Tuesday, March 8, 2011


We talked a few days back about bridal fashion of the  seventies era.  While the world was exploding politically and socially, bridal fashion stayed pretty much restricted and traditional.  One exception was Tricia Nixon.  In June of 1971 when she walked down the aisle of The Rose Garden on her father's arm, little did the world realize just how she'd revolutionize bridal fashion. Though traditionally turned out in a gown dappled in Alencon lace, Tricia donned bare arms on her wedding day, something not done at ultra-formal weddings back then. Though she did have on a pair of lace gauntlets to replace gloves, the press dubbed her Priscilla of Boston look, 'capped sleeved'. Priscilla, the Grand Dame of bridal design circa 1940s-80s outfitted a couple presidential daughters--Tricia's sister Julie as well as Lucy Baines Johnson. While the 1950s-60s ushered in a era when even top designers were using the new and improved synthetics in their collections, Priscilla of Boston stayed with the delicate English silk nettings and imported laces that were the trademark of the Boston  bridal house's look.
As beautiful as the gown was though, Priscilla of Boston never duplicated it and even, in an era of social unrest and experimentation, the conventional bridal market wouldn't embrace bare arms til nearly a decade later. Personally, I think the design itself is a tour de force of fine elegance and truly timeless. With a change of accessories, this gown could be worn today and not look one bit dated. . . .

 Princess Anne has always been something of a paradox to the fashion press.  These images bring back memories of the day Anne's engagement to marry Captain Mark Phillips was announced.  When her pictures hit Vogue in 1973, we no longer thought of her as the lopsided looking daughter of Elizabeth and Phillip but a woman of unusual beauty way ahead of her time. Albiet her  wedding dress by Margaret Baker was the standard and ho-hum by today's standards but on video at her Westminster Abby Wedding, the satin moves beautifully and the detail is magnificent. Above is the engagement photo with fiance Captain Mark Phillips.  Check out the dress by Zandra Rhodes in embossed organza . . . the real breakthrough in the peasant-look and to me, timeless.   The portrait right is circa early 70s with a headband I know any one of us would wear today.

It was with apprehension Ranier and Grace of Monoco gave blessings to their daughter Caroline and Phillipe Junot in 1978.  The 21-year old was besotted with the French playboy 17 years her senior and campagained to the very end to marry him. One of the most gorgeous mannequins to hype fashion, both her civil ceremony and religious ceremony dresses were made by Marc Bohan then head honch of the House of Dior.  The embroidered organza is stunning.  The marrige lasted about two years and ended in divorce . . .

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