Then&Now: Wedding Veils

I’m curious by nature and found my interest piqued on the subject of wedding veils. I limited my focus to the Victorian era (1837-1901) where the wedding dress followed two main styles- either a day dress or an evening dress. And the veil would be adjusted accordingly. For example, if a bride chose a day dress with a modest neckline a veil would be attached to a flower-trimmed bonnet. But if she decided on an evening dress with a low neckline and short sleeves a long veil was pinned to the back of her head with flowers.

Then- A Victorian American bride chose this wedding dress made of ivory watered silk. Note the low neck and short sleeves typical of an evening dress and consistent with that style of dress is a long veil. Worn in 1844.

Then- Sprigs of artificial orange blossoms decorate the bottom of this Victorian cream silk bridal dress- another example of an evening dress with a train and lace veil. Worn in 1872.

Now- Today’s bride has so many different lengths and styles of veils to choose from. The most traditional called a chapel veil is long and skims the floor. Dress and veil by Lusan Mandongus.

NowMid-length veils are the easiest to wear as they often fall to the elbow or to the fingertips. Dress by Paul Costlloe at Harrods. Tulle veil from Pronovias.

Now- The one above is referred to as a fascinator- a short stiff netting that’s attached to a variety of headpieces. This veil appeals to the most modern bride. Dress by Ralph Lauren. Veil is stylist’s own.

(Photos- Victorian Dress Exhibit-The Met, British Brides Magazine, British You & Your Wedding– photograph by Constantinos Tsiliacos, Genlux– photo- Heidi Niemala. Styled by Jennifer Krako)

Father’s Day

Several months ago a close friend lost her father to cancer. This will be her first Father’s Day without him. It’s makes me realize how short life really is and how much I appreciate still having my dad.

Happy Father’s Day! I love you, Dad!

Sailing Away

July sixth is our anniversary. No, not our wedding anniversary- that’s in January. But this anniversary is when my husband and I went on our first date. We borrowed his dad’s Sunfish and went sailing for the whole day. We talked for hours while we sailed from one end of the lake to the other. I’ve loved him…and sailboats ever since. This bag reminds me of that special summer day- I might just get it for that very reason!

Available at Cath Kidston.

A Few Of My Favorite Things #2: Kitchen Table

The things you love make a house a home.

My design mentor and friend Al has a very full basement. He runs his business from it and stores everything imaginable there- from tools, furniture, magazines, books, and dozens of boxes of who-knows-what. In the midst of renovating our house, Al would periodically stop by to check our progress. One day he asked about my plans for a kitchen table. I told him I had an oak one that I wasn’t too thrilled with. And that’s when he suggested a vintage Formica table that he had in his basement. In all the years I had worked for Al, I had never noticed such a thing. He said it was hidden underneath some stuff- that was his way of saying that it was buried somewhere! It would be quite a job to get it out, but he was willing. Days passed. Weeks passed. No table. I finally figured that if I wanted it, I’d have be obnoxiously assertive. So I called him and said I’d be over in fifteen minutes to pick it up in a borrowed truck. As I pulled up to his huge Victorian house, there he was lugging the table out through the basement door!

And I love how it looks in our kitchen! Thanks, Al!

(Photo- Martha B. and Andy H.)

Men’s Summer Clothing

Summer is the time I assess my husband’s clothes and decide what he needs for the coming year. (Like many men, he hates to shop and when he does, he doesn’t know where to begin.) A recent NY Times article on men’s summer clothing had some good and inexpensive ideas.

Stand by your man! White shirt by Diesel. The shriped cotton tank and pinstripe shorts at H&M. Belt from Club Monaco.

A touch of Marlon Brando. Levi’s denim jacket with a shirt from J.Crew. Cotton chinos with suspenders at Gerry’s. Vintage hat found on ebay.

I can see clearly now! Actually I’m not too crazy about the Ray-bans, but the shirt and tie are great- by Club Monaco. Basic 501 Levi Jeans never go out of style.

(Photos- New York Times)

Lil’Pix#48: Summer Cottage Bathroom

The word cottage evokes images of a small house either on the beach or in the woods. It’s a place where there are painted plank walls and easy-care furniture. The owners of this bathroom reinforced the flavor of their seaside cottage by using a perfect mix of old and new- antique English sink, light fixture and towel bar with contemporary glass blocks.

A Few Of My Favorite Things #1: Mom’s Nature Drawings

The things you love make a house a home.

I love the drawings my mom created while at RISD in a nature drawing course. She enjoyed the class and kept most of her studies. As a little girl, I loved looking at them and always wanted these intricate drawings of beetles, butterflies, birds, shells, & etc. I was so excited when she gave them to me a few years ago!

Two are on our bookshelves near (left to right) an empty wasps’ nest, an old toolbox, a swallow’s nest and a 1940’s radio that still works!