Dress design - Anne designs hand sewn ladies wear especially silk wedding dresses, evening gowns and luxury daywear for which she also designs unique hand embroidery and beadwork. Her work as a visual artist includes several ranges of handmade cards including prints of her airbrushed hand cut stencil designs, original artwork on paper, and limited and open edition prints.

Anne began drawing & sewing as a young child at home. Her mother passed on hand sewing & embroidery skills to her from Anne's great grandmother, an embroideress with the Sisters of Bethany embroidery school, Clerkenwell.  At school Anne studied embroidery, hand sewing and simple garment making, as well as art, history of art & technical drawing.

After leaving grammar school in Finchley, she trained in art & couture studios in London in the 1970s when most of the work was done by hand.  She was asked to bring examples of her artwork, technical drawing and embroidery to job interviews. Anne's training was broad as she trained with Sterling Studios as a paste up artist working on mostly IPC comics and teenage magazines: as a make up artist, painting  make-up onto display mannequins with oil paints for a mannequin renovation company, Modreno.  Then she made couture belts and covered buttons using only couture hand techniques, no machines, for E G Stevens Ltd, a small company that made these for the London couture houses.  Each order was usually for a handful of buttons and/or a belt for one dress.  Then Anne worked as a draftswoman for NCR, drawing up and pasting in text for very complex computer forms as well as creating pen and ink drawings of computers and computer equipment for their manuals.

When she was a young teenager Anne began making patterns for clothes, from imagination, because she could not find patterns for clothes she wanted to make. She also used a few old hand sewing, embroidery and pattern making books for inspiration but developed her own dress pattern making techniques to make unique designs.

She set up her practice in 1981 when people asked her to make her handsewn dress designs for them.  She backed this up with part time office work until her creative work became full time in 1987.

She has sketch and photographic portfolios for customers to view when they visit her as well as a collection of her hand sewn dress designs to look at including some samples for sale. Most of her designs are for wedding dresses, evening gowns, luxury ladies daywear as well as bespoke dresses. She specialises in working with silk & natural fibres, designing unique embroidery & beadwork and painting on silk especially for hand painted silk scarves.  Anne only works with her own embroidery, beadwork & hand painting designs, unless using pre-embroidered fabric.

In the 1990s she helped couture designer Caroline Holmes with her dresses and in her London salon. Anne was a member of the  Register of Apparel and Textile Designers around the same time for several years.

There are some things Anne does not do.  She does not design or make trousers because she is a “dress lady”. She does not work from ready made paper dress patterns because she makes her own patterns out of dressmaking tissue paper for the clothes she designs, and she does not use a sewing machine, because she creates hand sewn clothes. She does not use heavy corsetry in her gowns, just light boning, soft cups, and elasticated stays. Quite a few gowns and dresses are specifically designed to be worn with a bra or bodysuit for those who find corsetry uncomfortable.

She has an Open Degree from Open University in French, Classical Latin and Greek, Accounts, Ethics and Heritage.  She has studied an A level in IT and a CPD course in QuarkXPress, PhotoShop, CorelDraw and recently studied a 2 day Hand & Lock course in Tambour Beading.

Her signature art style is made using hand cut stencils which she started to do in the mid 1980s.  She  created some stencil pictures and many card designs.  You will find a lot of the stencil card designs on this website which are scans of the original airbrushed stencil art.  Anne used to individually airbrush each card she sold, but the inks are obsolete so she now prints them herself using archival inks and digital fine art paper.  Some cards in her Christmas range are hand drawn from hand cut stencils.

For a complete contrast Anne also has a Digital Art Collection.

For her other artwork Anne works a lot with pencils & oil pastels on fine art papers, often drawing flowers but also some abstract & conceptual art.
EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTSRead details about current shows and a selection of past events at www.annefontenoy.store/events<br />A longer list of past shows and projects can be read in the Blog article on this website: Exhibitions and Events for Art, Craft and Dress Designs by Anne Fontenoy

Please read the Blog article on this website: Terms and Conditions for dresses designed and made to order.

Please see article in the Blog section.

This site uses Etsy payments for online purchases including a PayPal option, no accounts needed. Some products on this site are also in my Etsy Shop etsy.com/uk/shop/AnneFontenoy
Card Stockists
After Art Gallery stocks a selection of Anne's handmade cards:
34 The Old High Street, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1RL  https://www.after-art.co.uk

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