The new face of Under the Vintage Veil – a contemporary take on our vintage icons

Today is a very proud day for the Under the Vintage Veil team. We have been working extremely hard behind the scenes for months now to bring you the new, revamped blog. Earlier today we posted all about the new look Under the Vintage Veil, our exciting new features and we announced the impending launch of our sister vintage lifestyle blog, Over the Vintage Threshold.

We believe in showing, not telling you about the essence of the new blog, and after much thought and planning, we decided to do this in the form of a very special photoshoot…

A contemporary take on our vintage icons

I love getting dressed up in full vintage-inspired gear, going to events inspired by the past and really getting into the spirit of the vintage world. But in my day-to-day life, and in the wedding world, my passion is putting a modern twist on the nostalgic – taking the best elements from bygone eras and wearing or styling them in a way that has a universal appeal.

When I was planning this shoot, I really had the Under the Vintage Veil girl in mind – the girl that loves old Hollywood glamour, the quirky girl that isn’t afraid to laugh at herself, the girl that isn’t afraid to be a woman, to really know herself and wear herself with confidence and pride. Our readers are amazing, strong, passionate women. They are supportive and kind on the inside and that translates into divine elegance on the outside. The pictures you’re about to see represent who these women are inside and out, who they can be if they let their star really shine.

We chose women that we admire and brought their look into the 21st century, each has a tragic story, insecurities, flaws but with these foibles, an undeniable radiance and grace that has translated through time to make them some of the most famous and iconic women in history.

Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Rita Hayworth were our vintage fashion icons

We split the photoshoot into two sections. The first is an old, Hollywood glamour-inspired shoot, celebrating the past and bringing it into the present. These images are how we would like to introduce the new Under the Vintage Veil, with glamorous gowns we can just see our brides rocking, simple beauty shots, our ladies under a spotlight.

The second set of images are how we would like to introduce Over the Vintage Threshold (launch date TBC), with a more fashion-forward feel as we celebrate the new, but still keeping our silver screen siren inspiration.

The team – where you can get the look


For such a special shoot, we had to make sure we had an exceptional team. After receiving hundreds of submissions from amazingly talented photographers, one in particular stood out. Karina from Richmond Pictures was the perfect choice for this shoot. With years of fashion photography experience behind her, as well as her job shooting weddings, her portfolio on both the fashion and weddings side of the photography world was just incredible.

We were so impressed with her images, we knew she could effortlessly bridge the gap between weddings and fashion, capturing the new look we’ve created for the blog. The minute I met Karina for a coffee and a planning session, I knew the shoot was going to be a success. Not only was she the epitome of a Veilgirl, strong, independent, radiant, but she just got the concept. She’s the kind of artist that listens, understands and throws herself in wholeheartedly. I can imagine she’s the type of photographer that will feel like your best mate by the time your wedding comes around, I hope this is the first of many collaborations with Richmond Pictures.

Hair and make up

The next challenge was finding the right hair and make-up team. After reviewing hundreds of portfolios, we chose to work with Jenn Edwards on hair – her style was so versatile, she is just a true hair expert – and unbelievably sweet, a perfectionist and everything I could have asked for. All the hairstyles you see below are dreamed up by Jenn, based on pictures of the women we wanted to celebrate, her creativity and passion just blew me away.

Her stunning hair creations were matched by the very fabulous Ellie from The Beauty Aisle. An absolute pro, Ellie is also a wedding supplier with a fashion flare. She has made up famous fashion faces and fresh-faced brides alike. Her work on the day was stunning, not only was she calm, patient, funny and unfailingly professional, she was just an absolute expert – I felt completely comfortable to let go and trust her to do what she does best.

Gowns, shoes and accessories

While we wanted the shoot to be aspirational, elegant and fashion forward, we also wanted everything we did to be affordable and achievable for our readers. The perfect gift dropped into our laps and we used beautiful gowns from Wish Want Wear, a fabulous designer dress and accessories hire company, bursting with creations from labels such as Temperley London, BadgleyMischka, Just Cavalli and many, many more. It was the perfect way to show women how glamorous they can look at their wedding and at special occasions without breaking the bank – they stock gowns in all shapes and sizes too, so being slightly curvier myself I was like a kid in a candy shop picking out gowns to wear.

Such stunning gowns needed to be paired with beautiful accessories and shoes. Some of the dresses went perfectly with some authentic vintage shoes from my own collection, and the rest were provided by the absolutely exquisite Emmy Shoes (we will list where these appear). Glitzy Secrets was the perfect choice for jewellery. The pieces they sent us were divine, extravagant and dripping with old Hollywood glamour. We felt so special wearing the Glitzy Secrets pieces, especially as we paired them with stunning vintage-inspired feather fans from Britten Weddings.

The venue

All of this glamour needed a backdrop to do it justice, and we found that in The George in Rye. I cannot begin to express in words what an incredible venue this is. I’ll start with the look venue itself – everything about this fabulous little hotel is just breathtaking. From the modern, luxurious take on vintage design that carries through the whole hotel (oh my goodness, the bedrooms are just divine) to the awe-inspiring wallpapered ballroom, set in the picturesque town of Rye in East Sussex, this is a flawless venue for vintage-loving brides. The beauty of the venue was surpassed only by the excellence and competence of the team behind it. Karen from events couldn’t do enough for us, and I happened to glimpse the team checking out a lovely bride and groom who had their wedding there the day before, their professionalism, good nature and friendliness was above and beyond. I’ve worked with a lot of venues in my time, but I have to say without hesitation that The George in Rye was my favourite by miles. It was just unparalleled, ticked every single box and we were so honoured and happy to shoot there. I would go so far as to say that if I was planning my wedding over again, I would choose The George as my own venue.

The models

I decided not to use professional models in this shoot but to put my money where my mouth was and model in it myself, taking two beautiful women with me to help me show off the fabulous set up. I decided to embody Rita Hayworth, while her life, particularly her self image, was complicated (to say the least) she was a fiery, passionate woman with an inner beauty that shone through all the cosmetics. I chose Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn as inspirations respectively for the same reasons, and asked my cousin Ella (a fantastic singer / songwriter – catch her video, Missing You, here) and my very dear friend Heather to play the respective roles. Keeping it in the family was so important, not only because we’ll have the most fabulous family pictures around for Grandma’s epic photo wall (hehe) but because I really know these women – they both have that same beauty within them that shines light on everyone around them, and I wanted to show them off to the world.

Introducing the new Under the Vintage Veil

Marilyn Monroe

Ella is styled as a modern take on Marilyn Monroe. She is wearing the Golden Opulence Gown by David Meister at Wish Want Wear, which brides and wedding guests can hire from £100. The dress is paired with shoes by Emmy Shoes and jewellery from Glitzy Secrets, my favourite piece is the Heirloom of Gold Cuff, which is a steal at £34. 

All photoshoot images © 2013 Richmond Pictures

Audrey Hepburn

Heather is wearing Shirred Skirt Halter Gown from Badgley Mischka, available to rent from Wish Want Wear at £115. Her standout piece from Glitzy Secrets is the Classic Romance Tiara at £65, which was just so Audrey, we had to have it! Her fabulous feather fan is from Britten Weddings and her gorgeous shoes are from Emmy Shoes

Rita Hayworth

That’s me (Sara) modelling as a modern-day Rita Hayworth. I’m wearing a sequin halter gown by Badgley Mischka at Wish Want Wear, which is available to hire from just £80. My favourite Glitzy Secret treasures are the Golden Heirloom Earrings, which retail at £36 and look fabulous framed by a Britten Weddings fan – I have some beautiful Emmy shoes on my feet. 

Introducing Over the Vintage Threshold – our sister vintage

inspired lifestyle blog

Marilyn Monroe

Our modern-day Marilyn got a whole new fashion-forward look for this next set of images. Ella is wearing the Baroque Border Dress from Just Cavalli, £55 to hire at Wish Want Wear teamed with jewellery from Glitzy Secrets. 

Audrey Hepburn

Heather is rocking nudes and whites in the Lilianna gown from Alice by Temperley at Wish Want Wear, just £75 to rent. Her showstopping bangle is the Vine of Yester Year Bangle from Glitzy Secrets, £32.

Rita Hayworth

I’m modelling the Keira gown by Nicole Miller at Wish Want Wear (£100 to hire) paired with the Irlaisa jacket by Malene Birger at Wish Want Wear, available to hire for £80. My favourite piece of jewellery is the Exquisite Charm Necklace from Glitzy Secrets, the pinnacle of opulence for just £78. My shoes are a gift from my grandma Rosella’s wardrobe! 



Sara Gibbs from Under the Vintage Veil – stylist, coordinator and model (Rita).
Karina from Richmond Pictures – photographer
The George in Rye (with special thanks to Karen from The George and Gabi from Something Blue PR)
Wish Want Wear – all gowns
Emmy Shoes (several of the shoes were kindly lent by Emmy Shoes, the other half are models’ own / original vintage pieces)
Glitzy Secrets – jewellery
Britten Weddings – feather fans
Jenn Edwards – hair artist
Ellie from The Beauty Aisle – make-up artist
 Singer, Ella Doron (Marilyn) and Heather (Audrey) – our beautiful models
John – my lovely husband, extra pair of hands, driver, lifter, photographer’s assistant, cheerleader…

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