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Wings Over America
Wings Over America
(2013 Remaster)

2002-Jun-18: Heather's Wedding Gown

Updated June 19 and July 15.  The designers of Heather's wedding gown wish to set the record straight.  Various reports in the London papers ( Daily Telegraph, Express, and the Daily Standard) write that Heather's cream lace wedding gown was the creation of two highly regarded designers Caroline Eavis and Annie Brown.  Although most reports seem to indicate that Heather designed the gown herself, Ms. Eavis states that:
"Heather came in with a sketch and a pretty good idea of what she wanted. But I wouldn't say her input was any higher than a normal bride commissioning a wedding dress.  Any woman is going to want some say in the outfit she will be wearing on the big day. She was specific that it should have long sleeves and a high neck because Paul apparently doesn't like too much cleavage. But it was our patterns and expertise, with some input from Heather, that created the dress."
The designers say they created Heather's stunning hand-stitched beaded antique fabric gown free of charge with the understanding that they would profit from the publicity.  According to Ms. Eavis:
"Annie was in tears when we received little or no coverage.  We don't want to spoil Heather's special day - she was thrilled with the gown - but we spent five months working on a dress that had to be absolutely perfect, and now feel a little left out."
Caroline Eavis and Annie Brown have designed evening wear for Nicole Kidman, Daryl Hannah and Sandra Bullock.  While in Los Angeles last year, Sir Paul purchased one of their designs at Les Habitudes for Heather to wear to his poetry reading in New York City.  That is how she happened to meet the designers.  When Heather tore the garment, she took to Eavis & Brown to be repaired.   According to Ms. Eavis:
"Unfortunately, Heather put her heel through the chiffon hem and when she got back to London brought it here to us to be repaired."
While Heather was in the small Eavis & Brown studio, she couldn't resist trying on some of their beautiful gowns.  Soon, Heather was back making arrangements to borrow garments for special occasions.  The green chiffon shirt with the flower embroidery that Heather wore to the Queen's Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace was an Eavis & Brown creation.

When Annie Brown read of the McCartney-Mills engagement last summer, she contacted Heather:

"When we heard that Heather was getting married, I sent her an e-mail congratulating her and reminding her that we also specialized in wedding dresses.  It wasn't long before she got in touch and asked us if we would design it. We were thrilled.

"Heather made an appointment and turned up with her sister, Fiona, and a rough sketch, drawn by a friend, of what she wanted. She was very keen to use lace and had some other ideas, as all brides do, but the end result bore very little resemblance to the original idea."

Heather wanted a dress that wasn't too romantic.  She also did not want to wear a veil.  Once she had chosen the lace from a London shop off Edgware Road, she left Eavis & Brown on their own to design the dress. Ms. Eavis and Ms. Brown were sworn to secrecy about the dress which they worked on for five months.  According to Ms. Brown:
"She's very easy-going and calm to work with.  She also has the perfect figure to design for - a great body and large breasts. She had about three fittings - all here in the studio. When Heather came for the last fitting, her mobile rang twice with calls from her sister and a friend in New York wanting to know what it looked like. We also designed the white trouser suit that her sister, who was 'best man', wore to the wedding."
During one of the fittings, Cartier jewelers arrived with a selection of necklaces for Heather to wear with her wedding gown.  Since none of them were quite right, Cartier ended up designing a necklace especially for Heather.  Ms. Eavis recalled the day saying,
"While sitting there with all the Cartier jewels Heather said, 'Now I am beginning to get excited'."
Caroline Eavis and Annie Brown attended Sir Paul and Heather's wedding in Ireland last week.  The day before the wedding, Eavis and Brown arrived in Ireland with Heather's wedding dress.  Ms. Eavis recalled:
"We only knew a couple of days before where and when the ceremony was taking place. The next day we helped Heather get dressed. She looked beautiful and was really pleased with it. Sir Paul hugged me after the wedding ceremony and said thank you."
When the designers returned to London, they made it known that they were disappointed in the press coverage they didn't receive.  Ms Brown said,
"We were very upset that our names weren't mentioned although I wasn't, as reported, in tears. It was just hugely disappointing to have spent so long working on the dress, not telling a soul about it, and then not to get any credit. Heather had definitely told us we would be on the press release along with everyone else involved."
When asked about the Eavis & Brown complaints, Sir Paul's spokesman Geoff Baker replied:
"I find it very, very surprising. Both myself and Heather went to great lengths to make sure the media knew who had created the dress. It was on the caption which went with the official photograph of Paul and Heather, and Heather herself came out and chatted to reporters before the wedding and specifically mentioned Eavis and Brown. So I don't know what they're complaining about."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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