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African Fabric wedding dress custom

Hello hello, JoSaBi Family, how are you all doing today? We really hope you all doing well and that your families are healthy and safe. In spite of everything, life goes on, and we are here today to celebrate yet another beautiful bride. Our beloved JoSaBi Mina got married in Burkina Faso on November 7th. She wore a gorgeous lace and crepe sheath wedding dress, with a unique traditional touch: a very finely beaded belt made out of Bogolan. To hear more about one of the most unique dresses we have ever made (which says a lot- we are a CUSTOM shop), read on!

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Mina’s African Fabric Sheath Wedding Dress: A Story

Mina contacted us in January of 2020, to kick off her dress at the end of February of 2020. She already knew she wanted a very unique wedding dress and had set ideas about how she wanted it to look. Moreover, she did not want anything too fitted, wanted high quality yet light and breathable materials, and wanted a very simple and fluid shape. Immediately, we started gravitating towards a sheath shape and started exploring ideas in that vein. 

Mina also knew she wanted a unique traditional touch on her sheath wedding dress. In love with her culture, she wanted it to be represented on her dress (and as we found out later, in many elements of her wedding). Actually, she opted to use Bogolan fabric (which we spoke about in our Ankara wedding dress article, actually), and chose a beautiful and intricate style in vibrant shades of brown, ochre, black and white. Upon studying the pattern, we agreed that a gorgeous belt would be a great way to highlight her waist and make the traditional fabric a focal point of her gown. With all these lovely ideas, actually designing Mina’s dress was a breeze.

Robe de mariée wax bogolan
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Designing Mina’s Bogolan Sheath Wedding Dress

ankara fabric sheath wedding dress

The Brief

The whole look was conceived to be understated, like our bride; the star of the show was to be the Bogolan belt. Mini history lesson: Bogolan is actually colored with fermented mud, and is a fabric with origins in Malian and Burkinabe cultures in West Africa. We hence planned the dress to go well with rich browns hues.

The Design Process

We started with the overall silhouette. The shape of the wedding dress was a sheath, and Mina opted for a simple off-white color. The dress was slightly flared at the bottom, with a sweet 75 cm round train. The fabric was a lovely crepe, with some understated yet gorgeous hand cut lace accents delicately spread all over the dress. 

Next, the bust had a classic V neckline, with Chantilly lace eyelashes highlighting the V opening. Cap sleeves completed the simple look of the top of the dress and stopped right below the shoulder. The top half of the back was sheer with some lace details, and the rest of the back was decorated with a button closure. A nude lining was put under the lace to make its patterns pop.

On to the Bogolan accents: we used the pattern to cut a straight strip the width of a belt, and proceeded to bead that strip by hand to highlight the gorgeous motifs. The back of the belt was a hook closure, and it was the perfect detail to bring Mina’s sheath wedding dress to EPIC level. The cherry on top was the veil. Mina wanted a small birdcage veil. We suggested a visor instead and created handmade Bogolan flowers that went on either side of her face, as she pinned the veil behind her ears. EXQUISITE, LOVELY, MAGNIFICENT.

wedding dress with african accents

Mina knew she wanted a unique African touch on her sheath wedding dress.

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Production

Creating Mina’s African fabric sheath wedding dress was a lot of fun. With such a clear brief, the dress moved pretty fast. We started working at the beginning of March and had her sketches done by March 19th.  The dress started at the beginning of April and was 70% done by the end of May. We sent Mina a few images and videos, and she loved the direction. We kept going and kicked off the belt by the beginning of June. The dress was ready to go by the end of July and was delivered to Mina in August. She had her first fitting, and no alterations were needed. Her second fitting was a few weeks before her wedding, and the dress was still perfect.

TRaditional african wedding dress bogolan
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Mina’s Awesome Wedding Day!

 

Mina’s big say was a tasteful and unique affair with a tradi-modern feel. She and her husband donned bogolan adorned clothing, as well as her bridesmaids, who wore bright vermillion dresses with Bogolan accents. Her day was relaxed, she was smiling, and looked absolutely amazing. Her whole look was so her; she looked and felt at ease, and later told us “I absolutely loved my dress! She represented me so well.” We were in awe of the details at her wedding and felt incredibly lucky to have been able to work with her.

JoSaBi Mariees testimonial
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Final Thanks!

Dear Mina, thanks so much for choosing us. Thanks for your lovely demeanor, thanks for your creativity, thanks for the laughter, thanks for being unique, thanks for it all. We are so grateful that we got to know you, and we wish you the very best in your marriage and life. Congrats again on your union!

That’s it for today folks! Thanks a bunch for stopping by as always. See you soon for another gorgeous bride, or for fun tips! 

As usual, we are here if you have any questions. You can reach us by leaving a comment, by sending us an email or DMs on Instagram or Facebook .

Until then, stay safe. Love,

JoSaBi

Teamwork makes the dream work.