Thursday, May 26, 2016


When you think of pleats does your schoolgirl uniform in a Black Watch plaid come to mind? Try again.  Wedding dresses have some of the most pleated skirts and bodices you’ll find and it's about time they had a special post of their very own. Lots of A-line and princess styles in heavier fabrics such as satin, taffeta and moiré have deep (sometimes very deep) box or inverted pleats instead of gathers in the skirt.  Okay so . . . . why use a pleat instead of a gather? Pleats are designed to fall flat in folds through the waist and/or hip area (where the skirt is joined) and not bunch up like gathering does. The result is a well-fitting, uninterrupted line up the bodice with a beautiful and even fullness in the skirt. There's more to pleats than the traditional bodice and skirt treatments.  Here are a few  happenings in bridal I'm loving . . .
Above: Pressed knife pleats placed horizontally create a cummerbund.  From The Classic to Cutting Edge Shoot//Makeup by Prettyologie//Hair by Pins and Curls San Francisco//
Above: Inverted box pleats create volume and movement in the skirt eliminating bulk in the waistline//From The Winteresque Shoot//Photo by Rob Marsten
Above and Below: Deep knife pleats in a these bell skirts add volume but no pouf through the waistline 
All dresses and head chic by Amy-Jo Tatum
Necklace in last photo available through Studiolo

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


 The LIZZY Dress is dripping in Chantilly laces over shantung silk and tulle.  Inspiration for this gem that stays in the collection year after year comes from Jane Austen.  It's ultra fem and girly and just perfect for almost any Spring/Summer wedding, formal or informal.  The fabulous hair here is done up by Kathi Rothkop of Salon Glam in Novato, California.  She patterned this glorious braid after Liz Taylor's wedding do when she married Richard Burton in 1964.  Now you get some of the name connection here.  The other part was of course Lizzie Bennet from Pride and Prejudice . . . .
  Make up by Prettyologie

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Not to be confused with Chic of the Week (that's tomorrow's post!) What's New in the Gown Gallery is all about pieces I'm working on or ones just off the work table.  Let's start with ARIELLE a lightweight lace and chiffon gown screaming "Boho" all over!  Though I still have to back this delicate lace with a lightweight tulle this dress is completed and ready to post on Etsy.  The fabrics I used to keep it light are silk chiffon and haboti silk linings.  Almost like wearing gossemer wings hence the name, ARIELLE . . . . .
Below: Look what was finished a couple weeks back.  That's right this belt is actually hand-beaded and topped off at the waist with a silk organza rose.  Stunning!
 The dress below is my new CASSIE, a surplice wrap with Chantilly lace under tulle on the bodice,  Veince lace borders the front and V-back.  Tiny silk covered buttons line the back and the tulle skirt falls into a chapel train.  Shown here in optical white, this dress is great for the right bride.  Also available in ecru and ivory.
Above:And on the work table this minute is the front of a gorg bodice in Alencon laces paired up with my beaded belt.  I rarely work with Alencon lace so this is a real switch that's turning out absolutely scrumptious!

Sunday, May 22, 2016


I have a special Sunday post I wanted to share with my readers celebrating one of my heroes, Harvey Milk, on his birthday today.  So what you ask does bridal fashion have to do with the first openly gay ever to be elected to office? Bridal fashion nada--Harvey Milk's fashion sense was sub zero.  What he did for marriage though!  Did you know the images below wouldn't even be considered by some as serious candidates for wedding inspiration 20 years back? It took decades for Milk's dream of gay rights to hit the mainstream.  Now almost every state in the union authorizes as well as celebrates gay marriages. It's just too bad he couldn't have been with us to enjoy the whole journey.  Happy Birthday Harvey, wherever you are and thank you for everything you did to make this a better world . . . . 

All photos except the header by Vetter Photography
All gowns and headpieces by Amy-Jo Tatum

Wednesday, May 18, 2016



Did you know this magnificent color between orange and pink goes with just about any skin tone, season or mood?  This makes coral the perfect option for bridesmaids dresses.  I love it for flowers either as a whole bouquet or mixed in with other colors.   Be bold and mix monochromatics of this color--the range you'll get is superb . . .

Header Photo: Luisa Beccaria 
Photos 2 and 3: Dresses Via Tumblr/Short sheath via 
Photo 4: Tea set via Tumblr
Photos 5 and 6: Cake via Dazzle Me Elegant Cake Toppers/Bouquet via Tumblr
Photo 7: Necklace via Obaz
Photo 8: Shoes via Tumblr
Photo 10: Stone architecture via Tumblr

Monday, May 16, 2016


Swoon!  Spring and Summer fabrics are lightweight and pretty with just the right hint of girly to them.  Eyelets, dotted Swiss and Point d' esprit to name just a few, are fabrics that come out to play for Spring/Summer bridal.  Which are your faves?


To me there's nothing prettier than a white dotted swiss or point d'esprit dress. Regaining popularity lately, Point d'esprit and Dotted Swiss are probably as old as any lace or weave there is out there. It was first made on looms in Switzerland circa 1750.  As a weave or lace, it's made up entirely of evenly spaced dots.  As a heavy weave dotted swiss is typically cotton.  On fine mesh or tulle it is commonly known as Point d'sprit.  Also lovely on veils and netting for hats....

Smoot Photo
There's something so crisp and pretty about wearing eyelet.  Did you know certain eyelets like Swiss cottons are considered to be some of the finest fabrics in the world and not just for kids and doll dresses? First-rate cottons like eyelet have always been a stylish option for summer brides and garden weddings. Defined, eyelet is a light to medium weight cotton with cutout patterns of embroidery along the border. Pictured above, it is a classic summer time favorite for informal brides. Eyelet is especially pretty made up into long or short hourglasses, sundresses, chemises, shifts, shells.


Organdy is a light, plain weave of cotton or poly that is transparent and permanently stiffened. Sometimes used for jacket interfacing and making lightweight hats. Lends itself well to the once popular daytime formal concept of afternoon garden receptions —the kind a Katherine Hepburn character would have attended. Crisp and pure, it makes up into lovely structured hourglass silhouettes and A-lines. 

Voile means ‘veil’ in French so you get the idea of how light it is. Sheer, voile is a plain weave of cotton or polyester. Dubbed ‘poor man’s chiffon, its less formal in appearance than its counterpart, silk chiffon. It is however, in some cases, more expensive than silk chiffon for the reason it’s not as readily available as silk chiffon that you find everywhere.  Best example of that would be the fabric here in Geraldine Le Blanc's empire wedding dress.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


I'm wowed by anything shirred.  So what is shirring anyway?  Shirring is an application consisting of  rows of pleats or gathers on a dress, giving off a particular wrap effect harking back to Mid-Century fashion.  These days we're seeing shirring mostly on bodices.  It's hot right now in bridal and evening wear, especially with tulle, chiffon or any transparent fabric forming soft folds.  Here's a medley of some of my own shirred candidates I turned out to the world of wedding couture. . .

All dresses by Amy-J Tatum and are shirred tulle ovrer chantilly laces
Header Photo: The PHAEDRA Dress //Photo by Vetter Photography
Photo1: Behind the scenes shot from The Love Stories Shoot//The MADELYN Dress

Saturday, May 7, 2016


With the approach of Mom's Day and my love of wedding dresses, I was particularly touched by this medley of images that made its way through my inbox.  Three brides--a mom and her two daughters found a way to melt dad and hubby's heart with this album of all three posed in their wedding dresses.  Shot by wedding photographer Quianna Marie, here's what she had to say about capturing this very special session: "As a photographer I gravitated towards this profession because I am simply in love with love. Love stories are my favorite and it brings me the most joy to be able to capture these sweet memories for families to last a life time!When I was approached by a friend to capture this unique idea I was more than excited. Two sisters, brides… Such a cute idea to get them back into their dresses for a photo shoot! But with their MOM, too? I was hooked! What a fun and different idea. I have never seen images like this before and I was honored they selected me to capture this great story.As soon as the planning began I thought it would be crucial to recreate their wedding bouquets. So together with Three Sister Flowers we made it come to life. I must say… Myself and the girls were very impressed. Not only did we recreate the flowers… but the girls had all  the details as well. Yes, even their Mama had her invitation.

  Now some words from the daughters: 'Since we were little, we always loved looking at my parents’ wedding album and seeing pictures from their special day. We even asked to see our mom’s wedding dress, preserved nicely since 1986.When it came time for our weddings, only seven months apart, we shared a very special bond. We loved calling each other “Sister Brides” since we were planning our weddings virtually together! Shortly after the weddings, we decided doing a photo shoot would be the perfect way to always treasure our memories of being blushing brides.  Since my my mom still had her wedding dress, we knew we wanted to include her as well. It was a wonderful way to intertwine three very amazing days.Since our dad is such an incredible husband to my mom and father to us, we wanted to present him with a gift of these photos. All three of us have such special memories of him during our individual wedding days and wanted to capture all of these memories in a single photoshoot, “Three Brides.”
Driving in a car with three women in wedding dresses was a very memorable part! When we arrived at Casa Grande, we loved sharing our wedding day details with Quianna. We absolutely loved the way she captured the photos, keeping us smiling and laughing! It was the perfect way to honor our amazing parents, who have provided us with so much love in our lives, including our perfect wedding days.Thank you ladies for such a memorable day!Cheers to forever wives, but always being daddy’s little girls!'"