vintage dress

02-02-13

The vintage bride is the ultimate romantic at heart. Her wedding is all about the details, the subtleties; The silk covered buttons on her dress, the type-writer font on the place-cards, the peek-a-boo petticoats of the bridesmaids and the antique lace ribbon around the centre-pieces. Vintage weddings are always very unique. If done properly, the couple can create a little story by building a celebration on little bits and pieces, which on their own may just be cute and kitschy, but together paint a wonderful picture of the kind of love that has brought them to this very point. 

vintage dress

Hollywood Royalty

And who more appropriate to gain inspiration than from one of history's most graceful (awful pun, my apologies) princesses, Grace Kelly. In not one, but two fairytale weddings, the iconic screen starlet married her literal prince charming, the charming Prince Rainer III of Monaco in 1956. Dubbed one of the most legendary brides, Grace walked the aisle in a creation by MGM costume designer Helen Rose. A high-collared, long sleeved design, the bodice consisted of intricate rose point lace over sheer netting. The stunning detail of the lace was further accentuated with pearl beading. A wrap around waist followed into a full ball-gown skirt. Not one for tiaras, Grace donned a custom made lace headpiece with floral detail and a sheer veil. Such an elaborately detailed dress yearned not for flashy accessories, and the princess maintained a classic look with simple pearl drop earrings. 

Swinging Sixties 

Not one for the full ball gown fairy tale? If your vision of your wedding dress does not involve layer upon layer of lace, mile upon mile of silk, then simply look to Hollywood's pixie girl. A true fashion icon and incredible talent, she features the scrap books of budding designers everywhere with her take on classic, simple tailoring. Audrey Hepburn showed us that fashion does not need to be complicated to be stunning. A beautiful example of this is her wedding look from the 1957 flick, Funny Face. Perfect if you want to be able to kick up your heels post-ceremony, Hepburn's character donned a three-quarter length ballerina-esque dress with a simple sheer netting overlay. A boat-neck bodice with adorable cap sleeves was then topped off with a ribbon headband and simple floor length veil. This look can easily be personalised to exude your own style. Utilize the shorter hemline by rocking some adorable vintage pumps. Use the canvas-like simplicity of the bodice to display a beautiful family heirloom pin. Or go super 60's mod style and rock a pill-box hat instead.  

Bargain Hunter

If you are a girl with a knack for bargains and vintage buys, you may be on a treasure hunt for your dress. The best buys are often found in second-hand shops of rich well-to-do suburbs. When buying your dress be sure to check the entire gown for wear and tear. Beware of buying gowns that are slightly yellowed as they have the tendency to make the wearer look washed out. You want your dress to enhance your wedding day glow! Also check for other stains and dirt, particularly around the hemline. If you're daring enough to search for your vintage gown online, be sure to ask the seller if the gown has been properly preserved and cleaned before you purchase. 

For custom made vintage-style gowns, be on the look out early on for beautiful pieces of lace, beads and ribbon to incorporate into your design. Markets are great for this sort of thing. To link your look with your betrothed, use a piece of the material to tie around the groom's boutonniere. As mentioned before, it's all about the details!