Monday, July 30, 2018

"Sweet Intoxication.."

I really can't help myself. When I watch one of my favorites "Phantom of the Opera" I always succumb to "sweet intoxication" as the Phantom serenades Christine in his dark lair.  Wearing a 19th century wedding gown Christine unwillingly becomes his bride to save her true love Raoul. Oh the drama!!

Wedding gowns obviously shouldn't been purchased and worse worn in duress, but occasionally they are when the bride is just not quite satisfied with her choice. Is there a "buyers remorse" phenomenon in the wedding gown industry? The answer can be as complicated as a bride's emotional journey toward her wedding day. Some brides clearly change their mind due to circumstances beyond her control. However, if that remorseful feeling surfaces hours post purchase clearly it is not the right gown and should be rectified immediately before the boutique proceeds with an order. In my mind I know to refund a bride's deposit within 24 hours of purchase, but I've never had to thus far.

I aim for that "sweet intoxication" with each client I work with. Falling out of love with her gown hasn't happened yet in twenty years. A stylist should be as exuberent as her client when the bride decides to purchase a gown. When this occurs the stylist has done her job, the bride leaves intoxicated :)

Phantom's Christine Daae might have been lured into her wedding gown (and a beautiful one I might add), but this can only happen on stage. FInding the dress should be geniune and blissful. The less drama the better for any bride. I'll stick to relying on the Phantom for my drama fix.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Turn

I'm just that kind of person that lives in a dreamy state. Daily brain synapses always involve something pretty, dreamy, romantic, charming. As I age I grapple with the counter punch of cynicism and sadness the world hurls toward my cerebral poetry. Thank God I know how to sustain the dreamy tank by working with brides, the pretty dresses, and attending weddings to witness The Turn!

It is very common for brides to agonize if the groom would be pleased with the dress they choose. On occasion I've had the groom participate in the dress selection, but it is still very rare for a bride to bring him. The bride's gown is still traditionally not seen by the groom until her walk down the aisle or first look photos. I still prefer the walk viewing as this is the moment The Turn occurs.

Will he like me in this? Is this what he'd like to seen me wear? Will I look good for him? What if he doesn't like it? Will this make sense for him when we dance? Will he recognize me? Will we look good together in photos? Will he still want to marry me in this? The bride's mind swirls with these questions along with many more that don't involve "he".  I always reassure He will like her in anything she chooses, but until He gazes upon her and The Turn happens she can't be sure.

That moment when the bride first appears is it. It The Turn moment. Whether it's a five or five hundred guests, they turn and gasp upon her arrival. She sees their warm and supportive faces. I can't describe how my soul flies at the moment. When I see the bride's silhouette as she takes her first steps toward her groom my dreamy mind ignites tenfold! I then look at him. His gaze on her melts me into thousand beating hearts.

As the bride ascends, he continues his gaze sometimes teary eyed. The Turn becomes a fixed field of vision from all witnessing those precious minutes. My heart is full and fueled until the next bride makes her entrance and she commands The Turn once again.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

SPRING cleaning

It feels so good to be back!!  Now that it's Spring and new growth is all around us, thought a fitting occasion to clean up a bit and breath some new life in to the look of my dearly beloved blog:)

I also altered the blog description to give a broader scope sense of the the subject matter I discuss here. My focus on wedding attire hasn't changed, but in that realm I cover a plethora of angles hopefully of interest to all those who find themselves brides to be.

Do brides Spring clean? The answer is yes, but perhaps not in the way you might think. Come Spring I think most humans rejoice that the days are longer, warmer and brighter. There is a new outlook, a new beginning, birth of baby animals, harbingers of summer around the corner. By Spring brides who intend to marry in the Summer are seeing their gown for the first time post purchase. Fittings commence and anticipation heightens as things become"real." At this time brides are also purchasing accessories to augment their walk down the aisle style. Other wedding plans are finalized and final payments are due. Brides sometimes make offers on homes or remit security deposits for their new marital nests.

Busyness can and usually does get out of control for brides. In the over 20 years I've been working with brides I know the few months before the wedding can be the most challenging. Sometimes there are setbacks like a dress doesn't arrive exactly the way it was intended or it doesn't fit the way the bride hoped. At those moments all involved must take several deep breaths and determine a plan of action together. This collaboration and not a bride vs. the boutique approach alleviates tension, confusion and mostly importantly wasted time.

A bride needs precious time to "clean" and prepare for her new beginning :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Around the River Bend

Out of nowhere here I am after 5 months sans post. I'm in the midst of reorganizing a bit, prepping for a lovely vintage accessory holiday collection and planning an exciting event for early next year! As I attend those details, I ask that you gaze upon this joyous Edith Head (designer of Princess Grace wedding gown) sketch for an Elizabeth Taylor movie "A Place in the Sun."

I'll be back soon up and around the river bend of life :-) with more posts from Pink French Bride...xo

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Money Talks

It’s something we’re taught not to talk about. Something not polite to discuss among friends or family. It’s even considered rude to ask someone how much one paid for something. Unless you’re in the business of finance or money management, how much is not acceptable. Oddly you can’t win here. If you talk too much about money you’re boasting. If you don’t talk about it enough you’re naive.

When I was training to be a consultant/stylist, I was always reminded to be very sensitive to the money subject. If a bride was accompanied by friends and or family, I was told to make sure I was discreet in asking the bride’s budget as to not embarrass her in front of her guests. Many times I avoided the budget question altogether and waited until the opportune moment to approach mom or the bride herself privately to go there about money.

After doing this for a while, I realized how foolish it was. As I became more adept at my job, it was clear to me I needed that vital piece of information almost immediately after introductions. In fact, a stylist cannot do their job well or at all without talking money from the get go.

Well trained experienced stylists will ask you for a budget. It’s very important to establish this before your boutique appointment. It may or may not be a conversation you want to have with yourself or the one paying the bill, but it’s quite important so that you’re prepared when the stylist asks. Today designers accommodate many price points. Your choices will not be restricted based on budget. The industry prices are mostly based on designer, fabric and manufacturer location.

Image result for brides and budgets
photo Glamour Magazine
When a bride is searching for her special dress, it’s understandable to get carried away with the excitement and glamour of the boutique’s lovely assortment of gowns. All brides should experience that moment of walking into a wedding shop filled with all things girly and romantic. The fantasy is in full force and the bride is a little girl again playing dress up. I never want to take that feeling away as she floats in dreamland, but finding that sweet spot in her budget is key.

The money talk could and sometimes does bring her back to earth, but it doesn’t have to. After the budget is ascertained, the floating can resume and the stylist can go to work. A good stylist will maintain the bride’s dreamy state with tact, product knowledge and a bit of magic :)

Finding the bride her gown, seeing her and her loved ones cry continues to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Plentiful tears are normal and beautiful when she finds the one dress she’ll remember for a lifetime. No stylist wants a bride to shed tears post appointment when she stares at her bank account in shock.
Keep floating, keep dreaming, keep smiling, but keep the money talking.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Upon first gaze it had me. When I first heard the sound of fabric colliding along the breeze of movement, it captured my heart. It's the skirt of a ballgown. The sight and sound of swingy swish, puffy, angelic layers of ethereal fabric creates an indelible image of femininity and grace I adore.

The recent movie I just had the pleasure of seeing delivers that skirt with lots of "swish". Belle in "Beauty and the Beast" floats in her yellow ballgown. It was beautifully designed by costume designer Jaqueline Durran. She updated the look of Belle's ballgown without sacrificing the dreamy romantic garment we associate with Belle as she glided over the dance floor falling in love with her prince.

These iconic images of fashion in pop culture do unknowingly permeate our minds. When brides shop for their special gown, perhaps they turn to those ballgown images that conjure the level of "swish" they want. I have to admit when a client asks for me a ballgown in its truest form with yards of skirt fabric, "swish" and that sound only a ballgown makes, my heart skips a beat!

2017 "Beauty and the Beast" Costumes by Jaqueline Durran

The movie obviously made every effort to give the audience Belle's iconic dress as it is almost a character itself. There were dress sneak peaks and interviews with the designer well before the movie opened to market the film.  Miniature Belle gowns were stocked in toy departments everywhere to give little girls that anticipated excitement of Belle on the big screen. Disney released another gown photo not revealing when it would be worn by Belle. 
"Beauty and the Beast" Belle's celebration gown

The use of ballgowns to market a film stresses the importance of these garments and their imagery.  Whether you choose lots or very little "swish" in your gown, you will still glide across the dance floor as you fall more in love with your prince. <3

Friday, January 27, 2017

Victoria Effect

Elie Saab
Vera Wang

Queen Victoria as a bride in 1840

Victoria you're on my mind. I've been enthralled with the US debut of "Victoria" on Masterpiece Theater. She was a young bride at 21, but already known as a trailblazer and cultural revolutionary as evident in her choice to wear white on her wedding day. Before this shift in garment hue, most brides dressed in their Sunday best of perhaps blue or green. Headstrong Victoria wouldn't have it like most, and chose what would carry on over 175 years later to today's wedding white.

Many designers have challenged the fair hue with exemplary choices available to brides today. I have a particular fondness for a bit more color saturated gown, but they are not for everyone. I've worked with brides who initially tell me they want color because they chose a non-traditional wedding. To her surprise, however, she usually purchases the traditional off white or ivory gown. (Today most brides opt for off white/ivory, which is still considered a white gown). That's the Victoria effect in action as a bride's final gown choice is ultimately what she believes a bride should wear. I always ask my client if she feels like a bride. Interestingly, most have a common belief what a bride should look and feel like. The Victorian bride still lives!

Some might balk at this comparison arguing we are not living in the 19th century and women today prefer modern 21st century gown choices.  This is very true. Thank God brides have come a long way in all aspects of the marriage ceremony, wedding aesthetics and most certainly the wedding gown. However, I would implore you to scrutinize the next bridal gown you try on. The style and cut may reflect modern design elements, but fabrics, embellishments, general construction have remained constant since Victoria's glorious white frock and precisely why I adore wedding gowns. They reflect today, but hark back to the days of exquisite detailed fabric and a special custom dress fit for a queen.