Friday, 25 September 2015

Friday Inspiration – more fabulous vintage wedding dresses from the Vogue Weddings Book.

Dear Reader,
I promised I'd show you more of the Vogue Weddings Book, didn't I? So for this week's Inspiration, let's kick back and enjoy more iconic photos from 120 years of vintage wedding style…

All photographs with thanks to Vogue.
Heavenly Vintage Brides

Monday, 21 September 2015

1940s–style wedding dress, for elegant vintage bride Terry.

Dear Reader, 
Often, my brides have no clear idea what they're looking for. They love the romance of vintage wedding dresses, or the glamour. Sometimes its the timeless quality of vintage that appeals. Beyond that, they have no picture of which decade or style is right for them. 

That's absolutely fine – showing the many options that vintage offers is always enjoyable. But there's a special pleasure that comes when I meet a bride who has a clear sense of her own style, and knows exactly what she's looking for.
Lovely Terry was just such a bride – a very elegant lady with clear style ideas. Terry came to me knowing exactly how she wanted to look for her Brighton wedding: simple, elegant... and gorgeous.

So we adapted the 1940s–inspired Bette dress, from my Heavenly Collection. It's already a very elegant shape, and we made it just as Terry imagined by raising the skirt a little to show off her lovely jewelled Harriet Wilde shoes. We slimmed the A-line silhouette too, for a very slender line...

The silver beaded trim used for the belt and neckline was a one–off, a vintage find that perfectly suited the dress. 

The same attention to detail went into the choice of dresses for bridesmaids Carli, Sian and Rhian – a different Alfred Sung design to suit each bridesmaid but all in Terry's favourite Bluebell colour.
And of course, the same colour threads through the wedding – from the groom's tie, to the pretty delphinium in the bouquets.
Thanks go to Terry for showing us your lovely seaside wedding. We love your style!
Heavenly Vintage Brides

Photographs with thanks to Brian Handford Photography
Hair by Terry's dear friend Mavis
Wedding Flowers: Dazzling Decor
Bride's Bouquet and Bridesmaid Posies: Ginger Lily Floral Designs
Bridesmaids's Dresses: Alfred Sung by Dessy

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

A 1960s Lace Wedding Dress for Ambreen – Mad Men Style.

Dear Reader,
Today we have Real Vintage Bride Ambreen, looking fabulous in an original 1960s lace wedding dress...

Ambreen's cocktail–style dress in superb quality lace is a classic 1960s style. With its close–fitted bodice, three–quarter sleeves and on–the–knee length, it perfectly shows off Ambreen's gorgeous hourglass figure and chic style. 

Ambreen cleverly kept her accessories simple – Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon shoes, a pearl bracelet and a pretty birdcage veil, created bespoke by my brilliant seamstress Grace.
A fabulous Mad Men look, for a wonderfully individual wedding.
Heavenly Vintage Brides

If you'd like to see more 1960s–style wedding dresses, 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Ever heard of Sea Silk? The world's rarest and most beautiful fabric...

Dear Reader,
For my own collection of vintage-style wedding dresses, I spent aeons of time sourcing the finest original laces, silks and satins from around the world. But this is something I have never seen...
Sea silk: light as air, and golden as sunlight.
Only one woman in the entire world is able to make Sea Silk– weaving it from the most delicate golden thread, not from the silk worm but from the Pinna Nobilis clam that lives in the aquamarine waters of Sardinia.
The Pinna Nobilis clam, in the aquamarine waters of the Mediterranean.
The fabric it makes is so light you can barely feel it kiss your skin. It gleams like gold in the sunlight. Mentioned in ancient Roman and Greek records and even in the Bible, sea silk – or byssus – was originally reserved for Kings and Pharaohs. 
The remarkable golden threads of sea silk, ancient fabric of kings.
Now, on the island of Sant'Antioco, Chiara Vigo harvests the byssus fibres early each morning. She is accompanied by the Italian coast guard as the clam is a protected species. 
Chiara carefully harvests the threads in the early mornings, without harming the clams.
She spins and weaves it herself – but not for emperors. This silk is not for sale: Chiara gives her precious work away to people who come to ask her for help. 
Chiara gifts the thread to anyone who asks her help, bringing good fortune and fertility.
The byssus is believed to bring good fortune and fertility. Young women and couples come every day. If they bring a christening dress, Chiara will embroider it with the precious thread. 
The gift of good fortune: a baby's gown is embroidered with the precious threads.
Chiara passes on her skills, teaching others each evening to create the sea silk fabric.
Only a few elderly women in Apulia (the heel of Italy) have the skill to weave the byssus. Chiara learned at her grandmother's knee, and now spends her evenings teaching others to do it. 
Light and golden, the sea silk naturally glows in sunlight.
Gleaming in the Sardinian sun, the sea silk is woven to a traditional pattern.
But she is the only person in Italy who still harvests it. She hopes that one day her own daughter will take over...
"Weaving the sea silk is what my family has been doing for centuries," Chiara says. "The most important thread, for my family, was the thread of their history, their tradition."
Chiara Vigo on her home island of Sant'Antioco, Sardinia.
If you'd like to see more of Chiara Vigo and her remarkable life's work, click here. Her sea silk is not for sale anywhere in the world. But if you'd like to see some beautiful fabrics that are, then do come to my studio or visit one of my new stockists for my Heavenly Collection of vintage wedding dresses, Luella's Boudoir in London and Vintage Bride in Dublin.
Heavenly Vintage Brides

If you like this, please try...
A guide to vintage lace wedding dresses.

Photos with thanks to Andrea Pasquali, Kosta Ladas and Luigi Garavaglia