Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


Home · Articles · News · Features · Silk & Satin/ Ali Frankhouse
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Silk & Satin/ Ali Frankhouse

Kristy Kurjan - January 24th, 2011
Silk &Satin: Meet custom wedding dress designer Ali Frankhouse 1/24/11
By Kristy Kurjan
What is a bride to do when the gown she craves doesn’t exist? Have one made.
 Enter Ali Frankhouse, a Northern Michigan designer who creates custom
gowns for the bride-to-be. Her one-of-a-kind wedding dresses have
graced weddings from New York to Northern Michigan.
The couturier designed her first official wedding dress just after
graduating from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles with a
BFA in fashion in 2001. Her attention to detail was displayed in a
gorgeous white lace wedding gown for a close girlfriend. Since then,
clothing design has been her passion and word-of-mouth advertising has
established her name in the wedding industry.
The process begins by creating a design based on a picture,
silhouette, or sketch. Clients often have an exact dress in mind or a
basic idea of what they want. Frankhouse will sketch a vision and the
process begins. Before cutting any fabric, she tells her clients to
“try on a lot of dresses first to know what looks good on their body
and what they like.”
Next, she drapes an initial shape on a mannequin in muslin, an
inexpensive fabric, of which she creates a sample for the first
fitting. “At this point it doesn’t have any bells or whistles,” says
Frankhouse. “It is just the basic silhouette, to get an idea of what
the dress will look like and how it will fit.”
MULTIPLE FITTINGS
The dress is then cut out of the actual fabric made of delicate fibers
like silk, satin and lace. Frankhouse’s brides have the option of
choosing from swatches or bring in their own fabric.
From there, the designer finishes the dress in steps, requiring
multiple fittings along the way. “I’m picky so I do a lot of
fittings,” says Frankhouse. “Depending on the style of dress I can do
anywhere from 5-10 fittings on a wedding dress. Even a simple sheath
dress might require five appointments.”
For the designer, one of the most difficult aspects is dealing with
her perfectionist tendencies. “I stay up late, sometimes until 3
a.m.,” she says. “It is stressful, but it’s how I get things done.”
Once all of the beads are in place and the hems are tailored, her hard
work pays off when the blushing bride’s dream becomes a reality.
“Everything comes together and fits perfectly,” the designer explains.
“It is a relief to know it worked out the way it was supposed to, and
it always does!”
The experienced designer advises to keep wedding gowns classy. “Some
brides want to show too much and are looking for a backless and
strapless dress, which is impossible to make. I would tell those
brides that they can be sexy without showing everything.”

ETHNIC RESEARCH
In 2008, Frankhouse designed her own wedding dress with inspiration
from her father’s Spanish heritage. “I knew I wanted ruffles, and the
flamenco look, so I researched Spanish wedding gowns, both recent and
as far back as the early 1900’s,” she says. “A long time ago black was
the wedding dress color in Spain... Initially, I wanted an all black
dress, but decided against it, went with a white dress, and then added
a black sash.”
How much does a couture creation of hers cost? The designer charges a
base price of $1,000+ depending on the complexity of the gown in
addition to fabric cost. This price includes all aspects of the dress
creation from the initial sketch to the alterations which usually
takes about six months. Also in her repertoire, custom
mother-of-the-bride and menswear.

For quotes and availability contact: Ali Frankhouse at 231-409-3770.

 
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