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The Difference Between A $400 & $4,000 Wedding Dress

As a bespoke wedding gown company, our gowns start at $2,500. We often get contacted by clients whose budgets are much less than our starting price.  Although we wish I could cater to every bride who loves Therez Fleetwood’s bridal designs, the reality is that we simply can not.  The reason why our gown prices start at $2,500 is because we only use the best quality materials and production process for each and every dress.

 

The Comparison between a $400 dress and a $4,000 dress;

*All Therez Fleetwood gowns are custom made according to each bride’s specifications.
They are not mass produced in Asia.

*Therez Fleetwood uses 100% silk fabrics for every dress.
We do not use any synthetic fibers.

*Therez Fleetwood hand-beads every dress one bead at a time.
We do not glue beads onto our dress or use steam pressed appliques.

*Therez Fleetwood creates structured bodices with boning and support.
We do not make dresses without the proper bodice support.

*Therez Fleetwood pays her seamstresses fair price according to industry standards.
We do not use child labor.

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The Difference Between A $400 & $2,500+ Wedding Dress

400 dress 2500 dressimage2

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

 

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.

mandisa

therez fleetwood beads 2

 

therez fleetwood beads 1