Did you know even before Marie Antoinette, the parasol was considered a necessity in every woman's wardrobe to ward off the sun. By the mid-1800s when they hit their zenith in the Western World, it was at least known then sun prematurely ages skin. A century later we have scientific proof exposure not only ages but can cause melanoma. So our grandmothers had the right idea flaunting beautiful accessories (before sunscreen). And so evolved the parasol; at it's most chic it can be an art form full of intricate treatments and applications just like hats, veils, purses and shoes.
Every so often I come across an absolutely beautiful shot hidden away in my files. This one by Shona Nystrom of Studio 7Teen is a real gem and evokes such nice memories. Not only did I love this styled shoot we did out at Madrona Manor in Healdsburg,California, it was one of the loveliest backdrops for romantic dresses like this one. Katie our model is wearing the PHAEDRA dress a confection of white and blush tulle, one I truly loved designing. Kudos and kisses to everyone out there who worked on this lovely shoot . . . .
I'm super impressed with this group of Vancouver wedding pros who from concept to creation put together this incredible styled shoot inspired by a modern day Boardwalk Empire wedding theme. Have to say being born just a little ways down from Atlantic City, this TV series has kept me rapt and inspired since it's inception. Thumbs up here on styling from the fashion to table and floral decor. And of course kudos to Edward Lai Photography for capturing the whole Jazz Age meets modern essence of this shoot. Here's a bit of what Edward had to say about putting this project together, "We were inspired by the modern and sexy feel of The Loft. Using a modern day/Boardwalk Empire theme, we made use of the brick, wood and leather elements of the room. We aligned the long wooden table with a gold sequined runner and used a set of moose antlers as the centerpiece adorned with heavy greens with Marsala and peach toned florals. Topping off, we added tall gold candle holders, gold charger plates, peach napkins and beaded napkin holders. The cracked style golden wine glasses brought a more contemporary and stylish element to the table. . . . ."
Light and airy with a diva/goddess feel the blouson is one of the most comfortable and easy to wear silhouettes out there. This Gatsby-inspired dress is called, DAHLIA. A matte silk slip dress with a chiffon over dress, its bordered in Chantilly laces, dropping asymmetrically in front and back. This is another one of my very special order dresses with fabrics and laces that need special sourcing. If you are interested in finding out more about DAHLIA contact me
Once upon a time the bridal headband had (read: had) to be attached to a gathered pouf veil. Thank God these days you can wear a headband with or without veiling. For me, headbanded brides have that fresh, Ralph Lauren/Eastern Seaboard look perfect when paired up with classic bridal gowns. Bands range in style from simple, narrow satin ones to those covered in pearls and crystals. Bands are a great option for hair worn down, not quite shoulder length like a bob. Here are a few from my own collection pieces worn with and without the veil.
Believe it or not, the halter we see in so many bridal collections evolved from early 20th Century swimwear. Golden Age Hollywood designers popularized the look for evening, dressing stars like Garbo and Harlow. Actually the look was so radical and daring back then, tongues clucked as the etiquette police of the time declared, 'no nice lady wore such things out at night'. Ladies had different ideas though and wore the back-baring halter anyway. Halters once again made their comeback big time in the 1970s with the return of glamour and disco. During this time Cher's designer Bob Mackie took advantage of this look to bring out her best lines. Thanks to the ages, we have so many variations on this abbreviated neckline. Below are just a few stunning examples.
Would you wear wool on your wedding day? In summer? Meet PRISCILLA, the first wool crepe gown to make it into the Gatsby's Bride Collection. Whenever we think wool, winter wardrobes usually come to mind. Light weight wool crepes and jerseys are actually great fabrics through spring and summer as long as the silhouettes lend themselves well to draped fabrics and bare arms and back. And don’t worry, wool breathes well as long as it’s lined in lightweight fabric like China silk . Accessorized, PRISCILLA goes great with a pair of strappy delicate sandals (silver or gold are my faves) I see the necklace and earrings worn as the pearl and white stone combo shown above. The Florals in the hair really kick this look off as Golden Age of Hollywood worthy. Which brings me to a little FYI here: The original inspiration for this gown came from the 1944 Noir Classic, Laura. Although Hollywood designer, Cashin’s gown for Gene Tierney was front loaded with intricate draping and gathers, my design above has a row of gentle pleating instead. You wont find this gem on Etsy--it's a custom order with fabrics that need to be specially sourced. If you're interested in finding out more about this dress contact me here. . .
Inspiration abounds in this rustic styled shoot in soft pinks mixed in with some bright, ripe pomegranates and berries. Judith Nunez of Katsphotos in South Carolina has captured gorgeously paired florals and food fused with a pretty selection of table toppings and fine china. The backdrop our bride and groom get to play in has a homespun and provincial feel I simply love. Add in all those romantic and elegant touches and this portrait of visual poetry definitely has my heart . . . .
I initially created this space for my clients. Eventually brides looking for that touch of wow found their way here. Draping and playing with fabric started some twenty years back when I did a three-year stint as a bridal fabrics buyer. After that I opened Bridal Alternatives, a custom design studio and ever since have had the opportunity of working with brides who want that extraordinary one-of-a-kind dress. I'm in love with fashion history and re-invention of the past.
Other connections to fashion? I’ve been a columnist for San Francisco Art and Fashion News and have a weekly fashion buzz on One Wed Blog. I founded The Design Project of San Francisco, a networking organization of fashion professionals collaborating their skills and talents on projects. I’m currently working on a book called—you guessed it—'Bride Chic', all about that white gown and very special designer/client relationship. I live with my husband Edgar and Chihuahua Piccalina in Marin County California.
Want to see more of what I do? Check out my site at www.amyjotatum.com or call me 415.258.8204
CONTACT ME. Feel free to send on any ideas, photos or stories about your fashion or shopping finds firstname.lastname@example.org
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Please note some images on Bride Chic are photos from previous shoots and editorials of my collection pieces. Since I do admire other designers work, I’ve also added from online sources to share a different perspective. There’s no profit from the display of these photos -- they are being shown for the informational and educational benefit of brides and aficionados of bridal fashion. I always list my source, providing a link back. If you feel an image here violates your intellectual property and/or copyrights, please email your concerns to me (email@example.com) and I will gladly remove the photos in question. Thank you!
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