Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Top Trend: Trash The Dress

I met photographer and journalist Nicola Hyde at the vintage weekend at Luella's Boudoir back in May. Sent by Wedding Professional Magazine, she came to interview us girlies about the delights of producing vintage weddings in our various capacities (see page 16 & 17 of the magazine for the articles) and we soon got chatting about our own weddings etc.
Outside of work, Nicola, founder of Dolly Photography, is a very talented photographer with a funky kitsch style who has recently started a Trash The Dress photography service for brides wanting to make the most of their dresses after the day. A concept born originally in the US, it is now making its way over to the UK and causing a stir. Nicola reports...
'Choosing the wedding gown is arguably one of the most important decisions a bride will have to make - it has to be perfect, it has to have a 'wow' factor and it has to be memorable.
For most women, it will be the most expensive dress they will ever buy - even budget brides pinch the pennies until the squeak to get their princess gown.
But - after the big day - the dress is safely stored and placed in the loft. Traditionally, brides kept it to make christening gowns for their first borns - but now it's more likely it will sit there forever, to be occasionally admired but never worn again. 
But a new trend is emerging. Inspired by glossy magazines, brides are using their wedding gowns to do trendy fashion shoots.
The controversial Trash The Dress trend has already swept America with brides dowsing their gowns in the ocean, tearing them to shreds and - in one image - setting it on fire.
In the UK, an increasing number of photographers are now offering the packages to brides - termed anything from Mess The Dress, Day After Shoots, Dangerous Bridals and Rock The Dress.
Nicola Hyde of Dolly Photography, based in Barnsley, agrees that British brides shouldn't be scared off by the term.
She said: "I was married in October and the thought of deliberately ripping my dress makes me shudder. I do want to wear it again, I want to have fun with it - but it's my special keepsake and I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to it.
"When I hear the term Trash The Dress, I get a little squeamish myself , so something as simple as changing the wording of the trend could make a massive difference.
I know of one lady who takes her wedding dress out every year on her anniversary and wears it for a few hours - but how much fun would she have doing a photoshoot in it?
Becky Hill, 26, from York, was married in 2004 but her tight budget didn't allow for a photographer and she had no images that showed the detail of her dress.
She picked an urban location that would contrast the prettiness of her gown and was instead photographed on a derelict train track and in a former industrial site in Barnsley, called the Elsecar Heritage Centre.

She said "I hadn't worn my dress in over three years so it was quite meaningful to pop it on again and have some fun in it. Instead of doing my hair all pretty and pinned like it was on my wedding day, I wore my favourite vintage cowboy boots that were a family heirloom and went for really vampish make-up."
Nicola added "These shots aren't about trashing the dress at all. It's about having fun with it, making the bride feel like a fashion model and getting some more arty shots that you probably didn't have time for on the big day.
"We always say brides can take it as far as they want to go. If they want to trash their dress, that's fine. But they don't have to - the shoot is about them, celebrating their dress and having fun with it when they don't have to worry about the pressures on their wedding day."'

All images by Dolly Photography

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