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Monday, April 21, 2008

1950's Wedding Style

It's interesting to note that, until the 1950's and again from the 60's to the 80's, wedding dresses could be dated by the decade. A dress from the 20's certainly looks like a dress from the 20's, the 40's - the same, let's not even talk about some of the styles that were in vogue after the 50's! Dresses from the 50's were glamorous, elegant, flattering, and timeless. If you could manage to find one in good condition, you'd be as beautiful a bride in the new millennium as your mom or grandma was in the 50's.

A picture is worth a thousand words so let's take a moment to celebrate some of the most exquisite mid-century creations, without further adieu. All of these gowns date back to the 1950's and I've included a brief description of a couple of the most exceptional examples from that time:

This gown was so beautifully designed it deserved to be shown from both the front and the back. The satin gown featured soft tulle overlay and a princess-seamed bodice dripping with 1/2 inch faceted crystals. The skirt has a sculptural double bustle and a staggered turned hemline. The metal zipper is hidden in the back.

1955 Christian Dior features cream tape lace over white floral lace gown with accordian pleated layered tulle ballgown skirt, molded bodice, triple satin shoulder straps, hidden rear zipper & multi hook/eye closures. A mid-century masterpiece!

I found this really fabulous page of "Vintage Brides we Love" that I wanted to share with you all. Take note of the pink confection matinée length gown. Take me there!

If you find yourself in Toronto while searching for the ultimate dress, you should check out Divine Decadence. At times there are several dresses, at others only one, but for accessories and wardrobe for the entire bridal party, it's worth a look! Take me there!

Keep in mind that brides married very young and were built much differently than we are today. That's why there are so many 24-26" waists and not much larger than that available for sale.

Back in the 1950's women wore restrictive body deforming devices like girdles, waist cinchers, body shapers and corsets. Most vintage gowns were designed around these underpinnings, then to a woman's body shape sculpted by these very underpinnings. Yes, the almighty girdle was factored into the designing process. Consider a tiny size 2 bride donning her girdle before getting into her gown... Although vintage wedding gowns were designed with these women from a different era in mind, if you want to source one for yourself, in addition to eBay and Etsy, you could try these links:

DELUXE JUNK, Vancouver's best vintage clothing and accessory resource. Take me there!

THE VINTAGE PEDDLER For everything from the inside out. Take me there!

Vintage Wedding Gowns from GULDEN & BROWN Take me there!

18 Glorious pages of vintage delights from VINTAGE FROCK Take me there!

And don't forget Winnipeg's own RAGPICKERS ANTI FASHION EMPORIUM located at 216 McDermot Ave. They're a great place to begin your search and they're right in our own backyard!

If any of our gentle readers have their own fabulous ChiChi wedding websites they'd like to share with like-minded devotées, send us the links and we will post them for one and all!

There is yet much to discuss, including accessories, 50's theme suggestions, and recipes so stay tuned for the next installment in this series, coming soon!

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