black wedding dressess

Thursday, 21 January 2010


Recently a Florida journalist came to me with several questions regarding black wedding dresses and the girls who choose to wear them...
Wedding dress fashions throughout history have been reflected in the
fabrics that were available and economics, the overall concept was far
more utilitarian than just a fashion statement. During the early
Victorian era, wedding dresses could have been brown, navy and were
commonly quite dark to reflect the solemn nature of the religious
ceremony. The fashion for black wedding dresses went out in 1861 with
the death of Prince Albert. Queen Victoria took to wearing ornate
black dresses in her desperate grief and the black dress became a
universal symbol of this. This is where we see the tradition of the
white dress coming in, the darker colours being replaced by a symbol
of virginity and chastity. That symbol was engrained on society for
so many years it became a concept that seemed un shifting but as
society has developed particularly over the last decade, the concept
of pre bridal chastity is an out dated concept in today's culture and
although tradition was a strong influence it's validity has faded and
with the economic climate that has been developing combined with the
spiralling costs of modern weddings with so many companies 'cashing
in' on the wedding market, encouraging grossly inflated spending way
beyond the financial means of most people, the white wedding dress has
become a symbol of mass commercialism. Though while the tradition does
still hold a lot of weight, more and more women are rebelling against
the unreasonable cost of abiding by out dated traditions. This is the
beginning of a fashion revolution away from enforced commercialism it
may not have come around so quickly if the bridal market hadn't priced
itself out of its own market forcing women to look for alternatives.
Of the customers that I have had over the past few years say that the
mass commercialism cheapens the whole event, it has become less and
less about love and the marriage of two people, that is almost
superfluous to the money, the more money spent, the better the
wedding, it almost became a competition in spending. This is
essentially returning to the Victorian idea of a wedding, the more
utilitarian concept where the marriage ceremony itself was the most
important factor of the day. Returning to this more simple philosophy
seems to be bringing back the dress fashions too.

Though it does have to be said that the 'goth' market has always been
a fabulous inspiration for gorgeous alternative black dresses, 'goth
girls' who wear ornate black dresses and lean towards a Victorian
inspired style on an everyday basis tend to choose something different
for their big day, red, purple, burgundy and deep blues are popular
gothic wedding themes. It has to be said aswell that the goth girls
were leading the way in alternative wedding themes and dress choices
because of a life style dedicated to creativity and alternative
clothing. That doesn't mean to say that the only alternative choice
should be a black or dark wedding dress, what I am trying to do is
offer ANY colour or style option as a wedding dress option. I am
currently planning my own wedding and though I will make my own dress
I was advised by family and friends to go through wedding dress shops
to see all the options and make sure that I really knew what I
wanted. I now know for certain that I am not going to find what I
want in a high street shop. I did come across two black wedding
dresses but no middle ground, on the high street, it seems to be that
colours are just for bridesmaids. I've found myself saying exactly
the same things that my customers say, "I don't want to look like the
cake". There doesn't seem to be any actual thought in to the
individuality of the bride, of the vast and extensive range of wedding
dresses available, they all look fabulous on a 6ft, size 8 model but
in reality, very few of them actually work on real women, I am 5ft and
very pale, I'm going to look as bad in a black dress as a white one.
So I am in the same position as my customers and I want to offer them
the same options as I can offer myself, a style of dress designed and
cut to best suit my body and in a colour that suits me. Ivory dresses
with black accents are becoming a very popular choice as are burgundy
with cream and navy with ivory. With the financial climate of today
and the changes in social opinions, another important factor for
brides today is being able to wear their wedding garments again after
the wedding, getting more value for their money which is where the
idea of the separate corset and skirt comes in to it own, being able
to have a wedding outfit that suits you and your wardrobe gives you
the opportunity to wear the elements separately with other garments
for special occasions.

Ultimately it is leading to a more flexible era of freedom for brides
to choose whatever they want unconfined by society, fashion, tradition
or finance.