June 27, 2022

artspace

The Art Aces

How to Find Your Dream Vintage Wedding Dress

The three dresses are plucked out of time, all the richer for carrying with them the stories of their makers and all of their past relationships—not unlike a great romantic partner. Though, if I’m being honest, I never would have found them without Cronan’s assistance. If you’re a bride in search of vintage, there are wedding stylists who can help—among them Over the Moon, founded by Vogue.com’s very own wedding editor—but also knowing where and how to look can open the world of vintage bridal to truly every bride. Here’s how to do it:

Begin Looking Once You’re Engaged

“Begin the hunt as soon as you can,” says Brynn Jones, owner of Los Angeles’s Aralda Vintage, who was recently called on to outfit the closet of Maddy Perez’s (Alexa Demie) dreams on this season of Euphoria. Jones suggests trying on dresses as soon as you’re engaged to ease the stress of a truncated timeline. She also recommends following a global trove of vintage accounts online from Los Angeles to Paris. “The beauty of the internet is, if you see something you’re interested in, you can make the trip to try things on.” You can also reach out to your favorite dealers to enlist their help. “Make a private consultation appointment so you can have a conversation about what you’re looking for and what your vision and timeline is,” says Brandon Veloria Giordano, co-owner of New York City’s beloved James Veloria. If it’s not already in their archive, the more time you give a dealer, the more likely they’ll be able to find your dream piece. Mon Vintage’s Blanchet recommends a three-month window to track down a specific item. “You need a few months minimum, especially for sourcing,” says Blanchet. Beyond finding the right piece, it will also need to be the right size and colorway.

A Dior by John Galliano SS 02 dress at Aralda VintagePhoto: Courtesy of Aralda Vintage

Have an Idea of What You Want—And Don’t Want

You don’t need to start the process by knowing precisely the piece, designer, and era you’re looking for, but a sense of your favorite silhouettes can help your vintage dealer guide you in the right direction. Take a look in your own closet for reference. “If I know you like long and bias, we will propose ‘30s pieces or Galliano dresses,” Blanchet says. “Or if I know you like trapeze, we’ll show you things from the ‘60s.” Jones suggests visiting a contemporary bridal salons to help inform your direction and understand the impact a certain cut will have in white. “The more you try on, the more you realize what makes you feel comfortable and confident,” she says. Even a moodboard or single inspiration image can assist your dealer in tracking down your ideal look. Years of working with vintage has helped them understand which eras and designers you’ll be drawn to, and who might have what you’re looking for. “If someone came in and was like, ‘I’m looking for a 2000’s Galliano bias cut silk dress,’ or another specific piece, I might reach out to a woman I know in Harlem, or certain places in Miami,” says Giordano.