Thursday, November 10, 2011

HOLLYWOOD BRIDES

Claudette Colbert as Ellie Andrews, Audrey Hepburn as Jo Stockton. No, they weren't real brides but the designers, writers and producers who created them certainly were. Hollywood designers and the actresses who wore their creations influenced the way we look at weddings and fashion today. All the gowns pictured here are works of art and stellar representatives of their times. What could be more 1930s than Robert Kalloch's creation for Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night? The body-hugging bias cut was still a new, even radical concept in 1934, especially for a wedding gown. During this golden era, it was not Paris as much as Hollywood that decreed fashion. This simple satin gown with florals surrounding the neckline could be found today in a few designer collections. The look has become timeless. Attached to the cap head piece you'll see miles of chiffon netting, a light and airy fabric the designer chose because in this story, Colbert needs to become the runaway bride once she decides Clark Gable is the one. As she runs, the veil, long as it is, lifts and floats beautifully off the ground to produce a kind of 'bride in flight' look.
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The Givenchy on Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face has become a favorite for brides of every decade. When clients bring in inspiration photos so I can get an idea of what they want in a gown, this photo is pulled out often. And sometimes it is not the exact same dress a bride wants so much as 'the look' it evokes, the epitome of pure, flawless design.
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Above is one of the purest, most traditional wedding designs out there (the other is princess Grace's--also by a Hollywood designer, Helen Rose). I'm glad I finally found this image of Julie Andrews in Dorothy Jeakins shantung wedding gown. It's from one of the most beautiful movies ever made, The Sound of Music. Raised in an abbey by cloistered nuns, when Maria marries Captain Von Trapp she marches down the aisle alone. This really touched me when I first saw this movie as a kid. So much so that when my own day came to meet my intended and take my vows, I too walked alone and gave myself away.
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The gown Elizabeth Taylor is wearing was standard for its time. Post war, the world celebrated lifts on fabric restrictions by using vast amounts of it in skirts. Bridal gowns were the ultimate show-off the hourglass shape vehicle. The MGM release of Father of the Bride coincided with Taylor's own real, life nuptials with hotel heir, Nicky Hilton. Both her own and fictional wedding gown was designed by Helen Rose.

Below right is Carrie Bradshaw's Ivory silk taffeta confection. It's actually one of the finale pieces from Vivienne Westwood's 2007 "Wake Up Cave Girl" Collection. Hand picked by Sex in the City stylist, Patricia Field, personally, I was surprised Sara Jessica didn't rate a custom designed gown for her role in the film. I mean heck! Check out Audrey Hepburn. Didn't she rate that one-of-a-kind-designed-to-fit-her-character Givenchy tulle wedding dress pictured above? The suit on the left would have been my choice . . . and . . .ultimately it was Carrie's as well.

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Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson in Bridal Wars, 2009

There are so many 'must see' movies for brides who want to gather ideas. Some are golden oldies, others like Sex in the City are relatively new. All are romantic, all are incredibly inspiring . . . . Most below are out on disc/DVD or available through streaming. Watch your favorite and listen to the commentary if there is one--you'll learn so much.

Here are some of my favorites--not necessarily the movie so much as the designs . . .

It Happened One Night (1934)

Father of the Bride (1950)

Father of the Bride (remake 1991)

Panama Hattie (1942)

Design for Living (1933)

The Sound of Music (1965)

The Graduate (1967)

Penelope (1966)

Sex and the City (2008)

22 comments:

Christmas dresses said...

Hollywood is the place where people look for the fashion. When it comes to bridal dresses Hollywood is the best place to look for. all are beautiful wedding dresses.

Cafe Fashionista said...

I absolutely love Sarah Jessica Parker's in Sex and the City, and Kate Hudson's in Bride Wars. Gorg! :)

Francesca R said...

In my opinion Audrey Hepburn's gown is uberchic and timeless!

Monique Radwin said...

Love Claudette Colbert's gown. It really is awesome!

Veronica Popoiacu said...

timeless beautiful dresses! love Audrey dress! so feminine !

SassyUptownChic said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I LOVED ALL OF THESE MOVIES!!! LOVED THEM! I think it's awesome that you are showcasing the lovely designs. I adore your blog and can't wait to see more. :D
http://sassyuptownchic.blogspot.com/

Elise - Bridal Dresses Mentor said...

I love Audrey. I think I always will. She had such a flair and elegance about her. Gorgeous!x

honey my heart said...

such a great collection of brides! i heart audrey's look.

leeqiang said...

Women's happiest time is holding beloved person's hands together into marriage hall, the most beauty for women is put on wedding dress on that dayTea-Length Wedding gown

Couture Carrie said...

Gorgeous post!
Love Audrey!

xoxox,
CC

lapetiteblonde said...

omg!great post dear!!
love them=)
xoxo=)

Aubrey {All Things Bright and Beautiful} said...

This is such an absolutely awesome post! I've probably seen most of those by themselves at one time or another, but to see them all together is so cool!

RoseAllen@ Maui Wedding said...

I love the look of seeing this wonderful celebs in their own gowns. I love the Anne in her gown always been a fan of her.

Nini said...

Oh I so much loved this post of yours, I love those pictures and they're all so beautiful! Also your whole blog's magnificent and truly gorgeous. Although I'm not gonna marry any time soon as I really am too young for it now, I still love it cuz it's simply enhancing to just look at those wonderful woman and dream about your own happiest day in life ;) I'm following you know!!! XX Nini

Natasha said...

good old extravagance... or is this true glamour? I think there's a thin line between the two.

AMINTA said...

I love the vintage Hollywood brides!!! Awesome inspiration ...

amintasfashion

Tammi said...

I loved the first one! stunning!

xoxo

Wedding Invitations said...

Hollywood inspire so many things. I love the last two. Especially what Kate Hudson is wearing! <3

Fashion said...
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Fashion said...

I like this stunning post
Hollywood Designer

Fashion said...

I like this stunning post
Hollywood Designer

Wedding Invitations Sydney said...

These glamorous brides can make any wedding gown phenomenal. My favorite is Anne Hathaways gown. Audrey Hepburn's comes in close second. Great post!