One of the best things about being the author of Chic Vintage Brides is that it gives me the excuse to spend hours (upon hours, upon hours…) browsing gorgeous bridal gowns, from the very latest collections of the most fabulously talented designers – like Mariana Hardwick!
Martin and I got engaged in March of the year we got married – I had set my heart on a New Years Eve Wedding and with an impending move to the other side of the world, it was a case of now or never….. or more accurately, now or never have our friends and family at the wedding, which was simply not an option. So, with most wedding dresses on a 6 month lead time, April out (as we were on holiday in New Zealand) oh, plus of course Christmas and allowing for fitting, well I had exactly 1 month to find my ‘THE’ one! Despite my love of wedding dresses I had no idea what style dress I wanted (I had never imagined actually wearing one because I had never imagined getting married) And in fact, the whole process filled me with something close to dread. I felt so much pressure! As the bride, I had to find the dress of my Mum’s, Dad’s, friend’s and, most important of all, Martin’s dreams. I had to find a dress with the wow factor and fitting of the venue, glamorous and comfortable, and most importantly a unique design, a dress that said me …….
So with all this pressure, never did I imagine that wedding dress shopping would be so….. so….. glorious! I loved it! With every bridal gown I tried on I felt transformed – a film star, a princess, a goddess, aaahhhh it was intoxicating! In the end, I wished I had time to try more – not because I thought for a second I could improve on the Jenny Packham design I chose (even if I had had 100 years I couldn’t have felt more comfortable, happy and beautiful than I did on NYE 2010) but because looking would have been such fun!
Just looking at these pictures makes me green with envy, of every ‘soon-to-bride’ still able to try gowns like……
Ambellina, a romantic full gown, with a beautifully beaded bodice, metallic lace applique, and finely tinted tulle skirt.
Harlow, a glamorous vintage 1930s inspired slimline gown with low back, feminine ruffled neckline and exquisite elaborate beading detail on the back.
Or Violette, a vintage slimline gown of ornate corded lace and silk georgette, with a stunning appliqued shoulder strap and satin buckled belt.
They are just a select few from Mariana Hardwick’s Luxe Collection which offers an extravagant range of elegant, refined bridal gowns constructed to the highest standards with a focus on luxurious fabrics and the most intricate hand detailing.
Mariana Hardwick has had an incredible 40 year career in the fashion and bridal industry, she launched her own label in 1982, which established her as the first contemporary bridal wear designer in Australia. Drawing inspiration from the Victorian and Edwardian eras through to the 1920’s, Mariana has a fresh approach and unique style, continually evolving to reflect the changing trends.
In her Salon Collection fabric and detailing are elegantly integrated with form-flattering silhouettes, to make traditional gowns with a twist.
Austin has a classical mermaid silhouette, with a softly draped, fitted bodice and tiered flounce skirt. Hand crafted rosette corsage embellishments adorn the bodice and skirt.
Romance, a tiered A-line gown with finely draped bodice, jewelled sash, delicate lace sweetheart neckline and art-deco inspired frayed embroidered lace skirt.
Chanson D’Amore is an incredibly opulent full gown with a delicate pearl encrusted bodice, cut away at the hip level, complimented by a full layered tulle skirt, and elaborate buckled belt.
The Bodice of this gown really is stunning…..
Mariana’s gowns offer quality fabrics and expert tailoring with uncompromised attention to detail. Her amazing ability to fuse contemporary detailing with timeless classic silhouettes has led her to win five of Australia’s coveted Fashion Industry Awards (FIA).
In her Bride Nouveau Collection she has drawn inspiration from Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras to create some of the most gorgeous and glamorous gowns for the contemporary bride.
Iris is a classic one-shoulder silk georgette gown with finely draped bodice and soft frill skirt.
Sapphire is a classic 1930s unstructured gown with softly draped bodice, encrusted beaded collar, split back detail and fishtail skirt.
Carmina draws inspiration from the Art Deco period – bias cut skirt with finely draped bodice, contrast draped hip sash, back ties, and brooch details.
And as if her gorgeous gown designs aren’t enough, Mariana Hardwick also stocks an exquisite range of her very own millinery, headwear and veils – many of which match her gown designs, allowing you to co-ordinate your look perfectly! And they are available to order ONLINE!
And the Femme Fatale Headpiece is sold without the Veil
You lucky soon-to-be-brides, enjoy looking for THE dress – be prepared to be surprised, take your time and try on as many designs and designers as you can…..
And have fun!