Friday, 30 May 2014

Sarah in a 1930s satin wedding dress: Heavenly Vintage Bride of the week

Dear Reader

Sarah is our Bride of the Week, so serenely beautiful in this original 1930s satin and lace gown.
Vintage bride Sarah tries on her 1930s wedding dress
To complement the gorgeous 30s dress, I also sourced this lovely vintage veil. I think it suits her so perfectly, and Sarah was delighted too,
"I just wanted to say thank you so much for your help with my dress. The veil too was amazing. Your advice was great and it all worked out perfectly." 
Vintage 1930s wedding dress and veil close-up
Vintage bride Sarah leaving the Church in a shower of confetti!
Inspired by Sarah's gorgeous style, let's take a closer look at 1930s dresses next week. Check back on Monday for lots more!

Have a great weekend,
Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides 

Monday, 26 May 2014

1940s lace wedding dress and jacket - what a darling!

Dear Reader

For my original vintage wedding dress of the week, I'd like to show you a charming little 1940s lace dress and jacket. 
The 40s are sometimes overlooked, getting a little lost between the glamorous slinky 30s and the super-pretty 50s. But I think dresses from the 1940s have so much to offer: from lovely elegant crepe gowns, to sweet and subtle lace styles like this one. 
And 1940s dresses are usually an easier fit than those from the 50s. They are less exaggerated, with a softer, more flowing fit. (Although please bear in mind that some fitting will usually be required with any vintage dress, to ensure it's perfect for you.)
This little darling is priced at £995 including the jacket and swishy rayon fitted slip. Or if you prefer, it can be worn with an extra full petticoat (at an extra charge of £45). 

Thanks as always to Robert Lawler for these beautiful photographs. And thanks, Reader, for stopping by.

Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides



Monday, 19 May 2014

A 1960s vintage wedding dress for Rebecca's Berlin wedding

Dear Reader

This week, I'd like to show you beautiful bride Rebecca, who married Gerald in April. 
For her city wedding in Berlin, Rebecca wanted a very chic vintage dress. She chose this lovely sophisticated 'tape lace' dress from the early 1960s. 
The dress looked fabulous! Rebecca teamed it with a very pretty pair of Rachel Simpson shoes, and a dainty bouquet of roses.
 In Rebecca's words, 
"We were married in Berlin at a registry office. The office is in the town hall from which JFK spoke when he visited Berlin in the 60s. And then we celebrated at a local villa in Kreuzberg, central Berlin.
The dress was perfect, just the right thing for the day. I got so many compliments - thank you!"
 
Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing these lovely pictures!
Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides

Friday, 16 May 2014

Vintage-style dresses triumph at the Met Ball. And the relaunch of iconic Charles James label.

Dear Reader

Last week’s Met Ball was themed in honour of vintage British designer Charles James. Did you see my earlier post about this iconic designer? If not, you can find it here
Following the success of the Ball, it has just been announced that the Charles James label is to be given a new lease of life. The relaunched label will be headed by Georgina Chapman, designer and co-founder of luxury eveningwear label Marchesa.

The announcement was made by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is married to Georgina Chapman and who personally struck the deal with Charles James' family. 
This is interesting news and follows in the footsteps of other couture houses being resurrected, notably Halston and Vionnet in recent years. Designer Georgina Chapman explained:
"Charles James designs and gowns took everyone's breath away at the Met Ball. He's long been an inspiration to me and everyone at Marchesa."
The Met Ball itself is held each year in the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, New York. Its purpose is to raise money for the Museum's famous costume collection. It is always themed around a designer or fashion movement, chosen each year by Anna Wintour. 
It also serves as a chance for celebrities to strut their stuff in fabulous dresses and has been compared to the Oscars without the three hour ceremony! This year, many of the dresses paid tribute to Charles James in style and proved that contemporary fashion's love affair with vintage style continues as strong as ever.
Karen Elson wears Zac Posen dress
Here’s my favourite dress from this year, worn so beautifully by Suki Waterhouse below: a layered silk organza gown by Burberry.
Suki Waterhouse wears Burberry
Suki Waterhouse wears Burberry
I also loved Emmy Rossum's floral Caroline Herrara dress - though perhaps it is closer in style to Dior than to Charles James. And the stunning Blake Lively looked fabulous as always in her vintage-styled Gucci gown.
Emmy Rossum wears Caroline Herrara
Emmy Rossum wears Caroline Herrara
Blake Lively in vintage-inspired Gucci Premiere
I personally thought many of the dresses were overdone and Charles James himself would not have approved... Especially lovely Lupita Nyongo who is usually the picture of elegance!
Lupita Nyongo overdoes it for once, in Prada
Model Liu Wen wears Zac Posen, the last word in fabulous vintage style
I hope you've enjoyed this brief glimpse into one of the fashion calendar's biggest social events, and the enduring influence of vintage style. You can see more fabulous dresses from this year's Met Ball here. And read about the new Charles James label here in Vogue or the report in The Independent.

And of course, there are many more fabulous original vintage and vintage-inspired dresses to enjoy here on my own vintage wedding blog!

Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides

Monday, 12 May 2014

Another wonderful Edwardian vintage wedding dress, on real bride Francesca

Dear Reader

After talking about Edwardian vintage wedding dresses last week, I wanted to show you these pictures of beautiful Francesca, who recently married in Italy. 


Francesca's lovely outfit is very similar to an Edwardian dress I just saw in the V&A exhibition. But, actually Francesca's is an original Edwardian lace blouse teamed with a contemporary bridal skirt I sourced for her. They were a perfect match...
For more gorgeous Edwardian wedding dresses, do check out my Original Vintage dresses for sale here. Thanks for dropping by!

Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides

Friday, 9 May 2014

Edwardian vintage wedding dresses - a guide.

Dear Reader

The Edwardian period was just ten years from 1901 to 1910. But it is still popular today: just look at the international success of Downton Abbey. (The period after the death of Edward until the First World War is often included, too.)
Original Edwardian vintage wedding dress (with 1930s satin slip), £1250
Fashionable Edwardian brides aspired to the 'S' shape, which was created by whalebone corsetry. The corset design (called The Health Corset) although restrictive, was at least not as damaging to their health as corsets of the Victorian era. The waist circumference was gradually reduced by tighter lacing, until they reached their smallest size which - shockingly - could be as small as 16 inches.
I look for dresses with a reasonable waist size (not 16ins!) then I have a few clever techniques for increasing the size further. For example, adding lace from the same era. This can bring the waist to about 26 or 27ins - which of course is still very small fitting and not for everyone, but hopefully doesn’t require a corset!
Original Edwardian vintage wedding dress (with 1930s satin slip), £1250
And there are other features which may need modification: first, the front of the bodice is often loose-fitting, or 'pigeon chested’. Secondly, Edwardian wedding dresses often have high necks usually supported by tiny ‘bones'. These can be removed or adapted to give a softer neck shape.
I am not at all against changing vintage dress to make them work in a modern context,  as long as it's done sympathetically and the dress looks better for it! 
I am also a fan of Edwardian style headdresses. The fashion was for delicate circlets made from wax flowers, see my post here. I've definitely seen a trend amongst my clients for fresh flowers instead of diamante - which I think is a lovely change. I will always love a well made side-tiara but it’s nice that girls are rediscovering real flowers. And circlets are definitely a trend right now.
Original Edwardian vintage wedding dress (with 1930s satin slip), £1350
I'd also like to show you a Heavenly Vintage Bride from a few years ago. Her name is Millie, and she wore a beautiful late-Edwardian dress for her Beatrix Potter themed wedding. 
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Millie’s dress is wonderful fine lace called ‘Tambour’ lace, which is embroidered cotton net. This was usually worked by hand using a frame and hook.
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There's lots more lovely images from Millie's wedding on the LoveMyDress wedding blog (a great blog, if you haven't seen it before.) Check out Millie's feature, here.
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I'm a huge fan of this style of lace - or any cotton lace, actually! And it’s so good for vintage collectors and wearers as it stays strong for many years. 
Many veils were also made of Tambour lace such as those shown here. I am in the process of having some lovely veils made to complement my dresses, using a special sewing machine which replicates this style of lace.
As soon as my new veils are perfect, I'll let you know: you'll see them here first! I've included some pictures of two wonderful original Edwardian dresses which are both available now. If, like me, you love the dresses from this period, then do check out these vintage Edwardian dresses here

Hope you've enjoyed this post - and see you soon!

Love 
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides