Posted by Nicole in Bridal, Calendar, Exhibitions 11 Comments

Please accept my apologies for neglecting to share some photos taken at the opening of this wonderful new National Trust exhibition. This exhibition opened a while ago, and closes at the end of this month but hopefully it’s not too late to go and see it now.

From the site:
The collection spans over 200 years of fashion, including pieces from the world-leading designers such as Valentino for Princess Marie Chantal of Greece. A mini retrospect of leading Australian designers – Akira Isogawa and Collette Dinnigan will showcase their fashion career.

Celebrity gowns include dresses designed for Jennifer Hawkins (Maticevski) and Kyly Clarke (Alex Perry) to film and television pieces worn by Kylie Minogue (as Charlene in Neighbours) to Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and Meryl Streep.

What: Love, Desire, Riches – The Fashion of Weddings exhibition
When: 1st July until 30th September 2014, 10am to 4pm each day
Where:Rippon Lea, 192 Hotham St, Rippon Lea
Cost: between $4 -$15.
More information: at the website.

You can see me here at the opening with Tim and Alison Waters.

Tim, Alison, NJPhoto courtesy the National Trust.

More importantly, here are some pics from the exhibition itself. Firstly a few words.
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I’m always felt a little torn about wedding gown exhibitions: bridal fashions change much more slowly than other types of dress and often tend to the more conservative, especially before the ’90s. There was this idea about the virtuous woman, who was modest and reflected her social class, or the class she was marrying into. The results can be a little dull.

When you put older gowns up against their contemporaries, as is done here, there can be a bit of a clash – modern brides often like a sexier, more glamorous movie star, red carpet look.

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Here we also have several celebrity gowns and – a highlight for me – some choice film wedding costumes. There’s nothing like seeing something that you’ve only seen on screen for a few minutes in a long ago scene, up close where you can walk around it and look at that intriguing detail.

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It’s also a great opportunity to ooh and aah over how tiny the Victorian waistlines were. One in particular looks like you could put your hands around her waist. Much beauty too. Plus reminders that wedding gowns weren’t always white.

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One room is dedicated to the darker side of weddings with the banquet table set up for Miss Havisham’s cobwebbed feast and no fewer than three film costumes for the Dickens character. I appreciated the room: it gave light and shade to the fantasies elsewhere.

Upstairs is a room dedicated to the art of couture sewing, with an Akira bridal gown hand made from paper patterns, and vintage sewing tools like enormous scissors and antique mannequins. It’s a nice reminder of how much goes into creating the once-worn confections.

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I thought the setting particular apt, as weddings are personal and intimate affairs, celebrating the love of two people – Rippon Lea as both domestic and wedding venue resonated with the gowns more than a stark art gallery does. The older garments looked particularly at home amongst the sumptuous interiors.

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The men were not forgotten, with a room dedicated to manly attire appropriate for the occasion.

“Love, Desire, Riches” closes at the end of the month. I hope you can see it. If you’d like tickets, the National Trust have offered five double passes – to win one, please leave a comment about your favourite wedding gown – perhaps a famous one from history, cinema or even your own. Winners will be chosen at random and entries close Monday midnight. Good luck!

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Posted by Nicole in 1950s, Bridal, Media 3 Comments

The latest Melbourne Bride magazine features one of our vintage wedding gowns on the front cover! How fabulous is that? I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a vintage dress on the cover of any mainstream magazine apart from Frankie and Peppermint.

Best of all, there’s only one gown and it can be yours!

And – they’ve done a great job with the vintage styling so the frock looks fabulous – and inside there are more pics of two of our ’50s wedding dresses: have a sneak peek. Here’s the gown on the cover…click on either image to see details on the webshop, it’s in the salon for you to try on.

Photo courtesy Jackie Henshaw and Melbourne Bride magazine.

And here’s another beautiful ’50s gown: I really love the first photo – her hairstyle and camellia are so beautiful and who can resist the charming tea cup? This one is also available from the webshop, or at the Circa Vintage salon.

Photo courtesy Jackie Henshaw and Melbourne Bride magazine.

Thank you to Bride magazine for featuring our gowns in such a gorgeous vintage style wedding shoot – and if you’d like one of these or another style, you can see more of our vintage wedding gowns here.

Posted by Nicole in Bridal, lingerie, Swimwear

I’m pleased to report that we’ve expanded our Kiss Me Deadly lingerie and swimwear range – KMD has just won Favourite British Designer in the UK Lingerie Awards 2012. Well done to Catherine and her team: very well deserved! We love your vintage inspired lingerie.

Please visit our new Kiss Me Deadly department – all styles are available either online or for fitting in the city salon, in a large range of sizes.

We’ve also replenished our supplies of number one best seller, the Vargas Dress – available now in almost every size – while they last.

Posted by Nicole in 1930s, 1950s, Bridal

One of the pleasures of our new city salon is the discovery of how well suited it is to one-on-one attention that is required when shopping for a special occasion dress. In the short time since we relocated, wedding and ballgowns are proving our most popular styles.

Here are some beautiful images by Finessence, featuring some of our vintage gowns – hair and make up is by Candice DeVille. Ladies, if you’re looking for someone to help you with your event I can recommend both businesses.

1950s silk organza and lace gown modelled by Hannah (now sold).

1950s lace and taffeta ballgown modelled by Dolores Daquiri (more information about the gown here).

1930s silk bias cut gown modelled by Marianne of Esme and the Laneway (more information about the gown here).

If you’d like to make an appointment for a personal fitting to try on our range of wedding gowns and special occasion dresses, please call us on 9606 0776 or send me an email – we have lots more at the salon too!

Thank you to Finessence and Candice DeVille for granting permission to reproduce the images.

Unless stated otherwise, all content © Circa Vintage Clothing 2004-2014. ABN 37 840 548 574.