Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A little imagination goes a long way. Such is the pairing of custom design on the stunning Natalie Angela who saw this cloud of soft pink organza in her mind and went on the hunt for a pattern and fabric. The 1957 Butterick pattern below was her inspiration point. I love these vintage patterns and buy them often just to check out the dart and seam lines of the day (yes, they were slightly different back then).

The 'Pink Photos' as I call them were taken by San Francisco photographer, John Carmen whose work captures a scope of real and true detail.

Yes, the styles in the pattern below remind me of something worn by January Jones on Mad Men, my favorite show.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Check out the stunning and touching work of San Francisco Bay Area photographer Elisa Cicinelli. Here she has photographed Caroline and Chris who chose to have their destination wedding at the beautiful Harvest Inn in Napa Valley. 'I just love the wink Caroline gave Chris during our shoot' says Elisa.

DETAILS Ceremony: St. Helena Catholic Church, Deborah Fradelizio, Coordinator
Reception: Harvest Inn, St. Helena, CA, Shana Goldberg Event Planners: A Savvy Event, Emarie & Kelly Ceremony Music: Benny Be Music, Ben Brussel Band: Ever Music Group, Steven Emerson Florist: Calistoga Florist, Michael Thomas Cake: Torino Baking, Julie Durkee Caterer: Alex’s Catering, Rolando Mafnus Hair & Make Up: Maria O’Reilly

Saturday, March 28, 2009


If I had more time this is what I'd be doing believe it or not--designing dresses for my little 6 pound 3 ounce bitch. She already has a bridal gown (custom designed by me of course) but no fiancee in sight. These dresses from The Doggie Clothesline might just fit her and I'm contemplating the pink. If you're a small dog lover like I am, Doggie Clothesline is a candy store and you're the proverbial kid. Check out their day time dresses with matching sun hats. They're adorable . . .

Piccalina does go out nights so the gold is definately a possibility. Which do you like . . .?

Friday, March 27, 2009


Have you any idea the impact the production of clothing and textiles has had on the environment? Welll check this out: In the UK alone according to 2006 statistics, clothing and textiles contributed in producing up to two million tons of waste, 3.1 million tons of CO2 and 70 million tons of waste water. Whoah! Time for a reality check: Have we become so used to fast food, fast technology and now fast fashion that we've created a manufacturing monster like this? No wonder designers are turning to sustainable fabrics and labor friendly alternatives to produce their creations. Welcoming it as an opportunity rather than limitation is making for some incredible designs as well as global partnerships. Going Green can mean many things . . . . READ MORE . . . . .

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Lace and cotton Georgette. Combined they make a luscious combination. The 'Mira' dress is part of the Dioresque series, a capsule collection of dresses redolent of the 1950s era. A halter top in Chantilly lace sits atop a full gathered skirt.

This dress could easily go semi-formal or less formal depending on accessories. A fingertip veil paired up with gloves would put it into the former category while fascinators, hats and cage veils the latter. Here, the model is going somewhere in-between and looks like she might be opting for a restaurant or small garden wedding.
If you want to see more gowns like this check out my site http://www.amyjotatum.com/. Also, if you want to place an order or simply talk about this gown call me 415.258.8204. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


When it comes to bridal wear, silks rule. Made from the cocoons of silkworms, around 2500 B.C. the Chinese discovered and developed the process of weaving it into fabric. China is still the largest producer and exporter of 80% of the world’s silks. Most silk weaves are luxe, opulent and suggest a certain formality ideal for the bridal gown. Tightly woven silks like duchesse satin have a luster and are ideal for structured silhouettes, whereas loosely woven silks like charmeuse and crepe lend themselves to drapery. Choosing the right silk depends on the style of your gown in addition to time of day of day and year your wedding takes place.

Brocade-Pictured below. Heavyweight fabric used in structured silhouettes. The elaborate patterns of this fabric are created by mixing muted and glossy yarns in matching (sometimes contrasting) colors. Most bridal gowns made out of brocade have a surface design of florals though I once saw a gown with some interesting geometric patterns. Brocade molds perfectly in sheath and A-line silhouettes. A fall/winter fabric, brocade is an excellent option for bridal suits.
Photo by Ron Greystar

Charmeuse (aka crepe-backed satin)-Lightest weight of all the satins. This fabric has a glossy finish that clings and drapes the body beautifully. No other fabric evokes the image of the white, bias-cut evening gown quite like charmeuse. Works best in evening gown and slip dress styles.
Chiffon-Lightweight and transparent, the delicacy of this fabric makes it best for billowing sleeves, cowl draped necklines, ruffles, ruched bodices and long, airy trains. See-through dresses worn over slips can be made of chiffon. Full skirts in chiffon are ethereal and can be layered. Be careful if you’re planning on dressing your bridesmaids in full skirts of pastel chiffon. Unless you have a stylistic eye they could come off like they’re auditioning for The Lawrence Welk Show.
Crepe (aka crepe de chine)-Lightweight and drapey, the crinkled surface is achieved by a hard-twisted yarn process. To get a sense of what crepe is like, look at the subjects of any Maxfield Parish painting. Though it’s available in wool, cotton and rayon, silk reigns the favorite due to its incredible swathe and drape effect. Like charmeuse, crepe is another 1930s Hollywood glam fabric and a natural for the bias cut evening gown. Can likewise look great in a shirtwaist and chemise style.
Damask-Lighter weight than brocade, damask is a jacquard fabric with woven designs thorough out. Best for structured silhouettes.
Duchesse Satin-Medium weight satin with a glossy finish. A staple of traditional bridal wear, it has versatility whereas it works for strait as well as full silhouettes.
Dupioni-Made from thick uneven yarns rolled from double cocoons. Has irregular slubbing and lustrous texture. Ideal for fuller silhouettes yet I have used this continually in sheath and modified A-lines with excellent results.
Faille-Medium to heavy weight, cross-ribbed fabric with a tight weave. Works best in structured silhouettes like the one pictured above.
Gauze-Lightest weight transparent fabric. Since it’s lighter than chiffon it has an airy quality perfect for light trains, veils and scarves.
Georgette-Pictured below. Lightweight and sheer fabric made from twisted yarns. Somewhere between chiffon and crepe, it has a crinkly appearance surface.
Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal
The gown above was painstakingly made of silk gauze, a fabric ordinarily so delicate it can only be used for trains and drapes as on the gown below.

Henley Photography

Georgette-Lightweight and sheer fabric made from twisted yarns. Somewhere between chiffon and crepe, it has a crinkly appearance surface.
Marquisette-Very light mesh fabric. Drapes like chiffon and georgette. A very hard fabric to find.
Mikado-Medium weight twill weave with beautiful luster. Ideal for both A-lines and full skirts. Used by more and more designers in recent years, brides love the surface sheen of this fabric..
Moire-A treatment of watermarking given to fabric, leaving an undulating, watery finish. Most moiré is either faille or taffeta.
Organza-Light, springy and transparent fabric. Once considered suitable only for summer, organza is now year-round and widely used in gowns requiring full skirts, A-lines, trains, veils, drapes and overlays.
Peau de Soie-Pictured below. Heavier-weight satin with dull finish. Structures well in either straight or full silhouettes. Ideal for tailored gowns and suits.
Giuseppe Papini
Pongee-Raw silk with a wild, natural feel. Typically comes in a natural tan shade. Once standard for men’s suit lining, pongee is the ideal lining for gown bodices wherever inner structure is needed. Though pongee can be the perfect lining choice, it shouldn’t be overlooked for shirtwaists, chemise styles and relaxed A-lines like the trapeze. Good option for the wedding party, especially the little ones.
Satin-faced Organza-Another trendy fabric, it has the spring of regular organza and the luster of a satiny finish. Ideal for full A-line skirts.
Shantung-Rough, plain weave with irregular slubbing. Another ideal lining fabric depending on the weight. Silk as well as synthetic versions of shantung are often used for attendants.
Taffeta- Stiff, crisp, lightweight cross-rib weave. Taffeta can have either a slight luster or muted finish. It can be shaped, adding volume without bulk and weight, making it an ideal choice for A-lines and ball gowns. Nice in a sheath silhouette providing it has some kind train preferably of the same fabric with some degree of fullness.

Tulle-Pictured below. Fine mesh netting with hexagonal pattern that comes in silk or nylon. Tulle is standard material for bridal veils. Also used in bouffant skirts like the one pictured below, proffering that ballerina look Vera Wang popularized a few years back. While the big tulle skirt is classic, edgier versions of late suggest special effects like draping, rouching and pick-up treatments over more modified skirt silhouettes. Not to be overlooked for trains done in layers.
Ron Greystar Photography
Gowns by Amy-Jo Tatum
Henley Photography
Velvet- Heavy-weight, napped fabric. Perfect for the winter bridal suit. The cut velvet pictured above works well in any season.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Spanish designer Jesus Peiro creates magnificent gowns with the most flattering lines. The fabrics he uses are exquisite and techniques so expertly done. Not here, but on his site, in the 09 collection, look for something we haven't seen in awhile--high collars and sleeves.

I have to say these gowns are photographed in a way that accentuates the beauty of the fabrics and highlights embellishments like head pieces and hairdressing. The result is fashion and art meet to make for a very moving experience . . .

Sunday, March 22, 2009


If ever I got married...

This gorgeous retro-dress is from Vintage Textile.com a site devoted to collecting clothing from times past. If you're considering going vintage--I mean really vintage as in wearing a dress from the actual era you love, here's the lowdown: Many vintage clothing stores stock actual gowns from by-gone eras as well as ‘retro-inspired’ selections.that are brand new. The bride in love with a particular era of clothing usually checks vintage clothing stores first. Not all brides opt for an actual gown that survived her favorite era though. Some choose a newer style reflecting the period in natural fibers. Why? Because that authentic 1925 chemise may be so delicate, without proper restoration it could literally fall apart. Think of gowns belonging to the ages like you would certain antiques: some so precious to be considered museum quality. Depending on restoration, the rule of thumb is, the older the gown the less they should be worn. If you are set on wearing that 1910 dress find a specialist in restoration who can advise.

Friday, March 20, 2009


This is one of many of the exquisite and ethereal gowns by Parisian designer Manon Pascual. The stunning photos are by Jean-Pierre Collet. A visit to the Pascual site is like stepping foot into heaven. Page after page of incredible imagination and the kind of fabrics you can only find in France. Read More . . . . . .

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Meet Fiona! This is an adaption of my evening gown silhouette clients love so much. Incredibly light and airy, it's made out of silk chiffon and lined in china silk (feels sumptuous on). The train is a diaphanous cloud of silk gauze dappled with tiny hand rolled organza florals.

Ordering this gown is a cinch. It can be found on my site, Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal Couture or Etsy. Best to call me 415.258.8204. I'm in The San Francisco Bay Area. I'll send out a good sized swatch of this fabric and linings. . . .

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


This reminds me of my own wedding. I dressed my attendants in ivory and differentiated some of them via purple sashes and shades of pink florals. Here golds and beiges are the accents. I love this selection of whimsical accessories from the frou-frou parasol ranging from soft pink to the beige dotted hair ornament . . .

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


If you're flirting with bringing some retro touches into your wedding, check out these vintage images with a modern twist.


The above photo is evocative of the late 1970s when Paris designers like Missoni and YSL were mimicking 30s styles. The hat and overblouse say it all . . .

Today's chic on 1920s silhouettes: lingerie inspired chemises, one with three dimensional applique rosettes.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Alot of head chic. I'm incorporating more creative touches via hats and headpieces. Yes, I still do veils--all kinds from long cathedral styles to little net poufs and birdcages. The hat pictured above swathed in tulle is modeled after a combo of 20s Gatsby and 50s Paris Vogue (a la Irving Penn).

This headband/tie with a rose accent is perfect for vintage frocks reflective of 1920s-50s.

Above is a silk dupion hand-rolled floral headpiece with net pouf, custom matched to the gown and fabric. With made to order gowns you can get an entire head to toe look on your wedding.
If you want to talk about a hat, veil or headpiece, try calling me 415.258.8204 (I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area) or email me amyjotatum@gmail.com. More hats and veils can be seen on my website http://www.amyjotatum.com/
under Head Chic.