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Dresses | Manolo for the Brides - Part 10
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Mother of the Brides Dresses by Category

Oh, pity the poor mother of the bride, whose frock choices are often so bleh. Mother of the bride dresses seem to come in only a few categories, from beaded and boxy to overly sexy to the old school polyester pantsuit. That is, if you go looking specifically for mother of the bride dresses – as opposed to just ‘dresses’, which you may be surprised to learn are fine wedding wear for the MOB or MOG who wants to look her best. Really, does anyone at all look good in those square-cut un-tailored jackets with all the sparkles? Or, hello, shoulder pads? (And why do so many of them come in white…)

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

The easiest way to avoid falling into the mother of the bride dresses pit of despair is to go shopping at stores that carry frocks that don’t carry the words ‘mother of the bride’ anywhere on their labels. Because while you may be the mother of the bride and you do plan on wearing a dress, I highly recommend steering clear of mother of the bride dresses in general.

Brides: What’s your mom wearing? And where’d she find it?

Blue and White Porcelain Inspired Wedding Dresses

Aren’t these fantastic? The white wedding dress with the porcelain inspired lining is from the Christian Dior Spring 2009 Couture Collection, but as for the other two, the only results I could find came from web sites in Chinese.

Asian-inspired wedding fabulosity!

So good luck finding the two non-Dior gowns if you’re not fairly fluent in Chinese… My recommendation would be to find some amazing Asian porcelain inspired fabric and find an awesome seamstress to make you a custom wedding dress. Which would probably be cheaper than ordering from China, anyway.

Bridesmaids: Put On Your Red Shoes and Dance the Blues

I love the red blue combo for wedding color schemes, for outfits, and for interiors. On a recent rainy yucky day, I wore bright red shoes with a dark blue dress and felt absolutely springy and fabulous in total opposition to the weather. So if you’re still shopping around for a wedding color scheme or a palette for your bridesmaid attire, consider red paired with blue. Or blue paired with red, if that’s how you prefer to think about it. Isn’t it a lovely fun and bright combo either way?

Merrily mismatched red shoes from Ampersand Photography


The Bride Eternal!

These are the Salvages, Jeff and Jennifer… and her wedding dress, on their wedding day on Easter Island. The gown is a Maggie Sotero, for those keeping score.

What’s the big deal about her wedding dress? Well, they’ve created a website devoted to it and the many places throughout the world where they’ve had it photographed.

State parks, New Zealand, the Vatican, even a 76ers game:
Jennifer and her wedding dress have travelled the globe. Why? Well, according to the website, One Dress, One Woman, One World:

In a sea of changing places, people, scenery and seasons, the bride eternal and her flowing gown have spanned the globe, bringing out the adventurer, the romantic, the model, the artist, and the dreamer in all of us. Within these pages, you have seen one dress, one woman, one world, and a lifetime of endless possibilities and adventures still to be had.

Okay, I’m down with being happy with your wedding gown. I’m down with traveling the world. I’m down with dreaming of endless possibilities.

I guess I just kind of wonder why she can’t dream in other outfits.


A Different Reason to Trash the Dress

Kevin Cotter is trashing the dress… his ex-wife’s wedding dress, that is. Over and over and over again.

You see, Cotter and his wife got divorced last year and she left her wedding dress behind. She apparently didn’t feel the need to get it back and Cotter was at a loss at first what to do with it. According to the interview he did last month with The Man Registry, he brought the question up at a family dinner and asked for suggestions.

Luckily, he rejected the first entirely crass suggestion from his brother… but he did get inspired to play with the idea of all the ways he could use the dress in non-traditional ways. Thus the blog My Ex-Wife’s Wedding Dress was born.

So far the uses have included things like: place mat (hmmm… looks more like a tablecloth), draft stopper, kite, Darth Vader scarecrow, and my personal favorite, Christmas tree skirt. Cotter even wore it as his Halloween costume last year. That’s the picture at the top, incidentally.

What do I think of all this? Well, it would seem Mr. Cotter has found a creative way of exorcising his personal demons. It’s juvenile and a bit ridiculous, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get over a sad end to a hopeful beginning. I think if his ex-wife had wanted to keep the dress safe, she would have done well to take it with her when she left. I think some people are getting a cheap thrill out of the fact that someone else is doing something they wish they could do or had done.

And I think if Mr. Cotter ever remarries, his new lady ought to think carefully before leaving a wedding gown to his tender mercies if things don’t work out.

Oh, and I’m thankful that Mr. Twistie and I remain ridiculously contented with one another.

5 Reasons to Choose a Colored Wedding Dress

1. Sometimes a bride-to-be will look at white wedding dresses until her eyes are threatening to go on strike without finding anything she loves because her complexion simply does not look right paired with white. And I mean *any* white. Her next stop could be the lonely corner rack with all the sad rum pink gowns and champagne castoffs, but why? There are plenty of gorgeous colored wedding dresses to choose from nowadays – and if none of them suit, there are always custom gowns.

2. Wearing a colored wedding dress can be a nod to your cultural heritage. Various shades of white may be the go to wedding gown colors in much of the Western World, but in other parts of the world, different hues are considered ‘right’ for wedding garments. For example, in China, India, and Vietnam, red is the traditional choice for brides. In the Klamath, Modoc, and Yurok tribes of Northern California, brides wore gowns woven in white, blue, yellow, and black. And once upon a time, black was the top choice for Scandinavian brides!

3. Those who don’t feel like spending big bucks on wedding garb can instead save big bucks by choosing a colored wedding dress. Gowns specifically created for weddings are priced at a premium, whereas frocks meant for parties and proms (or even everyday outfits for gown-lovers) frequently have price tags featuring numbers that won’t make your wallet cry. Worried that you won’t find a style you like because you love that traditional wedding gown look? There are plenty of colored gowns featuring the same silhouettes and styles as traditional wedding dresses.

4. While I don’t have any reason to wear a gown these days, maybe you do. I’m sure you’re thinking: Re-wearing a wedding dress sounds even sillier than re-wearing a bridesmaids’ dress. But why not? If you don’t have the same dress dying skills as the lovely Toni, you can up your chances of having the opportunity to wear your big day frock again if you choose a colored wedding dress over a white one. You can get even more mileage out of your colored wedding dress by choosing one that can be altered into a cocktail-length dress after you say your vows. Or starts as a cocktail length wedding dress!

5. Including colored wedding dresses in your list of possibilities widens your range of gown choices – particularly if you’re also open to a variety of silhouettes. Sure, you can find colored wedding dresses that are identical to white wedding dresses, but you also have your choice of elegant ballgowns and sleek, simple evening dresses. And the more choices you have, the more likely it is that you’re going to find a wedding gown that is close to or even exactly like the dress you’ve been picturing in your head.

Last Month, Two Very Different Launches

For those who missed it, February was all about wedding dress line launches. Launches, I should add, that made me go hmmm. On February 11, Vera Wang is debuted her White Collection for bridal retail giant David’s Bridal. White wedding dresses are priced from $600 to $1400 and go up to size 14 – that’s wedding dress sizing 14, not regular 14. Come June, the White Collection will be augmented with a line of bridesmaids’ dresses. Here’s a taste of this small collection:

They definitely have that Vera Wang appeal, all fluttery and feminine, but I feel like overall, the designs are kind of meh. I like the skirts better than the tops, definitely. Especially that one in blush! Yum.

The second launch, a Valentine’s Day special, was BHLDN, Urban Outfitter’s newly-minted wedding brand that falls under the Anthropologie umbrella. Right now, it’s an online-only boutique with convenient sizing that actually lines up with real world sizing (though still only up to 14), but there will be brick and mortar locations are set to open come summertime.

I think my favorites are the Pleated Fantasy wedding dress:

And the Zinnia Gown, designed by Beth Bowley:

If you were curious, BHLDN is pronounced ‘beholden’ – omg how edgy! – though my brain continues to want to parse it as Belden, the name of a line of not-so-great jewelers here in the northeast and, randomly, Kansas. My one complaint is that Urban Outfitter’s wedding dresses are way too expensive for their demographic, but I’m loving the associated ‘event dresses’, vintage-look accessories, lingerie, and jewelery, and I’m looking forward to the tableware, cake-toppers, and invitations launching in May.

What do you think about Vera Wang’s White Collection and bridal newcomer BHLDN?

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