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We're seeing a resurgence of Edwardian and pre-1920 styles over the last few seasons. Could this perchance be due to the popularity of the BBC Series, Downton Abby? Or Hotel Grand? Both series are British and set in WWI England, a time synonymous with lace, silk and jewelry in pewter and gold. Below are just a few ideas to inspire you on to creating a romantic early 20th Century look . . . .
Header Photo: Allison Bridal Gown by Shone;
Row 2: Simple White Fine Art Print by Diem Design Photography; Vintage Antique Edwardian Gown by Junee Moon Vintage
Siren's Sister Headdress by Mata Hari's Daughter
Wedding Bracelet by Little White Chapel
Row 7: Engraved Locket Necklace by Lauren Blythe Designs; Gold Lavalier diamond ruby pearl neklace by The Collected Collage
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. . . . Over on One Wed Blog talking about The All White Wedding. Going 'All White' has it's own history that was steeped in formality and the size of the guest list. Going 'All White' was often code for, 'Going to the max' or Puttin' on the Ritz. Now times have changed. The All White wedding can be adapted to any style whether you're going casual or high formal. All White though still means, Here Come the Bride All Dressed in White with her bridesmaids wearing the same. READ MORE . . .
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Q: Do I need an actual vintage pattern to create a retro look like the dress above?
A: No. But being a perennial student of fashion and working with a set of instructions over 50 years old is nothing short of, like WOW, so totally awesome! For me, vintage patterns offer up an experience about as close to to time travel as I'm ever going to get. These are the images I grew up with . . . sewing patterns from the 1950s-60s. Moms and grandmas back then more often than not owned a sewing machine they actually put some wear and tear on. These patterns were inspiration points for me; the models in the illustrations looking like something you’d find on an episode of Mad Men. I never forgot those nipped in waistlines and yards of skirt, collecting an array of 50s chic as well as patterns through the years. Here are a few things I learned along the way working with vintage patterns:
1. Not only are silhouettes reminiscent of an era, did you know overall cut, types of darts and dart lines are as well?
2. 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.
3. Unlike today's patterns that include multiple sizes in one package, those from yesteryear are a one size only deal.
Photo by Bride Chic 2011/Model Victoria Cappuccio
And speaking of Mad Men, I have to put a plug in for Janie Bryant, the designer/stylist on the show. She has such an incredible eye for detail. If you check out the backs of most of the dresses, they have the lapped zipper application so popular back then. While not my fave way of closing up the back of a dress, kudos to Janie. It's little things like this that make the scenes all the more authentic.
Dresses by Amy-Jo Tatum Bride
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SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
George Gordon (Lord) Byron (1788-1824)
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If you're having an outdoor wedding consider bringing in some green. Green is abundant in nature, it's variation of shades found in the backdrop of grass and shrubs and most likely your bouquet! You can easily blend to the landscape via your bridesmaids dresses, table and venue decor. Green is also the color of emeralds, jade and peridot, something you could sport on your wedding day as well as the perfect gift for a bridemaid or two . . .
Top photo: Fresh Apple Green Wedding Bouquet by Ardesign
Guest Book Box by It's My Day
Green wedding cake server and knife by The Vintage Wedding
Row 5 Handmade white bridal jacket by Sija Felt; Green jade Bracelet by Jesse Anne DesignsApple Blossom Green Wedding Table Decoration by A Bespoke Touch
Vintage Emerald Green Rhinestone Pendant by Day Star Jewelry
Green Wedding Garter Set by Rosebud Lips Bridal
Green Wedding Flower Girl dress by Olivia Kate Couture
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Photo: LirettePhotography/Though dresses with full and spread out trains are gorgeous in their own right, they aren't for everyone. The good news is, you can go formal without pulling that train around all day? So what are your options if you like a real formal look? If the dress you have your heart set on has a train wear it bustled. In fact, some brides love the bustling effect (train tacked up and under) and prefer to keep that French 'Gigi' look going the whole day rather than letting it flow. Another option is any formal to-the-floor dress, a full bell skirt without a train like the allover Chantilly lace above, a particularly beautiful choice.
Above: Formal length silk dupioni and Chantilly lace A-line has plenty of back interest and drama without bustling or train . . .
Above is a side view of a bustled gown a la 1960s with a bell skirt. Go ahead and show off the beautiful effect of bustling all day long if you want . . .
Photo by Stuart Lirette
Above: No train on this tea gown sporting a tulle overskirt in Chantilly lace
Here's the perfect example of a bride who opted for a long and flowing cathedral-style veil to act as a train . . . .
All gowns by Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal Couture
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Hotel Shattuck in Berkeley, California. I'm dubbing this shoot, Four Dresses. That is, every dress model Rosanna stepped into created a totally different mood. Following along, our incredible photographer, Jim Vetter captured every one of those moods (no these are not his images, these came out of my very own pocket digital--his really rock!). Stay tuned for a truly diverse dose of chic that should be coming up in the next couple weeks . . .
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Not young enough to be a flower girl; not quite old enough to play bridesmaid, so how do you dress her? Actually junior bridesmaids have been gracing European weddings for centuries where the bridal party is made up primarily of children ranging in age from about four to sixteen. So how does a girl between 8 and 16 dress? By fourteen she can probably go with or a least echo the adult bridesmaids. These taffetas by Stephanie Staub of Little Eglantine say it perfectly. Creating phenom kid chic for tots to teens is Stephanie's special gift to bridal wear--I personally love these new additions to her 2012 collection . . . .
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Picnic tables laid out with lace tablecloths, cowboy boots, floral wreaths on your head and meadows full of wild flowers are just a few images that come to mind for the country wedding. Going rustic means your dress and your maid's can be casual chic with that touch of lace or ruffle. Here are a few of my faves . . . .
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