I absolutely adore the idea of a bespoke headpiece for my wedding day next year, especially a genuine vintage and reworked piece.
This week on Dotty Vintage Weddings, it’s all about breaking wedding traditions, and having personalised wedding attire is something that I consider to be really important for my special day. And speaking of breaking the rules, did you see our fabulous weekly feature from Curly Chops Design this week? Faye put together a fantastic moodboard, full of non-traditional wedding traditions!
I’ve made the decision to have a bespoke wedding dress made for my wedding next year, because none of the high street retailers, online shops or traditional wedding boutiques could offer what I really wanted. My wedding dress is now in the highly capable and creative hands of Annalise Harvey, and you can read about how I reached my decision in this post.
It’s been a similar story when it comes to finding bridal accessories and jewellery. I’ve trawled online, browsed in the shops, and while you can of course get some lovely pieces for next to nothing, it’s all about weighing up how important it is for you to be unique. A designer like Valerie, from TrifleRabbit, takes genuine vintage pieces, and reworks them into beautiful bridal designs. This means that the pieces she produces are often one of a kind, and she also takes on bespoke commissions.
I have huge admiration for Valerie who started her business on 1st January 2013. She works incredibly hard and I’m delighted to be featuring her work on Dotty Vintage Weddings. This first beautiful image is courtesy of Beki Young and the rest were taken by Valerie herself.
*Dotty Loves* The combination of pearls and feathers just ooze vintage glamour *Dotty Loves*
Who works behind the scenes at TrifleRabbit?
TrifleRabbit is just me! I choose the pieces of vintage jewellery and these inspire the designs that I make. I get lots of support and encouragement from my other half and he’s the designated driver whenever needed!
I do get lots of interference from my cat, Paloma. She loves pretty, sparkly things and has a particular interest in playing with the wire that I use when making my pieces. Sometimes I lay out a combination of pieces in my workshop and leave it for a while and move things around until I’m totally happy with the design … Paloma likes to move things around for me!
*Dotty Loves* This beautiful piece uses a gorgeous pale purple enamel, on a silvertone band *Dotty Loves*
What inspired you to start the business?
My daughter’s wedding. I was inspired to make a unique, heirloom piece of headwear for Georgia to wear for her wedding. I ended up making two for her (one for the daytime and a lighter piece for the evening), one for each of the bridesmaids and one for the flower girl – all made using vintage jewellery.
I hate the idea of waste, love the concept of upcycling and have always loved vintage jewellery. Taking carefully selected pieces of vintage jewellery and designing and making tiaras and headwear from these pieces makes me happy. Many pieces of vintage jewellery are no longer appreciated or worn so it’s a real pleasure to combine them into my designs of unique pieces of headwear that people want to wear, keep and hopefully pass on to someone else in the future. Heirloom pieces.
Quick overview of different pieces
I currently have three collections. Vintage Tiaras and Vintage Combs which are both made from and inspired by the vintage jewellery that I choose to work with. My other collection is Vintage Lace and Floral where I use pieces of vintage lace.
The Vintage Tiara Collection includes many different styles including coloured pieces and some with feathers. The designs evolve from the jewellery I choose so I never know what’s coming next! Sometimes I find a fabulous piece of vintage jewellery but don’t have other pieces that I think will work with it and it could be weeks – maybe even months – before something else turns up that I’m happy will combine with it to make the perfect design.
*Dotty Loves* Three beautiful brooches, one beautiful headpiece! *Dotty Loves*
Will I get a one-off piece?
Every piece of vintage jewellery headwear that I make is unique, a one-off. Pieces may be similar in style or have some elements that are the same but because I work with vintage jewellery – no two pieces will ever be identical. If you see a style that you like on my website but it’s already sold, I will work to find pieces to make a similar piece – but it definitely wouldn’t be identical!
I have a vintage brooch from my mother I’d like incorporated into a bespoke piece, can you help?
I offer a bespoke service and would be more than happy to discuss the possibilities of incorporating the vintage brooch into a design. I love the idea of including a piece of jewellery that has a special significance or sentimental value.
I would work with you to find out all of your ideas for your headpiece and then send you photographs of groups of vintage pieces and design ideas for you to comment on before starting work on making the design. I would work closely with you in order to create a design that you are totally happy with.
For example a bride to be that I made a bespoke piece for recently wanted to include some colour to match her theme. I sent photographs to her giving the option of either incorporating a vintage brooch, featuring the colour or adding a sprinkling of coloured Swarovski beads.
Can I find you at any events this year?
I will be at Belles Bridal Bazaar in Brighton on 27th April.
Want to find out more?
If you’d like to commission Valerie to make a piece for your wedding day, or you’d like to view her current collection, then you can find her in the following places…