May 11, 2007

Crash the Wedding in Vintage

With wedding season in full swing (insert your "ahhh" or "puking sound" here), you're going to have to have a bunch of formal events to go to. This can be a really stressful annoying part of friendship, or a fun, easy way to rock some new fantastic dresses. This photograph was taken of me at good friend's Nathaniel and Teresa's wedding. I bought the chocolate brown vintage frock from Retro Vintage, an awesome basement vintage shop off of Carnaby Street in London. I also picked up an authentic, 1960's white petticoat to wear underneath. I never quite understood the importance of petticoats until I walked out of the dressing room with one under the brown dress and saw my boyfriend's jaw actually drop. The a-line and swing it created completely transformed the dress from a casual summer one, to a special, elegant ensemble. One late-60's, lovely British wedding-goer dubbed the outfit 'a magnificent mixture'. That just about made my week. The white caplet with hand-sewn shell details is by a local London designer who is sending me her information. I found her at the Portabello Market selling her unique, beautiful pieces.
Nathaniel and Teresa's union will last a lifetime. I am glad I picked an elegant, timeless piece to wear. To most of it. After hours of walking, decorating and dancing, I changed into the change of clothes I brought to dance to 'Thriller' in. Being able to de-vintage-heal-it, kept me going for a couple extra hours. It's better to dress down and continue on, than have a silly shoe-issue take away from your dancing time.

Show up in support or disgust of your friend's union in a unique, one-of-a-kind recycled vintage frock instead of accidentally wearing the same dress as someone else (gasp!) or running the risk of picking too trendy of of item that will go out of style before the separation papers are filed. You don't want to show up for a cocktail party a year later, only to find a forever photo of you and the wedding party framed, and sitting on their mantle for all to see with you in an outfit you're already embarrassed by.

One of the tricky elements is deciphering how formal the event is, and what the crown will be like. When I showed up with Will and our good friends Nate and Suzzanne to a formal, afternoon wedding and walked into a sea of conservative beige shifts, I was proud that Suzie Q. and I rocked our recycled, yet elegant vintage dresses. Elegant and dressy, yet unique and very comfortable, we enjoyed ourselves so much more than had we dressed accordingly. Still very appropriate, and no where near as offensive as we could have felt due to how subdued the rest of the guests apparel indicated, we danced, drank and caught the bouquet.

To play it safe, you can always go for a classic, simple black, chocolate brown or navy dress, and make it your own with lovely antique shoes, your grandmothers antique beaded bag, and special, dressy pieces of jewelry you don't often get to wear.

Here are a few that would work for an evening, black-tie wedding. Some people insist on steering clear of black for a wedding, and to each his/her own. I think you can make black work for any formal affair, with the right accessories. Brighter, more summery color palette for your make-up, with a sweet summer antique or modern purse, and black can work as an elegant summer look.

When picking bridesmaids gowns (girl's are rolling their eyes as they read this), why not go with special vintage pieces. Instead of, again, dating the event, or making your friends and siblings wear something they are uncomfortable in, why not let them pick the piece that is perfect for them, in the colors that you choose. That way the look and aesthetic is still very you, in the vein you envision, but the pieces can be special, one-of-a-kind antique frocks that can be altered to fit your girls perfectly. There are lots of options for the earth-friendly, indie wedding guest or bride. Just take some time to check out vintage shops and stores and keep in mind that you can always alter any antique or vintage dress to fit you. You can save a ton of money by finding a special piece that you love the era, color, lines and look of, and make it work for you. Or choosing dresses in different colors, and having one united image, like a lovely set of two birds on each, or get an indie designer to add a 'tied knot' as a small little special detail. There are so many ways to make these ideas your own.

Salvage Life's Etsy Shop. And check often for new finds added all the time. Great seller, and rare, fun finds.

MOUSEVOX VINTAGE is one of my all-time fav vintage shops. Check every week for new stuff. Rachel, the genius behind it all, is a really sweet, green, rad girl who has a rescue beagle and her own indie company. What more could you want?

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