Dress Hunt
August 11, 2014 7:16 AM   Subscribe

A friend has been scouring the internet and local stores for something like this green beauty of a dress from Atonement. Can you help her find it?

The bride's hopes are pinned on the following:
- Not more than a couple hundred bucks
- Low sexy back
- Emerald green color

The wedding is in October, so there is perhaps still time to make miracles happen. She mentioned wanting something more dinner hour than cocktail hour, so I believe she is not looking for an exact match so much as something inspired by the look.

Any leads would be appreciated!
posted by skrozidile to Shopping (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I would start by doing a search on Pinterest.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:22 AM on August 11, 2014

Based on some initial searches, green seems to not be a very popular evening gown color. Would the bride be open to buying a white dress and having it dyed? That certainly might open up the field a bit.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:28 AM on August 11, 2014

For example, this is a J. Crew wedding dress which seems to fit your general description, although it is a bit above her price range and would have to be dyed to get the right color.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:34 AM on August 11, 2014

Oof, there are just... so many ways the fit for such a dress to go wrong, what with the spaghetti straps and the ruching at the hips, especially if she isn't of Keira Knightley proportions. I'd really urge her to find a local dressmaker and order something custom made.

A quickie Google reveals this London-based dressmaker, if you're in London, but she should really find somewhere nearby so she's available for fittings.

If she's not totally committed to the satin, this Modcloth number might suit.
posted by nerdfish at 7:36 AM on August 11, 2014 [5 favorites]

Maybe one of these green dresses from Modcloth will hit some of the parameters?
- Forest Comes First Dress
- So Happy to Gather Dress in Fern
posted by barnone at 7:40 AM on August 11, 2014

There are Chinese-based online dress shops that specialize in inexpensive formalwear (tbdress.com is just one example). Some of them will do made-to-measure as well. Prices are quite reasonable--$100-200 or so. Check both evening gowns and bridesmaids dresses to find the style you're looking for. These companies have overwhelming numbers of styles so I'll let you do the searching. It's a bit of a rabbit hole for me!
posted by drlith at 7:54 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sorry for the multiple posts, but I was just thinking that Etsy might be a good place to check out. Even if you couldn't find exactly what she's looking for, you might be able to get in touch with some designers who could customize something. For example:

This shop has some dresses that seem to be along the right lines.

I know that lace isn't what you're looking for, but this shop seems willing to do custom work as well.

Here are two options that are the right silhouette, but wrong color.

And this shop also offers to do customized dresses.

Anyway, these are just some jumping off points, but Etsy these dresses are all pretty reasonably priced, and if the bride finds a general style she likes, she could definitely get in touch to see if they'll let her customize with the color she wants.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:55 AM on August 11, 2014

Your keywords in general are going to be bias, bias-but, slip dress, maybe Vionnet-inspired or 30s-inspired if you have trouble narrowing it down.

If she wants something less embellished but with the same general slinkiness, the bias column dress of the 90s drew a lot from this look (see Carolyn Bessette's wedding dress).

If she wants something more specifically like the movie costume, the Atonement dress was definitely A Thing when the movie came out and you can still buy a replica.

I would strongly suggest having a local dressmaker make a dress like this, both because green is a tough color to get just right for a particular skin, and also because while a bias slip dress is simple in construction, it's harder to get the fit just right - especially if you're not Keira Knightly or Carolyn Bessette-shaped.
posted by peachfuzz at 7:56 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Light in the Box is a Chinese company that ships dresses internationally. They're inexpensive enough to be a little alarming to me, but this has a low sexy back and comes in emerald green, and if it ends up not being right, you've only blown $40. Here are their emerald green evening dresses. Nothing has a low back, but I like this vintage-y one.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:57 AM on August 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

I know this may be a longshot, but I thought I would recommend some patterns and link to fabrics if she has a seamstress available.

These patterns will get you close:
Vogue 2859
Vogue 9001 A seamstress can reduce the flare to get the shape closer.
Vogue 8814 View B/C are the closest to the shape you want.
Vogue 8358 This one is simple and would be perfect if she is willing to streamline the look a bit.

You can order tons of emerald green charmeuse online:
F. D. Silks

Just some thoughts. This particular dress wouldn't be too hard to whip up IF the seamstress had some downtime.
posted by Tchad at 8:01 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

What size is she? This dress might be a bit pricey and is an XS, but seems close.
posted by dekathelon at 8:08 AM on August 11, 2014

Here is a shop in the UK making almost the exact same dress for £220. The page title is even "Kiera Knightly's Atonement Dress".

(found via the Pinterest link above - very interesting)
posted by amtho at 8:12 AM on August 11, 2014 [5 favorites]

I came in to suggest what Tchad did. Vogue's got very similar patterns and it would not be difficult for a skilled dressmaker, at all, especially, if your friend just wants the basic silhouette. You're running into short time, but not impossibly short.

Years ago, I had the wedding dress from Pandora's Box copied. It was much cheaper than buying it readymade and fit better, too. I started by asking the costume shop at a local theatre if anyone did dressmaking for hire. You could also ask a local college or shop that has fashion/textile/tailoring classes. The fabric was the bulk of the cost.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:07 AM on August 11, 2014

The knockoff from Faviana ($271).

If she's open to renting the dress, she could try this from Rent the Runway.

Some other options:
ONE by Contrarian ($400)
Rae Francis ($125)
Maxi from Lulus ($49)
posted by melissasaurus at 9:16 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

That Contrarian dress is fucking stunning, if your friend has the kind of bra-optional build that could carry it off. I'll contribute to the Kickstarter if money is an issue.
posted by nerdfish at 9:50 AM on August 11, 2014

this looks to be really close, and is $109. i have never personally dealt with these people, i just googled.
posted by koroshiya at 11:50 AM on August 11, 2014

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