Wedding Wednesday

White On

Shop Alhambra in Belltown for not-exactly-traditional wedding day style

November 11, 2009

 

It’s surprising: Some of the most non-trad brides end up wanting that princess gown, and then some women follow tradition to the letter — but opt for a pale blue knee-length tea dress. I’m often asked where to find little white dresses for beach weddings, court house ceremonies, or destination celebrations, and my first answer is always Alhambra.

The wedding gown industry knows that chic shop owners/buyers like Alhambra’s Serpil Kaymaz are out there — and they know that are increasingly open to non-trad non-floor length styles. For example Amsale, a leading vendor of the aforementioned princess shapes, recently debuted their Little White Dress collection. If you can hold your breath until January, you’ll see one of their best designs in the fashion spread of our winter/spring issue of Seattle Met Bride & Groom. Head to Voletta Couture in Bellevue to see the dresses sooner. In our current issue, a sweet little mini by Amy Kuschel makes a convincing case for opting out of tradition. The really great, made-in-California line is perfect for the girl who’s first objective is to not be over the top, is sold at Something Blue in La Conner.

But even these non-trad wedding dresses will likely always look like wedding dresses.

I’m not sure I can imagine the occasion when one of them might be repurposed. And maybe that’s okay with you (there is something romantic about only wearing that dress that once). But if, on the other hand, you opted for the Gary Graham silk chiffon number above, from Alhambra, you could wear it while saying “I do,” and then, quite possibly, while vacationing in Paris, hosting a garden party, and sipping champers in a friend’s Elliot Bay-facing high rise.

I don’t know. I’m just imagining.

Right now is a great time to go out looking for little white cocktail dresses at shops like Alhambra. Holiday season is upon us, and, increasingly, pale shades of cream, ivory, and barely butter-yellow or almost peachy-peach are supplanting black as the party dress’s best color. In February, as spring shipments begin to arrive, you’ll see even more white. I’m not going to say it’s the new black, but, well, it is.

Check the slideshow here and do go check in with the wonderfully sweet and wise Serpil and her store manager Michelle, and the shop’s blog. I love the exotic-yet-very-Seattle vibe at Alhambra; beaded chiffon, Turkish-made knit jersey, cozy scarves, and sparkling gemstones coexist on this organic-feeling, elegantly old world plane - like Bohemia in Belltown.

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Need more ideas for little white dresses?

Try Les Amis in Fremont (for free-shape bare-feet-in-a-wheat-field frocks), the Finerie (for vamped up vows), Butch Blum’s upstairs womens shop (particularly great for smart, Michelle Obama-meets-Jackie O court house brides), and Marios or Neiman Marcus (if the you want to show off your signature walk down the aisle/runway).

More WEDDING WEDNESDAY content here; if you please, you may work backwards from there.

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