Lorraine Tranter – England

Piece Title: Wedding dresses for those on a budget

After leaving school at 16, Lorraine worked in a factory producing uniforms for the military. After returning to education, she achieved her Master’s Degree in Art and Design. She then set up her own business, where she carries out restoration work on military uniforms, clothing dating from the Victorian period, and modern-day repairs, while also making wedding dresses. Her mother taught her how to knit and sew as a child and Lorraine has been making and designing clothes for herself ever since.

Lorraine found inspiration for her designs while watching a programme on Queen Victoria, whose dresses were often made using tartan. Her collection is for people who are having to cut back on costs, but still want something special for their big day. Lorraine entered this competition as she has previously used woollen tartan and found it to be a difficult material to work with. The tartan has given her inspiration to make complicated designs that need all of her concentration so that the pattern matches without wasting material.

Wedding dress 1 has a long, plain white underdress which is fitted at the waist. The tartan train is removable and has a large bow and wide strap over the shoulder that wraps across the chest and under the arm. The bow is sewn to the train and fitted in place with press-studs to stop it sliding out of place.

Wedding dress 2 has a fitted, boned tartan bodice and a three quarter wide overskirt that leaves a third of the front open, showing a white, lightweight underdress. The design has a wide, tartan shawl which sits just over the shoulder and is gathered with three pieces of Scottish Heather.

Wedding dress 3 is a simple 1950s style with a tartan waist coat, trimmings around the sleeves, and inserts of tartan pleats. A petticoat of net under the skirt is a matching colour taken from the Greyfriars Tartan to help the skirt stand out.