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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Dresses (9)

Friday
Mar092012

Lineage Bridal

OK, so I do sponsored posts. I do them for cashola. I don’t do them if they suck. Trust me, y’all. We bloggers get some FUNKY requests in regards to advertising. Dude. For reals. Some of it’s totally twisted what folks want to pay us to write about. But we don’t. Because money isn’t EVERYTHING. Even when you’re effin’ broke.

So now that you know this, it’s now supposed to mean EVEN MORE when I talk about Lineage Bridal, because I’m not getting paid to write about it. So here’s the skinny.

I met Natasha and her partner Jodene at a bridal show here in Charlotte when I first moved here. I really liked their concept. I really liked talking to them. We exchanged cards. We met for coffee. Natasha and I talked wedding smack and then we got into talking about some of our favorite kinds of charity work. I was a super-slacker volunteer with Mustaches for Kids, an event that Natasha headed that raised money for abused kids.

So on top of what I’m about to share, she’s a good person too.

OK, so Lineage Bridal isn’t a brand new concept, but it is a totally different way of approaching things.  What things?

Offering practical alternatives to the traditional and expensive gown, Lineage offers a diverse and stunning collection of couture bridal gowns at a price our brides can afford.

It’s a pre-owned wedding website, and coming within the next few weeks? A LOVELY pre-owned wedding boutique here in Charlotte! How exciting is that?

Let me tell you, Natasha has been working her ass off, traipsing all across the country gathering gowns for sale at a reduced price.

Wedding gowns are required to be three years or newer, retail $2500 or above.

These are not budget gowns, but they are much cheaper than the original cost. But I know what you’re thinking…ick, right? Who wants a  pre-owned gown? Well, I I’ll tell you what, I would have NEVER KNOWN THE DIFFERENCE .

Natasha invited me (meaning TruLu Couture) to join her in selecting some accessories for a bride. She has a temporary set up until her shop opens in a few weeks, but check it:

The Thirty-Something Bride Lineage Bridal1

 

The Thirty-Something Bride Lineage Bridal5

 

The Thirty-Something Bride Lineage Bridal7

She’s got a handful of gowns available for sale on her site.  She’s pulling together a bunch more too! And here’s a cool twist on the whole pre-owned thing, other than having a real-life boutique experience, she can FIND you the gown of your dreams! She’s got a small finders fee, but it’s totally worth it!

image image image image

Look at this level Vera Wang for $2990, originally $4990!

Check out her website, Lineage Bridal for a taste of what she offers. You can contact her at info@lineagebridal.com if you’re looking for a designer gown at a reduced price. And I’ll let you know as soon as her shop opens so you can have that boutique experience, get a designer gown and pay MUCH less than you would elsewhere.

Love it!

Tuesday
Feb012011

David's Bridal vs. Vera Wang

*Contest Reminder! CLICK HERE to enter and win FREE WEDDING DAY PHOTOGRAPHY!*

So everyone's heard the news, right? Vera did the unthinkable. She crossed the couture line and walked straight into David's Bridal. I believe there was an audible *gasp* in the wedding community. The tweets and posts were blowing up my Google Reader, that's fo sho! I had an email exchange with a designer friend of mine about it. Even The Candyman had an opinion.

You can look at this in few different ways, plus some I'm sure I can't think of. 

  • From the standpoint of a stylish bride on a budget: HELL to the YEAH! I get to wear Vera Wang and not break the bank!
  • From the standpoint of a stylish bride NOT on a budget: My "real" Vera Wang is way better.
  • From the standpoint of a designer dress boutique: What the hell is Vera doing? She's sending my customers to David's Bridal! That BITCH!
  • From the standpoint of David's Bridal: $$$$
  • From the stand point of Vera herself: $$$$

OK, maybe it's not that cut and dry.

Personally, I question the move. You have a high end, coveted wedding gown designer. She's appealing to the masses by making her line more affordable and available. One one hand, I feel like she's "dumbing down" her incredibleness. The moment you move from couture to ready-to-wear, you've cheapened yourself. She's cheapened her end product. On the other hand, she's made her incredibleness available to women who don't have $6K+ to blow on a gown. Had this happened when I was wedding gown shopping, I might have faced the horridness that I believe to be the inside of a David's Bridal shop, just to see what they looked like.

And what about those brides who do spend the $6K on a Vera Wang gown? Do we take those people into consideration? I think if I had a gown that cost me that much money and another bride could get similar for a mere fraction of the cost with the same brand name? I think that might piss me off. I don't know why. I don't think it would be the right emotion to have either, but I still think I would be at least mildly irritated. In all honesty, I think that would just be the snob in me being a big ol' bitch. It happens.

Now, if I were a designer boutique owner person, I would be pissed. PISSED! Sample gowns are not cheap. Running a luxury item business in this economy is not easy. Vera just made it even harder for these guys to eke out a living. These are shop owners who have supported her line for years. Yeah, I'd be super-pissed.

David's Bridal? Now they get some style cred above and beyond Oleg Cassini (*insert snarky comment here*). They get traffic into their stores. Win-win there.

Vera? She gets massive bucks. I'm sure her sales are not what they used to be because she's the supplier of a luxury item when the economy is in the Tinkletorium. She's probably protecting her own income. No one can fault a person for that, right?

What I think I am struggling with the most is what many people don't get: the DIFFERENCE between a Vera Wang gown and the David's Bridal White line by Vera Wang. Trust me, there will be a difference.

Fabric: Silk, satin, crepe de chine versus polyester. The major contributing factor to inexpensive gowns is in the choice of fabric. Synthetic fabrics have come a long, freakin' way in terms of aesthetics. Most everyday people walking around on the street cannot tell the difference between a poly blend and the real deal.

Beading: Hand-beaded versus pre-fab appliques or machine beading. Get close enough and you can tell.

Construction: French seams, built-in corsets, boning, lining, covered buttons/loops versus serged seams, standard fitting, zippers and little to no lining. 

Here, let's compare:

Vera on the left. David's Bridal on the right at $1200.

Vera left, David's Bridal on the right at $1000, $58 for the sash.

Vera on the left, David's Bridal on the right at $1200, crystal sash is $148.

Vera on the left, David's Bridal on the right at $600, with a crystal sash at $148.

Vera left, David's Bridal on the right at $800 with a $58 sash.

I could keep this up all day, the comparison of her couture line to David's Bridal. There are little differences, as a designer and seamstress, that I can see right away. On the first dress? All those layers on the DB version are most likely more symmetrical and easier to construct. Vera's original gown is much more random and artistically created. It's literally harder to make and takes mad fucking skills to accomplish. The top of the Vera gown most likely has a built in corset so that the sucker can be fitted to your torso and NOT MOVE AN INCH, while still being comfortable as all hell. The DB version? I'm going to guess it's lined and that's about it. Alterations on the DB gown will most likely be easier and less expensive to do too. The fit on a DB gown will definitely be different than on the real deal.

My first inclination is to say, "Hey! Just go try on one of each and see how you feel!" DO NOT DO THIS. If we've learned anything from "Say Yes to the Dress" it's NEVER EVER EVER try on a dress you cannot afford. Just don't do it. For your own sanity, please just don't. Why? Because if you do, you'll fall in love with it. You'll start to see the differences, the detailing, the weight of the fabric. You'll see how good really great designs fit and look and feel. It's a lot like flying first class and then having to fly coach. The comparison spoils you for life.

But the great thing is that there are designers out there that give you a little bit more of everything: fit, style, fabric, construction, all without breaking the bank. My Mikaella gown was $1300, as much as these new David's Bridal dresses. Overall, the thing that I "lost" on my dress was the overall construction. There was an issue with one of the straps, my pre-made bustle failed at the end of the night (I ripped it out dancing) and I needed serious bust alterations (*ahem*). I did try on gowns I couldn't afford, but I knew what I was getting myself into. Happily, the designer gowns I tried on weren't The One so I was able to shrug off the comparison quite easily. This is not something I'd chance to an inexperienced gown shopper.

But what do you, as an average bride (sorry, I don't mean YOU are average), care? Most people will just think you look beautiful in your dress. After you walk down the aisle, you'll still be married regardless of whether you wore Dior or Casablanca. You need to find The One and it can be done on a budget. I tried on over 100 gowns. That's right, over 100. It wasn't until I put on my Mikaela gown that I felt anything that I can only describe as "right."  It felt good. It felt right. I felt like me, cranked up a notch. I felt beautiful. I felt elegant. My photographer's wife cried when she saw me in it. My friends who I had dragged to various appointments all slowly nodded when I modeled it for them. I didn't want to take it off. That's how you should feel about your dress. Personally, I don't think that feeling comes with a particular price point attached to it.

So what's your take on the Vera thing? Does it even matter?

Don't forget! There's still time to enter to win your FREE wedding day photography from Dulce Photography. Enter here!

Sunday
Jan312010

The Big Chill


We got a handsome amount of snow here in Nashville Friday night. It became abundantly clear that we are indeed Music City as opposed to Snow Plow City, because here it is Sunday and the roads are still a mess. Major ones are passable, but there is much to be desired in the way of snow removal here in Nashville. Everyone was pretty much snowed in yesterday. It was a huge weekend buzz-kill. There was much planned at The Casa de Candyman and The Thirty-Something Bride.

We managed to get out while the sun was shining today, but are wary of going out this eveing for a friend's 40th birthday celebration. It's a bit far from home and if the roads freeze over when the sun goes down, it might be a dangerous trip. We shall see....

But what all the snow got me thinking about was a wintry-wonderland of bridal goodness. I went in search of pretty little dress for the winter bride. Here's what I found!

 

I love this long-sleeved style from Joan Shum.

What about this coat by Swedish designer Alicja Eklöw? I would think that the Swiss would know a thing or two about the cold, no?

Perhaps a bit avant guard, but I like the idea of a two-piece wedding set. Oh, and I looooove the hat.

Tuleh

This Ian Stuart ensemble probably belongs in the last post, but the jacket is too cute.

Oh, hi! How about sweater dress from Teresa Helbig? I like the arm warmers. Is that what they are called? Like the leg-warmers of the 80's but for your forearms? At least leg-warmers originally had a purpose. Somehow, that makes me feel better about having worn them with my Forenza Shaker Knit Sweater (worn backwards, of course), Mia flats and my prairie skirt. You know you're jealous.

Stay warm errybody! I'll show some more re-caps of the rest of the reception this week! Woo! Hoo!

Thursday
Jan282010

Ask, and You Shall Receive.

I have a new pen pal. It's true. We're going to trade BFF charms and eat brownie batter together when she sleeps over. She asked me about cocktail wedding dresses. Granted, I think the question was hypothetical (nee rhetorical), but it got me thinking about cocktail-length wedding dresses. And then I just couldn't STOP thinking about cocktail wedding dresses. I had to do something about it. So here it is.

 

Dolly Couture. La-la-love it!

So sweet, you'll go into a diabetic coma. The pointy shoes are a must with this kind of dress.

Dolly Couture

 

The bride dyed her crinoline to match her hair! I just want to start singing "Break Out" by Swing Out Sister when I see this photo. Is that weird? Also by Dolly Couture via her blog.

 

Then what about THE coolest short dress ever?

Source

SATC much anyone?

 

Oh, and look at these gorgeous things by UK's Stephanie Allin.

I want to buy this one to vacuum in. No? Too much?I think it would make that particular household chore so much more enjoyable that I'd actually take over the wicked, wicked task from The Candyman.

 

And for reals people, I think this shimmery, slightly sparkly ballet wrap is to *le die for.*

Also by Stephanie Allin.

 

And just look at it with THIS dress! Whoosh!

Vera Who? Monique What? I think I gots me a new favorite wedding gown designer and her name is Stephanie Allin, suckas.

This post is for you, Susie!

Thursday
Jan282010

Dress Love

Simply because I just loved my wedding gown, I went to check out what else my dress manufacturer has come up with lately. Sooooooo pretty......

 

This is the new strapless version of my dress.

Ooooh, buttons all the way down the back. Love it.

No need to go to Etsy for a bolero like I did, this one comes with it (well you know, you will have to pay extra, I'm sure)! Kinda sassy and modern. Me likey.

Mikaella Style #1414

 

Some other new styles that I loved are below. You know, I think this designer has got some great choices for all body types and styles. The dresses aren't cheap, but they aren't crazy-expensive either. My dress was $1310 and totaled about $1600 with tax and alterations (Tennessee has crazy 9.25% sales tax - but we don't pay state taxes!). Definitely check them out if you're dress shopping.

Super-classy and simple. LOVE the train with the flower! in retrospect, I might have asked for this train on my dress. That's how much I lurrrve it.

Mikaella Style #1410

 

Mikaella Style #1460

Mikaella Style #1467

And while I'm not sure how great these photo are for selling her dresses, I'm loving the new Jenny Packham ad campaign photography. Its so ereathral and dreamy.

All photos source.

That's all, just thought I'd share some pretty pictures.