Vintage jewelry often finds its way into my mind when designing wedding dresses (and often, onto my fingers, ears and neck!) Many years ago, before the current trend of “vintage weddings” appeared, I devoted an entire collection to two of my favorite eras of jewelry design: Art Nouveau 1890-1910 and Art Deco 1920-1939.
Still one of our most popular silhouettes, Cloisonne features intricate “inlaid” velvet on delicate tulle embroidery with ribbons and beading along the neckline…almost takes the place of a necklace, although a lovely pair of earrings might be nice!
The Art Deco style of the 1920’s has always been a favorite of mine (and many of my brides). The Renee gown has vintage brooches at the bodice and the lace rose motif is based on the classic Paul Poiret rose seen in his classic “La Rose de Rosine Parfum, 1912.
This season, I’ve been tempted to visit this era again, especially with a couple of gowns, Haviland and Deauville…1920’s glamour seems oh so now! How to keep it modern yet timeless? Don’t OVER-do on the vintage details…if your dress is classically retro, keep the shoes modern and sexy. Maybe the venue is city chic, and you arrive in a classic car and serve Absinthe! Or vice-versa, and the venue is a 1920’s estate, and you add some modern clean lines to the décor…or how about your whole décor and story IS retro, but you have a rockin’ band and the bride and groom each sport a few tattoos?! You know me, I’m really not one for “rules” about a wedding…to me, the magic lies in each individual couple telling a story that is so perfectly “them”.
I love to see how our brides interpret these fabulous eras as inspiration for weddings…they always look like such fun parties, and so memorable for their guests! It’s all about finding your own personal details and inspiration to create a love story uniquely you.
Tags: antique jewelry, art deco, art nouveau, cloisonne, deauville, haviland, kristene, Lalique, renee
Clara and Lalique, two of my favorite gowns from my Art Nouveau collection. They really epitomize the inspiration from Clara Bow, the classic 1920’s icon, to the lyrical jewelry design of Lalique which inspired the embroidery for this piece.
Some of my absolute favorite brides have worn these gowns, and I think because the dresses have such distinct personalities, they attracted a fabulous selection of brides and made some breath-taking weddings.
Making the cover of WWD was a professional highlight for me. My husband was up late one evening, and just happened to visit WWD online. They post the following day’s issue after midnight, and up came that cover! Total surprise, and what an honor!
I really do feel a little sad saying goodbye to these two, but nice to know they made a lasting impression.
I just love the Midsummer’s Garden vision that Jessica Stamen was in her Lalique gown. Chas proposed in a gorgeous 18th century concert hall in Vienna. “The first thing I noticed was his accent – he’s British – and the second thing I noticed is that he is 7 feet tall. I am 5 foot 2, so we look pretty funny together,” says Jessica about the first time she met Charles (Chas) at a Halloween party.
“The minute I returned from Vienna, I began dress shopping,” says Jessica Stamen. “After many days of ogling Claire’s divine dresses on the net, I went into the adorable flagship store, and it was Cynthia who pulled the Lalique gown for me. She said she thought of it the moment I walked in, and I indeed fell in love with it the instant I put it on.”
“A little whimsical Thisby Midsummer’s Night Dream…very light and airy and with her coloring the Lalique multi was a beautiful choice for her because it brought out her beautiful hair. “I loved that it used color, and that unlike the structured or poufy dresses that crowd the marketplace, it was soft, flowing, delicate, and a bit whimsical. The dress, which features embroidered pink blossoms on green stems, and has an organic feel, became the inspiration for our enchanted garden wedding. We had centerpieces made out of manzanita branches with pink and white blooms, and pink and white lovebirds as the escort cards and atop the cake.
Jessica married Chas on November 7th, 2009 at the magical Tivoli Too in Laguna Beach. Everyone commented that not only was the dress unique and beautiful, but that it was totally “me,” which meant the world to me. Claire, thank you for creating a dress that made me feel like a beautiful bride, but still like myself.