It was a very special occasion for our Nancy Sinoway design family.  Gail, my queen label maker, had a big event – her daughter Katie’s Bat Mitzvah. It was my absolute pleasure to  make Katie’s service dress and party dress for the incredibly special day. To ensure no one felt left out, I also designed one-of-a-kind custom dresses for Gail and her other two daughters, Lauren and Jillian.  Whew!

mood-gold-fabric-swatch-nancy-sinowayThe process started in early October when Gail and I went into the city to look for fabrics for several of my clients.  While we were walking through Mood Fabrics in the heart of the garment district in New York City, we passed by bolts of fabrics with sequins, beading and embroidery.  We came across this amazing black and yellow 50’s inspired velvet sequin fabric that I knew could be a stunning dress.  Gail paused and gave me an incredulous look but I knew right away that this would be perfect for her.  After walking around the different departments at Mood and looking at other fabrics that now dimmed in comparison, we agreed that we had something extraordinary to work with.  We also found a beautiful bodice fabric in metallic gold that I knew would be a great starting point for Katie’s dress.  We coordinated it with an unusual metallic mesh cage gold skirt fabric and hit the jackpot with a sparkly beaded trim that I knew would tie it all together.   With Katie’s golden hair and fair skin, this was going to be a dress to die for.

Typically, at our initial appointment we meet with the Bat Mitzvah girl at the shop. We walk her through our process.  She tries on different samples of dresses and skirts to determine what style she likes.  With Katie and Gail we picked the fabric first because it called out to us.  It was bershert!!  Katie came in the next week and tried on all the samples at the shop.  Katie is a beautiful girl and she can wear anything she wants.  She wanted the dress to be long but she also wanted to twirl around like a princess.  I came up with fabulous idea that meet all her wishes. Viola!! We created a removable overskirt that she could wear in the beginning of the party during the cocktail hour and a twirly shorter skirt that she can reveal at the party.  We used the beading as straps to add a little bling and also so that she wasn’t pulling on her dress all night.  With the straps on she didn’t have to think about her dress at all. This is one of the best pieces of advice I can give all Bat Mitzvah girls.  Straps! Straps! Straps!


Besides it being a personal affair, the beauty of designing for Gail and her girls was that they completely trusted the creative process.  I knew what style and shape would be perfect for each of them individually.  Lauren, her older sister wanted to be chic and comfortable.  Jillian had one request.  She wanted her dress to be puffy and she requested bows.  She made my day. I think bows put the finishing touch on any dress.  Katie wanted the dress to be sophisticated and one-of-a-kind to mark her special day.


Doesn’t Katie look amazing? She is magazine cover ready in this photo, taken by Robert Salzbank of Rampage Studios, in a glamorous limo provided by Delux Transportation. I couldn’t have asked for a better way for this beautiful dress to be immortalized.

So all in all, my girls were happy.  The family all together looked great – and beautiful memories were made. Gail loved her dress so much, she even wore it to work the next day. Now that’s what i call a satisfied customer!