Strumpet Bride? Bella Figura?

April 2, 2011

A shop window in small-town Sicily: bridal mini-gown.

Che pensi? Whaddya think?

The height of chic? The depths of kitsch?

Would you wear it?

Sicilian Bridal Gown in shop window, copyright Jann Huizenga

One thing’s for sure. Conservative old Sicily is on the march.

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15 comments to Strumpet Bride? Bella Figura?

  • I didn’t grow up there Jann, but I was married there. The day before my wedding, the pastor called me to the church to ask about the style of my gown. Being American he was afraid I might wear something risque for the occasion. I do know, they still don’t allow you to enter a church anywhere in Italy if your arms, shoulders or legs are bear. I’m well aware that Sicily has changed much in the last fifty years, and I have been back many times to witness these changes.

  • Dennis Berry

    I read the book in 1989 while living in Palermo. My quote may be a little off.
    “Non ho sognato di Principe Azzurro. Volevo i pantaloni.” You have come a long
    way Lara Cardella.

    • Jann

      Dennis, I remember that book! Yes, women have come a long way in Sicily. (Still a long way to go, tho…)

  • louciao

    I must admit to a slight addiction to a tv show called “Say Yes to the Dress” which is about women choosing their bride dresses at a shop in NYC. I am enthralled and appalled at the fashions. There are a lot of numbers with corsets involved and see through lace bodices that would definitely require a Brazilian before wearing…and I’m not referring to a groom from South America!

  • This is what we called High Camp in the 1960’s and 1970’s, something with an aesthetic of vulgarity, bad taste, pricey ostentation and shocking excess. The store on the other hand will get a lot of attention!
    Bella figura? NOT!
    Ciao, Giovanna

  • Josephine

    I’m wondering what the top of the gown looks like. Are the arms bare or the neckline plunging or strapless? I have a feeling the bride would not get far into the church with this gown. I can’t imagine being thrown out of church on one’s wedding day or possibly being covered by someone’s overcoat.

    • Jann

      Yes, Jo–it’s strapless. I think things have really changed in Sicily since you grew up there!

  • Molto fico! I think it is great! You spend all that money on great shoes for your wedding and no one ever sees them…with this dress now they will! It’s all about the shoes on your wedding day, isn’t it!??! 😉 Seriously, on just the right slip of a girl, with just the right attitude and panache this dress could be a real knock out. The thing I absolutely love about Italy is the way Italians combine old world tradition with cutting edge fashion – the tension between the two keeps you on your toes…o meglio on your five inch heels!

    • Jann

      Good point, Melissa, about the shoes! Otherwise the scarpette really do go to waste, don’t they?

  • sandee koeze wheeler

    I think it will be in that shop window a LONG time! Would anyone really buy it, or is it just an attention getter??

  • It looks more like wedding night lingerie… not sure i could walk down the aisle in that in a CHURCH in front of my parents and in-laws…

  • Jann, I’m having a love/hate relationship with this bridal dress. On the one hand, I love that it is form-fitting, the color of the lace, the tiered ruffles and the train. On the other hand, I keep wondering if they ran out of material and had to shorten the length in the front like that. I think it were all one length it would make for a more stately, elegant and delicate bridal dress. But that’s just me!

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