Monday, September 29, 2008

fashion guest blogger amy-jo tatum!

oh, oh, oh, ladies i am so excited to introduce our guest blogger amy-jo tatum of bride chic! this has been quite the series in the making--and let me tell you the wait has been well worth it. i am so pleased to present a woman who has great style, fantastic ability to design and create one of a kind wedding gowns, and a fashion sense that makes me want to drop everything and run away to new york! anyway, we defintely share the love of fashion and i hope you enjoy this insider look at the bridal gown trends of 2009. we will have amy-jo with us for a while with tons of fantastic tips and a look at what to expect this coming year. so without further delay, here is weddings fresh's new fashion consultant!!

I'm Amy-Jo Tatum. Some of you already know me as the lady behind, Bride Chic. When Dani asked me to guest blog here at Weddings Fresh I was quite honored as well as ecstatic. Why? Because Dani is so devoted to bringing brides some of the finest in wedding fashion and all the pretty things that go with it. Initially I got here by watching what was up every 'Gown Friday'. Week after week I made the trek to this site to look at all those gorgeous gowns Dani chose to post. When Dani told me I could write about anything I wanted, well, naturally I jumped at the chance to tell you all about my swing on bridal fashion. Because I've spent my life designing bridal gowns, I know them inside out—love to talk fabrics, trends, designers and just about anything that has to do with that special dress. Hopefully I can offer some insights as well as a few options customized to fit your own version of chic. . .

--Amy-Jo TatumBride Chic--

Last year 's runways were a riot. I think of 2007-08 as the year bridal wear officially moved past the staid convention of less is more and into the realm of wedding theatre. 2009 is a new chapter in this fashion saga. Designers toned down last year's over-the-top drama with lighter weight fabrics in subtler, form flattering silhouettes. Innovation is definitely here though. Chris Cole launched another line of wowzer gowns in all kinds of imported cottons. And for the bride who just can't get into The Big White Dress even on her wedding day, Carolina Herrera has a couple of killer bridal suits worth checking out (it's about time!!!). 2009 is as much about all the new trends in fabric as the designs themselves. We're seeing more eco-chic fibers like hemp, organic cotton and linen as we learn more about their unique styling properties for bridal and formal wear. Lightweights are all of a sudden trendy: embossed organzas, extraordinary whisper thin laces and embroidered chiffons. My personal favorites are in the Oscar de la Renta and Peter Langner collections.

Hot Looks for 2009

Grecian Gown-
Fluidity and draping mark this look. Watch for all those loose fitting halters and lots of asymmetrical draping.

{nicole miller & omo norma kamali via}

The Mermaid-
The 2006-08 mermaids were showier creations. They reflected that 1950s glam look in heavier polished satins. Bombshells like Jane Mansfield once donned some high voltage, kitch-chic with this cut. In 2009, designers like Badgley Mischka ushered in the more refined mermaid, not so skin tight with a gently flared skirt and light-weight wispy layering falling into a (no pun intended) fishtail train.

{manuel mota}

Cottons and Linens-
In 2008, J. Crew and Chris Cole of The Cotton Bride introduced cotton as the new chic. Since going green as well as a weak economy is concern for many, a handful of designers are making all the right accommodations. Dresses out of cotton and eco-friendly fibers generally run a lower price tag. The all-day mega bash is still fine for some but not every bride wants or can afford what comes with that lengthy guest list. Get used to seeing more of these easier fabrics we've missed for so long like cotton, linen, eyelet, and embroidered organdy. Bouffants and A-lines look great in these day time fabrics, evoking images of the once popular afternoon social, the kind of event any Katherine Hepburn character would have attended. This has created a whole new niche for designers—to still work with some awesome fabrics but on a new level.

{amy-jo tatum's own design}

The Bridal Suit-
No matter how simple or paired down a gown can get, some women just can't get into wearing a dress even on their wedding day. For this reason the suit is becoming a stylish alternative. Carolina Herrera's 2009 collection offers two suits to die for. One version harks back to what I'd call, Victoriana. The other is evocative of something Balenciaga would have done back in 1962, complete with fox trimmed ¾ length sleeves. She also features a full length wool coat over a simple crepe satin gown.

{carolina herrera via}

Short Dresses-
There's at least one in every designer's collection. Not just for informal weddings anymore, some brides want two dresses now: one for ceremony, the other for reception. Some Destination brides are also going for the shorter dress.

{angel sanchez via}

The Bridal Blouse-
Carolina Herrera has a ruffled lace blouse in her Spring 2009 collection that reminds me of something from the late seventies. Actually, bridal blouses showed up in several collections this year. Oscar de la Renta's embossed organza shirt paired up with a long, full gathered skirt looks just like a garden party dress. I think more designers will be introducing these beautiful separates—pieces the practical bride could retool or wear post-wedding.

{carolina herrera via}

Asymmetrical Necklines and Hem Treatments-
Mostly seen on evening gown silhouettes in lightweight diaphanous fabrics.

{peter langner via}

The Natural Waistline-
Seems like decades since we've seen so many gowns sporting a natural waist. Until recently bridal designers typically offered two kinds of waist: dropped and empire. True, a dropped waist makes a woman look longer and leaner while empires camouflage short, thick waists and ample hips. The natural waistline however is one of fashion's best-kept secrets. Christian Dior knew this when he revived it in 1947 with his celebrated hourglass. While not for everyone, the natural waist works for most body types and creates a great symmetry and overall picture of you.

{badgley mischka via}

{amsale via}

We're seeing more cowl necklines than ever, some that flow into incredible back treatments, floating in yards of chiffon. There's a lot going on with skirt and waist drapes too. Lightweight fabrics like crepe and chiffon when draped give a billowing, diaphanous feel to your gown. Heavier failles and satins drape more dramatically; they play with light and look like sculpture. Mostly integrated into ball gown silhouettes, draping gives you that Goddess on a Pedestal quality reminiscent of 50s Paris couture.

{natalia misslin & vera wang }

Two Piece Gowns and Interchangables-
The trend for interchangables is growing. And we'll definitely be seeing more of these ensembles. An interchangeable is a look that can go from ceremony to reception—coats, jackets and even sweaters over gowns in exquisite fabrics like brocades and failles; hook on/off overskirts that can go to ceremony with one look, reception another.

{oscar de la renta via}

thank you, amy-jo!
okay, ladies, please stay tuned for some more fashion advice from our guest blogger, amy-jo tatum from bride chic! we have much, much more to discuss. oh, and if any of you have questions or comments for amy-jo please feel free to let us know! see you tomorrow.


hall said...

Love the Greeks up top. Just wish I had the bod for them.

rhian said...

In designing my wedding gown, Amy-Jo Tatum went the extra mile, advising me on shoes and making me a jacket at the last minute.I really appreciate her efforts and her patience.

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