Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category
While working in the shop, our volunteers often describe to brides the vast number of things that can be done to make a dress exactly what you have envisioned, but no one demonstrates this better than Samantha from Sparkle and Pomp. She recently took 10 very outdated dresses, and transformed them into something new and funky. These were showcased at Fashion Art Toronto (FAT) in late April as they made their appearance on the runway. Sam’s creations stole the show (a personal opinion, of course!), and I think you’ll be equally impressed! All these dresses are now available at The Brides’ Project. They will go extremely quickly, so make your appointment soon.
Below is just one of the ten, a personal favourite, and the other Before/After pics can be found on Sam’s blog.
Impressive, isn’t it!!! Check out the other 9… they are just as incredible. Many have hand-sewn couture elements, and she also custom-made the belt and can make one for any dress – just drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
And, just in case that didn’t impress the pants off ya, there’s just nothing like seeing it come down a fashion show runway!
As the mercury rises, it’s nice to look back and enjoy some winter wonderland wedding pics. The lovely Erin came to visit us and found herself the perfect frock for her February event.
I was married in February of this year wearing a beautiful dress I purchased from The Brides Project. We had the chance at a great discount from our reception venue by moving our wedding up by six months, which meant I had a bit less time than I thought to find a dress.I shopped in a couple of lovely boutiques, but I just couldn’t get my head around spending that much money on a dress I would only wear once. I heard about the Bride’s Project through an episode of Til Debt Do Us Part, and I knew it was the right place to find my dress. My mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor, and I could definitely get my head around spending the money on a dress if it went to a good cause.
This weekend we added at least 30 dresses to our inventory; from individual brides, a salon, and also the collection of re-designed dresses from Samantha at Sparkle and Pomp that were sent down the runway at FAT (Fashion Art Toronto) Fashion Week. We’ll have pics of Samantha’s stuff in the upcoming weeks, but for now our staff picked 4 of their favourites to show you!
The first is a Jim Hjelm. This is a size 8 dress in ivory silk duchess satin, and the bodice is adorned with alencon lace with straps. It’s not nearly as revealing in the bust as the stock image suggests, and easily made a little more modest! Original retail $3800.
Our second pick was this incredible silk trumpet gown that was custom made… and what a piece of art it is! It’s about a size 10, completely unique with one-shoulder styling and cute rosebuds at the back of the knees to produce a lovely silhouette over the butt!
Our third choice is this super fun Pronovias “Gaula” with lots of fluff! It’s crinkle tulle has a cathedral length train to sweep away the hearts of all your guests!
And… finally, for the bride who likes a bit of ‘risque’, we also just acquired a brand new Cymbeline (Paris) dress that takes the cake. The middle part that you see in the picture is removable to produce a short, flirty and fun dress for dancing. Gotta love this piece!
So it’s Friday, rainy and grey outside… but if you ever need a pick-me-up, all you have to do is check out one of Emily and Ken’s wedding pics!! These two have the most contagious smiles… and not just in one or two photos… but ALL of them! Christopher Luk Photography did the honours, and I’d bet he had a fun day documenting their wedding.
As Emily says,
I got married to my husband Ken on April 20 of this year and it was extra special because it is in one of your dresses!
Last summer, I visited multiple wedding dress boutiques and I was getting so frustrated because I couldn’t find a dress that I loved. One Saturday, I visited The Brides’ Project on a whim and found the one (and my veil)! The dress is a Pronovias and only needed minor alterations.
My experience with The Brides’ Project was so wonderful that I have told every bride-to-be that I know that they should visit.
Thank you so much for all you do for every bride-to-be who walks in your door and for our community as a whole.
Well, she looked phenomenal, also with noted thanks to Pom Penner who did “a flawless job” in altering her dress. Plus, she’s a hoot to work with Here’s my favourite picture:
Emily and Ken… may those smiles follow you every day ahead, rain or shine And thank you for sharing them with us!
Now that there really IS evidence of spring – leaves are starting to appear and daffodils, crocuses and other bulbs are popping up all around – our staff went through our collection and picked their 4 favourite dresses that remind them of spring and summer! These, and many many others are available in the shop. Book your appointment here!
The first two that they chose are beautifully simple, closely fit dresses with simple focal points. We chose the one below because mermaid styles are very in vogue, and the lines of this dress seem to make everyone who tries it on look really tall and lean!
The second one has a slightly different focal point with a vertical bow… also very stylish right now. This silk piece would also be extremely comfortable and light for outdoor ceremonies in the heat.
Speaking of heat, and yes, soon I’m sure we’ll all be commenting about it… they picked a lovely chiffon dress that would also be suitable for an outdoor wedding whether here or in the Caribbean! It’s simple, elegant and practical.
And finally… we all agreed that we needed something a little more fun and frivolous to add to our list of spring favourites! This silk gown is also very light, but has a lovely fluffy skirt accented with silk flowers with shoes to match… and what a wonderful piece to wear for a garden wedding!
Remember… these are only a few of the hundreds of dresses that we have available, including many pieces that are one of a kind. We receive at least one dress every day so the collection is constantly changing.
This week we had a great visit from Michelle Lawrie who is the National Executive Director of Camp Quality (on the right, below). Camp Quality has been one of our beneficiaries since the beginning, and they do incredible work offering the camp environment and other services to children with cancer.
Michelle’s also a newlywed… with a wonderful new addition coming to her family in October!! Congratulations twice over Michelle!
When she dropped by, she brought her stunning gown to offer to another bride, which Helen looks extremely excited about!
Michelle’s dress is a stunning size 10 Maggie Sottero in ivory lace… absolutely DELICIOUS! While she was here, we had a chance to chat about Camp Quality and their amazing services. Michelle had this message to pass along to our Brides’ Project staff and friends,
On July 28th – August 3rd, Camp Quality is partnering with Outward Bound Canada to run a week-long canoe trip in Algonquin Park for young adult cancer fighters, survivors and their siblings. We hope this will be the first of many trips aimed at getting young adults together to meet, bond and overcome some amazing challenges together.It’s being able to provide kids and youth affected by childhood cancer with opportunities like this that make us so appreciative of the amazing donors who are there to help make them happen! Thank you to the Bride’s Project!
Today we had a lovely surprise… a visit from Jessica with the dress, veil and crinoline that she had bought here. She donated them back so they can be enjoyed again. Congratulations! You obviously had an incredible day, and thank you for sharing that with us.
I just love this picture of Jessica and Neil… she is beaming, and I don’t think her hubby could look more proud A special thanks to Byron Wong of Digistudio for the great shot!
Given that we have two ‘guard-kitties’ here, to ensure the safety and security of your gown, we can understand that your feline/canine/porcine/bovine? family member may be involved in your wedding! And why not outfit them properly!
Recently I officiated for a completely lovable family… Melissa, Adam and their ringbearer Barley. Barley is already dashing with his black ‘n’ white tuxedo colours, and pulled off the role with panache in his outfit! Congrats to all of you, and thanks to Jimmy for the photo!
Several years ago I similarly officiated for Hoann and Jun. Hoann started Cosmopawlitan just as she was planning her wedding, and I was awestruck by her energy and her love of four-legged creatures! By the way, if you have a pet that needs grooming, you’re looking for a rescue or need anything pet-related… she’s amazing
Recently she mentioned that they carry some fun outfits for ‘ringbearers’… and these are SO cute! Here’s an example of his ‘n’ hers, among the many options available:
That pic was in Wedding Essentials magazine, Nov/Dec 2012 edition in their article about couples incorporating pets into weddings. Here’s a link to the event facebook album (the bride & groom were one of a dozen outfits on the catwalk): https://www.facebook.com/
We receive a large volume of email, and we love all the notes we receive. It’s helps to remind us of the the impact The Brides’ Project has on the people who come in and participate.
Thank you so much Melanie – your note brought a smile, some very happy tears, and renewed inspiration
[Shopping at The Brides' Project] was one of the most special parts of the wedding experience for me. You may not even know how much this dress meant to both of us. I picked out my dress just before Christmas. Only a week later, on Boxing Day, Brad’s mother told the family all gathered together that she had just found out she had uterine cancer and was going to have a complete hysterectomy in a few short weeks. Her biggest fear was not being ready in time for our wedding day, which we were celebrating at her house! Our biggest fear was not having her to celebrate with at all. On the day we picked up our marriage license, we got the news that we had lost Jack Layton just moments before we picked it up. He had been such a friend and ally to us and our community in his time on this earth, and he touched us deeply. We were both struck with such overwhelming sadness – and yet strangely, such joy knowing that we had helped to support your projects only months before, comforted the knowledge that he would have been so glad that we were doing what we could even long before he lost his battle. It gave us great hope. On the day of our wedding, we remembered Brad’s beautiful grandmother, who he loved dearly and takes after in his talent for art, and his wonderful grandfather, with whom he was so close, who both lost a battle with cancer and could not be there to share in our joy, and we also celebrated his nana’s victory over breast cancer only a few short years ago, grateful to have had her with us.This dress and all your kindness meant the world to both of us. Brad has three sisters and the reality of the hereditary nature of breast cancer is with us always. Thank you for everything you do, and for allowing us to be a part of it. I can’t wait to share this dress with someone else.
Melanie and Brad, thank you so much! Mel is bringing her dress back to ‘mama’, so that it can be loved again… and again. Make an appointment to come on in and have a chance to take home a dress filled with beautiful thoughts and karma!!!
Sometimes when I wander through the racks upon racks of dresses here, they kinda start to look the same. It’s hard when you’re shopping to sift through and wonder what they’d actually look like on a woman instead of a hanger. Many are truly brought to life by having a bride inside, and this couldn’t be more true with Angela’s dress! She had this piece custom designed for her size 18 figure, and it’s a masterpiece. It beautifully accentuates her curves, and it’s a perfect match for her fun and whimsical self – almost as perfect a match as her hubby Chris!
We were thrilled when Angela popped in a couple of weeks ago and was so excited to hand over her dress and offer it another home. The clincher… she ROCKED the dress, and had such an amazing day that the glow was still there. We share her wish that another bride feels just as incredible in this frock on her special day The headpiece is here as well if you’d like the entire outfit!
Thank you so much Angela! Our staff loved your visit, your exuberance, and the beautiful sentiments you have passed on for the next bride who finds your dress. We’d also like to also thank her photographer Kevin Fung who took these incredible pics.
Wow, our dresses are having a fabulous time this year, cavorting in all kinds of interesting places – sometimes with brides in them, and sometimes just showing themselves off until they find a home. We have several which are currently sprucing up the window at William Ashley on Bloor St.
It’s a huge window display with several different areas done in various themes. One of my favourites is the “Mrs & Mrs” section, with two dresses that are a perfect match for each other – just as the brides would be who wear them!
We get asked frequently about short dresses… tea length is a very ‘in’ style for 2013, particularly for destination weddings or less formal occasions! They also have a few great advantages; they’re much less heavy, they’re much cooler to wear, and… no fuss, no bustle… you can simply just dance the night away. Or ride a bike… or… use your imagination to have fun in it!
Recently we gave Belinda Dhubb several older silks… many of which retailed for 4000 Euros or more. They needed some sprucing up, and she focused on the shorter gown market.
Here are some examples!
Dress 1 before: This was a very dated Italian silk… great fabric and a neat design with the handkerchief skirt. After: So fun and flirty – and light!!! The silk organza skirt moves beautifully and some cute flowers were added to the top
Dress 2 before: This poor dress had suffered too much damage from people pulling at the delicate fabric. There was still much that could be used, so we didn’t want to throw it away! Belinda worked her magic on this one! After: I especially love the shoulder detail that she added. The silk organza makes it super soft and supple, and the beading under the empire waist adds a beautiful focal point.
Dress 3 before: This dress was pretty before, but rather plain. After being on the racks for a while, we retired it until we could have a pro give it a second chance. After: I absolutely love the changes that were made. The addition of the asymmetrical floral embroidery is gorgeous, and the lace detailing at the top of the bodice and hem adds softness to the design. The colours now blend perfectly, and this short little number is just sweet!
Dress 4 before: WOW. This is a 4500 Euro dress made of fine Italian silk. But… very dated, almost Victorian in appearance! The transformation is incredible… see below! After: Again, a little more of the floral embroidery was added for interest, and this lovely ’60s inspired piece will find a home fast!
Belinda also included a few trendy pieces for more mature brides who aren’t looking for a full-length gown. Again, high end silks and laces were used to create some beautiful dresses, and these are the end product of her inspired creativity.
In total, we have at least 25 shorter dresses here, and many of the longer gowns can easily be converted!!! If you have any questions related to redesigning a dress, perhaps even your Mum’s gown, give Belinda a call. She can be reached at 905-790-8416 or drop her a line at email@example.com
We’d like to extend a huge Thank You to Pauline Scott of the Coach House Bridal Salon in Waterdown. She took the time and trouble to drive all the way in to Toronto to bring us about 50 dresses to add to our collection. We don’t have pics, because the minute we post a new dress, it’s gone… and indeed, several have found new homes already. We’re also grateful to several brides who dropped off their dresses this weekend, and one of those was snapped up within an hour!!!
Donations, whether big or small make a huge difference here! Thank you!
I just received a lovely note from Danielle just days after her perfect wedding. I absolutely LOVE to get notes and pics from the Big Day… it’s the icing on the cake when our crew has the joy of helping to find the perfect dress, and to know her veil was made by my own two hands! It’s so gratifying to see her with the glow and excitement on the day… looking beautiful and beaming… next to her new hubby.
Congratulations Danielle! You are stunning. We’re so glad you shared these pics taken by your future brother-in-law William Douglas McMaster, and wish you all a lifetime of happiness, love and laughter with your handsome hubby!
Sometimes our dresses are used for something a little different… and it’s pretty neat to see them in action Kevin Fox and his wife Sarah took this fabulous shot down near the Flatiron building on Front St. for their advertisement in Today’s Bride Magazine. Check it out! The bride isn’t chopped off at the knees… there is literally that much dress. And if she extended her arm, it would look like she was touching the top of the CN Tower!
As you’ll notice above, Kevin and Sarah own WeClick Photography, and their contact number is 647-799-9954. You can also see some of Kevin’s amazing work at Fox Photography. Check ‘em out if you’re looking for an extremely talented photo duo!
I’m absolutely delighted to share the great news that Brooke at Runway Bridal in Belleville made Christmas extra special at The Brides’ Project! Thanks so much Brooke for these STUNNING new additions to our inventory, I have no doubt that they will sell quickly and help us reach our $110,000 goal in 2013.
Make your appointment now to come and try on these delicious dresses.
Ever looked at a wedding dress and thought “I love it, except for…”? Well, you’re in luck. There is a lot that can be done for a dress with one element you don’t like. A seamstress can take a dated design and make it modern and one of a kind!
Often when we get dresses with a lot of hidden potential, we’ll give them to a seamstress to go all out and turn a dated gown into a lovely, unique dress. We get some amazing results back!
These redesigns by Samantha of Sparkle & Pomp have sold exceptionally quickly (the lace one is still available as I write this), but we wanted to show you some examples of the miracles that can happen when a seamstress gets creative with an outdated dress.
Before: 1980s puffy sleeve ballgown
After: 1950s-inspired charming tea-length gown
Before: 1970s with a whole lotta lace
After: Modern lines on a summery or destination dress
After: A chic, elegant gown with a touch of colour
Congrats to beautiful bride Jennifer and new husband Todd, who endured a snowstorm and the long drive from Sudbury to get her gown.
Jennifer looked absolutely radiant on her big day, and wrote in with these kind words:
I just wanted to say thank you for the all wonderful work that you do at the Brides Project. I heard about the amazing work you do from a friend and I was determined to find my own dream dress for my wedding.
I traveled in a snow storm from Sudbury, ON in March of this year to the Brides Project, determined to not leave without my dress. Amazingly, I found the perfect gown after trying on only three dresses. With only a few minor alterations, it was the perfect dress.
Not only was the dress absolutely gorgeous, I have spread awareness of the amazing work the Brides Project does for various cancer charities. A few upcoming brides from Sudbury will be making the four hour trip to Toronto to find their dress as well.
We had an absolutely beautiful wedding and I received many compliments on my dress. My new husband Todd absolutely loved it. I thought I would share a few pictures from our special day!!
The inbox was positively glowing with this email from recent newlywed, Erica, who not only bought her dress here, but her gorgeous custom headpiece, too!
It’s been 3 months since I got married and I’ve been meaning to write to you and say THANK YOU!
I first came in with a friend in 2010 looking for a dress for her wedding … we found the perfect dress. From that day on, I knew I was going to go back to you for my dress. The experience was perfect. No pressure, all fun and tonnes of laughter. It felt so right and good to be there. I came in with my sister in December 2011, not expecting to find anything because I was so early, but lo-and-behold I saw someone putting away my perfect dress. My sister immediately picked it off the rack and before she could zip it up I knew.
I loved it so much there that I had a head piece made by a volunteer of yours, Emma. She was wonderful. I met with her several times. She was completely accommodating, so talented and just amazingly down to earth!
Thank you times infinity!
More photos can be viewed at: http://kaiannephotography.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/wedding-along-unionville-mainstreet/
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge:
Time to share a beautiful email that’s been waiting patiently in our mailbox from Pip, ready to post:
I came in back in April of 2011 to purchase my dress with my mom. Even though our wedding wasn’t until June of 2012, I was determined to find my dress with you! It was almost perfect the day I tried it on! With a few little tweaks we had the final result seen in the pics below! I did have to try it on a few times in between just to make my heart flutter! I was so excited!
We had an incredible day filled with fun!
Below is the link to our photographer’s blog. Her photos were featured yesterday on the Style Me Pretty Canada site… Hope you enjoy!! We sure did and I had rave reviews, particularly from my husband about how much he LOVED my dress!
Not only did we love to read the email and see how happy (and svelte!) Pip looked in her dress, we also loved the nautical theme, the inclusion of their furry family, and the swoon factor in their wedding photos
Congratulations Pip & Jason!