This week, at Henry Roth we look at Mum’s rocking their frocks on our Facebook page. With this in mind it is an ideal opportunity to look at wedding dress styling through the latter half of the 20th century, which has influenced Henry’s signature “Future Vintage” aesthetic.
Today, we begin with the 1940s and 1950s.
The 1940s are divided into two parts: during the war and after the war. Due to rationing, wartime meant brides often opted for simple designs and borrowed dresses. Post-war, however, signaled the fashion era known as New Look–this was a stylish and feminine approach to dressing. The troops returning home also led to a boom in weddings as sweethearts were reunited after a period of gloom and austerity.
Wartime brides opted for borrowed gowns, mended family gowns or simply wore their best dress. Some style features that might have featured on their gowns are:
New Look fashions paved the way for 1950s styling. During this time brides and women in general, looked to tighter waists and fuller skirts.
The most famous bride of the 1940s is Queen Elizabeth who married Prince Philip in 1947 while still a princess. At the time, food and clothing were still rationed in post-war England and so royal dressmaker, Norman Hartnell used Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress to convey a message of renewed hope. He did this in part by embroidering the gown with garlands of spring flowers.
During the 1950s, wedding dresses tended to be traditional length with sleeves and fe embellishments. A lifted rationing on fabrics meant brides now looked to full skirts, rounded shoulders, a very emphasized waist, a bodice with “pointed bosom.” Dressing for women in the 1950s was all about celebrating their hourglass figure. Hoop skirts, crinolines, and other techniques were used to play it up.
During the 1950s French lace was all the rage, as post-war lace began to be manufactured again. It was therefore not uncommon to find brides opting for tiers and tiers of chantilly lace on their bridal gowns.
A few other looks that made their way into the wedding dresses of the 1950s:
The most famous bride of the 1950s is, of course, Grace Kelly, who married Prince Rainier of Monacco in a 1956 ceremony.
Princess Grace of Monacco’s wedding dress as since been the source of inspiration for many brides, most famous of which is Kate Middleton who married Prince William on April 29th, 2011 in a wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The exquisite bridal gown was the source of much speculation in the run-up to the wedding and once revealed, the comparisons to Princess Grace’s wedding dress were instantly made.
For Henry’s take on 1950s wedding gowns, look to Zoe, Zoe Too and Maya.
Here at Henry Roth, we pride ourselves with being on-trend and appealing to all brides.
When it comes to weddings, one thing is timeless–wedding dresses are typically a variation on white. However, you only have to look through your parents’ generation’s wedding pictures to know that bridal gowns are as much about trends as any other part of fashion. And this year, we are most inspired by the classic and elegant gown worn by Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge last April, which was a huge departure from the dress worn 30 years earlier by her husband’s mother, Lady Diana Spencer.
So, without further adieu, what can we look to this year?
Lace, whether it is chantilly, Alencon, Duchesse Guipure, or ribbon, lace is a traditional bridal fabric that we are looking to use in new and exciting ways. And worn, a la Kate, you capture one of the season’s biggest bridal trends–lace sleeves. Our Darcy gown is all about the Alencon lace in which it is constructed.
Illusion-style necklines. This is where a sheer, delicate, and often embellished layer of fabric veils skin that would otherwise be exposed. Our take? Kara.
Color, is beginning to make an appearance in bridal gowns and, indeed blush gowns are a budding trend for 2012. But while many brides who look to color will implement subdued colors into their gown, there are others who opt for rich and vibrant hues. To bring color to your gown, you can go all out or look to incorporate it in accents on sashes, bows, embroidery, hems, necklines or beading. Love this look? Take a look at Kerri (which also, incidentally, incorporates another big trend–two-tiered skirts.)
Modern silhouettes with a nod to vintage. Our signature look is “future vintage” so take a look through our collection and you will be perfectly on trend with any gown you choose!
Whichever look you choose, one thing’s for certain, you are bound to rock your frock.
Until next time,
Lace is a traditional fabric for wedding gowns. This is where mine and Michelle’s signature is very strong because lace exemplifies our “future vintage” style. We take old school silhouettes and interpret them into modern shapes for the quintessential Henry Roth signature style which Michelle and I love to delve into.
For this reason, we adore using different laces in different ways.
1. Chantilly lace which is light and malleable creates a romantic, feminine bridal look. A quintessential Henry Roth style as seen on Ina/Diana.
2. Lace appliqués from Alencon lace is a technique which has its origins in France. It is corded and is used on gowns to punctuate the fabric styling by giving it gesture and flair in gowns such as Helena, Kalea, Darcy/Inga.
3. All over lace which is lighter and malleable and easy to work with. Have a look at Kara.
4. In styles like Karissa light Alencon lace is delicately beaded with Swarovski crystals to give texture and the glistening effect of the beading gives more lustre to the lace.
Who wears it?
Lace is having a huge trend revival because of the way it is used with shapes in such a creative way. Michelle and I love taking contemporary, gorgeous striking silhouettes and waving a magic wand using lace. This is for brides who want to make a fashion forward statement or look to more classic styles for a twist on 21st century modern princess.
Tomorrow we conclude Fabric 101 with Silk.
In the meantime… Remember to Rock Your Frock!