The Ava’s Jewelry Collection

Ava Gardner was a extremely beautiful, strong and impulsive…  She also was glamous and sensuality, and over all, a huge jewelry collector.

The actress was owner of a classic collection of jewelry most of them dated in the 60’s and 70’s. The style – surprisingly – is very discreet, opposite to Ava’s character.

One of the first jewels that was gathered was the engagement ring Mickey Rooney gave to her the day they announced their wedding. That happened in a party in Romanoff. The fabulouse piece had a stepped brilliant with a weight of 6.35 carats.

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Other of the most emblematic pieces among her collection was a very elegant set of diamond earrings, designed with the form of a bouquet, with intercangeable pendants: diamond drops with the form of a pear, jadeite pearls, impressive drops of emerald and diamonds or pearl crowned with diamonds. In the movie The Cassandra Crossing she wore these earrings with drops of pearls. It’s such a versatile piece with a classic and beautiful design.

Ava also had in her collection a magnificent ring with a Kashmir sapphire, a gift from Howard Hughes who the actress returned it to when they broke up their relationship. A Kashmir sapphire is not a normal gem. They are the most famous and wanted sapphires in the world since they have a superb blue color that gave them the name of “sapphires of velvet”. Due to the rarity of these stones, they are considered almost mythical.

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Kashmir sapphires are not usually shown to the public, not even in the most important auctions. For you to have an idea of the price and rarity, the last piece sold in an auction was at Christie’s, where one of these 22.66 carats treasures was sold for over 3 million dollars to an anonymous buyer.

Like the rest of the women in her generation, Ava loved the pearls. For her wedding with Frank Sinatra back in 1951 she chose wearing a pearl necklace together with earrings matching.

But the best piece in the collection was a ring with emerald and diamonds designed by Van Cleef&Arpels. The emeral, a piece of 4.6 carats with a perfect definition and a brilliant green color, was set into a circle of diamonds in 1961 in New York.

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Some other highlighted pieces in Ava’s collection were:

  • An appealing bracelet of diamonds designed by Cleef&Arpels in the beginning of the 60’s. This same brand also made two brooches of diamonds with the form of a flower. The center of one of them had emerald set.
  • And one more brooch made with diamonds and cultivated pearls from Mississippi. The form of this brooch was beatiful: An angel sat over a cloud with rubies as hearts.

It’s clear so far that the Ava’s preferred jeweler was Cleef&Arpels. They were the designers of almost all her most important pieces.

However, in comparisson with other contemporary actress, Ava’s collection was quite small. Small but the most beautiful and one of the best of the time.

In 1989 she decided to sell part of her collection in New York. The rest of the jewels was auctioned not long after her death in London.

She’ll be always remembered like “the most beautiful animal in the world” and her jewelry collection like one of the most distinguished in the time.

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“Hollywood Jewels” by Penny Proddow, Debra Healy and Marion Fasel



Sam Levin

The Assemblies’ dresses in the Georgian England

The title of the show says everything: “Georgian, Dresses for polite society”. Although “polite” is not the term I’d use, to be honest… I’d use “reach” more likely!

If the city of Bath is beautiful by itself, this exhibition makes it even more likely to be visited. There’s no excuse anymore!

For those of you who are not from the UK, Bath is a city situated in the South West of England, in Somerset and its origins are from the Roman period (43 B.C), when a Roman bath and a temple were built in the valley of the Avon River. However the Georgian period did this city really popular. That is exactly the time many of us imagine when we think of the medieval times: sumptuous dresses and wonderful jewelry worn by those who happened to be born within the High Society.

Georgian - Dress for polite society 2 - Vintage by Lopez-Linares

Across Bath walked the Assemblies on their way to those famous local meetings that were popularize in the 18th century. But don’t think their events had something in common with our current Assemblies, since their meetings were huge parties to chat, show gallantry, play and over all, to dance. And then, their elegance dresses were crucial to show off how well positioned they were on society.

In 1771 the city – thanks to the quick grow in popularity – was worth housing a huge Assembly Room, today turned into the worldwide well-known Fashion Museum.

In total you’ll see 30 original gowns from the 18th century, each one worth admiring closely because of their distinguished fabrics. These clothes were made when George III was the King of England (his first years as the King) and show the most significant features of the High Society along two decades (1750 and 1760’s).

Georgians - Dress for polite society 4 - Vintage By Lopez-Linares

If you have the chance to pay a visit, you’ll be lucky enough to closely admire the richly patterned woven silks and the hand-made embroidered coats and waistcoats.

The exhibition will show you in the last months how that old fashion has influenced in some way out current trends. Designers like Anna Sui, Meadham Kirchhoff, Vivienne Westwood, Stephen Jones or Alexander McQueen will complete the show with their 18th century-inspired men clothes.

The exhibition will be open until the first of January of 2016, so you have enough time to plan a luxurious visit to this dreamy city.

Source and images:

Marie Curie: Shining in a world for men

She was born in Poland within a very humble family. However it was France the country that crossed her way to make her have a life worth being study, not only because of the science but of the sacrifice and bravery Marie Curie showed during her complicated life.

Born in 1867, she was explorer in so many different fields that it would be impossible to name them all. That was the glory of this woman, the first to obtain not one but two Nobel prizes; the first woman to be graduated in Science in La Soborna, the first woman who had a professorship and being buried thanks to her own achievements in the Mausoleum for Illustred Men in Paris.


A fascinating and wonderful person who fought to get her own path in a time when women were not allowed to have it. She lived in a society where intellectual and public responsabilities belonged to men and only men. However that wasn’t an issue: She fought to show the world her value with such patience that she seemed to know she was going to be successful some day.

Marya Skłodowska, Marie Curie, beyond the austere and cold look was a passionate both for science and her husband Pierre Curie.

She met him when she was 27, after getting the bacherlor’s degree at Physics as the first in the promotion and she was already being called Marie. She found her half in him, a partner on sicence and love who she had two daughters with. Their career together however was tragically cut short when a horse carriage run over him and killed him after 11 years of marriage.


Both were scientists but also humanists. Two persons totally convinced of the social situation around. Marie fell into a deep grief although she knew how to live beyond the pain and knew how to reinvent herself.

She educated her daughters so well that Irène, the older, won a Nobel Prize at Chemistry although she ended up dying young (59 years old) due to all the radiations she got during her professional life.

The same way Marie Curie suffered from a full life dedicated to physics. She knew she would pay the price and for decades she felt a huge fatigue. When she was 60 she was already a very weak woman.


In despite of being an expert in the field, neither she nor her husband saw the danger they faced every day with the experiments. A danger that caused the death to Marie Curie in 1934, when she was 67 years old.

She left for posterity her discoveries, awards and over all her headstrong spirit. The spirit of a woman who knew how to go further in a society that wasn’t ready nor willing to let her be. A woman who never was afraid of limits. A woman who deserves being remembered both for her contribution to science but also for her bravery.

Artículo escrito por @Esther Ginés




Mary Dayton Richards; A bride from the end of the 19th century

Mary Dayton Richards (1842-1921) and Milton Brayton Graff (1840-1877) were married in 1869 in Manhattan. By that time, the wedding gowns were long and with a elliptical skirt. However the trend for brides was about to change.

She – who was very thin – decided to wear a beautiful dress in pure white made in a kind of shiffon. Nowadays it’s not common anymore for brides to wear such a white dress but other tonalities of white like cream or ivory.

The sort of shiffon she used was origin from India and it was very similar to muslin but with a thinner weave and a rigid consistency.


Mary’s dress was a very common model back in the 19th century: it was modest with a demure style like the fashion rules dictated in the time. It had a cute bodice with round neckline and central set of buttons, with a little arpon made of flounces in the same fabric that the rest of the dress. Of course, since the fabric was so transparent, it had a cotton lining to show consistency.

The sleeves were semi transparent as they didn’t get the cotton lining below from the elbow down.

The superb skirt was made by a couple of overskirts (one shorter than the other) resting over a petticoat, with an undulating ending in the same fabric. The drawing was actually a bit modern for the time.


Mary and Milton were married in Manhattan, where she was born, although the couple got back to the groom’s home – Cincinnati – right after the ceremony. He was working there as a psychologist.

They lived together with Milton’s parents, Jacob and May Ann Graff in the west of the city. Between 1850 and 1890 the wealthy businessmens built there impressive Italian-style houses and the area started being called “The Walk of the Millionaires”.

Sadly, the marriage was broken in just a few years due to Milton’s death in 1875. After 5 years, Mary built her own house in Glendale (Ohio), in a community only 15 miles away from Cincinnati.

Glendale was the summer house for rich people from Cincinnati, who wanted to scape from the noise and contamination of a big city. Probably was that and the quite surroundings what grabbed Mary’s attention. She lived there with her two children until she died in 1921.

129, Dayton Street


Wedded Perfection. Cynthia Amnéus.


Wedded Perfection. Cynthia Amnéus.

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The jewels witness of the most touching love story in the Renaissance: Margherita Luti

According to the legend, Raffaello Sanzio, known as Raphael, fell in love with Margherita Luti while she was washing her feet under the Tiber river. The love he felt was so appasionate that he couldn’t concéntrate while he finished an order from the reach banker Agostino Chigi. The client was so desperate that finally he moved Margherita into a house close to Raphael, in order to let him finish his work.

And then he painted Margherita… And in both paintings appear the Historic Jewels I want to talk you about today: In the impressive “La Veleta” and “La Fornarina”

“La Veleta” was made in 1516 and Margherita poses wearing rich clothes and a veil in silk (apparently) and over her hair she wears an appealing ornament with a pearl and a ruby. It’s almost stuck to her careless hair (a proof of her adulterous life). This piece is very similar to the one whe also wears in “La Fornarina”, under a turban this time (a common accesory by the time). I’d say both jewels are the same.


And here I bring them both to you: One over a thin chiffon and the other one over a rich silk brocade.

But let’s digg deeper into the amazing life Margherita had and the touching love story between she and Raphael…

In 1514 Raphael got engaged with Maria Bibbiena, Cardinal Medici Bibbiena’s niece. But this marriage never was consummated. His mind and heart were with his true love: Margherita Luti, “La Fornarina”. Margherita was Francesco Luti’s daughter, the owner of the bakery Fornaio de Siena. Her humble condition stopped the family from marrying Margherita to Raphael, a very recognized artist in the time. So she had to resign herlself with being his lover.

It’s possible the most reliable proof of this romance was the painting “La Fornarina”, where Margherita poses half naked only covered by a soft and thin silk, holding a breast with her right hand. According to the history, this painting was hidden in his studio and only a few knew about its existance.


Like in the good love stories, this one between Raphael and La Fornarina had a sad engind. After a night together, he fell ill and died 15 days after. The artist left enough money to Margherita to finish her days without any trouble. However her plans were different. The pain was such that she joined the Convent Santa Apolonia in Santa Dorotea where she lived the rest on her life. She never touched the fortune Raphael had left her.

This is one of the most beautiful love stories in Rome during the Renaissance, linked to a jewel that already is in our Historic Jewels Collection.



@María Vintage Photography



Frida Kahlo: Icon of strength against life adversities

She knew how to recover after a tragic accident that marked her life as a teenager. Back then many people started admiring her because of her bravery. However, the Mexican artista Fidra Kahlo (1907-1954) was much more than just a fighter. Nowadays she’s considered one of the most relevant women over the last century.

She was interesting, close and extremely independent. She actually was the pioneer about women emancipation. For many years people only saw in her the partner of a great Mexican muralist, the painter Diego Rivera, but her over 200 works have left a deep track in her contemporary colleagues as well as following generations.


Her wish of independency, far from Diego Rivera both economically and professionally, is the reflection of her innate artist heart. Of course Rivera and his way of understanding art influenced Frida, but studies showed that without him, she would have succeeded the same way.

Frida had a complicated life specially marked for that accident that kept her on bed for long periods of time as well as under constant surgeries. Her need of analyze herself through her art also was a way of over complicate things.


She left us before she was 50 years old, but the life that hit her also allowed her to enjoy really intense relationships – mainly sentimental- and also let her be witness of one of the most relevant cultural and political times in History.

She shared experiences with Picasso, André Breton or even Trotski. All of them admired her because of her magnetism. She was photographed many times accompanied by the pets she truly loved and wearing her well-known native costume. She used to show that way her love for Mexico. Her art is nowadays universal and her –strongly biographic- work has been showed in the best museums in the world.


In the 21st century Frida Kahlo is already an icon, not only because of her art though but for her humanity. That is what makes her different from Diego Rivera whose influence always was artistic and political.

Going deeper into Frida’s self-portraits is like read a fascinating biography. The accident where she broke her column in three parts would have finished with the wish of living in most of the cases but she went on. “I tried to drown my pains but they learnt how to swimm”, wrote a woman who rowed against adversity.

Artículo escrito por @Esther Ginés




The high society’s jewelry in the Renaissance: Lucrezia Panciatichi

Lucrezia, the beautiful wife of the Florentine politic Bartolomeo Panciatichi, has come to us in a stunning portrait with no background, where is seems Bronzino, the Renaissance artist who painted it, did want us to focus our glance on this aristocratic amazing woman.

And I don’t blame it… Over her slim and elegant neckline a pearl necklace rests, with a brooch holding from the middle. Then underneath there’s a long gold chain with a little inscription on it that says “Sin fin amour Duré” (love should last forever).


And in her left hand she wears a little ring in gold and ruby that easily might have been her engagement ring, a piece that is today our protagonist in our Historic Jewels Collection.

The luxurious dress in sateen and red velvet defines her cold and quite beauty. Bronzino made a very good job playing with lights and shadows along her figure.

Lucrezia holds with the right hand a little prayer book over her lap. It seems she was waiting for the artista to tell her it was finished to just keep naturally reading.

The humanist and politic Bartolomeo Panciatichi’s whife since 1528, Lucrezia Panciatichi was inmortalized together with her husband by the artista Angelo di Cosimo, il Bronzino (1503-1572), who always worked under Michelangelo’s shade. Back in that time the art in the city of Florence was controlled by two huge names: The Medici family and Michelangelo.


Bartolomeo Panciatichi was son of Bartolome “The Old” and belonged to a very influent family of businessmen from Pistoia. They owned a business in the French city Lyon, a place very popular in that time due to the strategic situation it had as a central point of France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

Bartolomeo did rather prefer to carry on with his career as an humanist and politic and left aside the familiar business whe he was very young. In Lyon he met Lucrezia and after a few years the whole family moved in to Florence. There he achieved very good positions as an important politic and became in one of the most influential men in his time.

And his spouse, a lady who in this portrait rests solemn, dmure, elegant, devoted and quite symbolises Renacentist women in the high society.

Giorgio Vasari referred to this painting with these words: “…portraits of his and hers are so natural that seems to be really alive, and only surprises the spirit”

Both Bronzino’s portraits are shown in the Uffizzi’s gallery in Florence.



Imágenes: María Vintage Photography 

Merle Oberon and the most photaphed Catier’s necklace

Merle Oberon was the alias of Estelle Merle O’Brien Thompson, a British actress who was born in Tasmania by the beginning of the 20th century. She is the first protagonist of our new section “Collectors of Jewelry of the History”

Merle Oberon was living in India until she was 17, when she moved out to London on the purpose of becoming a successful actress in cinema.

Her better good luck came when the productor and director Alexander Korda found out about her by chance back in 1930. He made her shine as one of the big ladies in British theatres during the 40’s. The ended up getting married and he was one of the first ones who started giving her away really expensive jewelry.


Merle Oberon wearing the necklace that Napoleon Bonaparte gave to Baroness Haussmann.

One of the very first pieces she acquired was an old necklace in diamonds and emeralds that apparently was a gift from Napoleon the Third to the Baroness Haussmann. It’s said that was his way to thank her for the role of her husband in the new and more modern Paris. Thanks to the alterations made in Paris, this city became in just two decades into the most modern capital in the world. Merle worn the piece in movies like The Divorce of Lady X and Of Love And Desire. Later Merle Oberon removed two tears to the necklace in order to make them earrings.

In 1939 after her marriage, Alexandre got her one of the pieces most beautiful in her collection (at least, it is to me): a Cartier’s piece made with three flowered-formed brooches. The one in the middle, the biggest one, has a charming detail on it: the pistils are diamonds with some movement which adds beauty to the whole piece. These brooches were originary designed to be worn as hair clips but Merle preferred to let them be brooches or even cameos. Sadly after she died the three pieces were sold separately.

There’s a curiosity here that you’ll love to know: a few years later, the Princess Elizabeth of England would get a especial wedding gift from the Prince Philip of Greece: a tiara with three identical flower-formed clips designed by Cartier. Elizabeth II removed them to wear them separately and she did so in many occasions.


Merle Oberon wearing the Cartier’s three-flowered clip that was supposed to be a hair clip in the origins. Photocourtesy of Fine Art America

However, the most amazing piece within her collection is a necklace of diamonds and 29 emeralds from the Baroque that Korda gave her in 1939. The piece fitted her very nicely due to her exotic beauty. The necklace has a very original design for the time especially because of the sensual and elegant form the emeralds are linked.

The story of this piece is very curious indeed and show how humans always want badly what others have. It seemed the necklace meant to be acquired by the designer Elsa Schiaparelli. However Merle saw it in a store in Paris and when she asked the seller about it, she was said the piece had another admirer. Merle didn’t believe the man and thought it was a strategy to sell it to her. After a few days she realized the seller was right when she passed by the store and the jewel had gone. Her mysterious rival was in a fitting room trying on the piece.

The day after Merle went back to the shop to see if the necklace was still there and she saw how Elsa Schiaparelli leaving the place. She came back so devastated that her husband went out, straight away to the jeweller’s and after asking for the piece he surprisingly got it. The stunning 29 emerald will shine in her exotic neckline from that moment onwards.

Merle Obedon's Big Jewelry Collectors in History  Vintage By Lopez-Linares (4)

Merle enjoyed that necklace until she died. 

Cartier 1938, 29 stunning Baroque emeralds like tears, linked with platinum and diamonds, 44 cm long and finished in 2,642,500 CHF. This is one of the Cartier’s necklace most photographed ever.

Link to the necklace in the Catalog Antiquorum

Other pieces in her collection:


  • A set of two clips designed by Cartier with flowered diamonds, one with the pistil in diamonds and the other with rubies. They might be worn together of separately. Other option was making a bracelet with them. Merle had this bracelet in the movie Til We Meet Again in 1940.
  •   A brooch with saphires and diamonds by Cartier, also detachable to wear as a clip. The piece was set with an oval saphire and petals in diamonds. The stem (also in diamonds) was sold separately. Merle worn this piece many times, not only the clip but also the brooch as a short necklace. I’m sure Merle loved Cartier’s jewelry and the versality of his work.
  •  By the end of the 50’s and 60’s she acquired and changed a big amount of jewelry. She spent a time living in Rome where she got a Bulgari’s brooch with diamonds and rubies. Bulgari also created for her an elegant bag in a non-conventional design (acorn).
  • Van Cleef&Arpels was other of the preferred Merle’s designers during the 70’s. Among her collection is a set of a brooch, earrings and a necklace with turquoises and diamonds in pink that could be transformed into a brooch and a bracelet.
  •  Merle also had a small but good collection of rubies that included an spectacular necklace by David Webb who also made for her a ring and earrings with a big oval ruby in the center.

Most of these pieces were sold in an auction in New York back in 1980, exactly a year after she passed away.

Merle Oberon had a really beautiful and huge jewelry collection.

Pictures and biography

 “Hollywood Jewels” by Penny Proddow, Debra Healy and Marion Fasel

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A Century of Street Style

The fact that the street photo style phenomenon was born with Scott Schuman is like saying this gentelman invented the hot water. “There is no news under the Sun” and the only exception to this proverb is Steve Jobs who is probably pointing at his iPad and smiling at me from somewhere up there…

It’s also popular the saying that the ideas don’t know further onwer than the one who dares to actually make them real. So according to this, we do have to recognize Scott Schuman’s the achievement of getting benefits from an old idea such as the street style. You’ll probably have read enough about this photo discipline and I have no much to add. There are many blogs with an only section dedicated to the style of the streets, which goes much further than the catwalks.

Street Style  photography  Vintage by Lopez-Linares Edward-Linley-Sambourne-Carmen-Velarde (2)

When this style started being famous online, the argument to justify the excessive enthusiasm was to affirm that the designers looked to these pictures in order to find some divine inspiration to create their collections. However, the style has reached such a renown online that now brands use this sort of pictures that seem to be very natural shots, which works as a gold mine to get their online customer’s attention.  We are again admiring an art that imitates life, or life that imitates an art.

The momentum of the street style on blogs has already passed and now it’s turn for magazines that prefer to pay for pictures of around the catwalk rather than the ones of the fashion show. Then in this case protagonists have nothing to do with the original spontaneity of this discipline.

Street Style  photography  Vintage by Lopez-Linares Edward-Linley-Sambourne-Carmen-Velarde (3)

And before I leave you with these wonderful images from the beginning of the 20th century by the photographer and illustrator Edward Linley Sambourne, I’d like to add my point of view about the “egobloggers”, those young girls who love to publish their fashion designs in a blog. I’m convinced they shouldn’t be considered as a part of the street sytle, although they tried once and again to incorporate this word to their post titles.

The especial situation of the real street style is the luck of premeditation, the spontaneous and unexpected shot and definately not in the creation of a “casual activity” wearing a design to show it in a blog. Said that, please, enjoy the following images. Also try to swap the books in their hands with an iPhone or a Blackberry and you’ll realize these trendsetters’ poses have not changed that much along a hundred years.

Street Style  photography  Vintage by Lopez-Linares Edward-Linley-Sambourne-Carmen-Velarde (4)

Photographies | The Library Time Machine

A vintage wedding gown with courage and sensitivity

Why a daughter would want to wear her mother’s wedding dress? I’ve been thinking so much about this lately that I’ve decided to start a few posts around this theme: old bridal gowns and the stories and protagonists behind.

And the first story I want to share with you today is all but boring. I’ve been looking into the full story and I’ve been amazed with so many odd anecdotes. You know how I love digging into old stories from the past…

This time it wasn’t the lack of money what took Mary Mulenberg Hopkings into wearing the same gown her mother Mary Barr Denny Muhlenberg had worn 28 years ealier. Back in the time Mary (daughter) got married with one of the inheritors in the area. It was clear to me though her motives were sentimental.

Mary Barr Denny Muhlenber's original wedding dress before any retouch  Vintage By Lopez  Linares

The fashion trends had totally changed since then but the daughter only touched the neckline a bit in order to make it more modest and also changed a little the design of the sleeves, but nothing else. I assume they should have had about the same size.

Mary the mother had been a woman surprisingly well prepared for the time. She stood up over the rest of the students in the prestigious Parcker Institute, in Brooklyn, where she joined advanced Maths and Astronomy, among other subjects. This knowledge along with her personality allowed her to continue working on the projects her husband left unattended when he died.

Mary Muhlenberg's bridal gown after the retouch  Vintage By Lopez Linares

She inherited a huge fortune which didn’t stop her from becoming into an incredible philantropic for the rest of her life. Hospitals, medical institutions, orphanages, schools and universities were a few of the projects Mary started besides her shy and discreet nature.

Mary made real the most ambitious project ever built by a woman in the time, the creation of the Mariemont Village in Hamilton, Ohio. It was a very advanced city with all the amenities you could imagine.

But Mariemont’s story goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, when her husband bought a ranch near Newport, Rhode Island. He called it Mariemont. There the couple spent wonderful times and started dreaming of how the project would be.

After Thomas’ passing, Mary spent over 7 million dollars to adquire all lands around her ranch. She needed a lot of space to build her dream city: a model place ready to embrace people from all levels, either buying or renting family houses.

Mary Barr Denny Muhlenber Vintage By Lopez  Linares

Mary placed the first stone of Mariemont Village on April 23rd 1923, but she died four years later leaving her heirs enjoying her magnanimous creation: one of the biggest construction in the beginning of the 20th century that employed the most prominent professionals.

I’m sure her mother would have been very proud of the role Mary played in the development of the US. She, a woman with the sensitivity of wearing the same wedding gown as her mother did had the courage of build one of the most ambitious constructions of the time.

Composition with the bridal gown Mary Muhlenberg and her mother worn before and after the retouch  Vintage By Lopez Linares

Here’s a mosaic with the two bridal dresses, the original one and then with the changes Mary did. Which one you like it more? I’d rather prefer the first option… The new neckline and sleeves don’t convinced me. How about you?

Images and Bibliography

Wedding Perfection- Two Centuries of wedding Gowns- Cynthia Amnèus.