Friday, 29 November 2013

On my vintage wedding blog today... MY OWN 1950s style wedding dress.


Dear Reader

My lovely clients sometimes ask what I wore for my own wedding. So - ahem - today my vintage wedding blog is about me! 
1950s vintage dresses for HVB vintage wedding blog
Not me! But one of my inspirations.
But don't worry, I'll stick to the point. It's really about my gorgeous 1950s inspired wedding dress. 
1950s vintage dresses for HVB vintage wedding blog
...And another! 
First, I should say I got married in the 1980s - widely regarded as the decade style forgot. Well, in wedding fashions anyway... 
Princess Di dress being tweaked, HVB vintage wedding blog
The world's favourite 1980s wedding dress. Yikes.
I was always a fan of vintage clothing, I loved to mix it up with new styles. But vintage wedding dresses were not yet popular, and were still hidden in the attic. So my darling sister Anna (talented gal!) offered to make me a dress - and a way to escape the massive 80s puffed sleeves which could have been my fate.
1980s vintage dresses for HVB vintage wedding blog
Maybe lovely on a Princess... but really not very me.
Off we went to wonderful London store Liberty to choose some silk. Luckily they had an exhibition of vintage reproduction fabrics, such an exciting find! All the fabric was by husband and wife team, Lida and Zika Ascher - so popular in the 50s that they had their own fabric room in Liberty. Their fabrics were used by all the top designers of the 40s and 50s.
Audrey Hepburn wearing Ascher, 1950s vintage dresses for HVB vintage wedding blog
Audrey Hepburn wearing Ascher. Photo by Cecil Beaton.
I immediately fell in love with an ivory silk covered in huge bronze and silver roses. It reminded me so much of 1950s Christian Dior 'new look' dresses I had seen in photos by Norman Parkinson and Cecil Beaton.

(These wonderful gowns in today's post date from 1954 to 1957 and are mainly by Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior.)
1950s vintage dresses for HVB vintage wedding blog
1950s vintage dresses for HVB vintage wedding blog
1950s vintage dresses for HVB vintage wedding blog

And this is what we made... my very own vintage inspired wedding dress. I hope you love it almost as much as I did! 
Helena's own 1950s vintage inspired dress for HVB vintage wedding blog
Helena's own 1950s vintage inspired dress for HVB vintage wedding blog
Helena's own 1950s vintage inspired dress for HVB vintage wedding blog
Helena's own 1950s vintage inspired dress for HVB vintage wedding blog
Helena's own 1950s vintage inspired dress for HVB vintage wedding blog
Helena's own 1950s vintage inspired dress for HVB vintage wedding blog
Helena's own 1950s vintage inspired dress for HVB vintage wedding blog
I must confess the gorgeous girl in the photos is not me ...wish it was! The photos are by my talented daughter Cordelia Lawler, and her beautiful friend Lucy is the model.

Thanks for dropping by today - I do hope you enjoyed seeing my very own vintage wedding dress.

Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides
Butterfly logo in red, HVB vintage wedding blog 2013


Monday, 25 November 2013

Lovely Leo in a perfect 1950s wedding dress - the inspiration for my vintage-style wedding dress 'Blanche'

Dear Reader

Over the last couple of weeks, we've been admiring lace dresses here on my vintage wedding blog, so I'd like to show you one of my very favourites - as worn by real vintage bride, the lovely Leo.
Vintage wedding blog c Heavenly Vintage Brides, close up of real bride Leo in 1950s lace wedding dress
Leo looked wonderful in this perfect tea length, champagne coloured, late 1950s wedding dress. 
Vintage wedding blog c Heavenly Vintage Brides, real vintage bride Leo walks down the aisle in 1950s lace wedding dress
Brides sometimes ask what kind of dress I love the best. Well, I think my perfect vintage wedding dress is an elegant, well-balanced shape in a beautiful fabric, complemented by a carefully-chosen trim. And sometimes, a dress comes along that really stands out for its simplicity. This was just such a dress. 
Vintage wedding blog c Heavenly Vintage Brides, real vintage bride Leo full-length image in her 1950s lace wedding dress
In fact, I loved it so much that I used it as one of the models for my own vintage-style lace dress 'Blanche'.
Vintage wedding blog c Heavenly Vintage Brides, Blanche 1950s wedding dress, top section
Vintage wedding blog c Heavenly Vintage Brides, Blanche 1950s wedding dress, full length image
Vintage wedding blog c Heavenly Vintage Brides, Blanche 1950s wedding dress, reverse showing lovely v-neckline at back
Vintage wedding blog c Heavenly Vintage Brides, Blanche 1950s vintage-style wedding dress, full length image
Ultimately, I strongly believe the dress is there to bring out the most beautiful features of the brides. And as you can see from how stunning Leo looks, in her perfect choice of vintage wedding dress, this one certainly succeeds. 
Vintage wedding blog c Heavenly Vintage Brides, Leo surrounded by her family
Thanks to Leo for sharing these lovely photos of her happy day. If you'd like to see more real vintage brides, take a look on the real brides section of my vintage wedding blog.

You can see more of my own Heavenly Collection of vintage-inspired wedding dresses here on my blog. And more original 1950s lace wedding dresses here.

Thanks for dropping by today.

Love
Helena 
Heavenly Vintage Brides


Friday, 22 November 2013

For the perfect city wedding, Ania looks stunning in a 1970s vintage wedding dress.

Today - as promised - I'd like to share the pictures from one of my lovely clients, Ania. For their vintage-inspired London wedding, Ania and Mark knew they wanted to keep the day as simple and relaxed as possible...
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
As Ania says: 
"We didn’t have any particular theme in mind when planning the day. I just wanted a rustic, shabby, boho feel, with a flavour of vintage to it.”
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
Ania chose a gorgeous, floaty, 1970s lace wedding dress from my selection of original vintage wedding dresses. A perfect choice: she looks beautiful, relaxed and rocknroll! 
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
And Ania - such a darling - was very generous about Heavenly Vintage Brides!
"I am so happy I found you! Everyone loved the amazing dress. I can't thank you enough for everything, Helena. For your advice, the lovely words and for my dream wedding dress -:)"
Ania made the dress her own with a simple white flower in her hair, the brightest sunflower bouquet by Turners of Hammersmith, and fabulous shoes from Etsy.
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
The day was made even more special by their choice of iconic London locations - the grandeur of Islington Town Hall, a traditional London red bus, the AK Rowing Club on the banks of the Thames, and finally Hammersmith Bridge by night!
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
Add some good friends, delightful home-made decorations, and sunflowers... lots of Ania's favourite sunflowers.
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
Oh, and dancing too. Lots of dancing! A heavenly formula for a perfect vintage-style London wedding, for a perfectly lovely London couple.
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
1970s vintage lace wedding dresses c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013
Thank you so much to Ania, and to her photographer Sassy at Assassynation, for sharing the pictures of this fantastic day. 

If you'd like to see more of lovely Ania and Mark, check out the feature on RocknRoll Bride. If you'd like to see more real vintage brides in Heavenly vintage, check out the Real Brides section on my vintage wedding blog here or my website here

And if you're feeling inspired to see more beautiful dresses, check out my selection of original vintage wedding dresses on my vintage wedding blog here

Thanks for stopping by today. See you again soon...

Love
Helena 
Heavenly Vintage Brides


Ania chose a 1970s vintage lace wedding dress from Heavenly Vintage Brides
Her natural beauty was revealed by make-up artist Bella Simonsen.
Ania tripped down the aisle at Islington Town Hall in shoes from Etsy,
Carrying her favourite sunflowers from Turners.
To where Mark stood proudly waiting, looking dapper in a suit by Adam of London.
Then they - and all their friends - travelled across London on This Bus to the AK Rowing Club.
There they partied the night away to tunes spun by MD Essential DJs.
With thanks to Assassynation who were on hand to photograph the big day and night.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Vintage Bride of the Week: Beautiful Martina in a traditional Swedish bridal crown

Dear Reader

I've just received this lovely image, and wanted to share it with you straight away.

Beautiful vintage bride Martina married in Sweden in June. If you look closely, you'll see Martina is wearing a Brudkronan, an antique bridal crown. This wonderful Swedish tradition reaches right back to the Middle Ages. The crown is held at the local church for all brides to wear on their wedding day.

I'll be featuring more pictures of this gorgeous couple on my vintage wedding blog. And I have more real vintage weddings here. Thanks for visiting today.

Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A GUIDE TO VINTAGE LACE WEDDING DRESSES Part 1: Pastel and Coloured Lace

Dear Reader

Most of the brides I meet love vintage lace wedding dresses. And there are so many fabulous types to choose from. Today, I'd like to talk about the pastel-coloured lace often used in 1950s wedding dresses.
1950s lace wedding dress, c Heavenly Vintage Brides vintage wedding blog 2013 - detail of blush colour and satin belt
A glimpse of a beautiful vintage lace wedding dress, for more details see below
COLOUR
One of the most common reasons brides come to see me is that they don't feel modern wedding dresses offer enough choice of colour. 

Contemporary lace wedding dresses are mostly available in bright white or still-fairly-bright ivory. With modern dresses you are always limited by what is currently fashionable. With vintage, you have access to up to 100 years of style!

A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, c Heavenly Vintage Brides, vintage wedding blog 2013
Hand-making lace, on the Italian island of Burano, 1950s
Vintage lace wedding dresses come in a much wider range of colour options, which are often softer and deeper. Most of my dresses are gorgeous shades of white, cream, pale gold, and deeper ivory. 

One colour palette I particularly love for lace is the pastel champagne / blush / apricot shades. Many brides don't initially think of these colours for vintage lace - but they are so soft and flattering to wear.

BEAUTIFUL LACE WEDDING DRESSES FROM MY COLLECTION
I'd like to show you some examples: the three dresses below are currently available at my studio, all priced at £595.
1950s lace wedding dresses, c Heavenly Vintage Brides, boat neck style
1950s lace wedding dress with vintage flower trim, £595 
Detail of boat neck, A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, c Heavenly Vintage Brides,
1950s lace wedding dress, pretty 'boat neck', £595
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, c Heavenly Vintage Brides, rear view of 1950s wedding dress
1950s lace wedding dress, elegant 'V' neck at back
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, c Heavenly Vintage Brides, vintage wedding blog 2013
Lace wedding dress, classic 1950s silhouette
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, c Heavenly Vintage Brides, vintage wedding blog 2013
1950s lace wedding dress, with lovely vintage-style flower detail £595
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses- detail of vintage flower on 1950s lace
1950s lace wedding dress, 3/4 sleeves, £595
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, full length image of late 1950s lace wedding dress with satin ribbon tie
Beautiful dress from late 1950s/early 1960s, £595
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, back of late 1950s lace wedding dress with ruffle neckline
Late 1950s/early 1960s dress, ruffle neckline, £595
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, c Heavenly Vintage Brides
Flattering softly fitted bodice, £595
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, bodice with close up of 1950s lace dress
Pretty satin ribbon and vintage crystal belt
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, classic 1950s lace wedding dress with open collar
Classic 1950s wedding dress, £595
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, classic 1950s wedding dress side view with bow
Lovely 1950s silhouette - so feminine, £595 
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, detail of bodice of classic 1950s lace wedding dress with satin ribbon belt
1950s wedding dress: 3/4 sleeves and blush satin ribbon tie, £595
FABRICS
The three dresses above are all shorter length and date from the same time, late 1950s or early 60s. Like most 1950s lace wedding dresses, they are made with high quality synthetic fibres blended with cotton. 

After the war, these new fabrics were highly admired for the strength and flexibility they offer, making them feel soft and lovely to wear. And because of the strength of the modern fabric fibres, these dresses - like many 1950s wedding dresses - are still in wonderful condition.

Queen Elizabeth wearing vintage lace dress, 1959
Queen Elizabeth looking rather fabulous in pastel lace, 1959
Before the war, lace would always have been made in cotton or silk. Sadly, most antique silk lace has become very fragile and can no longer be worn.

However vintage/antique cotton lace is often still in very good wearable condition, as it is such a strong fibre. And 
although it gave way to the fashion for synthetics in the 1950s, cotton lace swung back into fashion in the 1960s and 1970s. I have many lovely cotton lace dresses in my collection.

VINTAGE LACE, FOR TIMELESS STYLE
Lace wedding dresses have been popular for over 400 years. In the 1600s, weight-for-weight, handmade lace cost more than gold. Lace was desired not just for its beauty, but as a sophisticated way to show your family's wealth.
Vermeer's "The Lacemakers" painting, A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, c Heavenly Vintage Brides
'The Lacemaker' by Johannes Vermeer, painted c 1670
Lace would be worn by wealthy families at every formal opportunity, and was often passed down through generations as a valuable inheritance. 
Princess Grace in 1950s vintage lace wedding dress. A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses, c Heavenly Vintage Brides
Princess Grace's exquisite vintage lace wedding dress, 1956

So it is no surprise that lace became the first choice for opulent and exquisite wedding dresses. It is right back at the height of wedding fashion today, and vintage offers such a beautiful selection.

I will feature other types of lace in later posts, so please check back in! And thanks for dropping by today.

Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides