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LOVE/HATE: Origami Tornado Strikes Again


I’m usually a big fan of Monique Lhuillier. In general, I like the flow of her lines, her tasteful use of tulle and lace, and her respect for the shape of a woman’s body. Her designs tend to be feminine and romantic without looking fussy or puerile.

This one from her spring 2013 collection, though, well… I have to say I’m HATING this one. I’m not sure if she’s standing in the middle of an attack of interstellar Charmin or if the entire world just dumped their used tissues on her, but either way she’s being swallowed whole with no escape.

Now excuse me while I go throw this poor waif a lifeline.

LOVE/HATE: One Tight Trumpet


Okay, setting aside for one moment the fact that this gown is about the bisect this poor model’s bazooms, can we talk about the extreme hobble effect of the super-tight skirt? Because I think this woman is going to need to hop down the aisle with that little room at the knees.

And then there’s that… sleevelet? That odd little blip hanging halfway down her left arm. Is that meant to be a sleeve? Is it meant to be there at all? Because it looks a little like someone told Ramona Kaveza that sleeves are in and she tucked a Kleenex around the model’s arm to see how it would look and forgot it there.

In short, I’m HATING this one, and I don’t think if it fit it would help very much.

What say you all?

Hey Bebe!


The first ever Bebe bridal collection, designed by Project Runway alumnus Rami Kashou, has come out. And while I have a deep and abiding love for Mr. Kashou’s work… I’m kind of wishing it had stayed in the closet.

The gowns range from the messy (see above) to the merely expected:

to the frankly kind of tacky.

On the further downside, these gowns are available in sizes from 00 to 12. Yeah, that’s right, size 12. Just for reference, the average woman in America wears a size 14 when last I heard. The model shown in the gowns is – according to the text – 5’9″ and wears a size 6. I like the fact that there is a reference in that regard, but couldn’t they have shown something on a shorter or heavier model? Or one who isn’t white? Or something?

On the upside, the most expensive gown in the collection, the Kate Middleton homage, runs only $2,500, making it the most expensive gown in the collection. Designer gowns for under two grand are pretty rare. In this case, there are several under $1,000, and even a couple under $500.

All in all, I’m kind of disappointed. I didn’t expect Bebe to be much of a bastion for elegance or size acceptance, but I have really loved a lot of Kashou’s designs in the past and was hoping to be able to sit up and applaud a bit more. The designs are scattershot without a real point of view. The design work is some of the weakest I’ve seen from this designer.

Still, I’ll keep a weather eye on the experiment. Who knows? Perhaps if things go well the next collection will make more sense and look less random yet uninspired.

PS: There’s still time to enter the drawing for the gorgeous tiara from USABride. Get your entry in now to have a chance to win something sparkly for your wedding!

Spring 2012 Bridal: Sleeves Start Sneaking Back In

For the past couple of decades, it’s been nearly impossible to walk into a bridal salon and find a gown with sleeves. No matter the season, no matter the preference of the bride, sleeves have been a dirty word in bridal couture for some fifteen to twenty years.

Then, last year, something happened.

Kate Middleton wore a wedding gown with sleeves, and the world stood up and cheered at the style.

Cries went up for copies. And then the last Twilight film came out and Bella wore long sleeves, too. The knockoffs started hitting the markets nearly immediately.

So one popular royal bride and one pop culture fictional bride made headlines for wearing sleeves… and suddenly they’re starting to show up on the bridal couture runways again.
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Lhuillier’s Lulu of a Bridesmaid’s Collection


At long last, it’s here! Monique Lhuillier’s much anticipated bridesmaid’s collection has been unveiled, and I have to say I’m liking a lot of what I see.

For instance, I love this crinkle chiffon one shoulder gown in eggplant. It’s perfectly on trend for today, but will look classy in a wedding album for decades to come.

Overall, there’s a lot of chiffon and a lot of taffeta in the collection, and a nice range of mostly rather deep or muted shades ranging from plum and eggplant to sage and leaf green to a very zen sky blue to a soft, warm yellow that makes my mouth water. Both short and long looks are shown, mostly either strapless or one shoulder looks, though there are a couple with two straps. No sleeves, alas, but at least it’s a line designed with spring in mind.

In fact, the lowest note I saw in the collection was a strapless, leaf green column dress that reminded me a bit too much of tossing on an oversized towel on leaving the shower. Still, even that one I believe could be saved with the right accessories.

Prices range from $275 to $395. Not chump change, but pretty sweet prices for such a big name designer. All in all… yeah, I think Monique did a pretty great job on these.

Well, That’s One Way to Tag a Dress


(Image via WRAL)

As many of you have no doubt heard on the wedding grapevine, Priscilla of Boston has sold out to David’s Bridal and their boutiques are closing their doors all over the country.

In the Cameron Village store in Minnesota, however, it seems they’ve done more than simply close doors. There are rumors of workers spray painting leftover gowns and consigning them to dumpsters.

Other merchants in Cameron Village claim they haven’t seen any spray painting and dumping, but there are photos like the one above that give credence to the story, and at least one former employee claims to have seen this in action.

David’s Bridal has neither confirmed nor denied the story. They have, however, made a statement that Priscilla of Boston never did donate wedding gown samples in poor condition… which begs the question of what condition these gowns were in that spraying huge orange swirls on them and putting them in a dumpster is a better use for them than donating them to charity, offering them to consignment stores, or selling them off at bargain basement prices as is.

Ultimately, this is their merchandise. They can do as they please with it so long as the use is not illegal in itself. Painting and dumping the gowns is not a crime.

I do, however, consider it a real shame. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather work with a company that doesn’t waste apparently perfectly good wedding gowns simply because they’re out of season or have a tiny flaw somewhere in them. I’d rather work with a company that wouldn’t condone this sort of flagrant waste of goods.

Whatever the facts in this case, I hope that brides take the time to consider the companies they deal with and whether the policies those companies follow fit with their own morals and standards.

Sometimes it’s not enough that something isn’t illegal.

LOVE/HATE: Architechtural Meets Ballerina


Okay, folks, what think you of this gown (named Parker) from Amsale’s Fall 2012 collection?

For my part, I find it rather confused. The bodice is satin with the currently trendy one-strap look and a geometrical crumb catcher. It hits nearly every major trend except for lace.

Then the skirt is simply a huge pouf of tulle.

I think how it really strikes me is unfinished. The lines, while not my personal faves, aren’t awful by any means. Each part has the potential to be kind of amazing… but there’s nothing holding this design together. Perhaps I would like it better if there were some form of embellishment that was used on both parts. Then again, I don’t think a major statement bodice like that can really use embellishing. I think what it needs is a different skirt. And an etherial skirt like that never looks quite right to my eyes with a highly structured bodice, so I think it needs a softer, more romantic top.

In short, I find this a little scattered, with each half having great potential if paired with something that suits it better. I have to go with hate on this.

What say all of you?

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