Brides with Style…Everything Old Is New Again


There’s something about old black and white photos that capture the imagination.  Images of Veronica Lake peering out from behind a wave of hair with a single, seductive eye or the bubbly sensuality of Marilyn Monroe’s smile come to the forefront of one’s mind when considering some of Hollywood’s ultimate beautiful women.  It seems that women really had beauty down to a science in earlier eras, so much so that modern brides are harkening back to fashions from several decades ago in order to capture that spirit.  In a time when women are redefining what it means to be a woman and how to express that through fashion, brides are going back to the basics of femininity as expressed in the 1920s, 30s, and 50s. 


London born designer, Jenny Packham, has based her entire bridal design career on the roaring twenties when women rebelled against the tightly cinched waists of the earlier Victorian era and concentrated on a looser fit through the torso and a natural bust line.  Evening garments were theatrical and feather-heavy. Jenny Packham, carried locally at Mariée, displays her nineteen twenties know-how via her gown, Alice.  With silk charmeuse skillfully cut on the bias in late 1920s fashion (some would say 1930s), Alice, has Erte-like, art deco embroidery and is topped off with a bolero that is so feathered that it looks like it could take off in flight at any moment.  If it wasn’t such a modern faux pas, this bride could slowly strut the aisle with a calla lily bouquet in one hand and a long filtered cigarette in the other.  If not, a nice strip of sultry black eyeliner will do. 


As America entered WWII, the Veronica Lakes of the thirties became the Rosie the Riveters of the early forties.  Sinuous curves turned into sharply cut hourglass silhouettes as shoulders broadened and waists were cinched.  Rations put an end to flowing gowns and the mood, even for weddings, was more stoic.  Hence, a common early forties wedding garment would be a skirt suit.  Carried at Uptown Bride, Stephanie James Couture has masterfully created a retro wedding suit that has all of the aspects of a true vintage wedding suit.  In true forties fashion, barely covers the knee, and is not long enough to be considered tea length.  Pair it with a cage veil and red lipstick and this retro bride is ready to swing the night away.


1950s fashion was ultra-feminine, joyous, post-war style.  The boys were coming come and girls were luring them with mountains of post-rationing fabric, torpedoed busts, and waists cinched beyond all that is natural.  Called the Dior New Look, this once controversial look can be found at Azteca as designed by Victoria Bridals.  A perfect example of the New Look is her gown organza and satin gown that bells at the natural waist in true late forties/ early fifties fashion.  To emphasize the retro aspect of the gown, hem it up to show the entire shoe.  Topping it off with pink kitten heels and elbow gloves will set the tone for a perfectly designed fifties wedding.

Whether a bride is vamping it up to become her inner Gloria Swanson or putting on a strong, but feminine face as a modern Joan Crawford, there is a gown to be had for every type of vintage bride.  If the perfect dress is not ready made, usually gloves, a raised hemline, or cage veil will set the tone for the unmistakably vintage wedding.


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