Monday, November 30, 2009


If you are picturing yourself more tailored than romantic on your wedding day, you may have noticed the mainstream of bridal fashion remains focused on plunging necklines and layers of tulle. Fortunately more designers are putting bridal suits in their collections. There was a time when the only suits out there were those Mother-of-the-Bride numbers, sometimes bordered with pasty appliques and sequins. Now, thanks to an era of savvy fashion brides, the suit may just become traditional for a chosen few. In your Grandma's day, war brides had swift weddings with quick preparation out of necessity and her 'best suit' was often a woman's only available answer to the wedding dress. Today brides are fortunate. The wedding suit is a choice having more to do with lifestyle and many times the belief, less is more…

Piedad Rodriguez
The trick might be as simple as shopping for a simple sheath or short dress you can accessorize into a tailored look with a custom jacket, shrug or wrap as in the Jesus Piero image above. Or, you may have to shop the opposite direction the traditional bride would. The exception is the bridal salon that features one or more of the few designer lines that offer suits such as Carolina Herrera. Selections as of this writing are still pretty limited though. Initially your search for ideas will probably begin online. Once you get a thought of how you want the skirt and jacket to look, print out or bookmark the combinations. From there sketch them how you want. Next you might go to a fabric shop. Yes, to look at fabrics but also to comb through the pattern books. Pattern books are great for finding looks you can take with you. Or go online to vogue patterns. Look under coats and suits and think white. You’ll find plenty to browse through and get inspired. Below are a few images I found to get you started . . .



If you take the department store route for buying a suit, you might find a particular designer has the suit you like but it’s available in every color but white. The designer or store carrying it may be able to special order it in white. If you’re satisfied with the idea of a ready-made suit, department stores might be a better option than anywhere, especially if they have an established relationship with the manufacturer. Salespeople within departments know their lines and designers well and can steer you in the right direction. You might be able to find your jacket by one designer—your skirt by another. Be warned though. Just make sure the shades of white aren’t too far off that they can’t be worn together.There is on the other hand a down side to department stores: If you want that particular fashion edge their merchandise probably isn’t as forward-looking as say, the one-of-a-kind boutique or specialty store. And believe me, a bridal suit should be classic, yes, but something about it has to be different. The kind of different only a tailor or designer can translate. Check out boutiques and specialty stores. They may not have the exact suit you want but they may be able to create one or point you to a first-rate tailor or custom designers who can. . If you can’t find what you want in a salon, department store or boutique and are serious about that real ‘tailored look’, find a good tailor, preferably a men’s tailor (they’re so skilled). Use some of the same guidelines for finding a tailor that you would a designer or dressmaker. Once you find your good tailor, he (most likely a he) will either have an array of fabrics in house or help you scout your desired materials out. Chances are you’ll want an exclusive fabric you can only find in a specialty store. A tailor knows how to take all the proper measurements and create a look you want . . . the look that undoubtedly says, You and sets you apart.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Wedding shoot in the charming streets of MontmartreWedding shoot in the charming streets of Montmartre part 2

Credits: One and Only Paris Photography (4)

Found on Style Me Pretty, I'm totally in love with these images by One and Only Paris Photography. On the O&O site you'll find additional images following the story of Rachael and Arnaud's wedding, some in color. The black and white though is what I'll remember most about this dazzling event because it's so evocative for me of what Montmartre is in Autumn . . . .

Special thanks to Heather of Rendezvous in Paris who put these boards together

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Soon to be posted on Etsy this dress is aptly named, 'Aurora' (for the aurora color accents). Part of the 'Dioresque' collection, it just came off the work table a couple of weeks back. Once completed I took one look and said, "What could be more bridal than a cloud of white tulle and Chantilly lace?" Add to that the lace is backed with a blue/gray lining. With peach accents it reminds me of a muted pastel sunset. The skirt is four layers of tulle and a separate slip of crinoline and tulle. Detailed touches include a row of buttons accenting the back and it is all pulled together with a blue and peach sash. The headpiece is coral-peachy handmade silk florals attached to a tulle bow

Friday, November 27, 2009


Laces, organzas, silks, chiffons and embroidered tulle--these are all the sumptous fabrics that make up Roberto Torretta's 2010 collection. While it has certain aspects that would appeal to the minimalist bride, there's a hint of the adorned romantic here as well. Every silhouette here is easy and a comfort to wear . . . .

images courtesy Web Novias

Thursday, November 26, 2009


These gowns by Atelier Aimee are visually poetic. The mix of pastel florals,
laces and intricate metallic trim make for some gorgeous choices if you're dreaming of going romantic on your wedding day . . .

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Want a bit of inspiration? Just how often does American Vogue do a Bridal editorial? The last one I knew about was the fictionalized Carrie Bradshaw piece in Sex and the City, the movie. I found these on the incredible site, Moodboard where you can see more. Admit it, photographer Arthur Elgort is simply brilliant here.

Images from Vogue by Arthur Elgort

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


sourceBeing in the spotlight in a white gown involves maneuvering through a wedding day fraught with champagne, red wine, canapes and grass, all of which could be potential accidents just waiting to happen. If you have post plans for your gown such as preservation, resale or even passing it on as a treasure to someone else, there are a few things to know about the kind of stains that could set in and ruin your gown. First of all, relax and realize it's normal through the course of your day to pick up a few drops or splashes of something; most you'll encounter are removable with the help of a good cleaner. Stains that prove trickiest are red wine, chocolate, ink and lipstick, especially those that last all day. If your dress is polyester or synthetic, these stains will lift out without much fuss. 100% silks which most gowns of quality are made of , prove trickier to lift without some modification to the memory of the original weave. So what can be done?

If you purchase your gown from a salon or custom designer, ask for their recommendation for a cleaner post wedding. Cleaning establishments have different product packages for gown preservation and restoration. Whether you're reselling or preserving, a thorough cleaning would include:

1.) Stain removal

2.) Overall cleaning and pressing

3.)Repair (button replacement, hem repair, etc.)

4.) Packaging the gown. For resale this would mean putting the bodice onto a cardboard form and stuffing the rest of the gown with tissue

5.) For preservation the gown would need to be properly boxed.

This is what the cleaner I send all my clients to does. Prior to the wedding the finishing and pressing is done. Post wedding, cleaning, pressing, restoration and preserving. If you do get a stain on your wedding day, it's handy to keep an emergency kit with rubbing alcohol and clean white cloths. Apply the rubbing alcohol (for dry stains like grease) or lukewarm water (for wet stains like wine) to the cloth, and gently (read: gently) blot the spot from its outer edges in; whatever you do don't work from the middle outward or you'll be spreading the stain. Ideally, to dry your gown use a hair dryer on low about six inches away. If it is an oil base stain you're combating sprinkle you can also baby powder on it.


For those of you contemplating preservation, after the gown is boxed, avoid the attic, basement or that room off the garage. Attics are prone to extreme heat in Summer months--cold in winter and basements and outdoor rooms generally have moisture problems that could mildew your gown over time. Temperate places like the top of a closet shelf should work. For resale you'll want to connect with the best cleaner available. Here's a link to help you get started with your search.

Monday, November 23, 2009



We find ourselves in a toney neighborhood this time where our street chic bride is sporting a shirtwaist, something I haven't seen since the 1980s. Fancy of New York designed this timeless and classic shirt dress. The shirtwaist is actually a more relaxed version of the hourglass, a tailored look concentrating as much on the bodice detailing as the skirt. Typically shirtwaists have long shirt-like or billowing sleeves and full gathered skirt. Can be made out of lightweight fabrics like organza, chiffon and crepe, as well as medium weights like linen. The above version is duchesse satin. Nice for a garden reception, especially with a wide- brimmed hat.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Wedding dresses and wedding cakes

click to enlarge

. . . . And some wedding dresses have matching wedding cakes or is it the other way around?

Friday, November 20, 2009


Once upon a time the posed bridal portrait was a pretty standard procedure. About a month before the wedding, if a bride had her gown, she (no groom) posed in a studio setting. In the days before independent bridal salons, department stores like B. Altman and Bergdorf Goodman had in-house salons. They also offered in-house photographers that specialized in taking 'The Bridal Portrait' These days bridal photography has moved into the realm of the art shot, thanks to the digital age and photographers who practice their craft as an art form. Spanish photographer Alfonso Vidal-Quadras has fashioned six bridal portraits reminiscent of early cinema. Got a theme even a little left of center? Then find your best artist and go for it. The talent out there is amazing and you'll be expanding their repertoire for creation by offering some unique input.

Images courtesy of Web Novias

Thursday, November 19, 2009


All month I've been reminding you winter is coming. Eureka! I've finally found a designer who has actually worked wool tartans into bridal wear with some real edge. For years I've been in awe of Scotsmen in kilts and the flair they have at using plaids to go formal. Until Joyce Young, the typical evening garb for a lady accompanying her tartan-clad Scot was a tartan skirt and lace blouse with corresponding tartan shawl or wrap tied over the shoulder. Not a bad look but hardly the grand entrance makers below. Will you get a load of these gowns? Tartan godets. Tartan trains and insets. Joyce is an incredible designer who pairs up these wools with the richness of shantung and taffeta. Her shops are in Glasgow, Gretna Green and London and now she's online with her own TV spots. 'Touch of Tartan' is only one collection she offers as she has a whole range of traditional as well as destination gowns to choose from. In her own words-- "A Tartan themed wedding is spectacular. Scots girls worldwide can get married making a real statement with a wedding dress which teams up with the groom's kilt from the Touch of Tartan Collection. Add in coordinating bridesmaids and mothers and the complete wedding party will be totally and uniquely Scottish. Actually you don’t even have to be Scottish – it’s a great look and most people can find a Scottish connection somewhere in their family tree – or just make one up !!Visit “Touch of Tartan” on to see our couture dresses for weddings, evenings,mothers of the bride and all special occasions. Each outfit is individually made-to-measure from a wide choice of tartans. --"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


click photos to enlarge
photo Elevenorchids
Gown by Amy-Jo Tatum

*You wear a gown in red with three tiers of ruffles and a matching lace veil. You carry a fan instead of flowers and marry on a hillside overlooking miles of vineyards.

*You wear an ankle-length ballet dress with a wreath of flowers around your head. You marry in the forest while a flutist plays, Afternoon of a Fawn.

RS Couture

You wear a long bouffant lace gown with fresh flowers in your hair instead of a veil. You’ve driven up the coast to a B&B just to get married in the garden there.*

*You wear an ivory crocheted lace mini dress and very long antique lace veil. Your wedding is in a country chapel and you carry your grandmother’s Bible instead of flowers.

*You wear a vintage gown from the 1930s with white gloves and a cocktail hat. The ceremony and reception are in an art gallery doing a David Hockney retrospective.

*Your gown is pink satin. You elope.

*You wear a double-breasted white suit with a wide brimmed felt hat and carry a single red rose. After you and your groom leave city hall you celebrate with four friends at a local restaurant.

*You wear an antique lace tea gown with a mantilla and carry three roses you picked out of your friend’s garden. And your friend’s hosting your wedding with high tea and sandwiches served on sterling silver and Haviland china.

*You wear a street-length A-line dress in all over Chantilly lace with a bird-cage veil. You and your groom board the ferry and after it takes off you have your nuptials on board. Your reception is on the other side of the bay once you dock.

*You wear an ivory suede sheath under a black leather jacket. Your veil is a long scarf. After tying the knot in a city park, you and your groom take off on his Harley. You don’t know where you’re going for your honeymoon yet.