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About Bride Chic Would you get married in black? Once upon a time most women did. In the 1800's brides wore everyday colors, mostly darker, somber ones. Today when we think black though, brides rarely come to mind. It's usually a shade reserved by society for widows and vamps. But times are a' changin' ladies. We're in the midst of an era where we're looking beyond the white philosophy that's defined wedding fashion for two centuries. No longer restricted to white on white, red, blue and even black dresses are gracing the bridal arena. Not only designers are loving this lift on restriction but photographers are looking at it with an inspired eye as well. Rosie Parsons of Forever Images is one such photographer. Specializing in wedding and fashion photography in Bristol, England, she's helping us move beyond the white philosophy by shooting her models full tilt in black and red wedding dresses. Here it is in her own words: "Last year everyone thought red wedding dresses were the most unique thing ever, but now it's really not that unusual. And black bridesmaid dresses are seen at lots of weddings. But what is still unusual is a black bridal gown. Can black be a stylish wedding dress colour or is it something no sane bride would ever go for, however offbeat they may be? If you're not going for a gothic look can you really get away with wearing a black wedding dress?" Recently a small group of creative UK wedding vendors and Rosie got together to do a unique bridal shoot in a Bristol Skate Park. With Haruka modeling an awesome black dress, red crinoline, red heels and black birdcage veil, kids were skidding to a halt on their skateboards to stare! "I love photographing unique and inspiring weddings, but I've never been asked to shoot a black dress before. I thought rather than twiddle my thumbs waiting, I would set up my own shoot and show brides how cool it can be. I liken it to an artist getting an idea in their imagination and then wanting to translate that to canvas. I'm the same with my shoots - I start with an idea and it snowballs from there, usually very quickly as I get really excited about every project! I need to have a strong concept, something that will inspire and provoke a response in the people that see the images. I've certainly had a lot of comments about this series!" The team that worked with Rosie on the shoot were all from the Bristol area, where she is also based. She specifically chose people who have the same ethos of being unique in this sea of wedding-sameness. Bella & Fifi provided the wild, locally grown bridal bouquets, Sarah Brock - the award winning makeup artist from Daniel Sandler was on hand to create beautiful smokey eyes and Becky Simpson perfected Haruka's stunning hair. Researching this subject, I found aside from pioneer women who owned one best dress in a dark color or black, the history of wearing it to say, 'I do' does resonate with some shadier story characters. For instance, Rita Hayworth playing Gilda, temptress of the 1946 flick of the same name, married her bad boy Johnny in a hard-tailored black suit and hat. In Ayn Rand's pivotal novel The Fountainhead, Dominique marries for the second time in a long, black gown and matching lace hat. Both marriages in these tales are blighted from the start, and black is one instrument authors and costume designers use in foreshadowing. Moving on to reality, Heather, one of my fashion chums married in a black satin Monroesque halter dress. She looked stunning and it was as simple as this: Heather considered black one of her options. I think we've reached the point where a few brides are looking to black as just another option and moving into another place with it. With that, Rosie Parsons' last question to you all would be mine as well: "What do you all think about black wedding dresses? And what about a black wedding dress and white tux for your groom?" All images courtesy of
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