One of our absolute favorite gowns we've seen lately (check it out here) has beautiful cap sleeves and is by Chicago designer Alice Padrul. She has a few similar styles in her beautiful collection. We've also seen the cap-sleeves and other similar covered shoulder designs in collections by Nicole Miller and Marchesa.
Marchesa cap-shoulder marchesa.com
3. Early Hollywood glamour wedding dresses
Several of the latest vintage style gowns seem to be inspired by classic 1920s and 1930s Hollywood glamour, with shimmering silver and gold fabrics and details. Designers that primarily incorporate these looks into their collections include Johanna Johnson, Jenny Packham, Ines DiSanto and Atelier Aimée.
Atelier Aimée gown, Juliet and Romeo Collection, www.aimee.it
4. Antique shabby vintage wedding dresses
We noticed several country music stars wearing shabby chic vintage style dresses this year at the Grammy awards, and likewise have also spotted similar trends in wedding dresses. We regularly see these types of vintage styles on BHLDN.com and Freepeople.com, but designer Clair Pettibone has had fantastic vintage gowns go down the runway for 2012 and prior seasons that absolutely take our breath away.
Clair Pettibone vintage gown, clairepettibone.com
5. Plunging V necklines and backs wedding gowns
Designers Badgely Mishchka seemed to showcase all of these trends in their most recent runway shows, but most prominently their designs featured dropped V necklines and backs, which we also noticed in a some other collections including Anne Bowen, Caroline Castigliano, and Jim Hjelm.
As photographers, we always have a close eye on the work of hair and makeup professionals, and we would like to spotlight the lovely looks of some of our recent brides, made possible with the help of their talented stylists.
Ruffles have been a part of weddings and formal fashions for generations. However, we've been noticing ruffles incorporated in interesting new ways with our bride's wedding fashions and themes, and of course they are a mainstay for children's dresses.
Here are some recent ruffled wedding fashions we've recently come across.
We recently enjoyed photographing Vicky and David's vintage style summer wedding, which included lovely cream and yellow colors, and fashions with an overall organic and natural feeling.
Lately we've been seeing more cotton and natural fibers in wedding fashions. Here we share a few of these lovely finds of vintage prairie, pioneer, farm, and old-time country inspired styles for wedding dresses that we think Laura Ingalls Wilder (author of Little House on the Prairie) would pray for.
We have long admired the wedding dresses of Alice Padrul Bridal Couture. Alice has been designing high fashion for decades, and exclusively creating couture wedding gowns since 2004. Giorgio and I started to see her beautiful gowns in wedding magazines several years ago, and were excited to find out that Alice's boutique studio is located nearby us in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood. One of our brides recently wore a beautiful gown designed by Alice, and then we had the fortunate opportunity to visit Alice and her husband Gene at their boutique studio. We loved seeing all of her fabulous dresses and accessories, which are all made at her studio with Alice overseeing every last detail. We were also thrilled to learn that Alice imports her organza silk from Italy, and that she loves Giorgio's native country just as much as we do.
As we are now past the half way mark for 2011 wedding season (Labor Day is right around the corner!!!), we thought it would be a good time to take a look at wedding shoe trends we've been seeing lately.
Top three colors with a bullet:
2. Creams or nudes
3. Vibrant colors, the ever popular blue, but also reds and pinks
Top three details or styles of shoes:
1. Things that bling (did we mention our favorite color is shiny), rhinestones and other gems on the toe vamp or that cover the full shoe, as well as decorative silver, copper or gold toned shoe materials
2. Pearls or studs of some sort on the front vamp or that cover the full shoe. Also we're still seeing the material flower details on the vamps that we started to notice last summer...glad to see those are still popular. Similarly, we're now seeing more ruffle details over the toes as well.
3. Flats! Yes, ladies, sandals, flats and ballerina style slip-ons are making a big move this summer. We're especially seeing this look with brides that are taller (or would be taller in high heels) than their grooms.
Here's the roundup highlighting the biggest trends we have been seeing in our recent weddings:
We're focusing on bridesmaids this week, and when it comes to dresses and fashion colors, inspiration from fruits can bring a great splash of color to any summer wedding. Here are some examples of the vibrant hues we have been seeing recently.
Chicago weddings that take place on Lake Michigan cruise ships can inspire fun nautical themes for summer weddings.
Ships docked at Navy Pier, Spirit of Chicago, Mystic Blue and Odyssey, are operated by Entertainment Cruises. The weddings we have experienced on them have been fun and unique, and when the Navy Pier fireworks go off, the view is always spectacular from the lake.
Chicago River wedding cruises are also fantastic. Wedding rentals are available by Chicago's First Lady, which docks along the Chicago River Walk and offers river and lakefront charters. The river cruise route, with up-close views of the city's spectacular architecture, gives your wedding reception an amazing backdrop.
With Chicago wedding cruises as our featured location inspiration today, there are many ideas and fashions that everyone could have fun with for nautical, marina, lakeside, navy, or sailor related themes.
Here is a collection of nautical wedding items we found on etsy.com:
Here are a variety of nautical, marina, sailor and seaside styles by a variety of designers.
Nautical bridal fashions:
Diane von Furstenberg Leron Wrap Dress
Betsy & Adam Split Sleeve Dress
BCBGMAXAZRIA Seashell Belted Silk Column Gown
Nautical wedding fashions:
Milly Sail Away Dress
Dahlia Anchor Print Chiffon Tea Dress
Ralph Lauren Polina Off-Shoulder
Laken long tank dress with belt navy
Laken long tank dress with belt
Anthropologie Gull Wing Dress
Yumi Sailor Dress
Marc Jacobs Delfine Sailor Dress
Badgley Mischka Platinum, black and white silk stripe detail
Happy July! As we get ready to head into one of the hottest weekends of the year and lots of Independence Day fun, we would like to salute the leading fabric of coolness . . . seersucker.
Earlier this week we gave some tips on keeping cool at summer weddings, and with seersucker fabrics you can accomplish that both literally and figuratively. Seersucker suits and dresses don't seem to ever go out of style, but we've seen them increasingly more at weddings over the last few seasons.
While many of us might associate this fabric with good old fashioned American summers, as much as baseball and southern gentlemen with great fashion sense, we actually have our friends to the east to thank for these cool threads.
The word seersucker derives from the Persian word "shir o shekar," which means "milk and sugar." It was a common material used in the British colonial period among their warmer weather colonies. With the British having a keen eye for fashionable fabrics, it is no wonder it eventually caught on among the British in the west. Eventually during the world wars, seersucker was introduced in America, initially as an inexpensive fabric primarily used by working class families. However, in the 1920s college students began wearing seersucker outfits, and ever since then it seems to have always been a summertime favorite among fashionable folks.
It is always wonderful for us to see seersucker suits and dresses at our couples' summer weddings:
For men, seersucker suits are always cool and stylish.
While everyone's eye is on the bride on her wedding day, we know moms should not be overlooked when it comes to wedding fashions. After all, stylish brides and grooms often learn from the best -- their moms!
We like these modern wedding styles for fashionista moms this summer:
Interestingly, the designs worn in the 1940s were primarily influenced by conservation rationing of materials and resources by the government during WWII. Fashions designers in America, as well as the major European style capitals in Paris and Italy, were affected by the limited materials they were allotted during the war. Also, the fragile economy during the 1940s affected the purchasing power of pocketbooks. In many ways, brides today might feel similar challenges in light of our current economic climate.
Women of the 1940s had to embrace the mindset of "make do and mend." Where the 1920s and 1930s fashions featured silk stockings and a wide variety of more luxurious fabrics, the sacrifices of WWII ushered in a time of more simple designs with often clever solutions for fashion dilemmas. Stockings came to be in short supply so women drew lines on the back of their legs to give the illusion of wearing stockings. Less material was available to make dresses and skirts, so consequently hemlines became shorter.
Hollywood 1940s fashion icons and Veronica Lake and Lauren Bacall.
Designers in the 1940s might have edited their fashions a bit more than they would have liked. It wasn't until 1947 that Christian Dior "outraged" critics by using "excessive" fabric for his dresses when materials were still being rationed. Dior put Paris back on the map with his "shocking" styles, but even before this designers certainly did not let the difficult limitations of the 1940s keep them from creating many wonderful classic looks that still greatly influence current trends.
If the recent 2012 spring wedding fashions shows are any indication, the short wedding dress trend is only gaining in popularity right now. One of our favorite vintage-inspired collections this spring is by designer Matthew Christopher. His dresses are currently found in the Chicago area at Wolsfelt's Bridal in Aurora and Volle's Bridal in Lake Zurich.
Oscar de la Renta Metallic-Embroidered Cocktail Dress
Milly Cap Sleeve Haley Dress
And let's not forget about the guys who also have the war rations of the 1940s to thank for making it okay to wear a suit without a vest. Generally, men's suits were more loose fitting in the 40s (with the extreme being the zoot suit), which makes this look a bit more hard to find among today's more tightly tailored suits. However, we thought these styles would work great for vintage-minded grooms who want to look like Humphrey Bogart walking down the aisle.
Ralph Lauren Drake Checked Wool Suit
Gucci Grey Pinstriped 3-Button Suit
Prada Black Wool 2-Button Suit
Finally, for the guests, a couple of ensembles with 1940s flair.
Congratulations to actress Sara Rue on her marriage. Details are emerging on People and other sources about her hummingbird and butterfly theme wedding, including her floral Amsale "Dahlia" gown and Swarovski crystal butterfly detailed Aruna Seth heels.
Photos: Dan Lecca/Amsale.com, ArunaSeth.com
Rue's bridesmaids also carried on the hummingbird theme with hairpins and broaches. We imagine they might have looked something like these hummingbird jewelry styles:
For the last few years peacock themes have been quite popular for weddings, and we loved how our couples have incorporated this beautiful bird into their details:
However, we've noticed 2011 fashion designers are adding a variety of bird plumage to dresses and accessories. Here are a few favorites we've noticed in recent collections:
Designer: Marika Brose, MAX ostrich feather dress (left), and JAMES rooster feather dress
Belted wedding dresses are always wonderful, but today we would like to highlight the stunning black-belt look.
When dress designer Vera Wang's Fall 2010 line came out last year and featured many dresses with a black sash, we knew it would not be long before we started seeing brides sporting black belt dresses down the aisle.
Last November our bride Kallie actually had two belts, one for daytime and one for evening to go with her lovely Sassi Holford "Chloe" dress:
We love the black belt look and hope we see more of this trend this year.
Photo Credit: Joe Buissink / People Magazine Victoria's Secret model Lily Aldridge wore a couture Vera Wang gown at her wedding with Kings of Leon singer Caleb Followill on May 12, according to People Magazine.
What we're wondering is, did she get any take-home perks from her gig on the recent Victoria's Secret campaign that she was featured in? The lingerie giant launched their new Sexy Little Bride Collection in April, with Aldridge modeling the new line.
There is a slideshow on Victoria's Secret website showcasing their new bridal collection, which is designed like a very cute bridal boudoir portrait session album. By the way, if you would like to do something like this as a gift for your sweetheart, we can help you with that!
Here are a few of our bridal boudoir album designs:
Why should groomsmen have all the fun when it comes to wearing comfy and cool Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers at casual summer weddings? Bridesmaids could also wear them as a funky alternative to flip-flops or just bare feet when it comes time to give their feet relief from heels at the reception or maybe even wear all day! Either way your feet would be so happy.
Even our BRIDE Amie slipped into a pair of Chucks on the way to her reception!
Granted, this idea may not fly for all types of weddings, but certainly could be considered for more casual outdoor, beach or cocktail party style weddings. We've put together this inspiration board with some fun summer dresses combined with a few of the cutest Chuck styles.
Elizabeth Taylor passed away today, and in tribute to her as an iconic Hollywood legend, I thought it would be a fitting to remember her signature simmering style. After all, there are few who can match her experience with wearing wedding dresses, and she always had a lot to offer when it came to diverse sensual styles. Taylor's first husband was Conrad Hilton Jr., and I'm pretty convinced Liz defined what it meant to be "hot" way before Hilton's great-neice Paris started using it as her favorite adjective.
MGM - Cat on a Hot Tin RoofParamount Pictures - A Place in the Sun