Immortalizing your beloved wedding gown in pen and ink
by Jolene Rae Harrington and Kristopher Dukes
The modern woman has come to accept some incontrovertible truths: chocolate cures just about everything, quick-dry nail polish tops the invention of the Post-it® and if you’re a bride-to-be, it’s all about the dress.
In fact, most women envision their wedding dress long before they choose the groom. Case in point: Jennifer Angilello, the mastermind behind All About The Dress, a service dedicated to immortalizing brides and their gowns in haute fashion illustrations. “Ever since I was a girl, I had pictured my wedding gown in my mind,” says Jennifer, a veteran fashion designer. “At the age of 12 I drew my first wedding dress.”
Years later, when that long-anticipated day drew near, it coincided with her best friend’s engagement. As both of them planned and prepared for tying the knot, countless emails were sent and oodles of cell-phone minutes spent, endlessly analyzing the minutest details of The Dress. Recounts Jennifer, “Our excitement over our bridal ensembles inspired me to create an unusual shower gift: I did a classic fashion illustration of my friend modeling her wedding gown.” Matted and framed, the unique present struck a sentimental chord among the shower guests, most of whom were already married. “First they started describing their gowns,” Jennifer recalls. “Then they began asking me to do custom illustrations for them.” Jennifer realized that her extraordinary hand-crafted present was actually a prototype for a new creative business venture. “I founded All About The Dress almost immediately.”
Her novel service quickly caught the attention of the bridal world, always eager for a fresh way to define that “I Do” moment. However, Jennifer’s “something new” is really a revival of “something old”—the centuries-long tradition of fashion illustration. Jennifer explains that in the celebrated design sketches of Broadway costumers and European couturiers, “the figures were slightly elongated and stylized to show off the drama of the attire.”
Jennifer’s efforts are no less striking. Like the sophisticated screen sirens of cinema’s Golden Age, the brides in Jennifer’s work convey an ethereal glamour all their own. Whether coolly beautiful or girlishly winsome, her vogue illustrations go beyond standard portraiture.
A woman’s choice of wedding gown is the fullest expression of her sense of self,” reflects Jennifer, “and my illustrations capture her at her most radiant, like a flower at the peak of its bloom.” With a dash of vintage flair that’s fast becoming her trademark, Jennifer uses delicate lines and soft details to capture the intricate beading here, the bit of lace there, which gives a dress its distinctive character.
Her keen eye for chic is also an asset in her artistic process. Typically, she studies four to eight bridal photos before selecting the pose that best showcases the bride’s gown. Jennifer’s initial rough pencil sketch may be redone several times before it’s transformed into the final product, transcendently elegant in color markers and metallic ink accents. Signed, double-matted, and set in a 14” x 18” frame of antique silver or gold, the oeuvre is at last ready for shipment.
When Jennifer’s original artwork goes on permanent display atop a bride’s mantle or vanity, it becomes more than a keepsake—it’s a bride’s ultimate dreamcatcher!
Contact: Jennifer Angilello,