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Just Married at Brussels Costume and Lace Museum


Get me to the church on time. Or is it city hall? Perhaps a sandy beach?

The institution of marriage has undergone its own evolution but its representation has been documented for posterity in a charming exhibition covering two centuries of bourgeois bridal fashions at the Costume and Lace Museum in Brussels.

Ever stop to think why brides traditionally wear white, why they cover their heads with a veil, what constitutes a dowry, what makes up a trousseau, and what it all signifies?

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It’s not just “snowy” white.

It’s cream, pearl grey, beige, in fact, 50 shades of white, as displayed in various museum glass cases.

The symbolism behind it: white represents purity and innocence.

The fashion of the Directoire and the Empire (1795-1820) advocated a return to antiquity and was largely inspired by Greco-Roman statuary with high-waisted draped dresses in white muslin. At the time, fashion magazines, which became increasingly numerous with a larger readership, featured white wedding dresses. Until then only the aristocratic elite had been able to afford them.

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Since the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed in 1856, the color white also embodies virginity. As of this date, the rites of inclusion and passages in the Catholic faith all involved the color white, i.e. baptism, holy communion and marriage.

The veil is another part of the nuptial rite, which, according to exhibition experts, dates back to the Romans. The man apparently placed he veil on his bride’s head, marking her passage from her father’s house to that of her husband.

Before 19th century tradition dictated that wedding dresses had to be white, they came in various colors, including black, which some brides chose so they could repurpose their garments for use on Sundays and at parties in a bid for economy and efficiency.

Interestingly, women on their second marriages or older brides turned to grey, beige, or violet. Today, it’s anything goes.

That was on the surface, but what about underneath?

An elaborate selection of lace and other items made up the undergarments brides wore and continue to wear.

One display groups late 18th century garters of silk taffeta embroidered with silk thread and quilted with wool, others with silk thread and chenille, a gold-plated metal buckle and metal springs enclosed in the elasticated part of the taffeta, 1925 stockings with Valenciennes lace running from the foot up to the knee with white embroidery, and a 1950s ivory-colored, machine-made lace corset to narrow a woman’s waist.

In certain wedding ceremonies, the ritual of the auction of the garters symbolizes the rite of passage. The symbolic dispute between the two families about who will win the auction epitomizes the passage of the woman from one clan to another. The garter, which was part of the bride’s undergarments, also alludes to sexuality and fertility.

Marriage was a financial affair, requiring a contract and exchange of goods that was fashionable until the 1950s.

The contract back then mentioned the amount of the bride’s dowry and the value of the trousseau, depending on the family’s budget.

For the liberal set, the concept may seem outrageous, but traditional and other societies follow the rule to this day.

It was said “her dowry makes her even prettier,” notably for an unattractive woman.

But what did it include that she alone owned and that the husband only managed as a custodian?

The trousseau consisted of household linen, especially sheets and tablecloths, undergarments and dresses for every day and was the only asset the woman could dispose of at will. Women of that period began preparing their trousseaus from adolescence.

On the flip side, there was the “corbeille” (a basket) consisting of furniture, jewelry, furs, fans, opera glasses, handkerchiefs and other goodies the future husband would send his promised wife after signing the wedding contract.

These items were destined to enhance the appearance of the future wife. The wedding corbeille, which already existed in the 18th century, is generally described in etiquette manuals as a large wicker basket lined with white satin. In the 20th century, this custom dwindled.

Back then the “corbeille” amounted to 5% of the bride’s dowry but that tradition has been replaced by gifts from family members and friends.

The wedding list is evidence of the change. It includes silverware, crockery, decorative items, appliances, and other needed items.

Short of that, a bank account is listed into which loved ones transfer funds for the couple to choose how to spend the money.

Needless to say, with women in the workforce, pre-nuptial agreements, cohabitation (sometimes with children), and various definitions of gender, the customs have had to evolve as well.

But the wedding dress is still very much part of the marriage ritual and tradition-minded brides often give it as much attention as the ceremony itself.


10:03 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Who Pays for Bridal Party Hair and Makeup the Morning of the Wedding?


Being a bridesmaid is expensive — so much so that the costs can be enough to make a girl turn down the invitation to join her friend’s bridal party. Some brides opt to cover some of the costs of being a ‘maid to thank their friends for their support (and make it more affordable for them to be a part of the wedding!), and hair and makeup services are one of the most popular ways to do so. If paying for your bridesmaids’ hair and makeup on your wedding day is something that fits in your budget, go for it! Your ladies will look totally fabulous, and those few hours the morning of your wedding when you’re all getting ready together can make for some really great memories.

However, if your wedding budget doesn’t allow for the extra expense, don’t worry: Covering the costs of hair and makeup services is definitely not required. Of course, it’s always nice to give your bridesmaids some options if they’ll need to get glam themselves. Still hoping for those getting ready shots? Procure prices from your hair and makeup stylists and offer to facilitate booking services for your bridesmaids in the bridal suite, and just have them pay the stylists directly. (Pro tip: Make sure you find out exactly how much each woman will owe, including tip, in advance so they can bring money with them the morning of your wedding.)

If you’d rather get ready alone and have your bridesmaids join you when it’s time to get dressed, offer a few suggestions for local salons they could check out. This could be the hotel’s spa or a salon nearby. Just remember to encourage everyone to make appointments far in advance!

If one of your bridesmaids is handy with a curling iron or great with a makeup brush, see if she might be interested in helping some of the other girls get ready. Still a fun bonding experience, without the extra cost!Read more at:http://www.marieprom.co.uk | formal dresses


10:07 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


These 5 spices will give you naturally glowing skin


Whenever your skin starts looking dull, the first thing that comes to your mind is an appointment with the parlour lady. But what if we tell you to head to your kitchen? Yes, the solution to dull, lackluster skin is in your spice rack. Here’s how spices can help you get a glowing complexion. “Turmeric and nutmeg are great for skin. Some spices are strong, hence should not be used directly on the face,” says beauty expert Dr Blossom Kochhar. “To test if skin is sensitive to spices, apply a little on the wrist and leave it on for an hour or two,” says beauty expert Shahnaz Husain.

Turmeric for oil control

Turmeric contains natural oil-controlling and antioxidant properties. Curcumin, the potent ingredient in it, can help reduce inflammation, and also result in more youthful looking skin along with a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. Mix one teaspoon each of turmeric, honey and curd. Gently massage on your face, leave for a while and rinse off. This would give you naturally hydrated and glowing skin.

Ginger for blemishes, scarring and even skin tone

Ginger contains antioxidant properties that can reduce appearance of scarring. It also prevents free radical damage, helps even out skin tone and improves elasticity. It can also remove tan. Add one teaspoon each of ginger juice, rose water and lemon juice. Scrub your face gently with the mix and wash off.

Black pepper for pigmentation and fine lines

Black pepper is a detoxifier and is rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, and vitamins C and K. It helps reduce wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation. It also removes blackheads. Mix a pinch of black pepper with one tablespoon of yogurt. Apply on your face. Wash off after five minutes.

Nutmeg is a great exfoliator

Nutmeg is a microdermabrasion exfoliator. To get a healthy and glowing skin, mix half a tablespoon ground nutmeg and one tablespoon whole milk. Make a paste, rub over your face gently for a few minutes. Rinse off with luke warm water.

Cinnamon to help control acne

Cinnamon has antioxidant properties that balances out oiliness and dries out pimples. Take half teaspoonful cinnamon powder, two teaspoonful honey and one teaspoonful fenugreek powder . Mix well and apply on areas where you have eruptions. You can also make a face scrub by mixing cinnamon powder and oats with milk.Read more at:evening gowns uk | http://www.marieprom.co.uk


10:26 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)