Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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