Lately I’ve been feeling inspired by the incredible fashions found in the digital archives of the Kyoto Costume Institute. Gowns from centuries ago are as jaw dropping as ever, with incredible textures and colors, cuts and patterns. I know this might seem like an abstract source of wedding inspiration, but consider the possibilities – details for a custom dress, color palette ideas, patterns for an envelope liner. And even if they’re totally unhelpful for you in thinking about design elements of your wedding, don’t you find them incredibly beautiful? I wish I had reason to wear a dress like this!

Oh, and as you go through the images, click on them to see larger versions with a closer look at all the details…

The intricate details on this monogrammed ivory hand fan are amazing, but I also love the use of pattern in both the gown and the sash. c. 1800, China.

The one above is probably my favorite of the lot – the simple colors, and the India-inspired pattern. c. 1850, India.

What about taking inspiration for your bouquet or centerpieces from a dress like this? I’d love to see what a floral designer might do with this as her only direction for bridal flowers. c. 1785, England.

This retro gown is a bit different from the rest, with a playfulness in its details (polka dots! bows!). c. 1950, Jacques Fath Paris.

c. 1888, Rouff Paris  //  c. 1780, France.

Even the description of the fabric in this elaborate dress is luscious: “Light-blue Lyons silk chine with cartouche-enclosed floral motif.” c. 1765, France.

Doesn’t this dress look straight out of Emma? I adore how light it seems, and the super simple pattern of what looks like bumblebees and wheat leaves. c. 1795, Italy.

c. 1855, England.

The floral embroidery on this muslin chemise dress is too beautiful for words! And feels very much like a wedding (especially with the white satin toe peeking out from underneath). c. 1802, France.

 

So what do you say? Would you be able to find inspiration in any of these designs or patterns, or in any of the other pieces over at the Kyoto Costume Institute?

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I have some dreamy eye candy from Elizabeth Messina for you today, plus, all of the dresses and accessories in this post are part of an exclusive vintage-inspired collection created for the brand-new-today Ruffled Shop. Find out more below all this gorgeousness (including where you can find even more sneak peeks)…

I adore the swiss dot tulle on this dress!

Now all the details… these beautiful dresses are customizable (fabric, length, petticoat, and hello, pockets), and with many of them under $800, they’re affordable too. There are also veils, hair accessories and jewelry, all exclusive to Ruffled. Designers include Fancy, Sarah Seven, Tessa Kim and Wendy Mink. And keep an eye out for even more designs in the fall.

Of course, if you don’t want to wait that long, check out more sneak peek posts over with our friends Leila at Inspired by This, Jen at Green Wedding Shoes, and Elizabeth Messina at Kiss the Groom. And be sure to check out the Ruffled Shop!

 

 

Vendors

Photography: Elizabeth Messina / Dresses, veils, accessories: Ruffled Shop / Location (available for weddings): Santa Barbara Historical Museum / Styling: Catherine Sheppard of The Life Styled / Hair, makeup: Christina Burns 617-285-8772

 

Kiss the Groom is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

11 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Faux Weddings, Kathryn Loves

There are so many beautiful engagement rings out there, but some of my very favorites are vintage or antique. My own engagement ring is a garnet cocktail ring from the 1920′s, and I love that no one else has anything like it. (Being eco-friendly was an added bonus of going with something vintage.) Not everyone has a family heirloom ring to pass down, but the internet makes it insanely easy to find beautiful antique bling (I could spend hours browsing 1stdibs). Anyway, I have a folder of pretties that I’ve bookmarked, and thought it would be fun to share them with you…

From left: {Art Deco cushion cut diamond ring surrounded by French-cut sapphires.} {Edwardian freshwater natural pearl ring with diamonds.}

Clockwise from top left: {1940′s yellow sapphire ring with diamonds.} {1920′s rose cut diamond ring with European cut accent diamonds.} {Victorian sapphire and diamond ring.} {Victorian natural pearl ring with diamonds.}

Clockwise from top left: {Art Deco cushion cut diamond and sapphire ring.} {1920′s Old European cut diamond ring with sapphire baguettes.} {Art Deco platinum and diamond ring with emerald accents.} {Art Deco French mine cut diamond ring.} {Edwardian diamond engagement ring.}

 

Don’t you love them?! Are you hoping for (or wearing) a vintage engagement ring? Do you prefer unexpected stones or classic diamonds?

 

Brilliant Earth is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

24 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Kathryn Loves