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1920s: Vintage wedding dresses

09 APRIL 2013

There's no period like the jazz age to get us inspired for a glamorous yet fun themed wedding day with a pick of 1920s designed bridal gowns to match.

Whether it's Carey Mulligan sporting bejewelled flapper dresses in the much anticipated adaption of The Great Gatsby or British actress Michelle Dockery embodying the image of an English rose in ITV period drama Downton Abbey, the 20s was truly an age of innovative vintage design to be inspired by.

 

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Abundant in straight-laced, loose shift frocks teamed with luxurious embroidery, feathers and jewels there's no such thing as too much glitz and glamour when searching for your vintage inspired bridal look.

The way hair was styled also began to change during this period as curling irons, which could be heated on the fire, were invented. Similarly with regards to accessorising, brides at this time were spoilt for choice. The decade's new generation of liberated and daring young women, also known as Flappers, regarded the headpiece as an essential accessory to their playful image.

Even if you you're without the fortune of Michelle's character, Lady Mary, whose wedding day attire which was said in the show's script to "cost twice the national debt", it's certain that you'll be able to find a vintage wedding dress suited to you. 

Costing £4,000 for the dress itself, designer Caroline McCall that the key to drama's “wedding dresses is that they are so soft, they drape so beautifully" as opposed to the taut crepe silks that were previously in fashion. Simply focus on selecting the right fabric and cut to flatter your figure.

Caroline also added that her showstopping creation was trimmed "scallops of lace and edged in tiny rice pearls and Swarovski crystal beads". For a dress that is all about the detail, look towards designers such as Alice Temperley whose bridal designs come with both intricate designs and a personal touch. With each Temperley London bridal gown, Alice handpicks three special good luck charms that are then sewn into the seams of each ready-to-wear dress.

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Pandora Wedding Dress, £750.00, Phase Eight
Louisa Ribbon Tapework Wedding Dress, £750.00, Phase Eight
Long Ariel Dress, £1,950 , Alice Temperley
Evelyn Lace Beaded Wedding Dress, £750.00, Phase Eight


Giving a real unique touch, the bride receives a blessing from the designer on her special day with a vintage button that signifies something old, a strand of sequins for something new, and a hand-embroidered cloth that is blue.

For brides on a more modest wedding day budget vintage shops are, of course, a great place to start searching for an authentic jazz age design. Second hand wedding gowns can often be bought for a fraction of the price of an in-season design and is a great way to recycle. There's also nothing wrong with wearing another woman's wedding dress as many local tailors will be more than happy to trim and fit a vintage dress to your personal taste and size.

However, if you are looking for a wedding dress to be that 'something new' for your big day, then high street brand Phase Eight could be the answer. Offering a stunning collection of vintage fits this season, colours range from traditional ivory white to a softer shade of cream. We particularly like the stunning embellished ribbon tapework on the Pandora design which is sewn over the entirety of the gown's overlay and along the train of the dress.



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