Blue Monday: Vintage Ceil Chapman Dress

ceil chapman

Ceil Chapman was a fashion designer from the 1940s through the 1960s, her signature being draping of fabrics, as if she was the fabric herself, placing each fold ever-so perfectly in the right areas to accentuate a woman’s body. Ceil was Marilyn Monroe’s favorite dress designer, and she outfitted Elizabeth Taylor in 1950 when she married Nicky Hilton.

Most Ceil Chapman dresses are of a smaller size, because women were smaller in stature back then (ie: girdles and hosiery worn, plus no fast food/more walking). Although we found one of these dresses a few years ago, it fit no one in Wedding Story Writer, as it was about a modern size zero (22 inch waist).

I fell in love with this vintage 1950s blue dress featuring a scoop neck, and tons of draping and ruching on the bodice. The dress above is actually for sale and has a 27-28 inch … [read more]

June 23 2014 Labels: | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Blue Monday: Vintage Ceil Chapman Dress | Share this

Antique 1920s Illustrations

1927 Time to flashback to the 1920s this Friday with some beautiful fashion illustrations that had been featured in L’Echo de Paris, a French newspaper that ran from 1884 to 1944. What drew us to these in particular was that they showcase quite wonderfully what women’s everyday fashion and bridal wear looked like during this particular era.

Beautifully detailed, these vintage illustrations pinpoint what made up the quintessential flapper look. Short hair, long strings of pearls, elegant scarves and fans, and draping fabrics and straight silhouettes to create a more boyish figure. This was also a time of rising hemlines, bare arms and legs, and bright colors. A fashion revolution had been sparked. Some people balked, but others embraced this new kind of freedom.

When it comes to the 1920s wedding gown, the illustrations point out that it was trendy to wear two trains instead of one. The dress is fitted, … [read more]

June 20 2014 Labels: | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Antique 1920s Illustrations | Share this

Pearl Diadem



I have a soft spot for diadems. They may not be as striking as larger crowns, but something about their small size makes them appear just so delicate and proper.

This particular diadem only measures 7cm tall, 19cm long, and 18.5 cm wide. In other words, it’s pretty tiny. Despite its small size, doesn’t diminish how elegant and stunning it is.

Created in 1853, this pearl diadem contains 998 brilliants (in this case, diamonds cut to appear more brilliant) and 212 pearls. Oh yes, you heard that right. Hundreds of pearls and diamonds make up this splendid little diadem, which was one of the crown jewels sold at auction in the late 1800s in France. In 1992, the group known as the Friends of the Louvre donated the diadem to the museum to be preserved.

I’m always amazed when I see pieces of the French Crown Jewels that have … [read more]

June 10 2014 Labels: | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Pearl Diadem | Share this

The Princess Bride by Kenneth Heilbron

Copyright Kenneth Heilbron

Copyright Kenneth Heilbron

There’s just something about this vintage fashion photo that makes me breath ‘Ooh la la’. Aptly titled “Princess Bride,” it was shot and signed by Kenneth Heilbron, a well-known photographer who did fashion shots such as this one for countless newspapers, magazines, department stores, models, and designers. His clients included large editorial names such as Time, Life, Fortune, and Chicago Sun-Times, just to name a few.

Heilborn was born in Chicago in 1903, and was apprenticed by his family to a milliner in 1920s Paris. Talk about being in the perfect decade for artisans in the perfect city. After he finished his apprenticeship in Paris, he returned to Chicago in 1932 and taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as authored a textbook that is still used by fashion students to this day. He continued to shoot in and be inspired by Paris, which I … [read more]

June 7 2014 Labels: | Leave a comment | Comments Off on The Princess Bride by Kenneth Heilbron | Share this

Flashback Friday: The Kiss

From the Wedding Story Writer collection

From the Wedding Story Writer collection

Sealing the deal ends with a kiss. There is no other time when kisses are as accepted or expected as on the wedding day. Guests clap after the first kiss at the end of the ceremony. Companies manufacture bells for receptions to be rung so that the couple kiss. We tap on our wine glasses. Let’s be honest here: on your wedding day, your friends and family want to see you kiss. They expect to see you kiss.

The next time they see you, not so much.  Take advantage of that one day when kissing in public is truly A-OK.

From the Wedding Story Writer Collection

From the Wedding Story Writer Collection

[read more]

June 6 2014 Labels: | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Flashback Friday: The Kiss | Share this

Cosabella Glow-in-the-Dark Undies Perfect Gift for Bridal Shower

Courtesy Cosabella

Courtesy Cosabella

It’s time we bring a little bit of fun to you as you claw your way through this Thursday in search of the weekend.

If you’re a Maid of Honor or groom and you’re struggling to find a gift for the bride, we have the perfect solution: glow in the dark undies! Yes, they do exist thanks to Cosabella. And yes, it’s kind of hilarious (we laughed the first time too), but yet there’s just something about the set that makes them perfect for the bride on her honeymoon.

Nothing says fun like a glowing bra and panty set in a feminine floral lace pattern. The instructions state to charge your undies under a light for 10-12 minutes, or out in the sun for 3-4 minutes. The glowing effect will last for 5-10 minutes, just enough time to get the party started.  Made in Italy from high … [read more]

June 5 2014 Labels: | | | | | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Cosabella Glow-in-the-Dark Undies Perfect Gift for Bridal Shower | Share this

Monique Péan Rings

From Monique Péan's newest collection, Minéreaux

Image Courtesy of Barney’s and Monique Péan

New trend alert: Sustainable fashion has found its way in to wedding jewelry, and I must say, I like what I’m seeing.

Jewelry designer Monique Péan, known for her eco-friendly designs and use of unique materials, has created a new line of engagement rings titled the MINÉRAUX collection. Inspired by her own search for the perfect engagement ring, the collection embodies the idea that every woman deserves a finely crafted, one of a kind ring that matches her personal style perfectly.

Each ring is hand crafted in New York City and made from recycled platinum or 18k recycled gold. The diamonds used are antique or conflict-free, and come in a range of beautiful shades from grey and champagne to pure white. Featuring very modern cuts and designs, the collection still exudes a sense of timelessness and romance. Péan’s dedication to … [read more]

June 4 2014 Labels: | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Monique Péan Rings | Share this

Amanda Judge NY Bridal Belts

We’ve got bridal accessories on the brain, which can be as equally as exciting and important as the wedding dress itself. We were going through pictures of belts we have used in past photo shoots, and after looking at all of the strands of crystal and lace, we thought it appropriate to share our find of some stunning wedding sashes by Amanda Judge.

Her handmade creations have been featured in countless wedding magazines, and she has a plethora of other wedding accessories you might enjoy. Her sashes are the perfect finishing touch to many elegant wedding dresses.


Courtesy Amanda Judge

While we try to pull ourselves away and get back to work, take a look through her collection and let us know which belts are your favorites.

Warmly, Julia  Wedding Story Writer[read more]

June 3 2014 Labels: | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Amanda Judge NY Bridal Belts | Share this

Something Blue: Escala Berazza

Courtesy Escala Berazza

Courtesy Escala Berazza

We always look forward to new gown designs by Escala Berazza since we met them at bridal market. Today we would like to introduce you to their gown, “Emma.”

This sapphire blue gown uses contrast between the straightforward front of the garment and the striking back, featuring an oversize bow tail falling down from the waistline as the train. It has a rather complicated back, yet a relatively simple front. The dramatic bow flows down from an floral cluster around the waist, giving the dress an 1870s bustle illusion. When we saw this dress, we immediately thought of that time period, post-Civil War, when hoopskirts were pushed to the back of dresses, essentially being replaced by large bustles. I admire how Wei Escala seeks to bring elements of nostalgia in her work, but with modern flair!

“Emma” is perfect as a wedding gown and yes, in … [read more]

June 2 2014 Labels: | | | | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Something Blue: Escala Berazza | Share this

Flashback Friday: The Wedding Gift Table

wedding gift tableAt a recent ISES meeting, a colleague and I were discussing old small-town customs of long ago, one being the gift table at the wedding reception. Over the course of years, we noted that there have been many changes to American wedding customs and traditions. (Many of those changes have been recent, as I call the “Wedding Revolution,” which began in the early 2000s. Another story altogether).

Up until 1970, many small-town brides were still opening gifts at their reception, standing in front of their gift table so that their guests could see their reaction and gratitude upon receiving the gift. The gifts were then carefully displayed by a trusted friend, each gift placed to show its beauty. Guests would casually go to the gift table to examine each gift, noting how wonderful each item was. Note that these weddings were generally small, hometown types. Displaying one’s gifts in those … [read more]

May 30 2014 Labels: | Leave a comment | Comments Off on Flashback Friday: The Wedding Gift Table | Share this