Sunday, 23 January 2011

Princess Di v Audrey Hepburn

You get engaged, you roughly sort out a timescale for The Big Day and then thoughts turn to The Dress. You start trawling through magazines, web sites and blogs and staring through the windows of bridal shops looking for that perfect dress. So much choice, so many styles, so much lovliness. Where on earth do you start?
Twenty odd years ago, it was easy. There was one style that everyone went for. The Princess Diana fairytale larger than life dress. You looked  something like a giant frilly puffball. My mum being a talented dressmaker made my dress to my own design. A truly one off creation. Today it would be thought of as pretty naff, but to me it was, and still is a beautiful dress. Made with ivory silk, a lattice effect bodice decorated with seed pearls, long sleeves (with padded shoulders of course) complete with appliqued hearts, and the piece de resistance, a large bow at the back with mine and husband number ones initial embroidered on it. Sounds well over the top? Would be now but wasn't then.
  A very big bow!
My beautiful dress. A little creased but still looking as though it were made yesturday.

To accessorise I wore an antique lace veil and a circlet of silk flowers. My shoes were simple ivory satin Laura Ashley courts. I tried to put them on the other day. No way jose! My feet like the rest of me have spread out over the decades.

So what would I wear now if I were a twenty nine year old size 10 bride. I am only five feet tall so I would look silly in something voluminous, and I'm not keen on strapless numbers nor too much bling. Something classic, elegant and simple. Something like these
Photos..Johanna Hehir collections
Photo ...Sassi Holford collection

Now back to reality. I am not a 29 year old nor am I a size 10, and barring a miracle or, heavens forbid, bad health, I will never be that petite again. I'm hoping that I can get motivated enough to drop a couple of dress sizes, but this girl loves her food and has the will power of a gnat! But, never say never!
In my opinion your average older bride can't pull off wearing such dresses. Of course there are those incredibly lucky ladies who are either blessed with a fab figure or have worked hard to achieve one and would look gorgeous in whatever, but I definitely don't fall into that catagory by a long stretch of the imagination!

I have fallen in love with the fifties look which seems rather appropriate seeing that I was born at the end of that decade. The dresses back then oozed style and elegance.Just think Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.Or think coquettish and Brigitte Bardot (my namesake....please stop sniggering. It's true!) I love the tea length dresses with full skirts, although I am worried about those cankles, varicose veins and a tendancy to fluid retention in my feet. Wouldn't I be better off hiding such imperfections. I need sleeves....bingo wings. I need some form of draping.....spare tyres! Somehow I think that I'm looking for the impossible. It's a pity mum gave up dressmaking a while ago. I really could do with her making me yet another of her wonderful bespoke creations.

Here are a few dresses that give you some idea what I am after

Photo courtesy of Flickr

photo ..Dolly Couture

My Mr R said to me not so long ago, why don't I wear a nice suit. At that point I could quite easily have clobbered him. Perhaps he had a point. It would make life a lot easier when it comes to finding something half decent to wear.

Love to you all

Brigitte xx

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