Thursday, 28 April 2011

Vintage Gowns for 21st Century Brides

As promised here is the post on finding vintage wedding dresses. I've started by listing specialist boutiques and the second half is dedicated to contemporary designers whose collections feature vintage-inspired bridal gowns.

For original vintage, I really recommend Glory Days, based in York. The boutique has a staggering selection of vintage wedding dresses, some of which you can see online:

The Vintage Wedding Dress Company, set up by stylist Charlotte Brear, has an impressive selection of vintage and vintage-inspired dresses. Here is one of their sublime 1920s-inspired silk gowns:

Kate Halfpenny is a renowned celebrity fashion stylist and is known for her superb designs. She also has a great collection of vintage dresses - I particularly love this one:

Elizabeth Avey is a London-based bridal boutique specialising in vintage wedding dresses. I really love this 1930s silk gown (below) and there are many more pictures on her website - click here to view.

Antique Lace Heirlooms is a UK-based shop selling a stunning selection of vintage lace wedding veils. For other bridal accessories, I recommend Unique Headdresses. They specialise in real flower headdresses and tiaras which can be made to match your bouquet. Check out their gallery to see historical designs such as Art Deco floral tiaras, Elizabethan garlands and this particularly beautiful Georgian-inspired headdress:

Hope & Harlequin sells amazing restored and customised vintage wedding dresses from their shop in Brighton. A selection of stock is available to view online - click here for details.

Dress from Hope & Harlequin

There is a phenomenal original 1960s Oscar de la Renta beaded silk gown available to buy on Ebay at the moment which would work brilliantly as a wedding dress. It really reminds me of the dresses from Spring/Summer 2011 Dolce & Gabbana show!

There are some wonderful dresses out there by contemporary designers that give more than a nod to vintage wedding dress design. This 70s-style frock is from the Brioni SS11 collection:

Alberti Ferretti had a similar design from the same season:

Carolina Herrera, famous for her bridal collections as well as RTW, shows how a statement veil can add extra drama to the wedding gown:

This wedding-friendly dress is from Chris Benz's Resort 2011 collection. The nice thing about relatively simple bridal gowns is that you can get away with serious hair. Big volume hair + big volume dress = Princess Margaret!

This dress by Monique Lhuillier is the perfect combination of contemporary and vintage design. The Edwardian-style heavily embroidered skirt is balanced by the very modern low neckline:

Every collection by Alexander McQueen includes several high-drama gowns. I'm convinced Kate Middleton will wear McQueen tomorrow - but we shall see! Many designers have been mentioned in the run up to the big day, but very few boast designs that are able to carry the weight of the occasion. Temperley makes gorgeous dresses, but a beaded floaty number just won't cut it in Westminster Abbey. This dress with 30s-style bodice is from the Alexander McQueen AW10 collection:

Marchesa is a popular choice for brides - Georgina Chapman chooses such romantic fabrics for her designs. Here is a modern interpretation of a 50s wedding dress silhouette from her SS10 collection:

I love how Jean Paul Gaultier mixes it up in his collections. This design features a flapper-inspired veil with a 1970s-style crochet tunic. And it works!

I blogged about vintage wedding dresses last year - check out the post to read about more online boutiques selling vintage or vintage-inspired frocks for your special day. If you're looking for a book of glamorous inspiration, Reel Art Press are about to launch their lavishly illustrated 288-page book, Weddings & Movie Stars. You can buy it at the pre-launch discount price of £35.00 via this link.

Other books I recommend include Marnie Fogg's wonderful Vintage Weddings...

...and Harriet Worsley's White Dress. We have both books in the studio and customers are welcome to pop in and borrow them. We have quite an extensive collection of vintage-related books - for more details click here.

If I've missed out specialist vintage bridal boutiques (and I'm sure I have!) please add the links in the comments box. I'll be posting again on Saturday - with lots of pics, of course - about the royal wedding. I'll be watching the ceremony like a hawk... one of the guests is wearing a Juno Says Hello dress so fingers crossed we'll get a glimpse of her going into the Abbey! Have a great weekend x


  1. I've found it - the Herrera is the one for me!!!

  2. Nice dresses they are all stunning and fantastic. I love that marchessa dress. Big thanks.

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