Yesterday we celebrated Here Come The Brides, a salute to Pride. Today the focus is all on your groom! In the past we've had some truly incredible photographers shooting not only the brides in all their glory but grooms as well. These images by Jenifer Low and Chyna Darner from A Wedding at The Nimitz House are a kind of visual storytelling about dressing your groom. Okay, so not just dressing him--throw in accessorizing and bringing him out in the best light. Because I spend so much time custom making gowns for brides scrutinizing every last detail, some groomsamaze me how quickly they can put a wowzer look like this together. Dylan used his own wardrobe for this shoot so I'm impressed with how he came up with The Frank Sinatra/Rat Pack Elan not only in the clothes he's sporting but the jaunty demeanor as well.
In the light of Friday's Supreme Court decision here are a few pics to celebrate Pride! June is not only the time-honored month most couples get married also it is Pride Month around the world. A couple days back I was on Tumblr uploading some images when I ran across these Pride Brides and their weddings. Add in a few great posts Bride Chic has run in the past and I'm hoping these hand-picked images offer inspiration to any of you planning, celebrating and feeling over-the-top about tying the knot on your own special day, your own special way . .
Today's post is all about a few things great things rolled into one: First off, some incredibl imagery by Aura O'brien. Next great thing you could call a DIY project. To get this waif-in-the-woods look once the makeup and hair folks did their magic on lovely Hana, I wove in real and silk foliage combinations allover the gown and head piece. Hana is wearing a Magnolia head wreath of silk florals mixed in with sprigs of real ivy. The neckline of her gown is framed in variegated ivy as smaller pieces are dappled all over the tulle skirt. If you want to try adding real flowers, leaves or ivy to your gown you can do one of two things: Have a florist do it or get with someone who's handy with a needle. Sewing live foliage onto a gown isn't rocket science. If you (or someone else) can bead, you can sew real live leaves on to fabric. Just be sure to dry out the leaves/flowers/ivy a couple days before so as not to soil the silk. Also you'll want to add all the pieces a couple nights before the wedding . . .
Only within the last twenty-five years has the evening gown silhouette become so trendy for brides. Once upon a time bridal gown meant traditional. Traditional as in Tricia Nixon/Lucy Baines Johnson’s Priscilla designed gowns. Though both gowns were top of the line even by today’s standards, there was little variation on the concept of formal from 1960-1982. If you married in anything different than some form of satin, wore a short dress or sported a suit, it was considered informal and you belonged at city hall.
The popularity of the evening gown silhouette was clinched when Carolyn Besette wore that incredible clingy crepe-back satin for her wedding to JFK Jr. back in the 90s. Before that the evening gown was around the bridal scene but more as alternative wear; something you donned if you were an outside the box bride getting married in a garden or restaurant. Churches still had issues with clergy starring down into cleavage and guests feasting on bare backs and shoulders during nuptials. After Carolyn’s photos hit the media, designers brought out their own versions of the evening gown from Jean Harlow classics in drapy lightweight fabrics to sheath designs in more structured fabrics like faille. You have to admit, the evening gown silhouette has been one of the most beautiful additions to bridal wear. Below are a few of my own creations . . . .
The ALEXANDRA Dress is actually one of my crossover pieces that can go from Hollywood chic right into Boho. If you look closely at most Boho, with the right accessories and styling most gowns can be worn with all the glam of movie star chic. This embossed silk chiffon confection is lined in silk crepe. The side waist and back shoulder have drapes of flowing silk gauze--a fabric even lighter than chiffon. The piece de resistance is the cluster of hand-rolled florals on shoulders and waist . .
Above: The BIANCA Gown all started with this rare piece of Valencienes lace. A slip dress of 4 ply crepe with the added lace overlay gives a real 1930's vintage feel. Lightweight and drapy, the crinkled surface of this particular crepe has an incredible swathe and drape effect making it a natural for the bias cut evening gown look. Added to the sides and back are silk organza godets that give off a modified mermaid silhouette.//Photo by Sweet Light Studios
Above: The PRISCILLA gown is actually a light weight wool crepe cut on the bias with a cowl neck and brush train. A simple and draped silhouette for women who love the concept of less is more
Above: From The Gatsby's Bride Collection The GEMMA Gown and veil that goes with it look like something right off the silent screen. Dress has silk chiffon over liquid satin linings and a tulle cascade of hand-sewn Chantilly lace bordering up the front of the dress. Covered button closure down the back. Back falls in a sweep train.
The FLEUR Dress. Hollywood designers popularized the halter dress and the whole sophistocate look that goes with it. Think Joan Craford and Bette Davis. The sandwashed silk crepe used for this dress is light and has an awesome feel to it. Perfect for the bride planning a vintage 30s-40s wedding//Photo by Lirette Photography
The above is definitely one of my favorite photos of all time by the very talented photographer,Diana Maire. All these striking and sensitive images hail from The Country Chic editorial. Not only do I love the photo composition, the dress in it has to be one of the best I ever created. BEATRIXis a sweet rarity I dreamed up somewhere between Diorsque and Boho. It has the hourglass silhouette reminiscent of Dior while sporting an ultra-romantic feel of a bohemian waif via the fabrics. The embroidered organza bodice is trimmed with scalloped edging and skirt is 5 layers of ivory tulle over a silk taffeta circle skirt. Available with separate crinoline under slip (not shown here)--see the link above . . . .
Still going through a dilemma about The Dress? Try this: Imagine the clothes you wear every day amped up in finer fabrics and more defined silhouettes. Next zero in on 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 where the couture goes haute or having a country picnic in late Spring?
Since there are no rules here, only guidelines, go ahead and combine styles if you like. Fusion 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 fine art of breaking them . . ."
Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn are your icons. Everything you touch is timeless, 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 drop veil tacked to the back of a bun.
Unveiled: A tiara of course
Elle is wearing: The 'Giselle' Gown. Empire cut silk dupioni with hand-beaded Chantilly lace bodice. Top photo: Tulle drop veil //Below:
Alencon lace and Ostrich feathered Tiara and rose adroned silk dupioni and tulle fascinator
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: A cage veil adorned by head florals
Unveiled: A picture hat
Ana Marie is Wearing: Embossed chiffon gown with silk gauze detachable train with Rose cage veil. Below: the organza rose cage veil and sisal picture hat
Do you love peasant styles and the flower child looks of the sixties?. Are you earthy and ethereal all at once? Consider yourself Boho if your eye is drawn to gowns sporting diaphanous fabrics topped off with head wreaths made out of fresh florals and greenery like ivy.
Your Dress: Something long and flowing, crocheted and/or full of lace and tulle. Favorite designers: Temperley of London, Lanvin, Claire Pettibone, Elizabeth Fillmore.
Venue: Any wooded or pastoral setting
Veiled: A floral head wreath with a drop veil
Unveiled: A Daisy or flower chain Elle and Ana Marie are wearing:Above-Chantilly lace and point d'esprit chemise with silk gauze handkerchief hem and a dried floral head wreath. Below-Silk chiffon gown with flared hem and Magnolia head wreath with foilage.
Think of convertibles as ensembles that work one way for the ceremony and like a layer of veiling, are removed or readjusted for big time after partying. Visualize: You want a formal look for your ceremony with layers of tulle falling into a chapel train when you walk down the aisle. Your reception is a totally different picture--you're in a strapless sheath—like something you might wear to a cocktail party. Go ahead. Wear the sheath for your ceremony; only wear it under a detachable tulle over skirt. The layers of skirt fasten to a belt and unhook for the reception (see the header and pics directly below). Want more cover up top during your ceremony? How about an over blouse worn over that sheath or full skirt? This offers a transparent, delicate look and is removed after the ceremony. But suppose you like the idea of one gown—something all one piece with tiers of ruffles that fall into a sweep train. Problem solved: the bottom ruffle can be secured with Velcro or hooks, then removed—and presto!—your train is gone and you have a cocktail dress. If you’re not a romantic go for a more tailored look. You can still go with the sheath idea and your overdress—the one you wear down the aisle—might look more like a full-length Princess-style coat or ¾ length jacket. Or imagine something with one button at the waist and part of the dress underneath showing; ideal for winter weddings in heavier, structured fabrics like Peau de Soie and Brocade.
Here are two examples of the over blouse concept. Above and below are two different styled lace blouses. Above a traditional lace blouse is fitted over a taffeta sheath slip dress. Take it off and add a cluster of florals to the shoulder strap and the whole look is changed. By special order The FLORA Dress//Who says you can't layer lace over lace? I did on The GEORGETTE Dress below. A full skirt is adorned by a Val lace blouse over a strapless Chantilly lace bodice backed in light blue satin//Above images by Pixamage//Below images courtesy Bride Chic
1.) Visit a Salon. Consultant know which designers offer interchangeable looks. You may find you’re able to order a simple evening gown and have that wrap dress you want to wear over it made. Did you know some bridal salons employ in house dressmakers? Not only for alterations but the custom touches brides put on the gowns they order. Those who don’t often have referrals. 2.) Check Out the Possibility of Going Custom. Custom designers live to work with you from concept to finished creation; they have skill handling fine fabrics and the expertise to help you achieve exactly what you want. 3.) Go Vintage. If you can get hold of an actual dress from the 30s-40s era when slip/dress combos were so popular, you might have a good investment as well as chic bridal ensemble.
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 415.336.3480
CONTACT ME. Feel free to send on any ideas, photos or stories about your fashion or shopping finds email@example.com
THE CHIC LIST: Photographers, makeup Artists, hairstylists and florists I adore . . . . .
THE CHIC LIST: Blogs and sites I adore . . . .
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will gladly remove the photos in question. Thank you!
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