I’m not the kind of gal that ever dreamed of my future wedding dress. I never “played wedding” as a kid, or drew pictures of my ideal gown. It’s only now, as more and more friends walk down the isle dressed in white, that I’m actually thinking about my own future wedding, should I get married.
Or rather, I’m thinking about how differently I would like to do it myself.
Katrin Leblond has designed many a bridal gown – some in white, some in chartreuse, some (for example, her own) in deep magenta. At the heart of her bridal designs is the same philosophy at the heart of all of our styles and designs: wear what feels like you.
Below is a photo from Katrin’s cousins’ wedding. Emilie opted for an ivory strapless dress with chiffon and beading at the bust (that is hidden by the pink mohair shawl she is wearing). Of course you can see the tradition of wearing purple at Leblond functions showcased by many in the clan. I would also like to draw you attention to the fabulous KL handbag in fuchsia on the lap of her Aunt Lucie (front right).
The history of the white wedding dress is actually quite recent. It was Queen Victoria who popularized the white dress in 1840, having built her nuptial getup around some special lace she wanted to show off. Her wedding was widely photographed, and other brides then copied her style. Since then, the white dress has come to represent the bride’s virginity as she prepares to enter matrimony. (Is it not ironic that this fashion should develop in this era, which probably has the lowest bridal-virginity rate in Western history?)
Big white ballgowns look natural on some brides. On others there is nothing better than colour. Shouldn’t it be up to each bride to decide for herself: colour or no?
Before the 1800s, it was customary for European brides to wear rich colours and fabrics, to show off the wealth of the family they were marrying from (even if they were poor). In the East, red is the traditional colour for many Indian and Chinese bridal dresses.
White is a traditional choice for some women – even for those who have been living with their partners for many years, or who already have kids. The tradition of white as representing virginity is fading but the importance of the it’s symbol has not. Personally, if I have the opportunity to dump hundreds or thousands of dollars on a dress I’ll wear once, I want it to be a colour that resonates with me personally, that flatters my skin tone and sends an intimate message about me and my partner.
That’s just me. On the other hand, I can completely understand the power behind a white wedding dress. It is the archetype of “Bride” in today’s culture. When crafting a meaningful ceremony, having that cultural symbol behind you is powerful.
To all brides-to-be out there: I share this message with you. Wear what you want to wear on your wedding day. If your heart says white, listen to your heart. If swatches of pinks or emerald, yellows or royal blue are pulling at your sleeve, don’t be afraid to explore that magical world of colour either. Bottom line is always the same:
Wear what feels like you.
Express your beauty as you are. Dance in your kitchen and sing to the stars.
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