So it’s a known fact that Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang are like, the first ladies of wedding gowns, right? Well, for my purposes I am going to assume this is a given. Today let’s talk about Monique and how she can make dresses do unnatural and incredible things to womens’ bodies. She can make a demure lace gown look positively sexy, where there are no hips, she creates them!
No spanx required! This thing is like armor.
I have a few friends who are currently engaged and my most annoying refrain is “Let’s go try on dresses!” (I don’t mean we should all try on dresses, I mean they should but I should get to come) It’s surprising and exciting and a little stressful and the event itself demands hours of recovery over cocktails, so obviously I am a fan. It’s always good to have a plan but so important to go out of your comfort zone, too. If for no other reason than it’s ridiculous fun.
This is a different look that was pulled out for me at Bergdorf’s. It certainly felt unique and special, and made my figure look like someone else’s. My straight line body was practically hourglass (Maybe not but I’m letting my imagination go here) and though it was a touch modern and racy for my mom’s taste, it was surprisingly comfortable for how sexy it felt. My boobs! My hips! The detail on the bodice demanded a close-up. Of my boobs. I’ve decided to incorporate bridal wear into my every day life.
My Baby B’s have never looked better.
I remember reading in a bridal magazine an article titled something like, “Wear it Again,” that tried to convince women that it would be totally normal to throw a party in your apartment and invite your girlfriends to wear their wedding gowns as you sit around drinking wine. Let me tell you what I look like when my friends come over to drink wine … dirty hair. no make up. leggings. old stretched out ribbed tank top and flip flops. If they’re bringing their boyfriends I’ll put on a bra. I get it now, wanting to look like the best version of myself every single day in an expensive and beautiful gown. I’m still never hosting a party like that, but if someone else invited me to that sort of shindig I would absolutely wear this dress and I would drink only clear liquids, possibly be so bold as to sip white wine.
There are some women who might look stunning in this gown, many women actually, but I am not one of them. What I loved about this gown was its old Hollywood glamour. I imagined this on a tall waif of a gal with a blonde bob. This dress hugged me in all the wrong places and my mother demanded I remove it.
I did. But not before striking this ridiculous pose.
Sadly this was never a contender, but it is still a lovely and elegant dress with an art deco flair, a gem for the right lady. This was also definitely too small for me, and pretty beat up. I know I’m lucky that I can be squeezed into a lot of these samples, but I had to ask: What happens when bigger women come in to try on dresses, as a lot of sample gowns just fit me. Ever the Bridal Consultant, she found a delicate way to tell me that they rip apart a lot of these dresses shoving women into them. Or they don’t get all the way into them. Finding a dress that I couldn’t even squeeze into certainly wouldn’t make me feel like a beautiful bride or make me want to spend thousands of dollars. Oh well.
Ya know how I like to talk about how much fun it is to try on absolutely ridiculous couture wedding gowns? So I went on a very last-minute secret trip to try on wedding dresses with my friend Kate a few months ago. I tried on all sorts of crazy stuff, and the two of us got carried away. I mean we got swept up, big time, and it wasn’t until later, when we were having cocktails and talking it out that we both admitted that this dress, which we referred to as the “Swan Lake,” was totally inappropriate for me, for a few reasons. I am essentially getting married in the woods and I am not a bride who can stand still for very long. I will be eating, drinking, dancing, sitting down, bending over (I drop stuff) and throwing my arms all over the place … but just look at this dress.
The lovely lady working with me that afternoon brought this over to me, “fresh off the runway,” she told us, and she wasn’t lying because they had to stuff me into this thing! It had been altered to fit a girl who was probably my height but about 40 pounds thinner. The boob cups were a touch lopsided and my own breasts were somewhere else altogether but it did not even matter because I put this dress on twice and then stood in front of the mirror in the middle of the shop so that Kate and I could just stare at it. Honestly, I’ve never looked better. In a few years when I’m fat I am going to reach into the depths of my mind for the image of my body in this gown.
This dress is Mark Zunino and yes, the front is gorgeous:
Both photos are property of Mark Zunino, featured on Bridal Guide.
… But just look at the back. Stunning.
As you can see this is not me. If you’re going for a jaw-dropping gown and you think a woman’s back is as sexy as I do, then go put this thing on and you too will feel like you’re about to win a gold medal in figure skating at the next winter Olympics.
This is the last picture I have of Sam in a wedding gown. From now on I will just have to imagine what her dress will look like … Her first stop on the road to finding the perfect gown … Continue reading →
Back to that fabulous trip to Bergdorf’s with my mom and sister. As you can imagine, they carry a lovely variety of high-end gowns. The dresses there were all a little different, so they had a nice eclectic assortment. I’ve tried on so many dresses that run the gamut from what I would consider an appropriate price for a dress to numbers that are just crazytown, but I’m glad I did. I think that every bride, regardless of her budget, should try on at least one $10,000 couture number because they are stunning. To be honest, I’m not really a glitter and beading kinda gal. Every single dress that I felt I might actually wear for my wedding was one of the lower-priced, much more casual ones. (I am my mother’s daughter!) At each bridal salon I would respond to the budget question by saying “Anything below ten, but I don’t see myself spending more than five.” This is not entirely true. I don’t think there is anything wrong with buying the dress of your dreams, and every woman is different but I would never, ever spend that much on a dress–I prefer to splurge on food, booze and entertainment–but I certainly enjoyed putting them on! The dress that I am having custom made for my wedding (more on that later!) is coming in under $4,000, so it’s true, anything is possible.
Okay, so that being said, it’s obvious that I enjoyed trying on some fabulous designer gowns, and I cannot say this enough- Every bride should!
This dress is a white floral guipure sweetheart column gown by Oscar de la Renta. I saw this on the rack and grabbed it myself. The texture was incredible, and though it has the look of a lace gown, it had this bright clean cotton feel to it. In the end it wasn’t something that was great for my body or my wedding venue (in the woods) but it was unique, simple and totally gorgeous. Just look at that texture! (I say that in my mom’s Long Island accent, “tex-cha!”)
… And I should really be honest – there’s nothing clean and bright about me. This dress would look amazing on an elegant lady having a fabulous garden wedding in springtime.
Just ask my best friend from childhood what movie I always wanted to watch and you’ll know that I truly do believe, “Every girl’s a princess.” I’m a little biased now though … This dress is much like the Vera … Continue reading →
Long before she picked her dress, I had a sneaking suspicion that my beautiful bride was planning to wear Vera Wang for our upcoming nuptials. When we got engaged and I spent hours looking at dresses online (annoying her and often waking her up to see one as she tried to sleep). I could just tell that she’d look amazing in a ball gown. Me, however, we knew I’d look ridiculous in one, but come on, what bride doesn’t want to try on one of those big poofy princess gowns?
While I was dress shopping at Bergdorf’s with my mom and sister, I tried on one dress that literally stood up on its own (We didn’t take a photo of that one, sadly, because we didn’t know we were allowed) Before we left though, I was sure to put on a big Vera Wang. As you can see, I looked terrible. I am 5’11″ and I looked about 4’9″. Still, it was fun.
This post may be cheating a little, it’s really about my sister … but I was her maid of honor and she’s my matron of honor so it’s all in the family anyway.
Wedding planning has (so far) been pretty fun. Sam and I get to design the most fun weekend ever with our favorite people, so what’s not to like?! Oh, ya know what’s not to like, trying to figure out how two women can marry each other wearing dresses without looking ridiculous. It’s tougher than it sounds. If one of us wears a gigantic princess gown and the other goes too understated, then one bride has upstaged the other. We can’t have that. We both want to enjoy being a bride. We also can’t both wear huge ball gowns either, just how will we kiss?
But that’s not really what I’m trying to talk about today. I have lots of dress posts in the future, because it turns out that trying on wedding gowns is super addictive. I also re-discovered that what we think we want to wear may not be what looks best on us. I already knew this from taking my beautiful sister shopping for her wedding dress, but now I know why she had to discover it for herself: It is very hard to turn your back on a dream.
So dress shopping for Katy. In October 2010 she and my mom came into New York and I booked us a few appointments, including one at Birnbaum & Bullock. Though neither of them had ever heard of B&B, I insisted that Katy would look amazing in one of their lace sheath gowns. She tried on all sorts of dresses throughout the day, but it was clear early on that she looked most amazing in ivory lace. After a wonderful visit to B&B we went and had a fondue lunch at Artisanal and discussed the dress.
Some women cry. I have seen it firsthand. They put on a dress and suddenly tears are rolling down the silk taffeta sample, landing on the tear stains of past brides who also knew that this dress was THE. ONE. I don’t know how that works or what kind of women it works for but I think it’s great. We, however, are not those women. So we calmly discussed the fact that this was definitely Katy’s dress. We went back after lunch and ordered the gown. Not only was the gown custom made for her, but they added a train in the back. Her wedding was on September 3rd, 2011 and she looked unbelievable. I felt much better once my speech was behind me. Everyone danced like idiots and I stayed up drinking in the bridal suite way too late.
(Hope you enjoyed your wedding night Ryan & Katy!)