When Margot had decided on the grade of raw silk she wanted, she found out that “Painting on raw silk is a specialized art form. I spent one month trying to find an artist who would take on the job.” The project was turned down by several artists as being too delicate and risky. Then the dressmaker remembered an artist friend and put Margot in touch with him. “His name is Freddy Fernandes, he is a Portuguese artist and sculptor and a real colorful character. The problem with painting on raw silk is that the paint bleeds. I had to buy several samples of raw silk for Freddy to use to experiment with his paints. After three weeks, he worked out a consistency that would fix the paint on the silk.”
The next step was to select a flower to be painted on the dress. Margot used the library to research variations of the morning glory family because she liked their shapes. “They were big and busty, and bold. I didn’t want to have any leaves on my flowers, but Freddy exploded, ‘YOU CANNOT HAVE A FLOWER WITHOUT LEAVES.’ So much for negotiation – we worked on the placement of the leaves. In two weeks I received samples of the flowers on the raw silk and was overwhelmed with joy.”
Although Margot kept the details of the dress shrouded from everyone, she wanted her family’s involvement, so she assigned each a strap to bead for the back and shoulders. “It was great because on the wedding day, everyone was identifying with their strap and feeling even more connected to the event.” The entire project took six months to complete. "I had one goal in mind in creating this dress and that was to see the look on Akil’s face when he saw me in it. I must say that his look was worth all the hard work. Throughout the wedding day, he was gawking at my dress and...at me."
And she was a beauty to behold, as a hundred or so family members and guests were seated under the clear South African sky, with the birds chirping and the leaves gently rustling, to witness the ceremony performed by the Reverend Gordon Oliver, a Unitarian priest. During the ceremony, Akil beamed and tears flowed sweetly from Margot’s eyes. Barbara was proud and happy; we were all touched.
Immediately after the ceremony, I guided everyone to the fountain and flower garden area for champagne and hors d’oeuvres while the banquet room was being readied for dinner. The fountain is stocked with tropical fish and the garden was lush with a variety of flowers and fruit trees. There was a good mix of people and everyone mingled and took pictures. When the banquet hall was ready, I was informed that I should move the guests there to be seated. In the banquet hall, I greeted them: