAMINA wedding dress – silk shantung dress with peplum top, straight skirt , detachable train, and hand-painted pearlized cowrie shells.

cowrie shells

therez fleetwood cowrie shells neemaNEEMA wedding dress – silk chiffon and crepe de chine empire waist dress with hand-sewn cowrie shells and Swarovski pearls.

cowrie shells

therez fleetwood cowrie shells nandiNUBUSHE wedding dress – silk shantung dress with peplum top, straight skirt, detachable train, and hand-sewn cowrie shells.


Article from – “The Meaning and History of the Cowrie Shell” – http://africaimports.com/cowrieshell.asp


All That Jazz! Celebrating The Fabric Of Our Culture

As a designer, I love when I am able to be self-expressed with my creations. This dress was created exclusively for the finale of LEGACY – Celebrating the Fabric of Our Culture in Philadelphia, PA.   For all you jazz enthusiasts… this one’s for you!

therez fleetwood jazz dress

Creating this dress was an extremely long process.  I used double-ply silk satin fabric, 1/8″ gold metallic cording, bugle beads and seed beads.  There is also a built-in corset and crinoline underneath. Here is design and construction process below;

jazz fabric and trims


STEP 1 – sketching all the Jazz band members. (ie. singer, trumpet, bass, piano, drums, etc…)
jazz sketches


STEP 2 – laying  out and positioning all musicians on the fabric.jazz laying out sketches



STEP 3 –  tracing  the images on the fabric.
jazz tracing onto fabric


STEP 4 – machine stitching, along the lines and hand hand-sewing the beaded trims to create the artwork on the dress.
jazz sewing


Creating Your Ultimate Wedding Dress By Choosing To Have It Custom Made

custom made wedding dress 4

As a custom design company, Therez Fleetwood specializes in bringing ideas to life while staying focused on the bride and her dress. The process starts with brides selecting a dress from either Therez Fleetwood’s sample collections or creating a dress from scratch.

custom made wedding dress 2

Therez’s design and production teams create one-of-a-kind pieces that capture the spirit of a bride who has a specific look in mind. They work with their clients guiding them through every step of the process.

custom made wedding dress

As a world couture designer, Therez creates the ultimate designs using fabrics, beads and trinkets from various countries. “The great thing about creating custom gowns is having the ability to mix and match modern and classic bridal styles while adding cultural elements to the dresses.  As a custom designer, my client’s happiness comes first and the whole process can be an emotional one. These brides are entrusting me to make one of the most important dresses they will ever wear in their lifetime and it has to be perfect,” states Therez.

Having a custom gown made is a very personal process and can take up to six months to finish. The process includes concept design, sketching, pattern making, multiple consultations, and fittings. Wedding gowns start at $2,500.

LINDIWE Dress on stage in Tyler Perry’s Stage Play “Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned”

The Lindiwe wedding dress hit the stage in Tyler Perry’s national play Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned.



tyler perry therez fleetwood  3


tyler perry therez fleetwood  2

Moroccan Inspired Kaftans

Indulge yourself in a luxurious handcrafted Moroccan inspired Kaftans. These one-piece kaftans are easy to wear and are perfect for weddings, formal events or any special occasion. Made from georgette fabrics with beautiful embroidery and beadwork.

therez fleetwood ivory kaftan


therez fleetwood mint kaftan


Brides Are Saying “I Do” To Simpler Wedding Dresses

Clean, uncomplicated wedding dresses are making a comeback, and the traditional looks are starting to fade. Brides are placing more emphasis on the fabric, cut and construction of the dress and are opting out of the heavy adornment of crystals, beads, and lace.  Today, brides are a little older and more sophisticated. They know fabrics. They appreciate the feel and construction of a really fine garment.

Fine fabrics such as silk, tulle and satin are giving the gowns that needed elegance for the big day. If lace and beading is used at all, it is delicately placed on the bodice or skirt to add just enough adornment to their dress.

therez fleetwood lenaLENA – Vintage inspired silk shantung 2-pc. dress with waist sash and detachable watteau train.


therez fleetwood oliviaOLIVIA – silk satin dress with crumb-catcher and peplum top. Trumpet skirt with chapel length train extension.


therez fleetwood jacquelineJACQUELINE – silk satin shift dress with puff sleeves and mermaid bottom.

Men and Intimacy, Real Talk… Real Answers

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coffee table book

Author Therez Fleetwood, explores the complexities of relationships through the minds of men who give real, no holds barred answers to the questions that women want to ask.  Men and Intimacy, Real Talk. Real Answers provides insight into the way men think. The statements presented in this book are uncut, complete, raw and emotional.

Over fifty men, between the ages of thirty and sixty, answer intimate questions pertaining to women, relationships, sex, love, cheating, and pornography. The men share their voices and their viewpoints to offer us untapped information in which most of them have never openly revealed before.

This book is for women seeking to understand why men do the things they do when it comes to intimacy-related acts.  It will help men find their voice of self-expression as they read and connect with the different answers provided by this diverse group whose statements may resemble their own.

For more information go to www.menandintimacy.com 

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 – What is Intimacy to Men?

Chapter 2 – Men Feel Love Too

Chapter 3 – What’s Important to Men?

Chapter 4 – Men and Communication

Chapter 5 – Do Men Really Want Intimacy?

Chapter 6 – Men Understanding Women

Chapter 7 – What Men Find Sexy in a Woman

Chapter 8 – Can He Be Loyal?

Chapter 9 – Can Women Strengthen Men?

Chapter 10 – Pain Men Feel After a Breakup

Chapter 11 – Why Men Talk During Sex?

Chapter 12 – Why Women Stop Having Sex

Chapter 13 – Why Men Watch Porn

Chapter 14 – Do Men get Bored with Sex?

Chapter 15 – Men’s Last Words

Make a Statement on Your Wedding Day

There are no set rules when it comes to what to wear on your wedding day! More and more brides are  choosing gowns that reflect their individuality and design preferences.  Let your wedding theme guide your overall look and feel of your wedding – including your dress, accessories, flowers, and decor.

bbs5 Turquoise A-line gown with patchwork panel.


therez fleetwood colors

Left: Spring green silk dupioni dress with a hand-beaded front panel.
Center: Two-piece coral and fuschia silk dupioni dress with patchwork panel.
Right: Gold silk shantung dress with a hand-beaded front panel.

Beautiful Beadwork

therez fleetwood beadwork tiff

Add a splash of color and cultural nuances to your wedding dress with Swarovski crystals, glass beads, silver or gold trinkets and cowrie shells.


therez fleetwood beads 2


therez fleetwood beads 1

Real Bride – Ruby


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ruby 1

Ruby 2