Lace is one of my favorite fabrics. There are so many varieties and techniques used to create this intricate textile, but I prefer the old ways. Many of the mills that I work with are in their 4th, 5th, and in one case, 9th generation of family owned businesses! Some of the lace patterns in my collection were designed and drafted in the 1760’s. I feel the history behind these gorgeous fabrics makes lace such a special choice for a wedding dress. That sense of the past, and artisan craftsmanship being handed down through the generations is rare in our disposable world, and it gives me hope that there are still people doing this work, and brides that appreciate it.
See the entire collection at Clairepettibone.com
Tags: bridal, brides, claire pettibone, Couture Bridal, Decoupage, inspiration, lace, vintage lace, Wedding Dresses, wedding gown
When I see the ocean in the distance, the wreaths in the hair, and the nonchalant, effortless beauty portrayed in the paintings of Victorian artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, I can literally feel the sun and smell the flowers on the breeze. I wanted to take you all with me to this Earthly Paradise, from the gowns to the styling of the show. Of course there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes…Heaven wasn’t created in a day, right?!
Fabrics to drape, embellishments to design, cookies to bake (yes, those are cookies!), programs to paint, and chai tea lattes to drink…some very talented collaborators joined me in this process, and crafted quite an experience for our guests.
We created our own “painting” for the backdrop, combining petals, sea and sky, and continued the illusion with the addition of over 100,000 rose petals. When the massive canvas was unfurled during NY market week, and we began to scatter the petals on the runway the morning of the show, even I was amazed (and thrilled) with how perfectly our blank slate was transformed!
Hair and make-up were key in fashioning our modern goddesses, and I made these wreaths for each model while casting at the hotel (nothing like a little multi-tasking!) We even enlisted a few gorgeous immortals to escort our guests to their seats…and of course I made wreaths for them too!
Finally it’s time to welcome our guests with champagne flowing, programs ready on the chairs, models dressed, and a final word of direction before they cue the music, and the whole thing is over in about 15 minutes! Literally 6 months of preparation to make it all happen…kind of like a wedding!
I owe the artists and poets who have come before me, and the Earth and the sea and the flowers, my deepest gratitude. A huge thank you to our partners behind the scenes:
Photography & Video: Collective Edit
Rose Petals: Petal Garden
Programs: Kristy Rice of Momental Designs
Cookies: Sweet Ambs
Wine: OneHope Weddings
Hair: Giselle Modeste for Ojon
Make-up: Romero Jennings for MAC Cosmetics
Tags: Alma-Tadema, bridal, Couture, Designer, Fashion Show, gowns, inspiration, Runway, Wedding Dresses
A beautiful bride came to our Trunk Show this weekend to purchase her dream gown, Kristene. She pulled out the most amazing vintage shoes to show me, and I freaked out! I hope I didn’t scare her (I don’t think so, she ordered the gown!) but they are just too special, I couldn’t’ contain myself! Hand embroidered and entirely encrusted with tiny seed beads…even tiny sprays of flower and leaf on the back of the heels! She found them on Etsy, in mint condition, and a perfect fit…what are the odds?! Well, I see a lot of beautiful shoes from our brides, but these are a true treasure!
I think part of my excitement, is that I just introduced my new “Windsor Rose China” collection, which is inspired by my grandmother, who used to make just these sorts of precious heirlooms. It’s kind of uncanny how the embroidery on these shoes so perfectly matches the vintage jacquard waistband on Waverly. I have just now come out of my creative cocoon having put that collection together, and to have it literally walk in the door was so amazing!
It is the little things, the unexpected surprises in life that are sometimes what slay us, aren’t they? The obvious, big things are wonderful, but sometimes the small, special, and truly personal gifts and moments are the ones that mean the most. Sometimes I see a bride have such an emotional response to one of my gowns…maybe it reminds her of someone dear who is no longer with us, maybe it’s a childhood memory that she doesn’t even recall, but somewhere in her soul, the gown whispers to her…
Who knows why we love the things we do, but it sure makes life delightful!
Tags: 2012 windsor rose, inspiration, kristene, real bride, shoes, Trunk Show, waverly
You know I love my outdoor, romantic garden, rustic ranch, dreamy under-the-petals, walking-through-the-meadows weddings…well, here’s a little trip to the dark side! Some of our UK friends decided to style a shoot with none of the usual “bridal” elements…no cake, no antique linens, no chandeliers hanging from an oak tree. I do love those things, but I have to say, these images featuring my Mystere gown are pretty hot, no?!
Nick Tucker: This shoot was very much a full blown collaboration with Hannah Gooch of The Ebury Collection. We wanted to create a darker, moodier, edgier, more overtly fashion shoot, than maybe your typical bridal stories. Bright, sunlit shots of model brides tripping along flowery pathways have become very familiar lately and we wanted to do something a little different. Not least because when I shoot weddings myself the brief is always really to capture the warm, light, radiance of the day (as of course it should be). So here was a great chance to go ‘off-trend’ and do something unusual, and have fun!
Hannah Gooch: I’ve worked on styled shoots before and wanted to try and create something completely different, with a moodier feel and much more editorial and fashiony. I’ve admired Nick Tuckers photography for some time so thought I’d approach himabout a collaboration and was delighted when he agreed!
The Mystere gown is part of my“Rock n Roll Bride” collection, so she is no stranger to a good party and some smudgy eyeliner. Of course, she also makes for the most romantic of weddings, but you all know that…
Photographer – Nick Tucker
Stylist – Hannah Gooch
Venue – Fetcham Park
Make-up – Sara Vaughan
Hair – Holly Andersen
UK Stockist - Blackburn Bridal
For a complete list of stockists, please visit our website “salon locator” and for images of Mystere, visit the “continuing collection” page of our lookbook.
Tags: Blackburn Bridal, claire pettibone, Couture Bridal, fetcham park, hannah gooch, holly andersen, inspiration, Mystere, nick tucker, rock n roll bride, sara vaughan, Spotlight
I can’t remember a time before fairies. I would play for hours in the meadows and streams of my childhood, making dresses of leaves and petals for the sprites I imagined lived in the woods. One of my favorite childhood books was called The Fairy Circus, written in 1933. It had been my grandmother’s, then my mother’s, and now I am sharing it with my little Lorelei. The gorgeous illustrations of the fairy queen seemed so magical and luminous…just the way I imagine a bride to be on her wedding day.