When you ask a designer their source of inspiration, it’s often surprising to learn what exactly got them started. For Hayley Paige, her latest Fall 2017 collection was said to be influenced by the iconic Ginger Rogers, that is, if she were “dancing to the bongo drums somewhere in Black Rock City during a sandstorm,” the designer explained. A bit unusual and admittedly out-of-the-box from Paige’s signature celestial vibes, the collection managed to still capture her dreamy, feminine aesthetic with ethereal ball gowns, prismatic appliqués, illusion necklines and all the added glittery sparkle that leaves us lusting for more.
The runway show, which took place back in April, featured a more tribal-like feel with models adorned in feathery accents such as necklaces, veils and detachable shoulder pieces. The look that stood out to us the most Paige refers to as “Gael” — a crème de la femme-colored tulle ball gown with floral embellishments, jeweled detailing and exposed back. VUE asked Paige to share with us the gown’s backstory in a Behind the Seams exclusive.
“Making each dress is a huge process for me and I like to approve every little detail, whether it’s fabric color or a specific embellishment. Being involved in every aspect is extremely rewarding, especially when the entire process is complete and I see brides [wearing] my gowns — there’s nothing better than seeing and hearing about a girl who loves her Hayley Paige dress!”
When it came to Gael, the designer envisioned a classically romantic bride who’s looking to incorporate a “fun twist.” From afar, the gown seems to float with ease and glisten everso slightly but up close, one will notice unexpected elements such as ornate flowers made out of different colored sequins and intricate crystal beadwork. The embroidery, Paige said, is what gives the dress more depth and helps it to pop, while the hand-stitched detailing provides a contrast in texture.
A new take on a traditional ball gown, Paige gave the dress an updated and modern silhouette by deviating from the predictable sweetheart neckline and cutting a low, scoop back lined in rhinestones. The jewels run all the way up to the straps, across the bodice and down the skirt for the bride looking for that extra bit of glam.
While Paige is most known for her colorful creations, all white is not lost in the Gael gown. “I love the different layers of tulle under the skirt,” Paige explained, hinting at the subtle glimpses of ivory mixed within the crème color. For added volume, the tulle skirt has a tiered, ripple effect leaving each layer to cascade down onto one another. This overlapping technique is what makes Paige’s gowns so recognizable, a part of her utterly whimsical approach.
For a dress like this, it can take Paige and her team anywhere from six months to a year to complete due to the many phases it has to go through. From inspiration to the initial artwork, sewing, tailoring and finishing touches—it’s no wonder each dress comes with its own distinct personality. “It’s like lightning in a bottle,” Paige said, referring to the creation of her latest collection–the ability to capture something so powerful and intangible and yet, still be able to make it real and show it off to the world.