Hitched – fripperies and frou-frous

Saturday, 25 April 2009

being part 2 of 2 on the whole getting married business. Part 1 involves food, cake and design stuff. This involves clothes.

I’ll do the smaller bits first.

The flowers and buttonholes – the white roses of Yorkshire – were made by Chivers in Charlotte Street. The bouquet survived being gripped very hard by me during the ceremony, and also had a good balance to it so the throw went precisely towards a target. Heh heh heh.

The rings were from The Wedding Ring Shop in Hatton Gardens. We’d previously got the engagement ring from The Victorian Ring Company down in the Gardens, and the shop did a good job of matching it.

The chap’s suit was a classic dark Ben Sherman, worn with equally classic  Dr Martens shoes. Cufflinks from one of the various gentlemen’s outfitters on Fleet Street.

And then there was my outfit.

Quite simply, the day could not as gone as well as it did without the sterling and fabulous work of Kelly Hale.  She took an initial idea – that I wanted something like a Dior New Look suit – and made it totally real. She sourced a 1958 pattern (So Vintage Patterns) and some red wool fabric, customised the pattern to suit me, made a test version in cotton and then got the final version to me in time to be hemmed and pressed over here.  Because we did the entire work on it via t’internet. I truly wish she could have been over here with us to hear the many, many compliments and admiring looks the suit got.

Scrapbook of ideas, including the pattern:

fashion collage

Final outfits:

me & the chap | me and carrie (big magpie)

To support the outfit, I also used the following people…

  • The Cloth House for buttons and Borovicks for both hat netting and the silk used to repair some of the vintage items I found elsewhere.  Both shops are on Berwick Street in London and are places I could lose hours browsing.
  • The Real Macoy in Exeter for a original 1950s cocktail hat of black velvet and raffia.
  • Wow Retro on Drury Lane for an original 1950s petticoat. Twitter followers may have spotted I spent a lot of time repairing it but it was worth it for the way it held the skirt out. Modern petticoats just aren’t as layered or complex.
  • What Katie Did in Portobello Road, for various underpinning items which held things in and created a more classic 50s posture.  I’m not saying which items but this faux vintage is lovely.
  • Damian Carberry, the alteration tailor in Exeter who hemmed the skirt in less than 24 hours.
  • Valentino Dry Cleaners off Shaftesbury Avenue for within the hour pressing of the one-off suit (and the chap’s shirt). What’s good enough for Paul Smith is good enough for a Kelly Hale one-off!

Oh, and for those final details: the shoes are my favourite work shoes from Office 18 months ago, the top under the suit was from Monsoon and the bag is from Top Shop. The earings (never seen) were a present from Carrie who did sterling work as the maid of honour all the way through.And clearly enjoyed dressing like Tippi Hedren.

Again, there are no words to really express how grateful I am to Kelly for the suit. I had backup dresses, I had an anxious wait when it got stuck in customs over Easter, and I had doubts and fears over having picked red wool, but all of those things vanished when I put the suit on and danced through the day in it.  Ta, pet.

The House of Hale

Friday, 31 August 2007

You may recall that an age back, Kelly made me a shopping bag. She’s also made me an apron, which I got a while back but had failed to get any good photos of until tonight. I was trying to pull the whole Katy Hepburn look (wide-legged trousers and cream vintage silk blouse) and thought the apron must be looking super fine with it. And it is:
apron close upI’m a bit blurry, but you get the general idea. It’s a super 1950s pattern, flaring out at the waist to go over a New Look skirt, but made with a print of Chinese Cultural Reveolutionary children and tough red and white striped pockets/ties to cope with the wear and tear. And all trimmed with dark blue ric rac (a trim that I always found fascinating as a kid).

Click through to see the whole photo complete with notes.

I’ve tagged it with kelly hale made this!, so if you have something Kelly made, add a photo of it to flickr and tag it up so we end up with a gallery of her work.

Make Do and Mend

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

There’s a piece in this week’s Graniad weekend about the commericialisation of weddings in the last century. Although it focuses on the bride because, of course, that’s what the focus of weddings is. No one mentions the need of the guests to not merely get together a wedding outfit but to get together several so that you’re not always in the same party frock at all the weddings.

I’m off to a classic English job at the weekend and have spent the evening – when not being disrupted by all the noises out front* – altering a dress so that it fits in the bodice. Not one alterations person in the city would even countenence taking on a dress with boning in the bodice, so I am taking a crash course in modern corsetry. After an initial bout of uncertainty, the 1927 Singer machine has behaved and I’ve got two of the four seams done. I’ll have to keep my head down for the next two evenings to get it ready in time though.

* It’s worse than normal tonight: lots of incoherent moaning and crashing about. It used to be that you could set your clock by the 11.20 post-pub leariness but this didn’t start till just after midnight. Maybe someone’s launched a particularly strong cider: you always get the worst pub drunks on cider. Ooh, yep. Sirens. Must be a punch up somewhere.

Handmade Loveliness

Tuesday, 12 December 2006


Kelly has created an online shop with Etsy so that she can sell her wares. She sent me a set of the blue brocade booties for my friend’s newborn baby and I spent fifteen minutes giggling at how adoreably cute they are. So you can dress your little bundle up like a Manchurian prince. Awww.

You may recall she made me a very lovely shopping bag earlier this year, which is so cool and fun. I’m hoping she starts to make them for the online shop as well.

Webfeed note: I think blogger are doing one of their periodic moments when publishing a single post causes the last 25 to be resent to the RSS feed, which I know upsets LJ. Sorry. Out of my control.

Princess stuff

Tuesday, 20 September 2005

I am plugging my friend Kelly’s lovely handmade princess dresses, which she is flogging on ebay. Kelly made my brown and black bodice, which some of you may have seen, and the photos of the clothes on the rail do not do their style and detail justice. Above all, they are comfortable (which when you’re all laced up is an important detail). There’s a con coming up in 2007 for which I want some 1920s/30s clothing and I’ve already warned Kelly that I may well commission her to make them. I know there are readers here with kiddies and also other costume types so please take a look.

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