Jada Garvey of Fable Dresses is a bespoke wedding dress designer. Jada’s handmade gowns are always one of a kind, and each year the designer’s sense of artistic adventure and attention to detail determines a new series of dresses.
Jada has become beloved for her artistic and delightful creation of beautiful gowns embellished with handiwork, beading, embroidery, and a sumptous dash of found fabric. Hand dyed and lovingly made her gowns are absolutely extraordinary. She’s the go to designer for bespoke one of a kind wedding dresses for bride who wants something different.
This season the dresses have a delicacy, embellished with detailed beading, inspired by the idea of the bride wearing a gown, her companions riveted by the handwork.Inspired by fairy tales and stories, in particular by the other-worldly and ancient, as she makes each dress by hand she likes to imagine who will wear every dress and the setting as well, usually in the natural world….
“a meadow with fluffy seed pods floating in evening sun. Mossy forests or wonderfully dark and creepy woods and swamps. A sacred place, the desert, a tropical beach. My imagination helps to form each dress.”
Each dress is time consuming to make, all the pieces are made from recycled materials and Jada spends countless hours sourcing these pieces, unpredictable work but an expression of the artist’s commitment to making sustainable designs and truly one of a kind items. She includes found items, and even creates her own dyes for some projects.
“I use anything interesting or beautiful that I can get my hands on. Linens, household items, old clothing or gowns, broken jewelry, so many different things are used in my dresses. Lately I have been having fun stitching clear quartz crystals on my dresses that I dig up from a spot a few miles from my house. They give a very natural sparkle that you will not see on any other wedding dress. When I make my own fabric dyes, I go out into nature and pick berries, flowers, or roots of certain plants and fill my pack basket. Being able to include the natural world into my designs makes me happier than I could possibly describe. Putting it all together and creating a dress takes a lot of energy. Sometimes I feel like I have to try a thousand fabric and detail combinations before it feels right and a dress is born.
What was your creative life like when you were a child, did you sew with your mother?
Jada: I grew up a bit poor. We did not have much and wasted very little out of necessity. When my mother taught me to sew clothing at 14, I was disappointed at how boring and uncreative sewing patterns felt. But one day I realized that I did not have to follow the rules of a sewing pattern. New fabrics were a luxury and I did not often like them, so I took my mother’s old clothes and whatever interesting used materials I could get my hands on and started patching, adorning, and recreating my own clothing with them. I started using sewing patterns as merely a guide, and I would redraw them or alter them to my liking. It made me excited about creating clothing and I loved the idea of using materials that would otherwise be wasted.
And so, the magic began! The vocabulary of traditionally women’s domestic arts or decorative arts in many ways is making its way into the contemporary art and design world, there is a kind of “renaissance.” What do you think about this and how do these traditions play into your own creations?
Jada: I am thrilled to see things like hand embroidery, crocheting, quilting, and other forms of folk art come back into the art world. They were once taught to children as a pastime and I think we need to bring them back into our family traditions, both my son and daughter know how to hand embroider and crochet. I have loved doing these lost arts for many years and I include these techniques in my dresses and the popular have hand embroidery or other stitching and details It is what I am known for and I admire other people’s work too and sometimes the more organic or handmade it looks, the more I love it.
Visit Jada’s website Fable Dresses and see more beautiful creations. She even makes wedding party dresses and gowns for little girls as well.