Friday, 28 February 2014

Tea and Iced Cakes

I have a box of old papers and photos that belonged to my late grandmother and aunt. It's a source of instant nostalgia. Many studio photo portraits of members of my father's family are in there, which are wonderful; lockets, trinkets, recipe collections and more. (Looking at the way people used to eat always astonishes me. It's a wonder anyone's arteries functioned at all!) My aunt's teenage diary faithfully lists the songs and bands in the weekly Hit Parade. When I hear them on our own weekly big bands radio program, I think of her, and imagine her as a high school student in Montreal during the war years.

This treasure trove also contains newspaper clippings, mostly obituaries and social notices. Despite the view within a certain sector that a lady should never be mentioned in a newspaper, save when she was born, married or died ("bred, wed and dead"), back then there were apparently many respectable opportunities for seeing your name in print. There are columns mentioning the family simply for checking into a summer resort. Or when when there was a tea party, always mentioning the occasion being celebrated, and who poured (or who was "Mother", an English colloquialism).*

Social notices in newspapers aren't what they used to be. Of course, our internet age renders them redundant. While the social notices describing them may be no more, I'm glad that there are still such things as bridal teas. What a charming way to celebrate an upcoming wedding, perhaps even as a charming wedding itself.

This is the inspiration behind my nostalgic, new bridal collection, "Tea and Iced Cakes." I hope it whets your appetite!

Silk callas, sinamay leaves and ostrich

Peau de soie gardenia with beads and crystals, sinamay leaves, hackles and shaved coq feathers

Organza rose with beaded centre, hackle feather pad and beaded wire spray

Ostrich, sinamay leaves and filigree jewel

Sinamay filigree, ostrich quill and vintage jeweled button

White sinamay diskette with lacy cornucopia, ostrich and sequined spray

White peau de soie rose with beads and crystals, goose and ostrich mount

Each piece is created afresh and customized for each individual bride. Please email me for prices and further enquiries.

* Rant alert: You will notice in these social columns that the term "high tea" is never used. That's because the term was unknown in North America, because it was a substantial meal belonging to the working class British. It still is, people! Please stop misusing that expression when you're thinking of tea in Downton Abbey-esque settings! Say "afternoon tea" instead! The cognoscenti will thank you for it, and so will I. Rant over. I thank you.

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