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Sometimes it's nice to just post pictures of design or wedding inspiration. With the changing season it's fun to grab photos to re-post. These are all from the hgtv.com site's wedding inspiration pages. I thought you might like to get your planning juices simmering for late summer and fall 2016 brides.
Happy planning !!






















Rustic Wedding Notes

A few years ago I was part of the Mid Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase  & Eco Fashion Show up in the Washington, DC/Baltimore area. It was awesome seeing the interest many brides had in decreasing the waste and expenses of a wedding and in finding Green choices for their weddings. The Eco Fashion Show was fun since it not only showed off bridal and bridesmaids designs of emerging wedding designers but also showcased some vintage designs curated by the lovely Rissa at Balance Weddings along with Nathaniel at BalancePhotography.



Punk Rock Bride - Sasha
Punk Rock Bride - Sasha
At the time I had an etsy shop and was just beginning to put together a website. My business name was Style Tantrum Designs and my shop on etsy was colorada. Later it was changed to Tattered Chic, leading to the blog name. I still go by that name along with Wispy Chic and StyleTantrum.

The following year the cast of designers was larger and many more styles were shown, which was both an inspiration and educational in that I learned a lot about runway modeling and how to prepare for a show. The next year the event was discontinued, but at the time a master list of designers was created. Recently the list has gotten harder to find, so I wanted to revive it for brides seeking to find different eco chic wedding designers' lines.

Keep in mind that the original list has 2 different years, with some repetition on each. Also, since most of the designers are online rather than only local, you should be able to locate gowns no matter where the designers are located. Each designer is different, but with many, since each gown is custom, very little local fitting is required (if any).

Which Goose Designs
WhichGoose Designs


I'll be gradually working on improving this list and making it a bit easier to work with, but for now, I'll just post the list such as it is. Since many of the designers, including myself have changed websites and locations, think of this as a skeleton list. I'll also link back here to the original list on the event website put together by Rissa.

If I get that far, I hope to do a tiny post on each of the designers to see how their business or sites have changed and to see what their focus is currently. At the moment the list is a work in progress. Many of the links I've tried so far are dead. Also, like myself, many of the designers will have more than one shop with different designs in each location, so a single listing is not really enough. My shop for instance, is listed (Style Tantrum), but my focus has moved to my primary shop (Wispy Chic) now - so the info is not current. When the list is done, each designer will be able to give a better picture of where to locate their designs.

If you are a designer listed here and have new info for your business, please let me know at cynna@styletantrum.com. I'll do my best to locate the designers - comment if you have info on this.

Eco Chic Wedding and Fashion Designers:

Eco Chic Wedding Designs - Where Do I Find Them ?



Sometimes I think about fashion...not the designs so much as the industry. Fashion design has changed much over the years, but right now it needs to make some serious changes to survive into the next time frame.





 A Little History
There have always been designers and talented seamstresses, but for the average person fashion design was unapproachable and most fashion was bought 'off the rack' - if you were fortunate enough to be able to afford it - or created at home by moms, aunts and sisters who made the entire family's clothing.



Fashion consisted of a few changes of clothing for most average people to an entire wardrobe for the wealthy. An average person could afford 2 everyday outfits (so one could be cleaned) and a 'Sunday best' outfit for solemn and special occasions. This is not so long ago. The grandparents and great-grandparents of today's middle aged adults lived in this manner.







The 'Pride and Prejudice' style of multiple dresses and changes through a day was available to only a wealthy few and required a lot of work for servants and in some cases the individuals who wore them or a family member. Laundry as we know it was done by hand and required ironing and starching to look good.





However, disposable fashion, which is what most people are now used to, only began within the last 50 years, beginning around the 60s. Even then clothing required ironing and was much more expensive to produce and acquire for the average person.



With the advent of the modern textile industry, and especially the sending of most textile production overseas, the cost of fabric and thus fashion production decreased enough for the average person to be able to afford a large wardrobe that he or she could easily dispose of or change out regularly for new clothing. Now the person of average income - read middle class - could have a large wardrobe to rival the rich of a few generations past - in size - if not in quality.

Fashion production has changed too. A few fashion houses in the 30s to 60s created fashion designs that lead the production of fashion worldwide. There is now greater decentralization of designing with many areas having their own fashion industry apart from the European / American houses of the past.

Problem
With the higher level of production - of disposable income to fuel more purchases and more fashion designers and houses come problems. Too many items of clothing are produced, too many are discarded by consumers stimulated to buy to keep the level of production and purchasing up. Now there is incredible waste in the area of fashion. In addition the use of jersey knits and other fragile fibers create versatile and comfortable clothing, but due to inherent weakness in the fabric, they quickly wear out. How many people have thrown away an otherwise good tshirt due to a hole that sprung from a tiny pull? Almost everyone.

1 - We are making more than we need
2 - We are throwing away more than we need to
3 - We are designing for a short life and easy disposal
4 - We are fueling the increase of an industry that needs change, rather than allowing a reboot

What Needs To Change ?

Well, think of it like the book publishing industry that refused to change until Amazon came along and offered e-books. Now they are struggling to stay afloat and keep up with e-publishing. The print industry - magazines and newspapers have been superseded largely by internet versions - fashion blogs and online magazine versions that have supplanted the older technology with a vibrant, more relevant product. The music industry has seen many artists wrest the control of their careers and music from the hands of large producers to smaller, more nimble ways of producing and popularizing music and artists - the likes of YouTube, Taylor Swift and American Idol.



In fashion too, there is a move away from large fashion houses and the way fashion has 'always' been produced. Various celebrity designers who are either musicians, models or celebrity fashionistas  have begun their own successful fashion lines, such as Gwen Stefani.



Home produced fashion created by small designers and popularized by sites like etsy and lines like Alabama Chanin and Magnolia Pearl are growing. Sites like Spoonflower where you can design and print your own fabric help in the effort, along with Kickstarter and other means of reaching the buyer. The current CosPlay and gaming industry make their own fashion, often making it available in small lots in the to a select few and creating profitable niches for apparel designs. Lastly, with the rise of 3D printing and software programs that allow you to design your own fashion and - at some point - have it made according to your style and vision - change is imminent.



Fashion needs to change, or it will soon be overtaken by a host of individuals intent on bypassing an inflexible system in order to realize their own dreams and creative ethos. If this happens without the fashion industry, it will be left high and dry like a fish stranded on shore. But it doesn't have to end that way. Here are some ideas for tomorrow's fashion industries and designers.

Keys

1. Respect the end user. Buyers often have a keen sense of style not being addressed by the current offerings of the fashion elite. Find out what is really wanted, rather than recreating the same fashion year after year.

2. Make a way for buyers to be part of creating their own designs. I've learned to have a healthy respect for my buyers.They know what works and what doesn't in their closet.
Make a way for them to get what's in their 'heads'. If they can't find it in the market, 
someone's going to make it for them. That is a golden opportunity.

3. Be real. Don't be elitist (i.e. 'I'm the fashion designer...I'll tell you what looks good')

4. Be open to other forms of production, design and funding for creating fashion. Someone that's 12 on YouTube that has never sewn a single thing may run away with your audience if you don't get on board and find a way to open doors for new faces at the table.

5. Have fun. Fashion isn't fun anymore...or at least not often. (That's a danger sign.) Be open to a wider, more playful approach to fashion.

Open Letter to the Fashion Design Industry



There's a new trend in eco-fashion design called zero waste. Basically it entails cutting designs so that less scraps are produced. This is a big issue for fashion lines which create fashion using large manufacturers. New designers are being taught to create using this idea to utilize fabric more effectively to help the environment. Textile waste is a big environmental concern.



Cutting this way comes naturally to me, since I've always created for maximum utilization. When I first started and each piece of fabric was so expensive, I cut this way to get the most of my fabric. (This isn't so long ago in my case.) Also, if one reads old sewing texts, this technique was merely wise use of resources. Factory cutting techniques are different -  ease in cutting and speed are the main concerns, leading to greater waste fabric. This is because factories cut patterns that will be used to 'punch out' many pieces through multiple layers of fabric.

The main difference between my method and that of a factory is that I actually start out with the idea of utilizing scrap and reclaimed fabrics in each design and work this into the mix from the beginning. I still utilize the old fashioned method of scissors to cut a single or doubled layer with my designs. I also lay out each design to best utilize the fabric, like a jigsaw puzzle in cloth. That said, even the best layout can have a bit of waste, since pieces need to be cut 'on the grain' to hang properly. Bias cut designs particularly lend themselves to wasted fabric. They hang wonderfully though and are worth it. I make bias cut designs and use up all the scraps that result on other garments.




Some of my strategies to utilize fabric waste include cutting wisely for each design, using scraps for bits of other designs, like a facing or sleeve, etc. and making every scrap count. I have a huge pile of scraps on my table that I use in each design for trim and decorative purposes. I love the rough cut, frayed look of fabric scraps and love mixing bits and pieces in different fabrics and colors into a rosette, peplum, frill or part of a train. I don't just do this to save scraps from being wasted, but because I love the feel of worn and crumpled fabrics in designs. I love the 'undone' look and use it often in my designs.





It's an extremely rare instance when I actually throw away a scrap of fabric, and usually the tiniest bits make it into my pieces. I do throw away fabric that I am not able to remove smells from, such as a musty smell  or other odor. Fabrics with bits of discoloration are used for scraps with the discolored areas cut out and thrown away. 

I also use reclaimed fabrics in my designs as much as possible. I gather these from a multitude of sources using vintage linens and fashion, laces and trim along with new fabric remnants, bits from lightly worn clothing and textiles and factory waste or scraps. I seldom create with used wedding dresses as raw materials, since I like to save those for young brides seeking an inexpensive gown.

So how do I recommend being an eco-chic designer ? It's summed up in a few words - "Be mindful".
As you create, be mindful of fabric sources, waste, the wise utilization of resources. Use reclaimed and ethically sourced whenever possible and make the most of fabric that is already created.

Eco Chic: How Zero Waste Fashion Design Matters

Light - Sheer - Deconstructed
 
You can see wedding trends online in the fashion shows from Milan, Paris and New York. Some trends I've narrowed down for Spring 2015 are light, sheer and deconstructed. These designs are wispy, floaty and tattered with a bohemian, hippie look. While these are overall fashion trends, they apply to wedding fashions also. More details on Spring fashion trends for 2015 later. For now I'd like to focus on what I'd personally love to see for wedding trends this Spring.

Light/Sheer/Deconstructed/Floaty

Definitely

Soft

I'd love to see things with a softer, matte style - things in cottons and silk blends with just a shimmer near the bodice. Soft is really under rated, but for a wedding it's important to not have a single stiff thing on your body. Fresh and soft !!



Comfortable

I'd love to see comfort take it's place in wedding designs. I love being gorgeous for anyone, but dresses with comfort built in so the bride can enjoy her day, the reception and even dancing are so needed !  Pockets would be awesome for some wedding designs, since some people love them. I confess I haven't added them to my designs yet either !

Fetching


 A funny old term for winsome, adorable, cute, awesome....able to wrap your dude around your sweet fingers and hold on forever ! I love this trait because sophisticated can be quickly dull, but aren't there just people you can't help but love cause they're so amazing ??? I'd love to see dresses that embody this. Audrey Hepburn was fetching as well as sophisticated in a gentle way.



Sweet

The one day you are allowed to be sweet and no one can object (successfully) is your wedding day. It's such a serious and solemn day in some ways and such a crazy joyful day in others. When you are baring your soul with your vows, it's OK to be sweet mixed in with other things too - flirty, simple, warm, genuine. So pink is fine, go with your heart !



Vulnerable




I love tattered, vulnerable designs. The most desirable, sexy women to me are the vulnerable ones. You can be strong along with vulnerable - just be both ! The world has enough plastic people. Be yourself on your wedding day. It's hard to hold it all together through the engagement and wedding preparations. It's normal and really OK to cry, to be teary during your vows, to be a little fragile on this day. It shows you're real.

What I Want for Spring 2015 - Wedding Trends



One thing that many brides find is that wedding planning is so overwhelming it can result in a big loss of time. The last thing an engaged couple needs is more stress. So wedding planning becomes Simple Wedding Planning. Even with that emphasis wedding plans can spiral out of control. As many authors on weddings point out, wedding costs can go crazy over all the extras. Most are just that, extras and aren't really necessary. So what do you need for a basic, low cost wedding ? The answers vary with the person answering, but here's my take based on my own experiences. I'll list things in the order I pursued and finished them, roughly.



The Dress

I don't know about other brides, but my first consideration was my dress. It was most important to me to have that worked out and a sense of how I'd look going down the aisle. Once done, I could concentrate on lesser things.

Low cost options include buying a white sundress or other strapless dress and remaking or embellishing it. You can find many white dresses, especially in Spring or the end of Summer clearance racks. I find white dresses regularly in thrift shops that beg to be recreated. Many times all that's needed is a simple low key embellishment. Cotton dresses are perfect for this, as are silk and lots of light fabrics like filmy voiles and tulles.



Another option is a top and skirt combination with a tulle ballerina type skirt and a simple camisole top. Add a tiny embellished jacket or sash and you're done.

Be careful with thrift items that the dress actually fits well as is. A bit too small is going to be a problem. Better to find a somewhat too big dress that can more easily be altered. Avoid going more than 2 sizes bigger though. This is really important if you are not altering it yourself as the cost of alterations are often more than buying new. You also don't want to fall in love with a beautiful old prom dress that makes you faint to zip up and struggle with dieting to fit....way too stressful !!

Another source of a dress beyond the normal shops is a handmade or custom made dress from a local or internet shop, such as an indie designer. Be sure to buy these local to your country to avoid issues with scams and delayed shipping and production times that will put you past the date of your credit card or Paypal return time frames. Many home seamstresses and indie designers can make a one of a kind or made to order gown that fits your budget and measurements perfectly. If what is out there is not fitting your  imagination.....go indie !!



Bridesmaids

If you've chosen your bridesmaids you will have a sense of what you want the wedding party to look like and will likely have chosen your groom's and groomsmen's clothing too. Remember you don't have to have matching bridesmaid gowns. They can be short, long or asymmetrical. They can all be a similar color with different styles or all the same style and different colors. We used the same design in three colors, but I wouldn't recommend it. Bodies being what they are, it's hard to find any three or four women who look equally good in the same design.




Bridesmaids from ArmourSansAnguish


What can work is having mismatched gowns in similar tones like the pic from Armour Sans Anguish's shop. I really love having the variety of styles on the different figures of the bridesmaids. This also makes having a re-wearable gown easier for each bridesmaid. Since the gown is usually paid for by each woman, it is great if they can be worn again. I gave away 2 or 3 expensive gowns from friend's weddings that weren't really good for another wearing.....ouch ! Think color palettes rather than exact same color too, if possible. A gown with 2 to 3 colors is much easier to coordinate with than a single color. Keep in mind that a single color isn't always easy to wear for different colorings, especially if you have a blonde, brunette and redhead for example. You can easily get these made by indie designers and seamstresses on places like etsy or locally.


The Venue


My second task was to find a place to be married. We attended a church that met in a school on weekends, so we didn't have a church. I wanted a church wedding, but for many couples a venue can often be both a wedding and reception location. Look for a place that allows you to have the type wedding you are envisioning. For an outdoor wedding, the location can often be the same as the reception.



http://www.sarahisaacphotography.com 
@ BoonetownStory.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/sarah-isaac-photography/232925653453123


We opted for a church wedding in a local church with a historical chapel that seated a small number and was beautifully ornate. Ours was a candlelight service so the setting was perfect. The church hosted weddings there often and it was not the main meeting area, so it provided a wedding administrator or planner as part of the package. This was so helpful in planning and rehearsing when nerves and confusion set in. Venue reservations need to be booked far in advance so don't delay this step too long if you have your heart set on a location.

Leatherwood Mountains NC - Rustic Wedding Venue



For a reception, we went simple, with party trays and friends to help with the setup and food. We chose a historical mansion(it was tiny) and were happy to find we didn't need to decorate and could take advantage of the fact that they had a Christmas decor contest and it had been decorated by local interior designers - beautiful !! We only added table centerpieces and tablecloths. We supplied the food and cups, plates etc. We forgot something to throw at the bride and groom and got pelted with cocktail peanuts......eek!!

http://www.leatherwoodmountains.com/weddings-groups/weddings/
Leatherwood Mountains

You may find a rustic setting is equally great for this type reception, allowing you to forgo the expensive meal and allow a casual, fun party atmosphere. Look for ranches, equestrian retreats, parks, rustic barns and farms. Be sure to enlist the help of creative friends to help and possibly take over table decorations, decor and planning things like flower and garter toss, pictures, etc. A wedding they can help out with will mean so much to close friends and can ensure a fun atmosphere. Don't overburden any one person, but accept help from friends and family where appropriate.

Leatherwood Mountains Rustic Reception






The pics above are from Leatherwood in North Carolina...a perfect rustic wedding venue if you are looking. I don't have any connection to them other than having been there(not for my own wedding). It's pretty !

The Flowers

 


Surprisingly it is easier to get flowers ordered in bulk and find a creative friend who has an idea or two about flower arranging than to go with a florist. A friend of ours ordered the flowers and did the arranging for us as a wedding gift....it was perfect !!! Thank you Yvonne !!

The Cake

There are so many options with this one. Many people are doing doughnut towers and alternative things beyond the normal wedding cake. I would recommend researching a bit on places like hgtv or wedding sites to see what others do, but don't be trapped into thinking you have to go with the traditional wedding cake. If you do, see if you can get yours made by a friend or someone who has taken a class or two in cake design and is just starting out. My experience was not great, so I don't have too many suggestions here other than do your own thing. There are some cute custom bride and groom sets available on sites like etsy or that you can google. You can get something that looks just like you and your groom. If I were doing it again, I'd just get pink cupcakes with something pretty on top...or maybe pink and white....I just love pink cupcakes ! :)



The Music
You can get really expensive here with a band and DJ or you can just have a simple trio perform for your ceremony. I married a musician who sang a song he wrote for me, but we had friends who sang or played for our ceremony and later for the reception. When they wanted to join the party, we just put on a playlist of our favorites and let people just enjoy the reception.


Apologies if I've given way too much info, but sometimes someone can share experiences that will spark your imagination and off you go. Don't worry about a theme for your reception unless you want to. Remember the theme is you and your groom's relationship being celebrated. Beyond that, just go with the simplest possible thing you can. Making it all happen is exhausting and the more involved it is, the more weary you'll be beginning your life together. Being sick on your honeymoon is not fun !!

Have Fun !!

 


Despite your best planning, you may find you go over budget somewhere. Don't worry. Often you can scale back in one area to give you that extra few dollars. Just prioritize and only cut back in your least important areas - the things that mean the least to you. One example would be to have the dress you want and use simple wedges for your shoes rather than 'bridal' shoes. Forgo a crinoline and go 'natural'. You'll find ways to trim back and still get the wedding you want.



Be Your Beautiful Self !!

Beautiful @ Boonetown Story (Woodsy Wedding)

Most important of all, treat it like fun !! Make wedding planning like shopping or the boss level of your favorite game and remove some of the stress from it ! Be your beautiful self and remember all that really matters is that you get to spend the rest of your life with your guy !! You'll forget things like who made your pictures or cake...but you'll remember your first kiss as husband and wife and your friends laughter and smiles as you dance at the reception. It's going to be your first day as a new family - everything else is forgettable.




Planning A Simple Wedding