Anyone at all familiar with fashion, or who has lived more than 20 years, knows that what’s old (dreamy vintage dresses) will inevitably become new and sought after again at some point. Peplums, shoulder pads, wide legs, peg legs, miniskirts, plunging necklines—they’ve all returned to the limelight after time away, shoved in the backs of closets. Of course, bridal fashion is referential, too. Perhaps no one in Los Angeles knows that better than Lily Kaizer, founder of Happy Isles, a luxury vintage bridal salon on Sunset Boulevard that stocks carefully hand-selected gems by designers including Oscar de La Renta, Halston, Bill Blass, Valentino, and Alaïa. You can’t help but be inspired immediately (be careful of drooling on the dresses!).
Her curated white, blush, and cream collection—with regular new additions coming in, usually in sizes 4 to 6—represents not just looks that are sentimental or old-school, but silhouettes that have stood the test of time. Says Kaizer, “Every dress design today has its stylistic roots in a silhouette that has been inspired by something vintage. Fashion moves in cycles, and by drawing inspiration from vintage designs you are sure to find parallels in today’s trends.” To her, wearing authentic vintage for one’s wedding is a surefire way to stand out and wow not just guests but anyone admiring the photos on Instagram. Plus, she says, “You’ll get major fashion points from your friends!” Here, Kaizer breaks down five from-the-past styles that she sees making a comeback in 2017.
‘50s Midi Dress
“A ‘50s midi-inspired silhouette has made a comeback on the bridal runway. Naeem Khan just showed several shorter embellished gowns similar to this deep-V plunge style currently on view at the salon. Bonus points for this silhouette, as it’s universally flattering.”
“We’ve seen a huge trend in flowing capes the past several seasons. Brides love to accessorize a simple dress with a flowing layer of chiffon—it gives that distinct touch of drama. This ‘60s set includes an ethereal chiffon robe, which truly transports.”
Scarlet Dresses and Accoutrements
“Red is paving a new path for itself in the modern bridal oeuvre. Jenny Packham showed several scarlet showstoppers this season. At Happy Isles we have an embellished Dynasty jacket from the ‘60s, perfect for throwing over your shoulders as the big night nears its end.”
“All kinds of feathers are making their mark in bridal. We’re seeing feather embellishments on the hems of dresses long and short, and yes, it’s because girls do just want to have fun. This ‘80s Bill Blass piece (with ostrich feathers and white sequins) is one for the books, and is sure to knock the socks off all your guests.”
“More designers are embracing a column silhouette—Houghton just showed several for spring. I love this maximalist ‘70s gown, encrusted with beading and rhinestones. Brides can’t help but feel statuesque in this lengthening and sophisticated cut.”