New Romantics: bespoke bridalwear for vintage queens For true vintage queens, no big occasion is complete without a gloriously glamorous vintage or vintage-inspired outfit. When it comes to choosing the dress for wowing everyone at your wedding, how many vintage devotees have been left disillusioned and downhearted when searching for the gown of their dreams in mass-market chain stores? Although some stores will steer you towards what they term classic or timeless bridal styles, there’s still a disappointingly limited choice and similar, predictable trends seem to re-appear time and time again. For anyone still searching, meet wedding dress designer Kathryn Hanson, who offers bespoke bridal wear for vintage lovers. Occasionally you’ll come across a highstreet dress that features a token nod to vintage looks, but often it’s little more than a pin tuck here, an empire line there, or a ballerina length hemline. Maybe they’re beginning to move in the right direction, as vintage styles are here (again) to stay, but to feel truly special, then your love affair with vintage needs to create consumate style on your wedding day. For many of us, the fascination with vintage and vintage-inspired fashion isn’t just a certain hemline or a set of sequins; an alluring neckline, a sassy kick pleat or a pert peplum. It’s a fabulously heady combination of Hollywood film star glamour with gloriously sumptuous fabrics and sensuous lines. Stepping into our favourite vintage and vintage-inspired gowns heralds an opportunity to step back into a glamorous age that’s redolent of a certain style and a celebration of femininity – impossibly wonderful, heavenly creations, not mass-produced, ‘me too’ collections. Back in the days before the chain stores shop windows heralded what many brides would be wearing for the next season, the beguilingly beautiful brides owed the perfect fit of their gorgeous gowns to the skills of a talented dressmaker, who lovingly created a simply magnificent made-to-measure bridal gown to cherish. Yet, these covetable, made-to-measure creations are making a comeback! When talented dress designer Kathryn Hanson graduated in fashion design some eight years ago, she dreamed of creating her own bespoke bridalwear company that excelled in turning the clocks back and transported brides-to- be to the romantic era of their dreams, in an exquisite, vintage inspired, exclusive creation. But with rent to pay, her grand ideas had to be shelved while she honed her design and dressmaking trade at a major highstreet retailer. That is until late 2009 when she decided to make the leap to turn her dreams into a reality and launch Kathryn Hanson design. Whether brides are seeking a serene dream of a gown with the enduring appeal of Grace Kelly’s iconic Fifties wedding dress, or the sleek lines synonymous with a Twenties drop waisted creation, or maybe a sassy design that rocks back to the Sixties, then Kathryn applies her creativity and technical expertise to turn the dream into a reality. As Kathryn observed, her love of hand-finished, vintage inspired designs and time honoured tailoring techniques was perhaps a little ahead of its time: “In the early days I was making bespoke wedding dresses for clients who had admired a certain look at friends’ weddings or on TV, or occasionally I had commissions where I had free rein to develop my own designs from an initial client brief. I then took orders from people who had been to weddings, seen my dresses and wanted the truly personal touch that only a bespoke gown can bring to their big day. “However, in the past couple of years, with the growing interest in vintage style, I’m seeing more and more brides who want to capture the look and feel of their favourite era, so they can revel in the romance of it all. Some brides-to-be look to me to create a truly timeless, romantic look – cherry picking fashion from different points in time – to create a sumptuous gown that fits absolutely perfectly, accentuates all the positives of their figure, colouring and personality and celebrates their individuality. “I’m finding that brides are selecting long forgotten fabrics for a luxurious look and we’re discussing finishing touches which are evocative of a certain time – everything from sequins, tiny pearls and hand embroidery to Fifties style toile skirts for added volume. Brides celebrate their uniqueness through my designs and it’s a fabulous feeling to know that I have helped them to create the dress of their dreams.“ 3 Responses Lisa Jean May 20th, 2010 WOW, I love the 1st dress, it’s what I’ve always dreamed about so stylist and unique. So as its bespoke can it come in any size, I’m quite big up top and have been really struggling finding something that is flattering. I have a few of my own idea too can could they be incorporated? Love these, can’t wait to see some more photos. Reply chris hanley May 22nd, 2010 Hi Lisa jean There are more photos on the competition pages http://snipurl.com/wn095 and on my blog http://snipurl.com/wn09v Best wishes Chris Hanley Reply Kathryn Hanson May 22nd, 2010 Hi Lisa, Thank you for your comments. I create the gowns in the UK so all outfits are one off and bespoke. I take down all your measurements before starting work so your dream dress will fit like a glove. As I offer a bespoke service your part of the creation, email me and I can arrange a free consultation and can view some dresses. Many Thanks Kathryn Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.