Choose Your Style: Wedding Styles from the 50s and 60s
A Retrospect Into the '50s and '60s Wedding Style
The entire fashion industry is based on change, and wedding styles are no exception. If you are keen enough you'll notice that as fast as trends keep evolving, often it's recreations of the yesteryears that get a new lease of life. That describes the gorgeous collection of the '50s and '60s-inspired wedding dresses from the House of Mooshki.
The wedding ensemble as we know it has its roots in the 1840s when Prince Albert married Queen Victoria. On the auspicious occasion, she wore an ivory silk gown with a matching veil and so started the centuries tradition of wearing similar outfits. One century later, Elizabeth Taylor became the poster for wedding style after she donned a stunning gown in the "Father of the Bride."
Grace Kelly took over the mantle with her royal wedding ensemble before legends like Sharon Tate presented an excitingly different aesthetic in the '60s. The late starlet donned a high-collared short number when she tied the knot with Roman Polanski in 1968. A deep dive is well in order to explore more details about the re-emerging '50s and '60s wedding trends.
1950s Wedding Styles
The 1950s were marked by an air of jubilation, given that some five years had gone by since the Second World War ended. Women of that time were no longer in a rush to walk down the aisle and when they did, they made more deliberate choices for the big day. After all, the celebratory climate trickled down to almost every facet of life, and naturally, the festivities reigned supreme at weddings.
Weddings were elaborate and formal events, starting with a church ceremony followed by a reception hosted at a fancy ballroom or at home. That was also the time that the poodle skirt trend was in full swing and wedding gowns of that era featured a similar look. Brides donned swing dresses, better known as ball gowns, with poofy skirts.
In terms of the fabric choices, the '50s wedding gowns were predominantly tailored using tulle and lace fabrics. They were also full of embellishments and still, brides would pair the look by donning heirloom accessories on the occasions. Some of the details borrowed from that era for current wedding styles include:
Peter Pan Collar & Long Lace Sleeves
The high neckline also referred to as the Peter Pan collar was quite popular in the '50s. Grace Kelly iconically wore such an outfit when she got hitched to Prince Rainier III in 1956. Her stunning ensemble also featured long lace sleeves.
Off-shoulder & Rose Point Lace
Jacqueline Kenndy's wedding dress presented an alternative look. The off-shoulder gown she wore during her 1953 nuptials leaned more towards the feminine and romantic aesthetic. To top it off, she completed the look by wearing a rose point lace veil inherited from her grandmother.
Full Tea Length
Brides also opted to wear wedding dresses with full tea-length skirts on their big day. Also known as the full circle skirt, the puffy look was achieved by layering multiple stiff petticoats. It was also more popular at the time simply because it had a slimming effect.
1960s Wedding Styles
The swinging sixties introduced new trends that essentially flip-flopped weddings as they were known at the time. The counterculture movement is largely responsible for the rebellion and experimentation witnessed during the era. For starters, brides were no longer swayed by the pomp and colour of the previous decade and their nuptials were more casual affairs.
The idea of hopping on a plane and jetting off to an exotic destination for the honeymoon was quickly catching on. Almost every year introduced something new; from the shoulder-length veils and three-quarter sleeves that marked the turn of the decade to the mid-'60s baby doll, mini skirt dresses paired with high collars and long sleeves.
To sum it up, the ‘60s wedding styles were short and sweet but several of the styles spawned at the time continue to influence various aspects of fashion. Some of the other wedding fashion trends that defined the '60s include:
Structured Silhouettes & Oversized Elements
Besides going for shorter sleeves and veils, the early '60s wedding dresses also featured a structured silhouette. The '60s wedding style also featured oversized elements particularly when it came to the skirts.
Wedding gowns were tailored using fabrics like crinoline which in turn gave them the structure and fuller look. Funnel necks and flair sleeves were also quite popular at the time.
Shorter Skirts & Dresses
Sharon Tate's wedding ensemble captured the fun and perhaps daring side of the late '60s dresses. Short skirts were in alongside baby doll dresses, and in contrast, the outfits maintained full-length sleeves as well as high collars. Yoko Ono, who wore a tiered mini dress, is yet another celebrity from that era who popularised the shorter wedding dress.
Crowns and Floral Headbands
At some point, more brides chose to ditch veils entirely in favour of floral headbands and crowns. Hats and headscarves were also popular alternatives to veils at the time. A prime example is Elizabeth Taylor's simple, yellow chiffon bridal look. She teamed up the look with an elaborate floral headpiece when she got married to Richard Burton in 1964.
Other Wedding Fashion References From The 1950s and '60s
The '60s were also truly fun, and that statement also describes the wedding dress embellishments. Brides leaned more towards metallic details as well. Grace Kelly's hand-sewn seed pearls also influenced bespoke trends. Halter neck dresses were equally trending, thanks to Ava Gardner's look during her 1951 wedding to Frank Sinatra.
Bridgitte Bardot's pink gingham dress was replicated for years, following her second time down the aisle to marry Jacques Charrier in 1959. It was an informal look but the A-line silhouette is what won many women over because it nipped in the waist.
When it came to hairstyling, beehives, bouffants, and victory rolls were the top trends. Shorter hairdos were equally en vogue like Twiggy's cropped cut.
House of Mooshki
Coming across a new wedding dress designer with gowns as pretty as these here today is always a bit of a shock. I find myself wondering “how have I not seen this gorgeousness before?!”
That’s definitely the case with British designer House of Mooshki. Their most recent collection is based upon the sheer elegance of women in the 1950s & 1960s – and it shows!
House of Mooshki’s signature style is tea length look with a flirty vibe and that definitely shines through in this collection. Pencil skirts with statement detachable trains and out-of-this-world ball gown style dresses add the perfect amount of variety.
The Guipure and French laces seen on some of the sleeves and backs of these wedding dresses are hand died and a lot of them have a little House of Mooshki twist – they’re coloured in blush and champagne tones!
Credits: Photography & Wedding Dress: House of Mooshki // Hair & Makeup: Lisa Jones Hair and Makeup // Venue: Lartington Hall, County Durham.