Friday, November 21, 2014

Boho Bridal Shoot

 One of my first photo shoots at Radonich Ranch in the Santa Cruz mountains.
Capturing a boho chic look with a 1940's vintage lace dress 
and of course cowboy boots for a rustic ranch vibe!
 The silk tulle from the 1940's creates such a  soft and romantic feel.
 A final touch of of waxed orange blossoms from the 1930's in her hair.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Desert Bride

I call her my desert bride because this dress is just perfect for the wild west.
Crochet lace and cowboy boots! What's not to love?
A unique touch was using a vintage floral headband in a different way - behind her head!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I love my non-traditional brides.....

This is why I love what I do. I cater to those individual brides who want something unique, something that speaks to them, that suits their personality.  No cookie cutter strapless mermaid gowns here -oh no! I love it when brides tell me they are looking for something different than the usual strapless gown. Yea! You've come to the right place.  In addition to the fact that I love vintage, I love working with the women who have a sense of their own style and are coming to me to find that perfect fit. (That's why vintage bridal gowns are so exciting - you get so many choices of styles. On top of that - we can make modifications to really personalize the dress.) 
If any of you have called and wonder why I ask so many questions it's because of this.  I am not your typical bridal store. I am a designer who helps you find the right style for you. With over a hundred gowns (and styles!) to choose from I need to hone in on the look that fits YOU.
Take a look at some of my brides and you will see what I mean...

And of course, take a look at my previous posts with Darci, Jennifer and others...

Friday, September 5, 2014

More about sizes

This is why I ask for measurements when you call about vintage gowns. These patterns are from the 1960's. Note the size and bust measurement. Even IF one of my dresses has a size tag in it it might  be something like this: a size 12. Now you know that is not the same as a size 12 today. Another thing to keep in mind is that many vintage gowns have been altered to fit the bride as many are today. So nothing is a standard size. I have fit many brides who say they are a size 6 but one many have a smaller bust than the other. Or a different waist or different hips. Now you get the idea...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Contact information

I've been alerted that there is no contact information on my blog. So here it is!
Please visit my website for information about how I work.

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Love/hate relationship with Pinterest

OK, so here's the deal.  I love Pinterest for all the reasons anyone does. It allows you to capture images to inspire, dream and wish upon. You can share them with friends and see what others are dreaming about as well. As a consumer I think it's a wonderful tool and I appreciate the platform they have created. On the other side, as a business owner I tend to feel a just a little disgruntled when a bride-to-be sends me pictures of her fantasy dress (emphasis on fantasy) on Pinterest.  These are all gorgeous designer dresses with designer price tags.  Of course, the bride wants that same dress (or one very similar) for around $500. Really? I'm only guessing that they think they can get a dress at less the cost because vintage can sometimes be cheaper than modern dresses ( and maybe I'm the only one to experience this because I specialize in vintage - I don't know.)  Yes, sometimes vintage is less expensive but most of the time vintage does not look like the new "vintage inspired" dresses that designers are putting out these days.  (But I digress more on that subject in a previous post.)  The real issue is that looking for a bridal dress on Pinterest allows you to see ALL the options available in the world!  This is all well and good if you have the budget for it. I feel that it is a bit unfortunate for a bride to fantasize about dresses that are out of their price range instead of looking within their means at what is available for them. Once upon a time, before the internet (and I realize I shouldn't be singling out Pinterest as it's really the internet that has opened up the world to us in the first place), a bride would shop the stores in her area and choose a dress from what was available in stock.  If you wanted something unique and/or less expensive you would have one made for you.  As far as I can tell, all those brides from decades past were very happy with what was available to them.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"What do I wear under it?"

It's called a slip
A slip seems to becoming an article of clothing from the past. Once upon a time one wore a slip under every dress or skirt and blouse whether it required one or not.  These days it's very different.  Many young women don't have the occasion to wear a dress very often let alone a  formal one. This brings us to the subject of formal/ bridal wear. The question: "What do I wear under it" is one of the most common questions I hear during bridal appointments. Back in the day one was expected to wear all the necessary undergarments: bra, girdle, slip and stockings. So the dresses of the time could be a bit see through knowing that one would wear the proper 'foundation garments' underneath.  This brings me to the subject of old v.s new bridal gowns.  New bridal gowns tend to be built with all the foundation built in - no slips or girdles (spanx)  needed. They even have corsets built in to help pull you in tight in all the right places. Therefore, when brides are shopping for vintage dresses they are surprised by how light they are which is a good thing. Everyone likes light and airy. It has all the qualities you want in a wedding dress; easy, breezy, comfortable, except for one thing: it does not suck you in like the modern dresses. They are not form fitting and body hugging unless you wear the proper "undergarments". (Even then, the bridal fashions of the past were not that form fitting until you reached the late 1980's and then were bejeweled and bedazzled by all the pearls and sequins covering the whole gown). So, here lies the dilemma; you want the easy breezy look but you want to look a bit sexy showing your curves...
How do you get both?  Foundation Garments.

Friday, January 17, 2014

To clean or not to clean. ..

That is the question. Quite frequently in my work with vintage materials -especially with vintage wedding dresses- I am challenged with taking the risk of cleaning an item. With this particular 1940's wedding dress there is a stain on the right side of the lace bodice. Upon first glance I decide yes I can get the stain out but it will require removing the buttons. Ah yes, all those beautiful buttons. I've learned the hard way (with one of my very first vintage bridal gowns)that if you are going to clean, especially hand wash, you must remove the buttons. The old buttons were made with a type of metal base that will rust and ruin not only the buttons but will leach out onto your whole dress. Yes, this did happen to me with my first bride. Unfortunately, the dress was in perfect condition but the bride's mother wanted it "freshened up". Needless to say it was a disaster. (On top of that the bride didn't like the lighter 'fresher' color! She loved the original antique hue. Who knew it would turn so white!) So, my original post was supposed to be about removing buttons before cleaning. And this is still valuable information. But upon closer inspection of the lace I see that it is too fragile to withstand an even gentle washing. I often remind people that it's not the dress that is 70 years or more old but the fabric is that old. So, in conclusion you always have to weigh the pros and cons. If you love the dress and accept it as is then by all means wear it in all it's vintage glory!