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Posts Tagged ‘Dress’

Recycled wedding dresses? How terribly eco.

In Dresses on July 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm
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Deconstruct old clothes and turn them into catwalk pieces

Cover off “something borrowed” by walking down the aisle in a recycled wedding dress. It will keep your carbon footprint light and fluffy and your wallet with a few pennies left in it.

For East Londoners, Junky Styling are specialists at creating something new from recycled clothing. They can either scour second hand shops and jumble sales for you to find beautiful pieces of lace to make your dream eco-dress or alter and re-fashion a piece of clothing you bring in. Run by Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager and a team of designers on Brick Lane, they’re immensely creative and admirably unpretentious. They’re not wedding specialists, but sometimes that can be a good thing. Here’s some they made earlier…

A little bit of rouging and a buttoned off-shoulder cowl neck

Recycled wedding dress by Junky Styling. Groom, bride's own.

Recycled wedding dress by Junky Styling. Groom, bride's own.

Layers of vintage lace add interest to a simple silhouette

 Vintage lace gets a make-over

Vintage lace gets a make-over

Shortening an old wedding dress gives instant modernity.

Take a wedding dress, then shorten, add ruffles, and voila. Your wedding dress = pimped.

Take a wedding dress, then shorten, add ruffles, and voila. Your wedding dress = pimped.

And if you’re really really on a budget, you can always fashion a wedding dress out of old white T-shirts…

A few T-shirts, some sewing skillz and by golly, that's your wedding dress sorted.

A few T-shirts, some sewing skillz and by golly, that's your wedding dress sorted.

Click here to see instructions

Click here to see instructions

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High street flower girls are go

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Dresses on March 17, 2009 at 11:40 am
Flower girls have an alarming tendency of coming in not ones or twos, but threes or even fours. All that organza can stack up if you’re not careful. Luckily, if you avoid bridal shops and hit the high street you might just find something cute, fashionable, affordable and un-hated by its wearers. Who knows, they might (and this is of course a fabulous cliche), but they really might just wear them again.
1. Get flowergirl accessories from Monsoon. Their dresses are amazing too, and start from £55.

Flower coral hairband £5, satin ruffle ballerina shoes £20 both MonsoonFlower coral hairband, £5, Monsoon. Satin Ruffle Ballerina Shoes from Monsoon, £20

Monsoon dress wit ha vintage feel going for £62
Monsoon dress with a vintage feel going for £62

2. Go for the non-bridal girls dresses. Any long white girl’s dress with a sash ribbon at Marks & Spencer, especially in its Autograph range, is miraculously twice the price of its normal girls’ dresses.

Have more relaxed flowergirls with Marks & Spencer: white dress £25

Have more relaxed flowergirls with Marks & Spencer: pink dress £18, white dress £25

3. Try online kid’s clothingLa Redoute, Littlewoods or Boden do bright unpretensious summer dresses.

Pink floaty summer dress, £24, Boden.

Pink floaty summer dress, £24, Boden.

£16- £24 at La Redoute

£16- £24 at La Redoute

4. Have no fear of patterns. They can look remarkably chic.

Flowergirl

Tea dress, £16-21, Next

5. Co-ordinating colours can work too. And if the girls are sisters, they can re-wear them more easily.

Boden gypsy dress, £22

Boden gypsy dress, £22

6. Love the High Street. Next, BHS and Debenhams are big winners. Even Tesco can look cute on really little ones.

Flower Embroidered Bridesmaid Dress £30, Signature Vintage Bridesmaid Dress £36, both from Next

Flower Embroidered Bridesmaid Dress £30, Signature Vintage Bridesmaid Dress £36, both from Next

Design your own wedding dress: copy the old Hollywood stars

In DIY, Dresses on March 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm
Dress by Adrian (Greta Garbos designer)

Dress is by Adrian (Greta Garbo's designer)

If you’re going to shell out for a beautiful dress, you might as well get the most beautifully designed one you can. And unless you’re an astoundingly talented dress designer, it’s probably worth taking some inspiration from some of the most beautiful classic long dresses known to womankind. In other words, if you’re going to steal, do it from Waitrose rather than Costcutters.

Joan Crawford:

Joan Crawford wears a streamlined dress as Letty Lynton in 1932, designed by Adrian. It demonstrates the fashion for classical drapery with its bias-cutting, draping and wrap details.

Joan Crawford wears a streamlined dress as Letty Lynton in 1932, designed by Adrian. It demonstrates the fashion for classical drapery with its bias-cutting, draping and wrap details."

Greta Garbo:

Greta Garbo

Greta Garb

Rita Hayworth:

Rita Hayworth in a pink and silver lame evening dress designed by the famed Hollywood designer Howard Greer.

Rita Hayworth in a pink and silver lame evening dress designed by the famed Hollywood designer Howard Greer.

Learn to do hair like hers here.

!930s designer, Madeleine Vionnet:

Dancer Irene Castle poses in a classical-style dress, 1922

Dancer Irene Castle poses in a classical-style dress, 1922

Then a little later, there’s Audrey Hepburn:

Audrey Hepburn in a 50s wedding dress

Audrey Hepburn in a 50's wedding dress

And for a more modern Hollywood icon, try Keira Knightley‘s amazing green dress from Atonement:

The green dress in Atonement

The green dress in Atonement

And if all this is too much and you just want a hint of vintage, try Circa Brides, London.

The Great Hunt for the cheap, slinky wedding dress

In Dresses, Uncategorized on February 20, 2009 at 11:54 am

The hunt for an affordable wedding dress is a long and arduous one. The hunt for an affordable, slinky, 1930s inspired wedding dress not made of polyester or covered in stains, is a long, arduous, grueling and time-consuming one. Here’s a load of general tips for finding a cheap wedding dress that I blogged about earlier. Here’s where the hunt has taken me so far:

1. Personal shopper at Selfridges – Great service with two assistants running around the designer floor looking for non-bridal designer dresses. I found this amazing blue Balenciaga dress. Unfortunately it was £1300. Oh.

2. Oxfam Brides – see my earlier post on this.

3. Ritva Westenius Despite being outrageously posh, they were very nice here. I found two beautiful dresses, ‘Eleanor’ and ‘Gilda’, which I’m now scouring the net for second hand versions in size 10. Anyone?

Ritva Westenius Gilda

Ritva Westenius 'Gilda'

4. Caroline Castigliano. Here I was asked by a very frightening Miss Haversham type what sort of wedding I was going to have, as she eyed me up, trying to work out how rich I was.

“A nice one?” I replied. It went downhill from there. The only slinky, non-meringue dress was by Sharon Hoey. Again, I’m now on the hunt online for a second hand one (size 10, bias cut, cowl back,no cleavage anyone?)

This lady is selling hers for £1000, which is sadly little steep

This lady is selling hers for 1000 euros, size 8

5. Etsy seller Miss Bombshell ticked my fancy with this silk charmeuse number.

Miss Bombshell's 1930s dress. Found by etsywedding.

Miss Bombshell's 1930s dress. Found by etsywedding. $500

Reiss to the rescue

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Dresses on February 15, 2009 at 9:31 pm

For the more relaxed bride, Reiss has some chic cream cocktail dresses on sale. There’s also some silvery satin stilettos on sale. Have a look at the three-tone cream, nude and grey stilettos in their spring range. They are sensational.

On sale in Reiss for £100
On sale in Reiss for £100
Jamie dress from Reiss

Jamie dress from Reiss

There’s also some re-wearable dresses for bridesmaids.

Coral Reiss dress

Coral Reiss dress

Success at Oxfam Brides

In Dresses on February 10, 2009 at 8:44 pm
One Oxfam bridal gown

One Oxfam bridal gown

So, I’ve blogged about Oxfam Brides before, on Credit Crunch Weddings Dresses. However, now I can blog with the benefit of experience. Yes indeed, I am now endowed with the experience of one Leatherhead Oxfam Bridal department, just round the M25.

After a particularly filling afternoon tea on Leatherhead’s High St, my friend and I (both soon to be wed), headed off to our appointment upstairs at Oxfam. Admittedly, upstairs at a charity shop is not where most little girls imagine finding their dream dress. However, the assistant was very nice and didn’t seem to have any Cruella De Ville tendencies at all. There was a good 80 dresses, 79 of them unworn and direct from designers, and hardly any were nasty polyester.

More to the point, my friend found her dress, an raw silk, ivory, high halter neck, mermaid creation for £300. I’m sure it was by some outrageously expensive designer, but the labels had been cut off.

Leatherhead bridal shop

Leatherhead bridal shop

It’s probably time you made all your white wedding dreams come true at Oxfam Bridal.

O how do you solve a problem like bridesmaids?

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Dresses on February 9, 2009 at 9:15 pm

It’s enough to turn you to Andrew Lloyd Webber. OK, nothing could be that bad. However, The Bridesmaid Issue is a thorny one. The more popular you are, the more The Wedding God punishes you. Here’s how to keep bridesmaids costs in line with your bank balance:

1. Buy plain high street dresses. Reiss, J Crew and Banana Republic will give you some thing nicer, cheaper, more fashionable and less taffeta-based than any bridal shop.

J Crew's Erez range

J Crew's Erez range

2. Each bridesmaid has their own colour. If Sex in The City can do it, so can you.

Sex in the City

Sex in the City

Indeed, you can even create a rainbow icecream effect, like these lovelies:

By Kay Unger

By Kay Unger

3. Bridesmaid’s all wear black. This marvellously simple tip was was sent in by Elizabeth. See what else the lovely Elizabeth has done to keep prices in check for her wedding here.

4. Don’t have bridesmaids. If you’re over 30, or are developing fine lines, it’s undignified anyway.

5. Go young with bridesmaids. The younger they are the less they’ll realise what a cheapskate you’re making of them.

6. Let them wear what they like. They’ll probably thank you. No one ever uses bridesmaid’s dresses again, however much they lie to you they will. It’s a science fact.

7. Buy hair accessories, matching ribbons and bouquets, not dresses.

Credit crunch wedding dresses

In Dresses on January 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Here’s how to chuck money down the drain.

a) Fold up a fiver really small. Stand in gutter. Squish said fiver through grill of drain.

b) Buy a brand new non-sale wedding dress from a bridal shop.

The beauty of used wedding dresses is that they really will have been worn just once. However, thousands insist on paying double or even triple to be the first wearer of their dress. It defies all logic, even the logic of a bride drunk on romance, to do this in our redundancy-infused times. Here’s some tips on finding the perfect bankruptcy-avoiding dress:

1.Take window shopping to a whole new level. Go to as many ghastly over-priced bridal shops as you can, and try as many wedding dresses on as they’ll let you. Lie flamboyantly about your budget so you get to try the best dresses. Make sure you take down the names/ product codes of the dresses.

2. Get serious with Ebay. Set up a search for the exact model and make of dress you like, save it and receive updates when one comes on the market.

There’s also online shops specifically for second hand wedding dresses, but they tend to be a bit more expensive.

3. Go old school. Well, vintage anyway. Camden market has a great range of vintage bridal dresses. Or if you want to go a little more upmarket, there’s The Vintage Wedding Dress Company for about a grand a pop.

The Vintage Wedding Dress Company

The Vintage Wedding Dress Company

4. Book into Oxfam Brides. They’ve got 10 bridal departments, mainly full of unworn designer dresses. Make an appointment at a branch, they’re all do-gooder charity types, so are extra helpful. Good ones are Bracknell, Leatherhead, Southhampton, Eastbourne. Expect to pay £250 a dress. At that sort of price, you could buy two. Hell, save the second one for your second wedding.

Oxfam Brides

Oxfam Brides

5. Borrow your mate’s. It’s crazy, but it just might work.

6. Never forget China. A billion tailors, all waiting for your custom. They’ll do rip offs of anything you can get clear pictures of. If you can manage to measure yourself properly (or get a friendly local seamstress to) then they can make it.

7. Don’t under-estimate the high street. Monsoon, Littlewoods and the American J Crew all do great dresses for £200-350. And if you’re a big fan of polyester, there’s always the BHS wedding outfit with shoes for £100.

J Crew Erez dress for $395

J Crew Erez dress for $395

8. Don’t wear white. Amazingly, you won’t turn into a pumpkin if you walk up the aisle in dove grey. Gold or any metallic has an element of theatricality, and red during winter rocks. Then you can get a designer dress without any Bride Tax.

9. Get a personal shopper. They’re free at Liberties, Selfridges and many department stores. They can help you get an idea of what shape suits you, or even find you a non-bridal dress which just happens to be white.

10. Go knee-length. Knee length dresses in ivory pretty much never get hit with Bride Tax.

Motasem dress

Dress from Motasem