Monday, February 28, 2011

BIG Fat Gypsy Wedding

BIG Fat Gypsy Wedding


Vintage patterns are tres chic right now.  If you're intrigued with past patterns and plan on finding a designer/seamstress who can whip up your creation, here are a few things you should know. Unlike today's patterns that include many sizes in one package, those from yesteryear are a one size only deal.  Not only are silhouettes reminiscent of an era, did you know overall cut, types of darts and dart lines are as well?  With all the changes in machinery over the last thirty plus years as well as hemming products, range of notions available and faster techniques, whoever is making your dress will have to know how to adapt instructions provided by the original pattern.


Want to do a Gatsby or roaring twenties theme?  The 1920s was about women's freedom and it played itself out most dramatically in fashion.  It was one of the first times in history the female body was comfortable.  Typically wedding dresses were short with loads of lace and  a graduated hemline forming a train in back.  Most headpieces were cloche-like and worn low on the forehead.  The above pattern is for an informal affair . . .
 True bias cut, body-hugging, gowns made their way into bridal wear in lightweight satins and crepes.  Hollywood had a great influence on fashion during this time and many brides to be looked to the cinema for inspiration.  This is also the era Brides magazine premiered its first issues, not only featuring gowns and veils but ideas for trousseau and setting up home as well.

Alines with sweetheart necklines and puffed sleeves in bridal satin were typical till wartime when fabric was rationed.  During wartime, brides married quickly before sending lovers off to war.  Often they'd marry in their best dress or more often, best suit.  Once restrictions were lifted on fabric after the war, even wider poufier skirts returned . . . 
  The era of Christian Dior was all about yards of skirt and nipped in waists.  Slimmer silhouettes celebrated the female form as well. Synthetic fabrics were all the rage, even in bridal wear.  Many dresses that have survived this era either home made or manufactured are rayon, acetate or Dacron.  No Polyester; that was the miracle synthetic of the 1960s . . .
The early sixties of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy's influence on fashion was radically different from the Mod swinging late sixties.  The styles on the above right pattern envelope show a Mary-Jane and lace child-bride look so prevalent in fashion by the youthquake years . . .

Though this was an era of funky fashion we were still stuck with the cookie-cutter bridal image like the one above.  Nina Ricci did great with this bride's boho veil and headpiece though and the lines of the dress are flattering.  What we lacked then that we have now is brides brave enough to step outside the box and do something really earthshaking . . .

Yuck!  Okay so I shouldn't be so judgmental especially since this is the era I began designing in, that of pouf and paste, millions of glued on sequins and overdone puffy veils.  And the ones in the images above are the tamer versions done by Vogue.  You shoulda seen the schlock out on the racks back then.  The result was, most brides looked consumed under all the layers of frippery . . .But . . . this was the look 

If you're imaginative, you know you don't necessarily need a pattern that says, bridal on it or have a dress pictured in white. Any design or color shown can be created as a wedding dress.

A last word here.   I don't believe in the theory bodies change from era to era but I believe foundations do.  In the twenties women wore binders to flatten their boobs into chests; in the fifties rubberized armor-like girdles and long-lined bras to achieve a Dioresque ideal.  Studying the underwear of the decade you're going for could be very helpful

All images courtesy So Vintage Patterns

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wedding Grown 2011

Wedding Grown 2011 [LINK]


Little Black Dress
What an inspiration!  Black and pink do something awsome when combined, don't they?  This gorgeous board is the work of Shana via SMP Style Circle whose blog, Baubles and Bubbles is  loaded with chic and novel ideas for the bride . . .

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pink Wedding Dress

Pink Wedding Dress [LINK]


Fill Me Up, Buttercup
Another board that's perfect for getting into spring!  When I was a child, yellow was my favorite color, so invariably this medley reminds me of the joyful and happy images of my youth.  Thanks again to Shana over at SMP Style Circle for inspiring us all.  More inspiration can be found on her blog, Baubles and Bubbles.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Type Of Wedding Dresses: Vintage Wedding Dress

Vintage Wedding Dress [LINK]

DECADES: The Best of the Early 1990s

Is early 90s really vintage? I'd say so. I have a whole library of bridal mags, 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
Though Hanae Mori has retired from the runways she 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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2010 Wedding Dress

2010 Wedding Dress [LINK]


 Looking for something to cover up in?  BHLDN had its launch earlier this month and what a premiere it was.  The gowns are all over the web but have you seen the shrugs, wraps and boleros?  You have to admit, these are certainly original and not something you can find just anywhere.  Can't say enough about this company and the marketing genius here . . . .

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Princess Prom Dress

Princess Prom Dress [LINK]


I love my copy of Bride's Magazine dating back to Fall/Winter 1939. Vintageholic that I am, you can imagine how much inspiration I've picked up studying each page with all the concentration of a scholar. Fashion-wise, 1939 was an interesting year. Gone With the Wind, just released, had incredible influence on evening and bridal with stores rolling out antebellum silhouettes in yards of taffeta and satin. By today's standards, the description on the ad below for The Blum Store in Philadelphia would scare more brides off than sell them . . . .
---The Victorian Bride has a wedding ring waist. Look like the young Victoria to be the most daring bride of the season, actually! Show off your corseted waist in a wee, wasp bodice and hooped circumference of corded moire. Conceal your arms to the wrist in moire with rose point inserts. Pose for your wedding pictures demure in cap and snood! Ask for Margot in Debutante and Wedding Embassy--Second Floor---
--Here's another: All eyes are trained on m'lady's miniature waist, her alluring round hipline, her proudly held head and shoulders. Bodices are molded skin tight. Skirts are most often extremely bouffant . . . .--
Scanning these ads, I realize how times have changed. Back then the independent bridal salon as we know it now didn't exist. It was the era of the toney department store, the primary place you went to get anything, including gowned. With the birth of the bridal registry at Marshall Fields in 1924, other department stores followed suit. By the 1930s, stores vied to keep customers--especially the bride and her entourage under one roof. They boasted of specialized consultants as well as registry helpers, all in house. Here's a sampling from The H. & S. Pogue Company in Cincinati: Pogue's Bridal Service is yours to use. To help choose your trousseau, your wedding gown , your bridesmaid dresses. To relieve you of the thousands of details that must be looked after with the greatest care to assure you the beautiful serenity that's your right as a bride . . .to make your wedding the perfect thing it should be.

Most top drawer gowns at depression's end ran about two hundred dollars. The one above is stunning in simple details, designed by Joseph Whitehead for Altman. Few designers took credit wholly for their own work as most of any stature were connected to a reputable department store. Those who worked independently were known as having dressmaking establishments and mostly did custom work. The satin gown in the top photo simply credits Sak's Fifth Avenue for the design; this tells us in-house designers were hired to create samples of these gowns that eventually were made to order for each bride. Back then a store's rep carried more weight than the designer names they carried. In the end, places like Bergdorf's took kudos for creating a certain 'bridal look'.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beach Wedding Dress 2011

Beach Wedding Dress 2011


 Want some out of the ordinary inspiration?  Check out these gemmies by indie designer, Cherelle Yvette of Antithtesis Designs.  Based in Galveston, Texas, Cherelle's pieces are full of unexpected elements and changes of texture.  Says Cherelle, "I made a promise to myself to design for the person and not for the masses considering the wearer by creating garments that help seal memories… stealing moments in time. I design for the Woman, the Lady, and the Lover. It is my aim to infuse these components into each of my collections. My Client is the opposite of ordinary making the world pay attention one person at a time . . . ."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wtoo Wedding Dress

Wtoo Wedding Dress[LINK]

DECADES: Bridal Fashion of the Late Sixties and Early Seventies

The late sixties/seventies era is known primarily for wild and off-beat chic 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.  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