Amanda’s Journey To Her Dress – Something Old, Something New, Something Few Would Do!

To give you the full scoop, we have to give you insight into Amanda’s history – she’s the holder of an Undergraduate Degree in ‘Costume Design for Performance Art’ from the London College of Fashion. She shared with TW, “Naturally, during my course of study, I did costumes with a variety of scope. I was always interested in fabrics and texture, both of which inspire my designs.”

She had heard about two online websites “Early bird no1” and “DH Gate,” from friends and immediately began her research on them. Both websites had brief descriptions about the gowns’ fabric and sizing chart but not much in-depth details. There was also a detailed return policy, allowing return of gowns, free of charge.

According to Amanda, “There were quite a few reviews on the DH Gate website, but not the Early Bird. I felt comfortable about ordering because of the reviews I saw on the main site, since I felt they would not have scams on their site.” Satisfied that there were safeguards in place and happy with the price of $182.59USD, Amanda threw caution to the wind and ordered her gown from DH Gate on February 24, 2014. It was shipped to the USA on March 20, 2014.

To save herself from potential buyer’s remorse, Amanda requested a photo of the dress before it left China (which was not the seller’s usual procedure). However, the photo of the dress made by DH Gate was nothing like the original dress in the photo Amanda had ordered. She promptly asked for a refund. What ensued was an arduous process to get her money back but she eventually did.

Earlier in March, Amanda had visited a charity shop to scout for items for the Theatre Costume design course that she was currently teaching at the University of The West Indies. Whilst there, she spotted several second-hand wedding dresses on display, for sale. Her eye caught a gown with an overlay of French corded and beaded lace and in a spur of the moment decision, she decided to buy it for $500TTD.

Amanda in the gown at the Charity Shop

Her idea was to use the lace, by carefully removing it and re-assembling it into a newly constructed dress. The purest form of “something old into something new.”

In order to acquire fabric for Heather, Amanda began the intricate process of taking lace off the “charity shop dress” and snipping away all the sequins that were discolored. Then came the process of bleaching the lace pieces, in order for them to regain their original white hue.

Supplemental fabric of dupioni satin, voile, net and lace trimmings for the bodice and the frills of the dress were selected from a few stores in Trinidad. The fabrics for the wedding dress totaled to about $1500-$2000 TTD, including the lining.

After about two months and three fittings with Heather, the final gown was ready. Amanda describes it as “romantic, organic and exquisite.” And if TW had to add another word – we think it was completely original and just perfect for Amanda’s glamorous wedding at the North Deck, with its “Haute Tropical” theme.


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Video below is a collaboration between, Relate Studios, Heather Jones & Amanda Williams. Check it out!