Posts Tagged ‘dress’

Hold back the tears on your wedding day as more than just streaking mascara could be at stake if you are wearing a new conceptual dress designed by sudents of Sheffield Hallam University.

Don’t worry about the rain (which brides usually do due to our unpredictable British weather) as the dress doesn’t dissolve completely, but morphs into new outfits.

Fashion and engineering students have formed an unlikely marriage, coming up with elaborate designs for a wedding dress that could be dissolved after the wedding to transform it into five new fashion pieces. The parts of the dress are made from polyvinyl alcohol, an odorless nontoxic polymer that breaks down in water without harming the environment. The image above shows the dress during it’s five stages of the transformation, currently on show at the University gallery.

Jane Blohm, a lecturer on the fashion design course at Sheffield Hallam, said: “The students wanted to challenge the notion that a wedding dress should only be used once and aimed to explore modern society’s attitudes towards throwaway fashion.

“The project is a union between art and technology which explores the possibilities of using alternative materials for our clothing. The wedding gown is perhaps one of the most iconic and symbolic garments in humanity’s wardrobe and represents the challenges of ‘throwaway fashion’.

“In order to reduce fashion’s impact on the environment, the fashion industry must begin to challenge conventional attitudes and practices. The exhibition demonstrates what could be possible when design and scientific innovation combine forces.”

The issue the students were exploring stemmed from recent developments in the textile industry. As the price of clothing in the UK has dropped by up to 25 per cent with the rise of ‘value retailers’, the amount of clothes we buy has increased by almost 40 per cent to more than two million tonnes a year. As a result, textiles have become the fastest-growing waste product in the UK. About 74 per cent of those two million tonnes of clothes we buy each year end up in landfills. Listen to Gok Wan ladies – ‘buy less, wear more’ – and if you fancy a change of wardrobe, get together with your mates and have a big swishing party…


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Ok, so we’ve sorted the engagement ring…so once you have decided on a date you will probaby be itching to get out to try on some dresses.

Queen Victoria started the trend of white wedding dresses in 1840. Before that, brides wore their best dress, regardless of color.

Whether you are going for off the rack, designer, bespoke, once-worn or making your own, it is probably a good idea to try some on to get an idea of what you like and the style that suits you.

Chantelle Znideric, expert stylist and founder of istylista.com,  is here to give you her top tips for looking gorgeous on your wedding day.

Wear a wedding dress that suits your body shape
  • With so many dress choices out there the task is indeed a daunting affair. Don’t be fazed by what seems like hundreds of different dress styles and avoid advice from hard selling shop assistants (some benefit from substantial commissions).
  • Everyone is individual so remember, what might look fabulous on somebody else may not necessarily suit your body shape or proportions.
  • Take a friend along who has a similar build and frame to you, when you pick out a dress get her to try it on for you as well. It’s always easier to see what you like and dislike on somebody else.
Focus on enhancing your best bits
  • The secret to looking great whatever size you are is to enhance the bits you like about your body.
  • For example, if you have well toned arms, beautiful shoulders and neck then don’t just go for a typical strapless style; draw attention to this area by choosing a dress with an unusual neckline or a halter neck style for instance.
It’s not about what you wear but how you wear it
  • You are gorgeous so just remember that – YOU are the one getting married after all!
  • You are the lucky one getting married, so you will be wearing the biggest smile ever – you will instantly look and feel more confident without even knowing it!
Feel confident underneath it all
  • Never underestimate the power of sexy underwear – there’s nothing like wearing beautiful lingerie to make you feel a million dollars

If you have no idea where to start or would like an experts opinion, Chantelle is available for wedding styling sessions for brides, mother of the bride and/or wedding parties – perfect for a productive-yet-fun day out with the girls.

For less formal personal styling, istylista.com can help you pick the best styles to suit your bodyshape and colouring…all form the comfort of your own home.

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I love the glamour of the next few weeks with all the film awards ceremonies and to-die-for dresses. Last year we were wowed by the white red-carpet dresses which inspired many hollywood-style weddings.

Livia in her upcycled couture wedding dressWith a twist on this, at the Golden Globes this week Livia Firth, actor Colin Firths wife, wore a vintage Christian Couture wedding dress with a contrast black sash, wowing the press. What makes it more exciting, is that this dress was the first in a challenge that Livia has set herself to only wear ethical and sustainable fashion for the entire awards season, blogging about it on Vogue.com. (Photographs by Caroline Schiff.)

Sustainable fashion has come on in leaps and bounds in recent times, but has never before made it onto the red carpet. Livia, co-founder of Eco-Age, an eco homewares store in West London (take a trip for some inspiration for your wedding gift list) has set herself the challenge to wear sustainable, eco or ethical rags to all the events she goes to, accompanying her husband on his own quest to scoop awards that he really deserves.

With all the a-listers in couture dresses it could be really tempting to get new dresses made for all these events, but Livia has really stuck with her passion for sustainnability in all aspects of her life, not compromising on these, or style, for anything. With the Golden Globes already under her belt, and the Screen Actors Guild tonight, there are more opportunities for Livia to fly the flag for gorgeous sustainable fashion.

Livia says on the Vogue.com blog The re-purposed Christiana Couture wedding dress was a HUGE success in the sense that I don’t think I’ve ever had so many compliments for a dress in one night. But people here do not seem to understand the concept of ethical fashion – they loved the dress but when I revealed the origin they sort of switch off as if it’s not cool anymore because it was once a wedding dress. It’s made me realise that althought repurposing and vintage are great, we need to go one step further and make a really strong ethical fashion statement.’

Oh, and she kissed George Clooney on the cheek…

The great news is that it has just been announced that Colin is up for ‘Best Actor’ at the BAFTAs so we we will be seeing Livia’s response to the challenge much closer to home on 21st February.

I would really love to see her champion British design on the red (or green) carpet here – my wish list would be CRED jewellery, Beyond Skin shoes (already a favourite of Natalie Portman), clutch from fashion conscience and maybe even a gown made from recycled suits or shirts from Junky Styling

If you were Lupe Castro, ethical stylist to the stars, how would you style Livia Firth for the BAFTAs?

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Gorgeous Green Gowns

If you are looking for a gorgeous gown that is both green and unconventional, but keeping the romance and bridal look, then Blushless is for you. It hit our radars as the collection launched at London Fashion Week in September.

For the sexy, edgy bride, Blushless offers something unique and wonderful that is style-led and ethical.

Inspired by the movie ‘Wild at Heart’, the launch collection is about  happy endings and being wild at heart. These wedding dresses are anything but boring – with the added bonus of being sustainable too! Blushless uses the softest vegan leather combined with the finest fairtrade silks. A mixture of old and new – innovative microfibre textiles are combined with hand-stitching to extraordinary effect.

Not the usual ‘fairy-tale’ gowns, Blushless is the creation of  Liv Lundelius – daughter of a Punk-disco-club owner and a traveller. She didn’t have a typical upbringing, and she is inspired by old, dirty & broken things that have their own attraction and beauty.

Blushless is currently based in Belin, but don’t fret! Liv is moving to London soon and currently offers appointments in the UK with herself or her agent. The pieces are currently made-to-measure from £1,500 to £3,000. Blushless will hopefully have UK stockist soon.


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You’ve got a very important date… Just don’t be late!

Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham carter all star in Tim Burtons version of Alice In Wonderland due for release in the UK on 5th march 2010, and we are very excited about it – already! We are predicting lots of spring weddings inspired by tea parties and general madness.

For planning your own Madhatters Tea Party, follow some of these tips:

Alice in Wonderland wedding theme

Key invites – Walt Disney Pictures; Keira’s blue wedding dress via FashionBride; Clock necklace from MadeNew; Eat me ring from Folksy; Oversized plant cup by Gitta Gschwendtner.

Things are not what they seem with these whacky but gorgeous details:

Stationery –Use labels for save-the-date’s and the seating chart, and include graphic images of curious objects on the invites. Use embossing and letter press for an authentic vintage look.

Play with size – As Alice kept growing and shrinking her perceptions were screwed – play with various sizes of objects around the venue, such as oversized planters and hangings, to tiny dolls-house sized objects in amongst table centrepieces…

What to wear – You don’t need to look as wired as Johnny Depp to pull off this theme – Be inspired by the pale blue dress worn by Alice for a non-traditional wedding dress & hire top hats for the guys.
Jewellery can be bold & colourful. Made-New make one-off pieces made from vintage jewellery and this one themed on watches is perfect for the white rabbit. Gift bridesmaids with these cute cake rings to wear with mis-matched colourful dresses – or have fun on your hen party making them with Fimo – remember that?!

Reception – Decorate the venue with chandeleirs by Madeleine Boulesteix, made from teacups, jelly moulds and vintage cutlery. Have jars of cookies, cakes & sweets on the table with ‘eat me’ labels – use these for dessert to save on the extra course… Have ‘curious objects’ around the venue  – especially great for kids

For more tea themed ideas check out our other tea party inspiration board

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Example of a wedding dress available from Oxfam Bridal

Example of a wedding dress available from Oxfam Bridal

There are now so many options for buying a wedding dress, and buying on a budget doesn’t have to mean second hand.

If I say the word charity shop don’t think granny jumpers, but gorgeous designer bridal – and all brand new! Oxfam Bridal are dedicated bridal boutiques all over the country, such as the store in Heswall, Wirral, where they have up to 200 never-worn wedding dresses in sizes from 8-24 in stock at any one time. They usually sell these wedding dresses donated by top designers, which are often worth over £1000, for between £100-200, with the rare high-designer piece going for up to £300 – what a bargain!

At the Big Green Wedding Fayre the fashions shows from Oxfam Bridal were stunning, and I really couldn’t believe the prices, just because the designs are end of line.  My favourite was a long bridal coat from designer Neil Cunningham worth £5000, but this one Oxfam dont sell, they rent it out to brides so they don’t have to fork out so much to be able to wear it.

Try on a range of wedding dresses at Oxfam Bridal

Try on a range of wedding dresses at Oxfam Bridal

Oxfam are receiving donations all the time so the stock is constantly changing as a result. The gorgeous dresses in these photos are ones that have been sold previously in Oxfam Bridal shops, but numerous other styles and sizes and sizes are always available. So just find your closest store, pop along and see what you fall in love with – you can’t afford not to! The great thing is that the Oxfam bridal shops are staffed by volunteers so all the money for your dress does straight to charity – double bonus!

How do Oxfam get never-worn dresses?
When the new collections come in, bridal boutiques donate their unsold dresses from the prevous season to charity so they can claim back the VAT. One of the winners of this is Oxfam who have a dedicated warhouse set up to receive the donations and distribute to their shops throughout the UK.

Remember, no-one is going to know where you got your dress unless you tell them. And even if they do, does it matter?

Rail of Wedding dresses at Oxfam Bridal

Rail of Wedding dresses at Oxfam Bridal

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Not all celebrities want the huge weddings with hundreds of other stars in attendance. This weekend Milla Jovovich married her long time partner director Paul Anderson in an intimate affair in the back garden of their home Beverly Hills.

You can see photos of the wedding here

Get the look:

Get Milla Jovovich wedding style

Images: Orchid, rose & lily bouquet from Budget Designer Florals in USA, Long Adria dress with bead detail and split sleeves from Temperley London, Long romantic style hair design from Brides.com.

Dress: Milla walked down the aisle in a full length retro-inspired white gown which she had designed, taking inspiration from the 1960’s & Grecian. For Grecian influenced gowns, try the Lorelei dress wear-again style from Motasem

Flowers: A hand tied white orchid bouquet mixed with roses is a classic bridal design. If you are concerned about the milage, ask your florist to source locally grown, or you may want to consider white flowers that are seasonal to the date of your wedding.

Hair: Milla let her hair loose in an ethereal style, with headband of twisted leaves with a medieval influence. Remember to consider your face shape when choosing your hairstyle, and how it will work with the dress. It was a pity you couldn’t see the detail on Milla’s dress as her hair covered the beaded panels…

To go with their Spanish-style house, Milla & Paul had a latin style occasion with a Spanish flamenco guitarist during the cocktail reception, then a Cuban band afterwards.

However worth the wait, I’m not sure I would have coped with a six year engagement.

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