Color gradient dress: from purple to blue to green to yellow to HEAVEN

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 | Photography by Lydia Maybee

Cake photo by GingerSnaps
Cake photo by GingerSnaps
Remember this cake that I talked about last fall?

You know, the cake where I gave some folks hives by inventing the word “gradiated” to describe it?

Well, if that cake was a dress, it would be this flabbergastingly gormendulous (MAKING UP WORDS!) dress that Laura wore to her wedding in Buffalo, NY. Custom made with fabric hand-dyed by Laura herself… this thing was astounding:

First Dance

I've got the full story from Laura and so many more pictures…

1957 Belair in the cobble stone District

I was inspired by Alexander McQueen's rainbow shipwreck gown, which is totally amazing and unattainable especially for a plus sized gal. But it was always in the back of my mind as the dream dress.

In Buffalo, NY we have a brand new custom bridal/formal dress shop ( owned and operated by a girl in her late twenties. Her name is Ali and she is awesome, I was really happy to spend my dress budget locally! I took her my sketch of the dress, I thought she may not want to take on the challenge but she was so excited about it from the very beginning.


From the start I also knew that I wanted to dye all the fabric myself. I dye stuff all the time for different art projects, but never silk. Which was not as hard as I thought it would be. The skirt is made from many layers of silk chiffon. Each color was dyed separately. I used about 9 colors of dye to produce 21 different colors in total. The fabric was then cut into strips and hand sewn onto a silk base.

Lacing up

For the bodice the dress I want to do something a bit different. It is made from a heavy silk. I dyed this fabric by wading it up wet and then sprinkling several colors of dye powered over it, and then sealing it in a plastic bag. I went through that process twice to get the desired effect. This was very nerve-racking because the fabric cost $100 for the bodice. I spent about 15 hours dying fabric, plus time to test colors with the fabric. I even dyed the silk ribbon to lace up the back

Bride closeup

Once everything was dyed I dropped the fabric off at the dress maker and she worked her magic. The top is corseted, which was not something I had originally wanted but I'm glad I went with it because I got to walk around without a bra (haven't done that since 5th grade) and my boobs looked amazing!

Hotel Lobby

First Look

YES THEY DID. As a final note, Laura says:

Ali spent about 150 hours on the dress… and yes, it cost a bunch.

We'll have the full scoop on this wedding soon, but I couldn't wait to share the dress!

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Comments on Color gradient dress: from purple to blue to green to yellow to HEAVEN

  1. That dress is stunning! And your boobs DO look amazing! Coincidentally, I’ve just returned from my corsetier and she suggested a style very similar to the front of your bodice, so I hope mine will look as gorgeous. Oh, your story is so smile-inducing! Such happiness, such inspiration. Congratulations to you both!

  2. Wow!!! This is amazing. And that Furst picture of you twirling in it??? Fantastic.

  3. I’ve been a fan of OBB for a long time and this is my first comment ever. That is how much I LOVE THIS DRESS. Amazeballs!! You look fantastic!

  4. I love, Love, LOVE the dress! A beautiful manifestation of your vision and you look beautiful wearing it!

  5. The picture as you’re getting laced into your dress, the look on your face – it’s so amazing! All of these are gorgeous but that one in particular stuck out to me.

  6. oh, WOW! Laura, what type / brand of dye did you use?? I’ve been meaning to dye my backup silk tricotine wedding dress (jcrew, sophia), for the LONGEST time. Or…I’d totally pay you to dye my dress for me! (just one color 🙂

    • Frances I used Dharma Acid Dye, from Dharma Trading. It’s made for silk and comes in a ton of colors. If you are going to dye your dress two things: one: Make sure you have enough water and room in the container you dye in for the garment to move freely. If it bunches you may end up with an uneven color coverage. Two: The thread may not dye, it seems almost everybody uses thread with polyester.

      Good luck!

      • Thanks for the advice! I hemmed my dress with cotton thread in the hopes that it’ll dye as well! I’ll look up Dharma dyes.

  7. Ok, I have to admit the 2nd thing I thought (after admiring the colors!) was that your boobs look great! I will surely keep corsets in mind–looks like I may have more style options that way. I wonder how comfortable it was.

  8. Oh maaaaan!!! As a person who went to school for textile design and has spent many late hours in the studio with plastic gloves and the face masks, elbow-deep in a vat of dye, I am SO digging this dress! Love the bodice, I thought it might be ice-dyed; I’d never heard of your technique so thanks for the tip! The bodice fabric turned out amazing! I love dyeing because there’s always the BIG REVEAL which can be anxiety-inducing in your case, but when it turns out AMAZING it’s so gratifying!

    Love the peacock accents and your gorgeous bouquet with orchids and PURPLE CALLA LILIES (OMG)!!! Best of luck in your marriage 😀

  9. I have to say, the dresses usually don’t get me (I’m one of the “dress without a teary moment” people) but this. This is just phenomenal. The colors (especially with the accessories and decorations to match), the texture, the ruffling on the bodice… this literally took my breath away. Way to go, you!!!!

  10. I’m a super fan of the city of Buffalo and have loved watching Ali’s work pop up in my newsfeed. So when I heard that her work showed up on another site that I follow (Love Offbeat!) I was very excited, and proud. And well, I am beyond impressed. What a wonderful way to put your own personal touch into your special day. You look stunning!!

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