The 'more is more' dress is back

DAISY DUMAS
Last updated 13:29 03/10/2012
Holly Valance
MORE IS MORE: Holly Valance and her new husband, property mogul Nick Candy.

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After a weekend of celebrity weddings - including Anne Hathaway, Cat Deeley and Martha Patterson - it looks like the meringue dress is back in vogue.

But the 'more is more' look is not finding favour with everyone. Australian actress Holly Valance that seems to be attracting the most attention for her J'Aton Couture-designed number.

Valance and multi-millionaire property mogul, Nick Candy, wed in a haze of lavish limelight on Saturday - with none other than Sir Elton John on hand for wedding singer duties.

It was, on most counts, a fairytale wedding.

But, the dress has found itself on the end of some less-than-flattering criticism.

 The Daily Mail said the gown was a "Barbie-meets-Miss-Havisham frock...[with] cascades of pigeon-coloured frou-frou about the hem."

While the Telegraph likened the gown to an all-inclusive British package holiday stalwart. Which is no good thing.

"This dress had more going on than a fortnight at Butlins - and about as much class", wrote Belinda White.

The British newspaper said the "rag-taggle skirt... looked like it had been concocted from endlessly layered lettuce leaves faithfully reproduced in singed white silk."

Ouch.

Its creators, unsurprisingly, beg to differ.

Emailing from LA, J'Aton's Jacob Luppino and Anthony Pittorino told Life & Style that Valance was a pleasure to work with and the "heirloom" dress was largely the former Neighbours actress' design.

"[Planning a wedding] is so incredibly personal and a private time that means so much to them just like any other normal bride but with an incredible amount of added pressure and expectation."

Effusive about their latest A-list client, the pair said Valance is "innately warm and kind" and that is was important for her to have Aussies working on her gown - the label is based in Melbourne, her home town.

"Holly had a big part in the design process and was an absolute pleasure to work with, no bridezilla here she was amazing so relaxed and chilled throughout the entire process" they said.

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"The dress was inspired by Holly's love of nature and love of organic textures and delicate French laces. The gown was all hand embroidered in fine silk and hand dyed in white to silver metallic and deep shades of grey. We created a modern day heirloom piece that captured her free spirit and nature" Luppino and Pittorino said.

That it may not be to everyone's taste is a given, but the efforts put into the "rag-taggle" skirt suggest the gown's critics may well be tempered by witnessing the craftsmanship up close and personal.

"The gown was created in Australia with initial meetings and fitting in London. The dress was then finalised in LA", said the pair. "The entire process took three months with two solid months with a team of 6 beading, hand dyeing, embroidering and sewing."

But the detail doesn't end there.

"Holly also wanted a touch of Australia in the gown and we studded the gown in incredible opals that we had custom made for the embellishment in her gown in various shapes" said the duo.

While the pair were keen to underline the pains they go to to protect their celebrity clientele's privacy, they said that "working on high profile weddings is enjoyable because [celebrities] are such real and incredibly down to earth people and we are honoured that they trust in us with such an important moment in their lives."

It may not be the most subtle of dresses, but with three continents, two designers, six people, three months and the public gaze in the mix, it was never going to be easy.

Butlins may be pushing it, but on a theatrical touch of Swan Lake, a dash of the Snow Queen and a smidgen of fairytale princess, we can agree.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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