I counted up the many dresses in my collections made of tulle and have come to the conclusion I must really, really, really love it. Mere wisps or yards and yards of the stuff, this-- the absolute sheerest of all fabrics--is ethereal to the touch and just so gosh darn gorgeous. Brides love it in everything from one layered veils to gathered skirts in many yards. If you look closely tulle is even more versatile and can be used to create some awesome special effects on bodices, sleeves and gauntlets . . . .
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. Above and below are just a few stunning examples from my collections.
What constitutes a long veil? I’d start at the ‘finger tip’ length and work all the way down to the twenty-five foot cathedral. Long veils convey a romantic mood by way of all that added gossamer sheer. Wearing a veil dates back to ancient times and most cultures. The bridal veil in particular has been a symbol of purity as well as mystery in many traditions. Since Biblical times every era it seems has innovated the veil and how it’s worn. Victorians donned yards of handmade laces they passed on to daughters and granddaughters; 1960s brides popularized the pouf veil still stylish today.
Long Veil Lengths
Fingertip-Most popular length; can be worn by nearly every figure type with most silhouettes.
Waltz-Falls anywhere between knee and ankle.
Chapel-Considered formal. Extends about a two feet beyond the hemline.
Cathedral-Most formal. Extends three feet or more beyond the hem.
Long Veil Styles
Pouf- width of veil is gathered at the crown and can be attached to a headpiece. Generally made out of tulle or English netting. Below Dropped- This veil is actually dropped onto the head in a single layer of tulle or lace; often bordered with lace or ribbon. The Mantilla is a type of dropped veil. See last photo below
I've always said the right flowers make the best accessories a bride can wear or carry. That said, the floral art of designer Camellia Grizarello is proof. Makeup and hair artist, Julie Morgan teamed up with Grace Kathryn Photography in Santa Barbara to create these romantic images focusing on fashion and florals and what the combined loveliness can make. The backdrop here is the amazing Santa Barbara Historical Museum and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, both SCal Landmarks . . . .
I've always loved the weight and feel of a fabric called antique satin, a cross between shantung and satin crepe. Here I mixed it up with a little white Chantilly lace, adding a tulle overskirt for a real romantic look. Modeled by the lovely Sabrina, she's showing off just about every aspect of this dress's charm, as a fitted sheath and ball gown all at once. Oddly enough this particular piece was inspired by another Sabrina--yes, the fictional one played so beautifully by Audrey Hepburn in the 1954 film of the same name. If you remember the scene where she shows up at the party in a number she describes as, " Yards of skirt and way off the shoulder . . ." This dress is as lovely inside as out, lined in soft China silk. The hand-rolled floral headpiece is also available as a custom order.
One of my all time favorite styles has to be Boho--a look mixing it up with the bohemian, peasant and flower child craze of the 60s. What makes this look so popular now? For starters it breaks traditional bridal code while staying within the true romantic form that a wedding symbolizes and celebrates. The look is lacy with gowns in soft, transparent fabrics that can be topped off with head wreaths of flowers, ivy and dried foliage. Long flowing hair is signature with this look. Here are my top looks capturing Boho's gift for combining the earthy and ethereal all at once.
We're heading toward summer, ideal times for the quaint and rustic charm of a countryside wedding. The magic of nature happens when the rural wedding is created and blended with a personal palette of colors and elements. Here are some images from a few awesome wedding photographers capturing boho, 50s, and vintage rustic themes with a little something else thrown into the mix....
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (email@example.com) and I will gladly remove the photos in question. Thank you!
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