Oh! You Pretty Things!

Don’t you know you’re driving the modest-budgeted brides insane? (Yes, I’m trying to invoke Bowie, and I’m pretty sure I’m failing.) Anyway, it really is torture that I can’t afford 90% of what follows in this post, but that’s life.

When doing a post about wedding gowns I love, It’s hard to know where to begin. Because, contrary to my acidic tone on this blog, I actually like a lot of stuff.  I mean, just look at Dorothy Dandridge up there in her Oscar de la Renta gown. I’ve pretty much spent my life wishing to have occasion (and funds) to wear such a dress. Unforch, my wedding is not such an occasion. But whatever. Let’s look at the pretty things after the jump.

(WARNING! This post is very long, b/c I felt like if I edited the images down any, I’d be cheating you guys. Who doesn’t love pretty dresses? Prepare to glut yourselves on the gorgeousness.)

More from darling Oscar.  The one on the left looks like a great Westernization of the Korean hanbok. So I covet it.

TEASER!! Seeing as how a lot of you have been bugging me about finishing my epic White Whale dress story, I’m’a give you a little hint: The above dress (Also Oscar) has the most direct design influence on the dress I actually chose. Stay tuned!!

Carolina Herrera knows what she’s doing. This is another hanbok-redux

Jane Austen WHAT? I want this dress.

The dress so nice I posted it twice! Who loves you?

Now, these dresses are from long ago, so the designers escape me. The one on the far left is DIVINE.

Notte by Marchesa. This WAS available at Neiman Marcus. I liked it so much, I almost ran over to NM’s and bought it even though I already have a dress. Thank GOD they had already stopped carrying this dress.

Now, let’s take a quick break from gowns and discuss courthouse-y type dresses:

These lovely frocks are by Stephanie Ray Couture. She specializes in 50s style tea-length wedding dresses. You know you want one!

It’s a mod, mod, mod, mod world! These are oldies, too, so I’m not sure what designer. But trust you can get stuff like this from ABS by Allen Schwartz.

Gowns again! I pretty much only posted this b/c of the middle dress. I think the t-shirt silhouette of the top gives it a playful, modern vibe.

I love a good pleat. The layering of the skirt on here makes me drool.

OK, we can’t talk about wedding dresses without talking about Vera Wang:

As much as I hate Avril Levigne, her gown is perfection. It’s sweet, flattering, and feminine with lots of unexpected detail. In other words, it should have been illegal for “sk8er grrl” to wear this.

Ooh, ooh, OOH!! OOOOOH! I hate satin, don’t get me wrong, and this dress is not made for anyone with an ounce of fat on their body, but still. Just look at it. It’s timeless.

Not even a whole season of Rami Kashou could break me of loving Grecian draping. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Nina Gracia! Have fun over at Lifetime, sellout!

Look. People marry in all sorts of circumstances, and the way I see it, there’s nothing wrong with getting married while pregnant. Wear this dress while you do it, and all the better!

Vera! The details! Ugh. It hurts my heart with all the pretty.

But you know, I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about Vera’s newer, looser silhouettes for bridal gowns. Naysayers are flapping their heads about Vera’s masterful creations looking like “nightgowns.” Eff you, haters. Vera’s been at this a LOOOOONG time, and homegirl got dead sick of doing fucking A-line pouf dresses with corset tops for all you plebes with no taste. Let the woman design, because you know what? Ten years from now, everyone’s wedding dress is going to look like a “nightgown” compared to the prevailing Princess Di-style of overdone, heavy satin costumes that characterized the 80s and 90s. Even David’s Bridal can’t keep that traditional, stale wedding gown silhouette alive. You think about that.

See, check Vera out, she knows. She’s all,

“Yeaaah, bitches.”

“Uh-huh. Yeah, BITCHES!”


“That’s enough.”

Moving right along, Melissa Sweet:

Simple, classic, and with lovely details. Mmmmm.

This dress is achingly popular with brides. So much so, I’ve actually had the pleasure of seeing this dress on no less than 5 real women. But, it’s really shitty, b/c this dress does not work on anyone who’s not an overtall stick insect. Seriously, if you even have a hint of a chest, this dress makes you look needlessly juggs-y. And the hips? Oh. It’s too depressing to even talk about. I love this dress as a fantasy. But the reality? Nah.

This is a very Clair Pettibone-ish look for Sweet. I like it much better than Pettibone, as there appears to be some structure in the top, whereas Pettibone’s dresses don’t allow you to wear any form of support under the dress, yet the dress offers none of it’s own. So yeah, if you have boobs, it’s a no-go. I really hate designers sometimes.

Oh, and Claire Pettibone? J. Crew did it first. Sorry.

Here are a couple more lovely, affordable dresses J. Crew has offered in the past. I think the one on the right is still available, too!

And finally, to end on a high note, Lela Rose:

It’s the littlest things that make the biggest impression.

Texture, texture, texture! See kids, it’s not about beading or Swarovski crystals.

It’s not about over-the-top. It’s about show-stopping details.

It’s about classic-meets-contemporary. It’s about simplicity with an edge. Loooove!

Let me know what you think about my picks, or tell me I’m a crazy fool with no taste – in the comments!


13 responses to “Oh! You Pretty Things!

  1. Man, a lot of those are simply gorgeous, especially the Lela Rose ones. That lace one with the deep vee in back? WANT.

    I am going to have to take issue with this though: “fucking A-line pouf dresses with corset tops for all you plebes with no taste” But I like a-lines and corsets! Admittedly, I may still be under the influence of the pretty, pretty dress I got to wear for a… er, “fundraiser” my senior year. And I have a Goth-tastic love of corsets. Steel bones do amazing things for one’s cleavage. And posture. (And amazingly unfortunate things to your ability to take deep breaths, but it’s not like I need to be running anywhere, right?)

    I eagerly await the next installment of your wedding dress drama!

  2. Internet Gods,

    – Please hand over the white sheath with the bow, which I will wear with a little pillbox hat, Jackie-style.
    – The oh-so Daisy Buchanan Clair Pettibone dress.
    – The J.Crew shirtwaist. In tartan. For a yet-to-be-determined swanky fundraiser.

    xo, otter

    PS Panda, my favorite wedding dress of all time?

    My second favorite look is from the Dec. 2003 ‘Vogue’ and is designed by Donna Karan. I still have the magazine, just in case.

  3. Skinny Bone Jones

    GOD DAMN YOU, PANDA! God damn you for feeding the industrial wedding mass consumerist feeding frenzy bridezilla complex, and by that I mean I fucking loooooooooooooooooooove you. Since I’m now eligible to be legal, I’ve (needlessly? practically? reasonbly? foolishly?) refused to indulge in all the breathless chiffontaffetasilkorganzalace wonder of the bridal gown, and you, my sweet, have given me every excuse to go ahead and gorge.

    Feels good. Feels DAMN good.

  4. SBJ- I totally made this post with you in mind. I’m so excited for you! Feel free to write about anything and everything to do with your impending nups. Me bloggie is su bloggie!

  5. The details are killer. Any dress with beads, bows, and baubles wins in my book, and I’m usually all for very simple things. I think I’m down with the doodads because they just set the dress apart, know what I mean? And also because I am as pale as milk and a little black stone goes a long way in letting people know where my neck ends and where my dress begins.

    I LOVE the dress that influenced your dress. GIVE UP THE DRESS, PANDA. We are all dying to see it!!!

  6. The crochet. Sweet heavenly hotness, the crochet. I wants it. Give. The Lela Rose with the deep-V back and the very last dress are HEAVEN.

    Oh, and the Marchesa NM dress. I would wear that anytime, anywhere.

    Thanks for all the pretty, Panda! I can’t wait to see your real dress now, especially after that cruel, cruel teaser above.

  7. bewilderedhousewife

    Hey pssssst… I tagged you for a meme 🙂
    I know, I know, you can thank me later…


  8. BWH- What does that mean? Meme? I’m sure it’s fabulous, b/c you’re fabulous, so thank you!!!

  9. I love some of the detailing on this. Gorgeous. Avril is way too….Avril for that dress. Are they divorced yet?

    And yes, Skinny, spill. Where are you registered? And when is the joyous date?

    And Biscuit, I love the influencing dress. Purty. Also, I want my dress-if there ever is one-to have sleeves. Not “going to the FLDS temple “sleeves, but sleeves. I hate strapless; I’d be tugging it up all dang day. Some can pull it off. I cannot.

  10. Late to the party. Seriously need to stop looking at wedding dress pictures after having just purchased mine. But those tea-lenghts are fabulous and may just make me reconsider my position that two-dress prides are self-indulgent.

  11. truculentandunreliable

    Oh, man, if I had to do it all over again, I would have had an even simpler wedding with one of those fucking fabulous 50’s style dresses.

    Maybe I should get married again…

  12. LipstickLibrarian

    I will marry a bum off the street if I can have the Stephanie Ray dress on the right.

  13. i’m gonna echo everyone and say LELA ROSE LACE DEEP V OMG.

    i have never once looked at a wedding dress and thought “i want this.” til now.

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