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Entries in bridal (11)

Thursday
Jun272013

Band Box Perfect

Band Box Perfect :: Loftus // Blanko Noir // No flashJust look at this amazing 40s beaded headpiece that I bought a month or two ago on Etsy. It was very likely a wedding headpiece, worn perhaps with a flowing bias-cut silk gown. Much more unique than a rhinestone tiara, it’s intricately beaded with white and silver seed beads on ecru fabric. Not a bead is missing, as though it was worn once only on a single precious day. It sits perfectly atop my head without threatening to flop too, which I half suspected it would. They just don’t make them like they used to, do they?

Wednesday
May292013

Cannes Do White

Petra Nemcova wearing Emilio PucciWhite was big at the Cannes Film Festival this year, and the fashion world is encouraging brides to look to the red carpet for inspiration. I love wearing white myself, and declare Women unite! Let’s reclaim this non-colour from the brides. Why should they have all the fun?

Tanya DziahilevaAfter all, white has only been a tradition since Queen Victoria’s wedding day – prior to the dowdy monarch donning white silk satin for her big day, brides wore whatever colour they fancied. Vicky’s choice was considered unusual in fact. I, as a bride-to-be once, never intended to wear it to my wedding. As much as I love white, I had bought a vintage 50s dove grey dress instead.

Most of the dresses on the red carpet of Cannes that caught my eye were white, black, or black and white – with a few brilliant shots of colour. Graphic cuts, fluid lines, beads, sequins or appliqué make them interesting. Here are my favourites.

Visit UK Glamour’s selection of the best ever Cannes red carpet gowns here

Marion Cotillard in Alexander McQueenDoutzen Kroes, in Calvin Klein CollectionJessica Biel, in MarchesaErin Heatherton, in Roberto CavalliCarey Mulligan, in Vionnet, with Brian Atwood shoes, and Justin Timberlake, in BalenciagaEmma Watson, in Chanel Haute Couture, with Repossi jewels, and Sofia Coppola, in Louis VuittonMilla Jovovich, in Chanel Haute CoutureDelphine ChanéacLiya Kebede, in Roberto Cavalli, with Boucheron jewelsJessica Chastain, in custom Givenchy Haute CoutureZhang Yuqi, in Ulyana Sergeenko CoutureAudrey Tatou in Prada

Saturday
Jun042011

Blossom Gets Married

My sister Blossom and her husband look just like a classic wedding-cake topper!My sister Blossom was married very young, at sixteen. I absolutely love the faded colours of these mementoes, the now-vintage furnishings. Recently I asked her about her about these photos (possibly taken by a cousin or uncle), and she smiled reminiscently.

The dress was hired, which she has no regrets about. It’s a very modest gown, high-necked; the veil and pretty, lace-trimmed chiffon cloak are what lift it out of the ordinary. I remember admiring this photo (above) as a child; at the dusk falling turning her dress blue, and thinking it looked the epitome of romance. The newly minted couple look like the classic bride and groom that sit atop wedding cakes.

Showing off the heart-shaped cake. Why is dad lurking in the corner?

The couple look so happy cutting the cake. And oh look, there are Naughty Amelia-Jane’s parents on the far right, with her older brother and sister.Her cake, she tells me proudly, was heart-shaped, a detail which you can’t quite see in the photos. That’s just so sweet! I believe the casual little reception was held at our parents’ home, with our relatives in attendance. And that little toddler walking into the shot could just be me. 

I am happy to add that many years later the wedding glow hasn’t faded: they are still happily married.

The bridal couple with my parents. Is that me in the corner?

Monday
May022011

A Sorry Selection of Sinnamay Sculptures

British Vogue, c.1990; click on image for larger version

What better time to discuss ‘aristohats’ than just a few days after the Royal Wedding? It should come as no surprise to my regular visitors that I love hats – particularly vintage chapeaux. However, I was sorely disappointed in the fare on offer on Friday.

Autumn KellyWhat a sorry collection of sinnamay sculptures! Nearly all of the hats were constructed from this gauzy plant fibre, and the trim – be it feathers, antlers, horns, wriggling tentacles, or gargantuan loops – was almost token. Everyone was wearing virtually the same hat – in a different colour. Boring. And almost EVERY hat was worn dangling from the forehead. What was with that? Did they all have the same stylist?

I found many of the outfits even more of a yawn. What was with all the monotone dressing head to foot? And so many conservative, sensible suits? Boring, boring! Were the guests really – as my friend Lulue suggested tongue-in-cheek – given a sartorial rulebook?

Everyone was wearing virtually the same hat – in a different colour

Princess BeatriceFor all the controversy Philip Treacy’s hat for Princess Beatrice has provoked, at least it seems to have some concept behind it, rather than consisting merely of a sinnamay base, decorated with a bit of trim.

The hats in this page (top) ripped from a British Vogue circa the early 1990s look more interesting – or could it be just Lawrence Mynott’s lovely illustration style that makes them look so gorgeous? (I really like numbers 5, 7 and 8.)

Interestingly at the time this article was written, Philip Treacy was fresh out of the RCA, and the leading British milliners were Frederick Fox, Graham Smith and Philip Somerville. David Shilling states that ‘he designed nothing silly for spring’. If only we could say as much for some of these confections.

Treacy’s hat for Beatrice has proved wildly unpopular in the online community, but I wonder whether it is the fact that it is perched on the princess’ royal forehead, and the antlers stick straight up that makes it look silly? It looks like an oval picture frame with a bow stuck on top. Perhaps if it sat differently it might have looked interesting rather than ridiculous.

Scroll down for more of the same. Really, I don’t think I would have spent several hundred quid on any of these! 

Gravity-defying Hats

Tara Palmer TomkinsonVictoria Beckham

Spikes to Have Someone’s Eye Out With 

Justine Thornton

The Flying Saucers

Zara PhillipsSophie Winkleman

Underwater Perils 

Coral, squid and sea-snake: all are represented here

Sunday
May012011

The Bridal Trousseau

In the days that young girls were launched into society with the intention of catching a husband, a strict observance of rules governed the contents of their wardrobes. White and pink were the most popular colours for girls just out of the schoolroom; pearls were suitable – flashy colourful stones were not.

It follows that upon a young lady’s engagement a whole new wardrobe could be planned: her bridal trousseau. Safely married, she was able to wear more daring gowns and dashing colours, and her new station in life required that she should be suitably attired for every occasion.

upon a young lady’s engagement a whole new wardrobe could be planned

Trousseau comes from Old French, and is a diminutive of trousse – so ‘little bundle’ it is. Traditionally it included household linens as well as lingerie and clothing and other accessories for the new bride. The trousseau was stored in a ‘wedding chest’ – or ‘hope chest’ as it became later known – and the collection of these expensive items was begun many years earlier.

For the (presumably wealthy) Victorian lady, these would include ‘velvet dresses – with thousands of dollars worth of lace flounces to be looped over skirts; walking dresses; ball gowns; travelling dresses in differing fabrics; evening robes in Swiss Muslin; linen dresses for the garden and croquet; dresses for horse races and yacht races; dresses for dinner; dresses for receptions and parties…’ [Source: Lights and Shadows of New York by James McCabe, 1872. For more info click Reference at the end of the story.]

Don‘t forget the heart-flocked stockings!That was then… what of now? Most brides already own a houseful of linens, but undoubtedly they could find more room in their wardrobe for a few sundry pieces of frivolous lingerie – special things to wear on their wedding night; or for pretty dresses and shoes to wear on their honeymoon. And what better occasion to indulge in some beautiful clothes?

I remember the delightful time I had once assembling a wardrobe for a glorious summer holiday: I packed those silk party frocks and silver sandals so carefully! I did, however, leave room for shopping.

There is one new bride today who would be able to rival these expensive Victorian brides, but I suspect the contents of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge’s luggage would be less ostentatious, and a whole lot more modern and practical – yet ever elegant, as evidenced at her wedding.