Yesterday's posts on Instagram got me thinking about bridal gown shopping off the beaten path of your average salon. Because brides are changing so are designers, myself included. Fashion historian that I am, I'm glad to see the reinvention of the home grown designer boutique whether it is digital, brick and mortar or a combination of both. Etsy boutiques have become the best fashion labs for designers as well as clients. My own little work space/studio and the brides I work with have been one of my greatest sources of joy. No matter where you live in the world, I'm sure your area has more than a couple Etsy designers who open up their stores or in-home boutiques to clients. With a little imagination and the help of professionals, you might be able to put some stunning looks together.
BELOW: The images below were taken by photographer, Joy Strotz in my studio one day when we were preparing for a shoot with the lovely Sabrina. So nicely shot, I thought I'd share my many years of observance a little of what a bride to be goes through that first fit appointment. As a rule most are experiencing a lot of emotions--all happy and good--and the dressis a symbol of everything she's feeling. Even the most practical bride melts when she sees herself for the first time in the dress she knows is going to be hers . . . .
These dresses are from The Bouffant Collection and mostly in taffetas and satins, ideal fabrics for those styles Jackie, Grace and Audrey made so chic. Bouffant is based on a bell shaped or petal skirt that poufs at the hips via pleats or gathers (usually pleats). Also you'll find the fitted sheath style--as snug up top in the bodice as it is at the hemline-- a perfect candidate for heavier luxe fabrics that hold shape well.