Hitting the road in her shiny turquoise and white Airstream travel trailer, Ashley Morra is a vintage vision.
Inspired by the popularity of food trucks and home trunk shows, Morra combined her expertise as a bridal consultant with her love for vintage fashion from the 1950s and 1960s to create Ida Lou Weddings (idalouweddings.com), a mobile vintage bridal and special occasion boutique.
Morra purchased the vintage trailer and outfitted it in chic, feminine midcentury style with plush velvet seating, crystal sconces, a full-length mirror, pressing station, gown racks and more. Armed with vintage frocks collected over the years, Morra travels to photo shoots, weddings and other special events to provide on-site styling services.
The trailer allows Morra to exercise her bridal consultant skills on her own terms.
“I came to the conclusion that I needed to express my own unique style and channel my abilities into something that was missing in the industry and still allowed me to work with other wedding vendors,” she says.
Morra’s collection of vintage gowns are for borrowing, but clients can order custom vintage-style dresses inspired by Morra’s collection of vintage patterns and created by UNC grad and designer Lillian Maura Stewart.
“The patterns cater to individuals who love the designs of the period and desire a custom-made gown with an emphasis on color,” says Morra.
Vintage looks from the ’50s and ’60s have become increasingly popular over the years, particularly in the bridal world. Morra points to several factors that give looks from that era an enduring appeal.
“If you take a look back in the history of wedding dress design, the decade of the 1950s proved to be a pivotal period for the development of the wedding industry and the bridal gown,” she says. “Prompted by WWII, when soldiers returned from war, the country focused on reuniting loved ones as well as providing opportunities for education and jobs – the opportunity to live the American dream. Simultaneously, Christian Dior unveiled the ‘New Look,’ a fashion line that focused on femininity.”
Morra’s clients often draw inspiration from the glamorous stars of that day – Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor – and aspire to incorporate a little of that ’50s charm into their modern celebrations.
Morra currently offers a selection of vintage accessories such as brooches, purses, fur wraps and the like that can be incorporated into her clients’ looks. She also has plans to add custom vintage-inspired accessories in the future.
As her business continues to grow, Morra says working with her clients to create an uncommon bridal experience is what drives her.
“I enjoy the challenge and excitement that surrounds the experience of working with brides,” she says. “I love learning about their interests, dreams and style preferences and finding the perfect gown that would make their wedding day one that they would treasure forever.”
Winter Beauty Event
Nordstrom’s beauty experts will offer skin care tips and techniques during the store’s winter beauty event on Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Streets at Southpoint location in Durham. Customers who spend $125 or more in the store’s beauty department during the event will receive a cosmetic bag gift. To schedule an appointment, call 919-806-3700.
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