Another New York Fashion Week has begun and it’s another season where sadly I’m glued to the livestream and the social media commentary rather than being there in person. I’m lucky I get to experience London Fashion Week and I’ve even done Paris, although not as much as I would like, but NYFW always feels like the one that keeps getting away. I came close last February, but with the wedding planning it just wasn’t the right timing, I just keep hoping that the opportunity comes around again as it always seems so much bigger than LFW, not just in-scale, it has a lot more shows, but also the labels that present, and the characters that go just for the street-style.
I didn’t know how important my wedding ring would mean to me until the love of my life placed it on my finger during out vows, it was at that moment I was so pleased that I didn’t go with a plain band and added some sparkle as it really represents what a beautiful moment we both shared.
One of the main stresses about getting married in New York, after figuring out how I was going to pack my amazing wedding dress into a tiny carry-on case, had to be who was going to do my hair and make-up. Unlike my search here in the UK, I didn’t have friends in New York who do hair and make-up, I didn’t have anyone to recommend wedding make-up artists, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do a trial, so it would have to be do-or-die on my actual wedding day.
I don’t know any bride, who doesn’t want an incredible wedding gown, but it is hard to get something unique, dramatic-yet-still elegant, with an Old Hollywood feel that is within some reasonable budget. Add on top the rest of my very long wishlist, not too white, a wow skirt, beading or embroidery and with romantic floaty sleeves – I thought it was more fantasy than reality.
I wasn’t against a modern, boutique gown, I would have loved the money to treat myself to a designer number like Vera Wang or Elie Saab, but I was realistic with my finances and I just felt that a vintage beauty would be more fitting to our elopement wedding in New York, and would possible give me that couture, red carpet feeling without the price tag.
I know vintage doesn’t mean cheap, but I was willing to hunt around for the one. Thankfully I didn’t search long for my gorgeous gown, to be honest I didn’t search at all. My gown came to me by chance, we had only been engaged less than a month when our friends who were with us in New York came to stay and we took them to Bury St Edmonds, we kind of took a wrong turn exploring the town and we found vintage store, House Of Huxster. I thought it was a long shot, but as soon as I saw it I loved it, I didn’t think it would fit me, but I loved it and thank god for stretch!
It needed a little work, it originally had spaghetti straps, which I felt didn’t really do the dress justice, and it didn’t have enough drama on the bottom, but I was introduced the incredible Irene, an amazing seamstress and she really did work her magic. She added floaty sleeves to add a touch of romance, more layers of pouf under the skirt, re-shaped the skirt, added a belt, and made more tulle ruffles that were so close to the original that you can’t even tell which ones are new. Irene basically brought my vision to life, held my hand through those wobbles of thinking I was too fat, the worry that it was too formal for what we were doing, and my last-minute panic that Paul wouldn’t like it, I should have known that he would love it.
The gown to me just felt like it was made for New York. I love everything about the gown and how it combined everything I wanted – the beading, the tulle, the sleeves and the unusual skirt, which is my favourite thing about the dress – it looks great in photos, but more than that it made me feel like I was floating when I walked. It was the most perfect gown and I am so pleased the professional pictures from I Heart New York have come out so well, the dress really shines.
As the dress makes such a statement I didn’t want to go too crazy with my jewellery so I went for pieces that I felt complimented it. The highlight being my great grandmother’s pearls, they are so gorgeous, I love the off-white colour and the fact that they are 80 years old I just felt that they belong with my vintage number, and when else can you get away with wearing the most exquisite pearl necklace.
I then went for Tiffany infinity bow bracelet that was a present from Paul a couple of years ago, which looked great with my silver heart bracelet from my friend Sarah, I just loved that she made Paul give it to me on the plane over to New York as she received one before her wedding, and the final piece of arm candy was my pearl and silver cuff from the Jenny Packham for Debenhams collection that I found in my jewellery box just before we flew out, I love how it has similar beads to my dress. The final touch were my Kenneth Jay Lane sparkly earrings, something simple that catches the light.
The last thing to mention about my New York wedding look are my shoes. My plan was to have navy blue, to match Paul’s tux jacket, the only problem was that my vintage gown didn’t have the height to take anything higher than 2 inch heels, which I am so pleased about now, and I just couldn’t find anything I liked. I wanted designer shoes without the price tag so I went on the sample sale hunt and that’s when I spotted these white Jimmy Choo with a tiny heel, they are super comfortable and I love the pointy toe on them.
The surprise addition, which looks like it was made just for me, was my Mr And Mrs clutch from Kate Spade. Paul actually ordered this beauty and picked up on our wedding day, it was such a lovely surprise and it seems I am not the only one loving it as it has been a bit of a hit on Instagram. Well if you can’t find statement heels you have to do a clutch!
It feels like an end of chapter finally showing off my amazing wedding gown, especially as I kept it a secret not just from Paul but nearly everyone as I wanted it to make a statement, which I hope it did. I know everyone has an opinion on wedding gowns and I would love to hear what you think of my choice, as I really couldn’t be happier with it.