Friday, October 29, 2010


More brides are opting for something borrowed from the romance of the ballet---head wreath, swan cap, full ballgown skirt in tulle . . .Tutus offer the versatility of being worn after the wedding. These by Lunitique Boutique show off tulle in two lengths, short and to-the-knee.

Lunatique Boutique also features stunning handmade designer hair accessories, hats, and beautiful decor  items like this stunning flower necklace.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Love showing off some decolletage?  Low necklines can be so flattering and in my opinion look good on most women, no matter how large or scarcely defined the bosom is.  Fit is key here so finding the right alterations specialist is important.  If you have your gown custom made the fit is built into the gown; gowns ordered through a salon go through alterations once delivered . . .
The Square Neckline-One of my personal favorites, conveying a real open look, square necks look great on ballgown and A-line silhouettes.
The Round Neckline- Curved neckline showing some decolletage but not quite as low as a scoop. 

The Scoop Neckline-Lower and more open than the round neckline
  The V Neckline-Though wider cut and more open than most, this V points down and up like the letter it is named after.
The Off-the-Shoulder and Portrait Neckline-
Both necklines are similar and extend horizontally across the collar area and either sit slightly above or below the shoulders.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Vintage is so popular now it’s evolved into it’s very own niche of fashion. There’s real retro as in the authentic Dior A-line from 1957 in cherry condition; there’s museum quality stuff from the last century that probably requires restoration experts, and there’s everything you see here that I’d call vintage inspired gowns by top designers. Most designers have retro inspired pieces in their collections now. Monique Lhuillier and Claire Pettibone’s gowns are reminiscent of 1930s-40s chic. Candy Anthony and Stephanie James are turning out dresses you’d swear your grandmother wore in the 1950s. A few designers are going way back in time recreating anything from Marie Antoinette to Greek chic. Younger designers seem intrigued with recent fashion history reinventing their own 60s-70s looks.

The hat above echoes Jackie Kennedy's look while the dress below looks like a granny gown from the hip 1970s.
Whether this gown was inspired by Napoleon’s Regency Period or Mary Quant, one thing all these designers and their gowns have in common is the cutting edge factor. You see, retro inspired means just that: something about the gown evokes yesteryear only there’s that unmistakable twist of contemporary thrown in for the here and now bride.

Lately, with concern for the environment, there are brides using vintage fabrics from lace tablecloths and linens and turning them into some very lovely bridal wear. I guess that’s what it means when you hear, “Everything old is new again . . .”
Not only the length of this dress says 1950s. Candy Anthony's hourglass silhouette has this era's bodice detail right down to to the prim collar and row of buttons down the front.

This Oscar de la Renta above is from no era in particular but the way it's accessorized brings to mind the 20s with the cloche hat, 30s with the gown and gloves. Looks like something that might have been worn to the once popular daytime social.

To me this is another look encompassing a few eras. The gown above definitely looks 1930s, her hair 90s and the tiara 60s.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Stunning isn't it?  The stuff of dreams.  Our way of saluting photographers the world over,  a special thank you and recognition to  Ligocki Mateusz from Szczecin,  Poland who produced these awesome inspirations. . . . .

Monday, October 25, 2010


Lirette Photography/Gown by Amy-Jo Tatum

Believe it or not, the halter 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.

 Johanna Hehir

Variation of the Bib-halter

 Amy-Jo Tatum
The V-halter

Jenny Packham
The Pointed-halter

The Sweetheart-halter

The V-tied Halter

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Desert Bloom or Sedona Sunset
These colors really caught my eye especially for fall.  The Sedona sunset alongside all this pretty fruit and flowers is the work of the talented Naomi Goodman over at SMP Style Circle.  Her blog, Enchanted Dream Weddings and Events is a real inspiration . . .

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Breast Cancer Awareness
Did you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?   A year round issue, let's take a little time out this weekend to visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation site, a real resource for all women, especially victims, survivors and caregivers wanting to connect in with support and counseling networks.  And thanks to Corey Stoner over at SMP Style Circle for mixing it all up with this lovely board of pink, the color now so symbolic with breast cancer.

Friday, October 22, 2010


For those of you wanting to find out more of what I have to say Fridays, try One Wed's Blog, Savvy Scoop.  Every week I post about some such topic in the fashion realm.  Today it's all about junior bridesmaids.  'So, what' you ask 'is a junior bridesmaid?'  Isn't that like . . . a flower girl, maybe?  No.  How about a regular bridesmaid?  Not quite.  Read on . . . .

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Is there a designer out there that can trump the pure romanticism of Ian Stuart? Winner of the 2010 UK bridal designer of the year, he offers 5 stunning collections from which to choose. Looking at these gowns I realize how perfect they are for the bride who wants a real storybook look on her wedding day . . . .

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


You've heard the term bias cut gown but what exactly does it mean? Before the development of knits, the bias cut was used for body-hugging silhouettes like the Edith Head dress above and below. It all started in 1927 when a Parisian couturier, Madeleine Vionette developed a technique using the true cross grain of fabric. Defined, a bias cut simply means the pattern pieces are placed on the cross grain rather than straight grain lines of weft or warp of the fabric. By 1930, Hollywood designers took advantage of this cut and made it into a real trend. So what are the advantages of a bias cut gown? Fit. Gowns cut on the true bias hug and cling to the hips and midriff and fall beautifully. In some cases they even seem like a second skin.

Not all gowns are allover bias cuts. The gown below is an example of a very full bias cut skirt. 1950s silhouettes employed the circular skirt that when put on the true bias, moves beautifully when you walk. It also takes many yards of fabric to create.
Dress by Amy-Jo Tatum/photo by ejones photography
The gowns below are modern versions of the bias cut.


sourceHollywood designer Adrian dressed actress Jean Harlow in these bias cuts that practically became her trademark. The bias cut is still used today despite the fact we have a variety of knits and micro fibers that can mimic the same close fit.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Lately all sorts of sculptural touches are being introduced via the runways and photoshoots. Last year did this layout called, The Future is Now. Check out some of the images that reflect modern chic from orgami touches to space-age versions of frills and ruffles.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Once upon a time I was a bride-to-be. And the day my husband proposed I thought whipping up my bridal look would be simple. I was a designer of Harlowesque bridal gowns and envisioned myself in an ivory bias cut crepe carrying one long stemmed calla lily. Then my hopeless romantic Edgar said, "I have a request, Amy. I'd like a band of Scottish pipers and to wear a kilt." Add to that we lived at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, a landmark that looks like an old Scottish Castle nestled in the Marin hillsides. Since this was the backdrop of our wedding, my dress ended up looking more like Brigadoon than old Hollywood. I have no regrets. I loved the layers of petticoats and the feel of imported French lace. Whether I was flexible or chameleon-like I don't know. I felt as comfortable as a romantic bride as I would have going contemporary in an evening gown cut. If you're having dilemmas about the gown, consider your venue and overall formality of the wedding or lack thereof. Wedding dates have a lot to do with decisions too. Are you marrying in New York city mid-winter or having a country picnic in late Spring?

Since there are no rules here, only guidelines, go ahead and combine styles if you like. Blending gives your look individuality. Maybe you're a little punk and vintage all at once . . . Or cutting edge and classic. Whatever combo you fancy, your options are many. My motto has always been, "Read the rules then teach yourself the art of breaking them . . ."

Grace Kelly in To Catch a Theif is your icon. Everything you touch is classic, refined, sophisticated. A Hermes scarf and cashmere turtleneck could be your everyday signature look.
Your Dress An A-line or sheath either strapless or with bateau or V-neck. You love any fabric that has understated elegance like traditional duchesse satin and peau de soie.
Favorite Designers: Kenneth Pool, Carolina Herrera, Reem Acra, Amsale, Anne Barge, Peter Langner
Your Venue: A mansion, country club or sprawling estate defines your dream wedding site.
Veiled: A long drop veil tacked to the back of a bun.
Unveiled: A tiara of course

You could be the ultimate storybook bride. If you love lace, bone china tea cups and bouquets of white roses in silver vases consider yourself a romantic.
Your Dress: A storybook ball gown with lace or tulle. Ruffles and frills and layers of crinoline petticoats.
Favorite designers: Amelia Casablanca, Elizabeth Emanuel for the Art of Being, Lazaro, Claire Pettibone, Elizabeth Fillmore, Max Chaoul.
Venue: How about Notre Dame or a castle in Scotland?
Veiled:Cathedral length tulle
Unveiled: wreath of roses
 For you the edge is the most comfortable seat in the house and forging ahead of the fashion curve excites you. New and untried fabrics for bridal wear intrigue rather than scare you away and you're the first to try on that linen-hemp with asymmetrical drapes.
Your Dress: Any silhouette but you're intrigued by the sheath in an outside the box fabric. Shorter dresses appeal to your sense of whimsy.
Favorite Designers: Giambattista Valli, Jane Wang, Junko Yoshioka
Venue: Mostly chi-chi urban settings like an art gallery or artist's loft. A restaurant with a killer view is great too.
Veiled: Loops of horsehair crowned in netting.
Unveiled: A cutting edge hairstyle

So you look into the best parts of the past to get your look, do you? Who wouldn't with such great laces and gemmies still hanging around from yesteryear? Like those satin baby-doll shoes from the forties better than brand new Jimmy Choos? Does an allover antique lace tablecloth make you think of restyling it into a gown? Then call yourself a Vintageholic and read on.
Your Dress: Mostly evening gown and chemise styles in lace and satin. You may be a 1950s retro buff who likes Candy Anthony type dresses with miles of skirt and tiny cinched waists.
Favorite designers: Pat Kerr, Claire Pettibone, Martin McCrea, Candy Anthony.
Venue: Almost anywhere the the Jay Gatsby daytime social can be reinacted. Landmark homes with acres of sprawling lawn are ideal but certain boutique hotels and B & B's work for the smaller bash.
Veiled: Grandma's antique lace or a recreation.
Unveiled: A picture hat