November 30, 2014

{Honoring Elegant & Kind Gentlemen}

Oscar de la Renta & Amal Alamuddin 
Vogue October 2014

Dear Bride-to-Be
Whether you are an old-fashioned girl who loves tradition or part of the jammin and Instagrammin set looking for something a bit subversive to wear for your wedding; or whether this is your first trip to the altar or a woman whos been there before; or whether you are just beginning a career or an accomplished business woman of some renown. Wherever you are in your life, selecting your bridal gown is a moment of some consideration.   

I wanted to honor a mana designer of elegant, feminine and stylishly romantic wedding dresseswho never wavered in considering the wishes of the woman who would wear his gown. (No matter what type of bride she was!) Oscar de la Renta, who died this fall, was a true gentleman of elegance and grace, humor and intelligence, and a lover of beautiful things with a commitment to bring out the joy in lifehis and that of everyone around him.

André Leon Talley called Oscar a master of the grand wedding gown and his last such gown was for the beautiful Amal Alamuddin, now wife of George Clooney. The custom gown was a luscious womanly confection of ivory tulle appliquéd with Chantilly lace. Her final fitting was covered by Vogue where the designer shared about a woman's relationship with her wedding gown: “It’s the most important dress in the life of a woman. Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that special dress, and I try to make that dream a reality for her.”

Oscar wasnt saying that women didnt have other important occasions in their life for special clotheslike what to wear for her swearing-in as President of the United States or etcetera! Just that this particular gown is imbued with some mystical, mythological and deeply ingrained mojo! And Oscar understood that and knew how to tap into that magic so a woman felt it on her wedding day.
Oscar de la Renta with Elizabeth Cordry Shaffer, 2013
Heres intending that no matter what you wear for your wedding—a delicious designer gown or some delightful find from a vintage shopthat you feel dreamy and loved and beautiful inside and out...and are treated with the kind and tender touch of such a gentleman throughout your life.

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps: My upcoming book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding, is full of stories about designer dresses and a womans deep heart desires! 

November 14, 2014

{The Joy of White}

Dear Bride-to-Be
Are you wearing white for your wedding?  Volumes have been written about the mystery and allure of the white wedding dress—as well as the symbolic notions of its pure color. Ancient Egyptians, considering the color sacred, draped their brides in gossamer layers of accordion-pleated white linen. The ancient Greeks and Romans, with their ever-present gods and goddesses, assigned symbolic meaning to everything; the color white represented “joy” and was worn for most festive occasions, including weddings.

Through the centuries various colors went in and out of fashion for brides—in fact, I tell many of their stories in my upcoming book. But a number of European princesses from wealthy kingdoms felt it their right to dress as opulently as possible so were costumed in gold and silver fabrics—sometimes encrusted with diamonds and other precious gemstones

So of course in 1840 when the young Queen Victoria wore “plain” white satin and lace instead of the glittering lavishness of her predecessors, she set a new standard—and the rest is bridal history! (In contrast her gown perhaps seemed “simple,” but both the silk satin and lace were lush, exquisitely handmade, and of great value.)

I’d love to venture inside the head of this much-in-love, girl-of-a-queen bride to know if her desire for an all-white wedding was truly from an idea of “purity” and humbleness or just her uncluttered fashion sense. Or perhaps there was some essence of mythological romance that captured the heart of a young woman deeply in love. Indeed, the only color Victoria wore was near her heart: the large blue sapphire brooch her beloved Albert gave her as wedding present.

Love. Listen. Let go.
…with love from Cornelia

ps: I’ll keep you posted about the release of my new book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding