Friday, February 04, 2011

A whole lot of white going on

The bridal gown shop around the corner from work changes their window display about once a month. Sometimes I really like what bridal gown trend they are showcasing; the lace and the layering of these two gowns really caught my eye.

I've only known one girl who married in a lace dress.  She was so excited that when she purchased it, she had to share with her groom to be that it was a lace gown.
He, being young and inexperienced with such matters, thoughtlessly blurted out that he disliked lace. was too late to return the dress.
He later became a pastor; they now have three grown kids and grandchildren and I suppose if you ask him now he would not even remember that he once made such a silly mistake.
I think the lace of this gown is gorgeous.  If I was a size six or so, I would be tempted to purchase it and wear it as a tea gown.

Layers and layers and layers...for a bride who is so thin that adding a few inches all over would not matter.
What a fabric!  Pure silk and probably light as air.

Mormon brides must wear sleeves to cover their "temple garment".  When a couple marries, they are given a undergarment that is like a tee shirt and shorts combined that must be worn under their clothing at all time.
This bridal shop advertises that sleeves can be added to any of their gowns.
Personally...I wish more brides would cover their shoulders at least.  The sleeveless/strapless gown was specifically designed for ballroom dancing, so the woman's shoulder would not bind in her dress as she lifted her arm to place her hand upon her partner's shoulders.  
Why this strapless ballroom style became the style of choice for the past decade or so mystifies me. 

The flower atop suggests a facinator or cocktail type hat. 
Still...a flowing veil is usually chosen by brides and I can't blame them.
The veil is the iconic bit that differentiates a bridal gown from a prom or formal gown.

The lacy gown's train is has lovely elements to study while the bride's back is to her guests during the ceremony.
Dancing would be challenging though; this is clearly not a detachable train.
Well, perhaps it can be bustled.
I get a kick out of the decision making processes that brides now have to go through to decide what bustling style they prefer on their wedding day. When I got married, my train was detachable, I don't know what bustling style I would have wanted. 
 HERE is a link to pictures of the various bustle styles. It might take a few moments to load but worth the wait.
There are only three dress forms by the way:  Bell shaped, Cylinder shaped, and Back Fullness.
Throughout the centuries of European based dress design, those three shapes rotated through favor, right up until the mid 1950's after which back fullness has never been seen in fashion design, save in bridal gowns.
Some fashion design scholars note that as the homosexual fashion designers gained prominence, the dresses began to conform to body shape that was closely related to the body shape of adolescent male bodies, that is to say, a body with no hips or bust.
Consequently curves fell out of favor, at least with women hoping to be fashionable, while most men still voiced an appreciation for women with curves and a bit of "backside".
Curiously, the black population continued to favor a "bootie" on women as desirable; both black men and women approved a fuller rounded bottom which coincidental is a characteristic of Negro physiology.
White men express more interest in full bust lines, and of course more women than one might think have sought medical intervention to accommodate that preference.
It is curious that younger white males have come to prefer a "Barbie doll" bust to hip ratio, which is almost never found in women without breast augmentation.
Anyhoo...back fullness preference on wedding days is a mystifying to me.
Oh...and I have seen on Goth sites ready made bustles of fabulous fabrics that are designed to slip over slim dresses or even pants.  They are quite fun...and why the idea has not caught on with those of us with a bit of natural back fullness I can not imagine. HERE is one...HERE is another one.


Such a simple dress design, which of course is all that is needed to allow the fabric to be appreciated.

I was looking at the dress at the front of the hanging dresses....

While I was just down the street from this...seems like the inspiration for these gowns doesn't it?
(The bridal shop is next door to the pink building.)

The frost on my windshield might also been used for inspiration....
Wedding gowns inspirations are everywhere this time of year aren't they?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Midway Ice Castles

Perhaps you remember THIS post?
Bernie and I were just driving through an area called Midway when we stumbled upon an amazing scene of which we had never imagined nor dreamed was possible.

We stopped by the "Ice Castle" area again during our anniversary weekend, when there really wasn't much to see. there was something to see, and this time we got to see it all lit up at night.

The "castles" are created using plain water, PVC pipes, harvested icycles, and freezing temperatures.
And a bit of ingenuity of course.

I will just let you enjoy seeing the ice castles as photographed at night without much further comment
If you would prefer to see the pictures enlarged in a slide show format, click HERE.
Sometimes I used flash so you can see the ice details, other times I used only the lighting from the castles so you can enjoy seeing them as they looked in the dark.
The blue is the natural color of frozen water; anyone who has visited a glacier will recognize that unique shade of blue.

(Six foot three inch tall Bernie walking through one of the castle.  The castles will continue to "grow" right up through March; December was a bit on the warm side so they have not grown as fast as they did last year.)

Reminds me a bit of jelly fish floating through the water.

In the above picture you can see some of the PVC and structural design using the icicles to form the castles. The PVC delivers the water spray to encase the icicles and grow them.

The water spray also builds other interesting structures around the base.

How many pictures were taken just while we were there?
Everything from cell phone cameras to gigantic telephoto set-ups on tripods were being employed.

I really liked seeing the families strolling around together.
What a perfect family outing!

One of the naturally formed designs that would be incredible re-created by someone in glass.

Here's Brent, the maestro of ice.
I met him last year and had a nice chat with him.
Later I left a comment on his website, telling him I had blogged about my visit.

This is his wife Linda, and the youngest of their children.
I had not met her before, but when we first walked into the area, she was putting pictures of guests up on a wall.
I started to tell her how much I enjoyed seeing the castles last year and how I had posted pictures about my visit and so many people had loved seeing how beautiful the structures were.
She suddenly said "You are the hat lady!  Millinery, right?  Oh let me call Brent, he would love to see you again!"
How about that for hospitality?
We chatted together for quite awhile as people kept coming in to see the grounds.  Brent has patented his process and has trained a few people on how he creates his castles.  I could see how much both of them love doing this, and how excited they are about expanding the castles.

I hope we can get back up to Midway to see the castle "fully grown", and take some daylight pictures too. 
Oh, and there is to be a Valentine's dance there too...can you imagine?
The only thing better than that would be a wedding.
And double wow!

(if you didn't before, you might want to go back to the top of this post and visit the post from last year's castles. I am still amazed at how beautiful they were!)