New Years Then and Now

Max Chaoul
Fifteen years back, I had my first New Years Bride. Katlin and her fiance wanted to say 'I do’ on the stroke of midnight 1994. All I remember thinking at the time was, ‘Boy are you guys gonna have a helluva time reserving a table come anniversary time.'
Katlin also was one of my evening gowned brides. Back then the long slinky Harlowesque dress was my specialty and wearing one wasn’t as mainstream as it is now. Before Carolyn Bessette wowed us with her streamlined Narciso Rodriguez, if you wore something in white fitted that close to the body you broke tradition. While breaking tradition wasn't frowned upon, it wasn't the conventional way brides married either. I look back and see how much not only times have changed, our view of the traditional bride has too. . .Check out the photos below
Jose Villa Photography
The strapless Deb look is so In now. So is wearing sandals and shucking the veil. Once upon a time you wouldn't dream of taking your vowels bareheaded or footed; stockings and closed toe pumps were standard. This classic trend above, is something I think twenty years from now we'll look back and wonder how--pretty as they were-- the strapless lasted so long and why every other bride wanted to look like the last.
Late 1980 s
Don't laugh. At the time I thought this look was so romantic. 1980s was the era of the storybook bride. True, this version is made of a beautiful quality silk and in good taste. But many of these Hapsburgesque recreations with off-the-shoulder pouf sleeves ending mid-arm dwarfed any woman under 5'8. Some were in incredibly poor taste layered in all the pouf and paste of sequins, beads and rhinestones weighing down the high-sheen poly satins of the time

Good taste though stands the test of time. I wish I still had photos of Katlin's gown. It was made up of a one-of-its-kind imported silk satin from Italy. Empire waisted, it had spaghetti straps and a sweep train. She wore a jewel brooch on the left strap and that was her only adornment besides a wrap. No veil, just top-of-the-line hairdressing. Remembering her now, I realize she was incredibly ahead of her time. Katlin broke tradition. New Years and breaking tradition have lots in common. All those resolutions to start over, to put new spin and joy into life might be just what Katlin and her fiance were saying when they answered 'I do' on the stroke of midnight. . . .