Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Top photo: Pretty Zoo Bottom left: Valentino via A Glamerous Little Side Project Right: Silk Truffle via Pinterest

Part of the joy of a wedding dress is wearing elements of design uncommon in every day life. The ruffle taken to this level is certainly a shining example . . .There are so many different kinds of ruffles, the most popular now can be anything ruched to intricately gathered skirts rolled into florals. As you've probably figured out ruffles can be worn head to toe on bodice, sleeve, skirt or train. And don't forget those finishing touches like shoes, purses, gloves, hats and veils layered in ruffles. Below are just a few treatments celebrating variations on the ruffle.
Top Photo: Via Pinterest/Directly above: Bridal and Beyond
Left: Elie Saab via The Cinderella Project/Right:Wedding Dresses.com

Monday, January 30, 2012


   I love finding inspiration the world over. My newest muse is Swedish designer Ida Sjöstedt who creates gowns beyond magnifigance. Stockholm based, Ida brings us designs evoking the glam of  1940s movies.  Working with lightweight fabrics like tulle and adding intricate detailing are just a couple of her hallmarks .  . . 

Friday, January 27, 2012


 . . . Considering wearing gloves on your wedding day?  Wondering whether your dress will look best with shorties or opera length?  Head on over and check out Glaming it Up With Gloves on the One Wed Blog.  Yes, you can even sport polka dots!  READ MORE

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I have a whole library of bridal magazines, some dating back to the 1930s. Perusing early editions circa 1990, I run across plenty of those ridiculous, big puffy sleeves, bodices and skirts encrusted with such heavy bead work you can't find the fabric. There were also some magnificent gowns created back then by a group of talented designers, some so far ahead of their time it amazes me. And while there have always been gifted designers the world over, during this time the French did seem to be Fashion's chosen people for keeping couture pure. They had a knack for using just the right fabric on a particular silhouette; knowing how much detail would balance the design. They--great designers, French et all--also laid out the blue print for a lot of today's trends.
In the 1990s, we saw the emergence of the studio designer. These independents closely resembling the Etsy artisans of today, chose to create and show their own collections in ateliers and small shops all over the world. Private designers as they were also known were showcased first in the premiere issues of Wedding Dresses Magazine. Soon American editors picked up that significant bridal trends were being created not only in Paris and New York but wherever there was a talent that burned to create. Alas, twenty some years later not all these designers are still with us. All though have left their influence . . .
Lolita Lempicka
What ever happened to Lolita Lempicka? These days she's concentrating on her fragrance and bath lines more than anything else. The gown above is representative of the joyful and whimsical mood she brought to design in the nineties, her daring techniques and applications inspiring many designers today. I always thought she was the more refined version of someone like Betsey Johnson.
The Fleur d'Oranger pieces here are youthful and hint boho before its revival. The headpieces are particularly unique for the time when most brides, even those marrying semi-formal donned some version of veil.

The above dress is simply all class and timeless chic. 

Though designer Ulla Maja popularized the use of pick up skirt techniques through the nineties, Nicole Legroux was using this technique as well. The hand rolled florals anchoring each tuft of silk here are an exquisite touch. A radical application back then, nowadays the pick up skirt can be found on almost every page of the David's Bridal Catalog as well as top New York collections.
Hanae Mori

Hanae Mori has retired from the runways but still has a few shops open in Japan. These days, like Lempicka, she concentrates on her fragrance lines.
Roxanna Farri

We've seen more fabric like this but back in the early 90s it was a novelty when Roxanna Farri introduced this skirt covered in sunflowers made of ribbon. The skirt and blouse combo would be ideal for the garden wedding in any age.
 These last three images showcase the work of purist Michelle Arnaud. Check out the last photo in black and white. The hat/veil hybrid was . . . a tad experimental back then but now would be considered a wonderful option to the traditional veil

All photos copyright Wedding Dresses Magazine

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


One of the new hybrids, this little hat and veil combo is perfect for the bride who wants both.  Made out of horsehair and organza it's available via custom order through Amy-Jo Tatum Bride.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


The late sixties/seventies era is known primarily for the wild and off-beat except for a few pockets of elegance here and there  Thanks to a some savvy designers, the funk was fine-tuned into into high fashion.  The era was the most politically charged of the century and invariably spilled over even into haute couture. 
The above gown is   out of Vogue UK 1966, a bouffant out of lace and satin by Belinda Belville (Later of Belville-Sassoon fame)

Another Belinda Belville masterpiece.  My sister actually made this gown way back when as a bridesmaid frock.  Though featured in Vogue Pattern Book April/May 1970, the precisely placed buttons, luxe taffeta and use of lace make this gown timeless, wearable in any decade.

What a day for a day dream . . . this is actually a Vogue Pattern for what was dubbed an 'Edwardian' gown. More mainstream to bridal than the above images, it mixes up two eras in one look; the floppy horse hair hat was a hark back to a vintage craze going on that celebrated the life of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchannan.
This design while conservative with a traditional  Alencon lace bodice and satin sash has has 70s bohemian elements in the sleeve and floppy hat 

Boho looks of the 60s-70s era had a certain peasant element thanks to the influence of designers like YSL.  Kerchiefs, bonnets and bandannas were introduced into bridal wear for the more informal wedding or brides who wanted to ditch the veil . . .

Friday, January 20, 2012


Today you'll find me over on One Wed talking about one of my fave topics:  Vintage bridal.  In particular, we're focusing on pre-1920s cotton dresses.  Why are some of these dresses still intact and in mint condition?  Because cotton lasts. The frock featured here is a reproduction harking back to early 20th century by Kimmi Designs.  Maybe not true vintage but I do love it . . . READ MORE

Thursday, January 19, 2012


 Still going through a dilemma about The Dress?  Try this:  Imagine the clothes you wear every day amped up in finer fabrics and more defined silhouettes.  Next consider your venue and overall formality of the wedding or lack thereof. Wedding dates have a lot to do with decisions too. Are you marrying in New York city mid-winter or having a country picnic in late Spring?
Since there are no rules here, only guidelines, go ahead and combine styles if you like. Blending gives your look individuality. Maybe you're a little punk and vintage all at once . . . Or cutting edge and classic. Whatever combo you fancy, your options are many. My motto has always been, "Read the rules then teach yourself the art of breaking them . . ."

Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn are your icons. Everything you touch is timeless, refined, sophisticated. A Hermes scarf and cashmere turtleneck could be your everyday signature look.
Your Dress: An A-line or sheath either strapless or with bateau or V-neck. You love any fabric that has understated elegance like traditional duchesse satin and peau de soie.
Favorite Designers: Kenneth Pool, Carolina Herrera, Reem Acra, Amsale, Anne Barge, Peter Langner
Your Venue: A mansion, country club or sprawling estate defines your dream wedding site.
Veiled: A drop veil tacked to the back of a bun.
Unveiled: A tiara of course
Elle is wearing: The 'Giselle' Gown.  Empire cut silk dupioni with hand-beaded Chantilly lace bodice. Top photo: Tulle drop veil  Below:
Alencon lace and Ostrich feathered Tiara and rose adroned silk dupioni and tulle fascinator


So you look into the best parts of the past to get your look, do you? Who wouldn't with such great laces and gemmies still hanging around from yesteryear? Like those satin baby-doll shoes from the forties better than brand new Jimmy Choos? Does an allover antique lace tablecloth make you think of restyling it into a gown? Then call yourself a Vintageholic and read on.
Your Dress: Mostly evening gown and chemise styles in lace and satin. You may be a 1950s retro buff who likes Candy Anthony type dresses with miles of skirt and tiny cinched waists.
Favorite designers: Pat Kerr, Claire Pettibone, Martin McCrea, Candy Anthony.
Venue: Almost anywhere the the Jay Gatsby daytime social can be reinacted. Landmark homes with acres of sprawling lawn are ideal but certain boutique hotels and B & B's work for the smaller bash.
Veiled: A cage veil adorned by head florals
Unveiled: A picture hat
Ana Marie is Wearing: Embossed chiffon gown with silk gauze detachable train with Rose cage veil.  Below: the organza rose cage veil


Do you love peasant styles and the flower child  looks of the sixties?. Are you earthy and ethereal all at once? Consider yourself Boho if your eye is drawn to gowns sporting diaphanous fabrics topped off with head wreaths made out of fresh florals and greenery like ivy.

Your Dress: Something long and flowing, crocheted and/or full of lace and tulle. 
Favorite designers: Temperley of London, Lanvin, Claire Pettibone, Elizabeth Fillmore.
Venue: Any wooded or pastoral setting
Veiled: A floral head wreah with a drop veil
Unveiled: A Daisey or flower chain
Elle and Ana Marie are wearing: Above-Chantilly lace and point d'espirit chemise with silk gauze hankercheif hem and a dried floral head wreath.  Below-Silk chiffon gown with flared hem and Magnolia head wreath with foilage.


Photography by Sweetlight Studios
Gowns and head wear by Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal
Makeup and hair by Christal Saville
Models; Elle and Ana Marie

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I found these gorgeous images via Love My Dress.Net.   The dress is by Claire Pettibone and I thought it may bring a little inspiration for all you would-be wood nymphs out there looking for ideas this direction. What you're looking at is pure Boho beautifully photographed by Sara Gawler . So what exactly is Boho? Defined, the 'look' borrows from early bohemian, peasant and flower child looks of the sixties. Boho is down to earth and ethereal all at once creating visions of an angel appearing out of the mist . . .With gowns sporting gossamer fabrics, the look is often topped off with head wreaths made out of fresh florals and greenery. Put the whole essence of your look together by dressing the inside as well as outside of your body; think florals and soft, pretty fabrics. A head wreath worn with long, flowing hair can be so romantic . . .

Photos by Sara Gawler

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


One of my favorite styles of photography is light-filled giving off a kind of dream like feeling.  The stunning images here are from Three Nails Photography  via Pinterest.  Uncovering real artistry like this to share with you all is truly a gift, beyond words, and as one pinner said about the second of these gems, 'This is so beautiful it should be illegal . . . ."

Monday, January 16, 2012


Check it out!  These gowns by Rosa Clara have pockets--the top one even having pockets as the focal point of the design. While some eras went for pockets, even in formal attire, the last couple years are the first we've really seen them show up and look beautiful in bridalwear. Think about it, once-upon-a-time a bride didn't have to carry anything.except a bouquet. She had maids to handle everything else. However, pockets, like collars, peplums and hoods are all functional in their way but still a stylish fashion component to be added and enjoyed. Add to that, no bridal purse, your hands are free. Brides are going to find out what the guys have known all along: life's a lot easier with pockets

Friday, January 13, 2012


I'll be over on One Wed today talking tulle.  That's right, the fine mesh fabric you find on ballerinas in the corps de ballet is so trendy now some designers like Monique Martinez-Sandoval of Ouma specialize in dresses made out of it.  This tea-length dress is a combination of tulle and soft cotton with layers of skirt...... READ MORE

Thursday, January 12, 2012


 If you've been following me for any length of time you know I'm absolutely daffy over hats--especially ones like these that would be welcome at any party Jay Gatsby might throw if he were to materialize out of the pages of fiction . . .Tea time, garden party and 1920s are great themes for a wedding.  These hats by milliner Louise Green spell out tea time chic in such gorgeous detail . . .