Monday, 28 April 2014

Milly's 1940s vintage wedding dress with stunning silk velvet train

Dear Reader

Today I'd just like to share a few pictures sent in by Heavenly bride, Milly.
For her wedding to Colin, Milly chose a gorgeous 1940s gown from my collection of original vintage wedding dresses. This was a really special dress - SO glamorous!
The dress was constructed from ivory lace and silk velvet, and embellished with beading. The velvet skirt that drapes so wonderfully also had this magical, long train...
As you can see, Milly made the perfect choice: I know you'll agree she looks totally beautiful in it!

See you again soon.
Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides


Friday, 25 April 2014

Ever heard of Charles James? Wonderful 1950s dresses at the Met, New York.

Dear Reader

Charles James was one of the most influential dress designers of the 1940s and 1950s. Yet, surprisingly, he is little known in the UK. 
Charles James gowns. Photograph by Cecil Beaton
Even though he was British, he is often called 'the first American couturier' as he spent most of his career in the USA.
Charles James 1952, Photograph by Michael A Vaccaro
James was hugely admired by other prominent designers of the 40s and 50s. Christian Dior described James' work as "poetry" and credited him with being the true originator of the 'New Look' of 1947, as it was inspired by a conversation with James.
Charles James suit, Photograph by Erwin Blumenfeld, Vogue July 1951
James created fabulous and innovative designs for many famous figures. From royalty to burlesque performers, his client list is quite a fascinating read in itself. Iconic actress Marlene Dietrich, jewellery designer Elsa Peretti, burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, famous socialite Babe Paley, and designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel all wore his fabulous dresses.
British actress Joan Fontaine in Charles James, Photograph by Horst P Horst, 1937
New York socialite Babe Paley in Charles James Ballgown 1950
He was a lifelong friend of fashion photographer Cecil Beaton, whose famous photo (at the top of this post) of society beauties in James' gowns sums up for me all the glamour of the 40s and 50s. 
Early James designs. Photograph by Cecil Beaton, Vogue 1936
James photographed by Cecil Beaton, 1936
Charles James with model, Photograph by Cecil Beaton
James was notoriously difficult to work with and hugely egotistical, and called himself an artist and "the greatest couturier of the western world"! He sniffed at Beaton as a mere social-climbing artisan. Beaton retaliated by saying James was a "little monster". But the two remained firm friends and often worked together to produce some of fashions most iconic images!
Charles James 'Butterfly' Gown, Photograph by Cecil Beaton
James Gown, Photograph by Cecil Beaton, Vogue 1946
Charles James 'Swan' Gown, 1955, Photograph by Cecil Beaton
...And the same 'Swan' gown photographed by Horst P Horst, Vogue 1951
There is a wonderful exhibition of Charles James' work opening in May at the Met Museum in New York. How I would love to see those dresses close up! So let's end with a few more of his fabulous creations...
Photograph by Horst P Horst, Vogue 1940
Illustration and Photograph by Cecil Beaton, Vogue 1944
Charles James hat, inspired by Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Ecstasy', Vogue 1952
Thanks for dropping in - and hope you've enjoyed this whistle-stop tour! 
Love 
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides

All photographs courtesy of 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Vogue Archive

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Vintage eyewear, 1950s-style. Funny AND fabulous!

Dear Reader

Welcome back from the Easter break. I hope you enjoyed a little time off, a little sunshine, and a lot of chocolate.

To brighten our first day back at work, I'd like to share this short and sweet film with you. It's a fabulous vintage 1950s feature on wearing glasses. Seems those 1950s ladies liked to choose a pair for every outfit!
I'm loving the "unorthodox Kiss style"... spectacular in every way! Thanks for checking in... and see you soon.

Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides

Monday, 14 April 2014

Meet my new 1950s-style wedding dress: 'Dorothy'

Dear Reader

Drum roll please... 
Meet 'Dorothy', the latest in my Heavenly Collection of vintage-inspired wedding dresses... 
'Dorothy' 1950s style wedding dress, new to the Heavenly Collection
Dorothy is a new version of my 1950s-style Blanche dress. Dorothy features a full length, more A-line skirt to give a softer look. 

A really versatile dress, Dorothy can work in so many different ways: I've shown it here in ivory silk and corded lace, using the beautiful border for the sleeve and hem.
I named the dress after my lovely model, Dorothy, pictured here!
The Dorothy dress is available now from £1495
As well as the pretty short sleeve shown here, Dorothy also looks fabulous with a three-quarter or full length sleeve. The photos here show a softly scooped neckline, but a sharper V neckline also works beautifully. And right now, I'm working on a new Dorothy made in a finer lace, with a palest apricot silk lining. It's gorgeous! And I'll show it to you very soon. 
Dorothy dress, available now from £1495

Just to remind you about the dress from which it's adapted, the pictures below are beautiful 'Blanche' - always popular with my brides - in ballerina length and with 3/4 sleeve. 
Blanche, 1950s style wedding dress from £1495
Blanche, 1950s style wedding dress from £1495
Blanche, 1950s style wedding dress from £1495
Both dresses shown here are available now, priced £1495. I hope my brides will love Dorothy as much as they do the original Blanche. 

Thanks to Robert Lawler for photography, and to models Dorothy and Cordelia. And thanks to you, dear reader, for dropping in to help me launch my new dress!

Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides



Friday, 11 April 2014

Molly, stunning in a 1960s wedding dress by Priscilla of Boston

Dear Reader

Today I'd like to share some pictures from beautiful vintage bride Molly.

Molly was married last Summer in a stunning 1960s wedding dress. With its gorgeous lace, elegant high neck and long sleeves, the dress has all the hallmarks and details to suggest it is by renowned American designer Priscilla of Boston.
Priscilla of Boston created the wedding dresses for the daughters of two serving American Presidents - including Tricia Nixon's famously iconic wedding dress. 
Her real name was Priscilla Kidder and she is among the foremost American Wedding dress designers of the past fifty years. She also designed Princess Grace’s primrose yellow organdy bridesmaid dresses, above. 
This particular dress was a wonderful example of her work and the perfect gown to showcase Molly’s willowy beauty. Molly was a truly stunning bride. You can see her husband clearly agrees!
I've also been fortunate to help Molly’s delightful sister Felicity with her dress. Felicity features on the Real Brides page of my website, here. (And here's a snap from Felicity's own wedding, showing all her lovely family - Molly is at the front left, of course.)
I can honestly say it has been a huge pleasure to be involved with the whole family, and I am looking forward to more of the beautiful Taylor sisters getting married in the future! 
Thanks to Molly’s friend Mairead, who took all the photographs (do email me if you'd like Mairead's contact details). I'll sign off with some more images of beautiful Molly and her wonderfully happy day. 
Thanks for dropping by. If you'd like to see more 1960s wedding dresses, visit my Original Vintage Dresses page or please do contact me. And do check in again next week - I have a very exciting announcement to make...!

Love
Helena
Heavenly Vintage Brides