The Hunt for the Dress (part 1)

15 November 2010

It’s bizarre, you’d imagine that someone who works in fashion, surrounded daily by fabulous clothes would have a very clear idea about what they want to wear on their wedding day.  In my case, that is very far from the truth. Some girls start mentally planning their wedding aged 12, but I wasn’t one of them, which meant that I was starting from scratch when it came to finding The Dress.  I knew what I didn’t want: Meringues, anything corseted, anything overtly revealing – no one needs to be subjected to my flabby bits - and definitely nothing reminiscent of Maid Marion (I’ve never been a lover of a fluted sleeve). But as to what I did want… I drew a blank. 

So I figured that the best course of action was to try on all kinds of dresses and keep an open mind. First up I looked at the gorgeous bridal collection at Alberta Ferretti. I love the ethereal vibe of these dresses and the lace panels were dreamy, but they didn’t quite work for me, I think if I’d been getting married in the spring or summer when I could go bare armed, they would have been serious contenders, but the thought of finding a shrug or jacket to wear with the dress without totally killing the look was a stress I could do without.  Progress though - at least I now knew I needed long sleeves, which ruled out lots of dresses (a good thing).  I also decided that lace was the way to go (another good thing).  So the hunt is on for a long sleeved lace number.

On to the Bridal specialists Pronovias.  So many gorgeous frocks!  I had my head turned by this incredible Valentino number,  which ticked the lace box, but not the long sleeves. And at over £8000 was a little out of my price range! I also realised that although a long train is undoubtedly dramatic and glamorous, I can’t cope with all that fabric.  Just getting the 2 metres from the changing room to the mirror was a nightmare.  I felt totally mithered and was clawing at the skirt like a mad woman – not a good look!  As a naturally a clumsy person, having swathes of fabric just asking to be tripped over is a disaster waiting to happen!  So, I have now narrowed the search down to a) long sleeves, b) lace and c) long, but not so long that I’ll end up flat on my face half way up the aisle!

Then a eureka moment! The other evening when surfing the internet for inspiration, I came across this picture from the 1972 movie The Godfather  - it’s of the marriage of Siciliana Apolionia to The Godfather’s son, Michael Corleone -  and fell in love. The simplicity of the dress plus the femininity of the lace is a match made in heaven.  Obviously minus the v strange pom pom arrangement on her head!

So, I have gone from having no clue at all what I wanted, to being obsessed with finding a “Siciliana” dress - talk about extremes!  I have made an appointment to go to The Vintage Wedding Dress Company (which is exactly what it says on the tin) in the hope of finding a 1970’s treasure on their rails.  Wish me luck, and tune in in a few days time to see if I found my wedding dress holy grail.

- Siobhán Mallen


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