Wednesday, August 31, 2011


When I added this tea gown to the 2012 collection it was purely for the love of Chantilly lace.  Delicate and feminine, for me lace says vintage and bridal all at once.  The rest of the gown is Shantung and China silk accented at the waist with a sash of gray silk satin.  There was a time women changed into these gorgeous frocks for afternoon tea, sometimes inviting friends in.  Ah, weren't those the days . . .? 

Monday, August 29, 2011


For me the beauty of fall is in the changing colors, warming to ambers and ochres. Bride or guest you have a wide range of color combinations to play with and essentials to explore.  Here are some of my faves . . .

Top and second row: Head pieces from Moth and Bay Leaf
Third Row: Autumn Leaves Clutch from Atelier Edyta Loukia
Fourth Row: Magical Evening Earrings: Divina Locura
Fifth and Sixth Row: Chantilly Lace Tutu Skirt by Tutu Chic
Seventh Row: Jazz in Autumn Maxi Chiffon Dress by In June
Eighth Row: Olivian Rosary Necklace by Mona Abraham

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Laura Ashley 1983

Lately I've been thinking a lot about cottons and how hard it is to find quality stuff.  So you'll find me traipsing down memory lane here.  While Jessica McClintock revived the Prairie Gown with her Gunne Sax line in the seventies, the more haute couture versions of Prairie came to us through the stunning creations of  British designer, Laura Ashley.  She used finer imported cottons and voiles and in the images above and below we can see perfect examples of this look at it's best.  Vintage elements were really brought out in the accessories like the straw hat and crochet gloves below. 

Laura Ashley 1986

Today there is very little in the Prairie look that has survived except for the fact the dresses remain to-the-floor and in cotton.  Contemporary brides find the high collars restricting and with all the added ruffles and laces, the overall look rather babyish.  In the photos above and below, certain elements of Prairie Revival are updated for today's bride who has embraced it as a vintage look . . .I for one love the intricate strips of lace running vertically and horizontally all over the blouse and skirts.  Dresses like these are the perfect opportunity to wear the best imported cottons you can find.
The Prairie look updated circa 2010
Photos by Berit New York

Wednesday, August 24, 2011



Photography . . . . . Bryan John Hendon
Vintage Gowns . . . .Divine Elegance
Model . . . .Loren Juliet Paige
Make up and Hair . . . . Christal Saville
Jewelry . . . . Loren's jewel box

When I first laid eyes on these stunning images I followed the links leading me to the work of photographer Bryan John Hendon. A master of composition, his specialty is his incredible use of both artificial and natural light. Here with his favorite muse and model, Loren Juliet Paige, they have created real fashion poetry showcasing these gorgeous vintage gowns from Divine Elegance .  When I ran this post last year under the title, Legacies in Tulle it got off-the-charts reactions.  Now, with a few more images added to the series, and gala season a few weeks off, I'm reminding everyone this is what recreating Dior's 'New Look' is all about: Elegance at its finest . . .What's your interpretation of Dior's legacy for the 21st Century?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Since Chelsea Clinton's wedding last year, the long tulle veil is suddenly in the spot light once again. There are brides like Chelsea who choose to wear a veil without a headpiece and brides who wear headpieces, ditching the veil altogether.  But what about the bride above?  She's wearing my 'Oralie' headpiece with the  cathedral veil.  The point is, you can do whatever you want as long as you feel beautiful.  A few tips on matching veils to headpieces:
The headpiece: headpiece, gown and veil should all work in tandem. Modern gowns go with beaded hair combs, tiaras and any hat with a veil. A more traditional gown will look great with a Juliet cap, a bow, wreath, hair comb. The ultra-formal gown shouts out for a tiara of Swarovski crystal.  Consider also a hat, Juliet cap (classic) or  mantilla.
The veil: No rules any more about legnth of veil dictated by formality of ceremony.  That means you can wear a Juliet cap with a waltz length veil, a pillbox with a very long cathedral veil.  Just remember to keep everything in balance. If you're tiny maybe the huge hat with your veil is going to be a bit much.  Scale down. . .

Monday, August 22, 2011


Feast if you will on the Le Spose di Gio creations here. The De Capitani sister act has developed this line of gowns so contemporary and simplistic, they look as if you are wearing a second skin. You'll usually find one exquisite detail on every piece . . . enough to accentuate but never overpower the wearer. Di Gio has been gracing the pages of European bridal mags for thirty years, a great inspiration to the world of bridal fashion . . .

Images via Vogue Sposa it.

Friday, August 19, 2011


 . . . Over on Savvy Scoop talking about Erica Elizabeth who just happens to design some of the most stunning hats you can imagine.  This one has to be my fave.  Not only the pill box with all the netting and silk flowers going on, check out the dress and flowers at the waist line.  She's put together a whole confection.  You can get a better dose of  chic by dropping on over  . . . . READ MORE  

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I'm always on the hunt for off-the-charts bridesmaids dresses.  Or ideas to create them. One of the biggest complaints my clients have is all the BM dresses out there look alike and who's going to wear a pastel blue taffeta dress anywhere after the wedding?  Common kvetch.  So when I find images as gorg as these girls sitting there having ice cream I have to run it by y'all. Aren't these maids pinup cute in their cotton dresses?  Yes, cotton dresses--perfect for summer and destination weddings. Dresses by the way that actually can be worn out somewhere afterwards.  Unfortunately, after a night of hunting down where to buy, I came up with nothing.  Just a lot of other happy Tumblers who agree this picture is swell.  So I did the next best thing and found you the look.  Try these Etsy sites.  They do customize and have dresses in their shops so similar to these I couldn't believe it . . .

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


So what is it about shorter veils brides love so much? Designers can't keep up with the demand which is just swell since we do love the act of creation. The shorter ‘fashionista' veil has not only gained in popularity, it's a bridal fashion fixture. My client put it succinctly: "I'm sure glad I chose a birdcage. Now, I won't have to worry about rearranging or when to take it off. I can really enjoy my day. " There's something chic, even edgy about a bride sporting one one of these small veils. As early as the 1990s, Vera Wang was matching up short fly aways with very formal silhouettes. Whether she wanted to show off the extraordinary back details of her gowns or usher in a new look, I don’t know; I do know the juxtaposition this duo created worked. Like my client, most brides say the number one thing about wearing a shorter veil is, they don’t have to do any adjusting in that switch from the ceremony to reception. Shorter veils are easy to maneuver around in and stay put whether you’re exchanging vows, cutting cake or dancing. Typically they are made out of either tulle, or netting—netting being wider and crisper, offering a more structured look. Since small veils are here to stay awhile, it will be interesting to see what designers come up with the next few seasons with all the new fabrics out there to play with. Above and below is my own take . . .

All veils by AmyJo Tatum Bride 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Cities have always held a particular fascination and excitement for me, namely San Francisco, which just happens to be my home sweet home.  One of the best things about my job is dressing brides for almost every kind of wedding you can imagine, the city chic bride being one of my favorite themes. The metropolitan wedding can be as informal and minimal (but chic) as a city hall affair or as high dress as this celebration on a roof garden.  City dressing gives you the opportunity really 'Vogue' and wear those short kid gloves, carry a tiny satin clutch or sport that pill box hat with a wisp of veiling. 

What better way for Natalie and Dave to spend their fifth wedding anniversary than this improvised trek through San Francisco landmarks as bride and groom again? Natalie has been doing editorials for Bride Chic going on three years now. Having her hubby Dave pose alongside her was her idea and what a concept it turned out to be. Once we added photographer, Dominic Colacchio into the mix, the improv and element of surprise began big time. We started our adventure atop the Crocker Galleria Roof Terrace and continued downstairs through the Galleria where the Farmer's Market was in full swing. The stunning bouquet of yellow roses were bought and made up on the spot at a little kiosk called, Abigail's Flowers. After that we all treked two blocks up to the magnificent Yerba Buena Gardens, a park South of Market Street, to take a ride on the Zeum Carousel. I'll always remember this shoot particularly for the carousel ride, the calliope going with Dave and Natalie (and Dom shooting) having the time of their lives . . . .  




Photography by Dominic Colacchio
Dresses and Head Pieces by Amy-Jo Tatum
Makeup by Necia Whitmore
Dave's Tux by Magnoli Clothiers New Zealand
Flowers by Abigail's Flowers in The Crocker Galleria
Models: Dave and Natalie