What to expect when you're expecting? Some of my brides have combined two very important transitions in life all at once, wife and mother. If perchance you are or suddenly find you're expecting, brace yourself--there are some absolutely gorgeous gowns out there that are especially designed for maternity as well as those empire waisted gems in just about every designer line that would work. I think you'll find these in my collection would compliment Mom-to-Be Brides with rounded tummies. Thank God us designers are finally heeding the call for stylish gowns geared to the expectant ranging from the most traditional to total ‘edge’.
Maternity dresses are designed with a growing tummy in mind and are cut several inches longer in front. That means all those great little empires and tents coming off the runway lately won't really work unless you'll be less than five months along in your pregnancy.
Check out SABRINA, a perennial fave for brides who want a convertible look--a formal one for the ceremony and a long, lean elegance for celebration. This is a blush antique satin sheath with a white Chantilly lace bodice. The multi-layered tulle over skirt is a hook on/off adding a true romantic look. Wear it as a fitted sheath and ball gown all at once. This particular piece was inspired by the original Sabrina--yes, the fictional one played so beautifully by Audrey Hepburn in the 1954 film of the same name. If you remember the scene where she shows up at the party in a number she describes as "yards of skirt and way off the shoulder . . . " This dress is as lovely inside as out, lined in soft China silk ith buttons all the way up the back.
Can you think of any era of fashion more in sync with cinema than the 1930s? The body-hugging bias cut was still a new, even radical concept back then, especially for a wedding gown. While a French designer named Madeline Vionet pioneered the bias cut gown in the twenties, the thirties was when it took form in the long, lean silhouette we most remember on stars like Garbo and Harlow. During this golden era it wasn't Paris as much as Hollywood that decreed the low down on fashion. Hollywood designers and the actresses who wore their creations had a lasting influence on the way we look at weddings and fashion even today. Their work is enduring because the big screen was so saturated and exposed with so much of this new chic of the time. The beginning of the 1930s ushered in dropped waistlines and skirts hung in bias ruffles and handkerchief treatments; bodices were still fairly relaxed. It wasnt until the 'nightgown or slip ' look made it's way into evening fashion that the waist was visible once more. By the end of the era, waistline still defined, we were seeing wider shoulders and big hair evolve into what would be the look of the 1940s.
TIPS FOR CREATING A 1930s LOOK
* Silhouettes were sleek and draped the body in lightweight high sheen satins and crepes.
* Two of the most popular necklines were the halter and cowl, often cut very low in the back. Actually the look was so daring, tongues clucked as the etiquette police of the time declared, 'no nice lady wore such things out at night'. Ladies had different ideas though and wore these back-baring styles anyway. Today the bare back is pretty much a staple in bridal collections . . . .
*Hair was either bobbed or worn slicked back and in a low chignon. Marcelling (deep waving process) was still being used. Accents were often florals or jewels worn in the hair.
The platform shoe wasn't introduced till the 1940s, so if you're going for authenticity think satin, low-heeled and strappy.
Never underestimate the beauty of sleeves--especially a bell sleeve in tulle and Chantilly lace. Meet EVADNE a dress that's the ideal choice for a semi-formal wedding. Elegant enough to make a grand entrance, this gem is surprisingly easy to maneuver around in. The bodice is covered in Valenciennes lace and skirt layers of tulle and crinoline underneath. I you love a traditional silhouette as well as lace this is the dress for you . . . . .
I've been giving a lot of thought to fuller figures this week, hoping to incorporate more into the collections this 2018. When I actually got down and started sketching, it was surprising how many options already exist. My most important piece of advice: If you have pleasing curves and/or a full bust, focus on empathizing these attributes the Great Masters have painted for centuries. Think Rubenesque rather than heavy, realizing you can carve out your own special style niche.
*An empire waist. It looks great on you. It plays down a thick midriff and hides big hips and bottom.
*A ball gown. Even if you have full breasts, some tummy, rounded hips and bottom you can wear a ball gown well as long as there's a determined waistline. The voluminous skirts hide the tummy, bottom and hips, focusing on a nipped in waist. .
*Low, wide necklines. Consider the scoop, sweetheart, keyhole and V-neck, all of which empathize your cleavage and decolletage.
*Long and fitted sleeves, preferably in lightweight fabrics to make your arms look slimmer.
*Basque waists atop either an A-line or ball gown slim you out.
*The trapeze or tent style; one of your best options.
*Any gown with massive embellishment and go for clean lines and fabrics like crepe, matte satin and shantung; they even your body out. Pass up any weighty fabric like brocade or velvet that add bulk in the folds and seams. Ditto the heavily beaded laces and organzas.
*shiny fabrics like satin. High shine magnifies volume. .
*Mermaid, evening gown and sheath silhouettes; all too form-fitting for your figure.
*Three-quarter length and big puffy sleeves. Don’t even think about shoulder pads!
* Off the shoulder necklines. Full-figures usually have broad shoulders and arms and this neckline adds volume there.
I initially created this space for my clients. Eventually brides looking for that touch of wow found their way here. Draping and playing with fabric started some twenty years back when I did a three-year stint as a bridal fabrics buyer. After that I opened Bridal Alternatives, a custom design studio and ever since have had the opportunity of working with brides who want that extraordinary one-of-a-kind dress. I'm in love with fashion history and re-invention of the past.
Other connections to fashion? I’ve been a columnist for San Francisco Art and Fashion News and have a weekly fashion buzz on One Wed Blog. I founded The Design Project of San Francisco, a networking organization of fashion professionals collaborating their skills and talents on projects. I’m currently working on a book called—you guessed it—'Bride Chic', all about that white gown and very special designer/client relationship. I live with my husband Edgar and Chihuahua Piccalina in Marin County California.
Want to see more of what I do? Check out my site at www.amyjotatum.com or call me 415.336.3480
CONTACT ME. Feel free to send on any ideas, photos or stories about your fashion or shopping finds firstname.lastname@example.org
THE CHIC LIST: Photographers, makeup Artists, hairstylists and florists I adore . . . . .
THE CHIC LIST: Blogs and sites I adore . . . .
Please note some images on Bride Chic are photos from previous shoots and editorials of my collection pieces. Since I do admire other designers work, I’ve also added from online sources to share a different perspective. There’s no profit from the display of these photos -- they are being shown for the informational and educational benefit of brides and aficionados of bridal fashion. I always list my source, providing a link back. If you feel an image here violates your intellectual property and/or copyrights, please email your concerns to me (email@example.com) and I will gladly remove the photos in question. Thank you!
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