Monday, 22 August 2016
A DRESS made from felt and dyed with eucalyptus leaves has made it into the prestigious weddings section of the New York Times.
Frenchs Forest designer Gina Mastio made the dress for bride Frankie Thomas — despite her getting married in Connecticut, USA.
She’s the granddaughter of West Side Story composer Leonard Bernstein, and found Mrs Mastio online.
She was commissioned to craft the special frock from silk and other natural fibres, including a concoction of the Aussie leaves — with rusty metal added to create the oyster grey colour.
She had no idea the buyer had such an illustrious heritage or that she’d be chosen by the paper.
Mrs Mastio, said: “I nearly fell over. I couldn’t believe it.”
The dress featured in a storey called Dresses Our Brides Have Worn, alongside frocks by big name designers including Phillip Lim.
Similar dresses take six weeks to create and cost from $650.
FRANKIE is a freelance writer and transcriber for journalists and documentary filmmakers.
She married Ian Tattersall, a doctor, in Connecticut on June 4.
The couple met, according to the New York Times, through mutual friends out for a night at a karaoke bar in Manhattan in 2011.
He friended her on Facebook the next day but they didn’t become a couple until the following summer after directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream together for the Bard Hall Players.
The bride told the designer she’d wanted one of her dresses before she even knew she was getting married.
She wrote in her review of Mrs Mastio’s work: “I am so lucky to have found Gina Mastio, the most talented artist working on Etsy!
As soon as I discovered her work, I immediately knew I wanted her to provide my wedding dress — and I wasn’t even engaged yet.
“Once I got engaged, I never even considered getting my dress anywhere else: I HAD to have a Gina Mastio dress.
“It was an absolute dream come true when she agreed to make a custom one for me.
I'm in New York, and I was worried about working with a designer in Australia, but Gina was always responsive, informative, and kind in our correspondence.
“She asked good questions and made helpful suggestions about the design and sizing. When the dress arrived, it was wrapped in beautiful paper, with a lovely handwritten note.
“And the dress is PERFECT — gorgeous, well made, even better than I hoped! Thank you, Gina!”
The New York times reported that the bride also liked the frock because she can wear it again, unlike many of the sumptuous creations.
Mrs Mastio, who is originally from France, said: “She contacted me through my etsy shop and requested me to create a dress for her.
“We discussed the style and sizing details, and I contacted her whenever I needed a detail clarified.
“With my techniques I use, it is very sculptural.
“The dresses are not cut and stitched, but rather hand felted from silk fabric and wool fibres that are laid down individually.
“The piece is hand felted together and shrinks during the process. There are many factors that influence the outcome, so no two items are alike.
“Experience is the essential ingredient to create a dress at a distance in such circumstances.”