Getting inspired by the fashions of other decades can be fun – from the “big shoulder” silhouette of the 1980s, to the delicate embroidered and pleated frocks of the 1940s. If you’re exploring wedding style options, looking at the retro-inspired wedding gowns on this page may give you a little creative energy and help you come up with a cohesive theme – from engagement rings to wedding decor ideas to your white wedding dress – that will make your wedding day unforgettable…
Inspired by the Eighties
A strong shoulder is one of the most distinctive signatures of 80s-inspired fashion. 80s style icons, such as the devilish Alexis Carrington of Dynasty, (played by the raven-haired actress, Joan Collins) used the strong shoulder silhouette to look sexy and powerful.
Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington (photo by Brian Byrne, via Flikr)
This type of bridal dress look definitely needs the right hair and makeup – a lot of volume at the crown will work well for wedding hair, as it will help to balance the look, and a swipe of blush high on the cheekbones will set off the unique lines of a strong shoulder wedding gown, such as the style shown above.
If you’re a student of fashion through the decades, why not go for high-style Eighties drama as you walk down the aisle? Not for the meek, this sensational, super-glamorous look is sure to highlight your confidence, bravado, and chic. To get the Alexis Carrington look, go for defined eyes, penciled brows, and a true crimson lip, such as Loreal’s classic Drumbeat Red.
Inspired by The Fifties
Fashions featuring retro details or silhouettes will evoke different emotions, depending on which decade they represent; in the case of the Fifties, innocence, candy-box prettiness, and wholesome, healthy beauty will be highlighted in classic gowns with fitted waists and full skirts. Structured bodices are very 1950s, and so are filmy tulle skirts, wide sash belts, and brocade or lace fabrics.
Floral appliques (such as those found on the gown shown above) are also so very 1950s. To highlight your pin-up charm on your wedding day, use hot rollers to build silky volume into your hair, and style your ‘do in loose, sexy waves that are still under control – Marilyn Monroe is a great style icon for this look. Lips can be cherry-red, hot pink, or bright coral – use your coloring to find the best shade. A fresh-scrubbed look with a vibrant, cheery lip color will be the perfect balance of glamour and 1950s innocence.
Delicate embroidery, feminine shoulder straps, and sleek, fitted style through the bodice are pure 1940s – pleating was also a feature on many evening dresses from that decade. The white wedding dress shown above offers many details than evoke this elegant era…the look is pure sophistication, and it needs few accessories or extra adornments.
To showcase your beauty on your wedding day, while keeping the 1940s theme in mind, go for sensual smoky eyes that are lined and shadowed in charcoal grey. The rest of your makeup should take a backseat – peachy-pink lips and cheeks will provide a neutral backdrop for sultry eye makeup. Finish your look with two coats of high-quality mascara – Lancome’s Definicils is a great choice.
Your Wedding Dress Will Set the Theme…
Once you’ve come up with a retro-inspired wedding dress, your wedding theme can reflect the charm and appeal of that decade or era. A Forties-inspired gown might inspire a romantic, luxurious wedding with elegant foods, cocktails from the 1940s, and delicate wedding favours and wedding invitations. An 80s-style celebration might be brighter and bolder, with a touch of excess and glitz that evokes the over-the-top spirit of the decade. Whatever you do – have fun with it, and enjoy your special day!
Olga is manager at Best for Bride since 2005. Currently Best for Bride operates 4 bridal stores in Canada (Toronto, Etobicoke, Hamilton and Barrie). Best for Bride sells wedding, bridesmaids, mob dresses and more. http://www.BestForBride.com