Sunday, 28 September 2014

Akosua and Dale Make History

Last spring, a bride-to-be engaged (!) me for a special commission. It was right up my alley. Or more specifically, right up the park where I have spent so many summer Saturdays.

Akosua found me online, searching for a milliner to create custom fascinators for her four bridesmaids. We made an appointment to meet at my studio in April, and she brought along her fiancé, Dale, and bridesmaid Dara. We had a great time over tea, getting acquainted and sharing with me what they were looking for.

Akosua and Dale had a vision of Old/Jazz Age Toronto for their July wedding. Locale was also honoured through choosing Toronto artisans, each making their particular contribution toward bringing the couple's vision to life. Of course, the vintage theme cried out for fascinators, and when I learned that the wedding venue was old St. Lawrence Hall, right behind my old table location at St. Lawrence Market, it really felt like the universe knew what it was doing in bringing us together. A marriage made in millinery heaven!

Once I heard the colour scheme they had chosen, the affinity count ticked again, because I then had my own little piece of local history to offer to their wedding story. In the 1920s, the Jazz Age, and beyond, my father's family's business was a factory in Toronto that made exquisite lingerie, under the Toronto Petticoat label. The finest examples used lace made in Paris. I have a small remnant of this lace, uncut on the bolt. It's an irreplaceable treasure, and I don't use it lightly. Akosua and Dale's wedding was that rare occasion where colour and theme were perfectly sympatico, and I was happy to provide it. Mercifully, they totally "got it", which was extremely gratifying!

After Akosua and Dara had chosen the millinery elements, they went off to a vintage store to choose jewels to add bling to them. When those arrived, I went to work. Photos were submitted for approval. Weeks later, Akosua picked them up in a car, after I had probably not very well concealed my alarm at her desire to swing by for them on her bike. Nope, couldn't see that working...

She liked them! The nail-biting moment was over. Phew!

I was determined to set up my hat display at St. Lawrence Market on Akosua and Dale's wedding day. She had kindly promised to come by with her bridesmaids for a photo. That July day duly saw me in situ, selling, chatting, catching up with friends, watching the sky cloud over... in denial over the first raindrops... and finally packing it in. Sigh...

So a photo op was not to be. So what? I left with spirits undampened, knowing that a happy wedding was unfolding just yards away.

Fast forward another bunch of weeks, and Akosua's promised fascinator-featuring wedding photos arrive. And were they worth the wait! Jennifer Ballard Photography did a gorgeous job of capturing the day Dale and Akosua made personal history, she in her custom Valencienne gown, bridesmaids Katie, Dara, Annick and maid of honour, Jenn in their BHLDN dresses, and the jewel brooches on the fascinators from Cabaret Vintage.

Fascinators by Anne Livingston, Hats by Anne.

Ahem. Sniff! (I always cry at weddings.)

Feast your eyes:

And finally...

Don't you just love the onlooking-founding-father-in-the-portrait's expression? Matt, you're a game guy!

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