Dressy Dresses

I never really wear them, but I love pretty dresses. A lot.

I often encourage my clients to bring something extra special to wear for their studio sesh – the more over-the-top, the better. Even if you’re not the type to wear girlie dresses IRL, it is so fun to dress up once in a while, and a portrait session is the perfect time to do it. I’m a jeans+T girl myself, so I completely relate when women tell me they don’t have anything fancy to bring to the shoot. Not everyone has a closet full of ball gowns, so one of my suggestions recently has been to try renting. There’s a great company in Toronto called Rent-Frock-Repeat where you can pick out a dress on-line – they have everything from cocktail dresses to runway gowns – and they’ll send it to you for a weekend, or even a full week. The prices are reasonable, and they even send you two sizes, in case you’re unsure of how it’ll fit. All you have to do is pop it in the pre-paid envelope they provide, and mail it back on Monday morning! So easy.

This beautiful Badgley Mischka gown was rented from Rent-Frock-Repeat back when I made my first video. The crazy shoulder piece is an added accoutrement by yours truly 😉 

Janelle by Alexis McKeown b Janelle by Alexis McKeown a

Now, once in a while I have a client who has a specific vision in mind, and they just haven’t been able to find the right dress to buy or to rent. (Don’t tell anyone, but I get kind of secretly happy when it happens.) This is where my lifelong obsession with fabric and starting-sewing-projects-but-never-really-finishing-them comes in handy. It is amazing what you can create with a piece of pretty fabric, some mad safety pin skillz, and a few gorgeous accessories.


a few phone pics of the process…

Red Dress 1 - draped fabric Red Dress 2 - draped fabric










The finished look:The Red Dresses-Alexis McKeown Portrait


In fact, I have so much fun doing this, that I think I might start offering these on-the-spot creations along with all of my portrait sessions… What do you think?



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