Style Watch – Léa Seydoux, Bond Girl

With the newest James Bond movie out this weekend, we wanted to celebrate the beautifully modest style of new “Bond Girl” Léa Seydoux.

Check out some of her beautiful red carpet moments:

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Léa at the premiere of Spectre in London…

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… And later at the film’s after party held at the British Museum.

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Here’s to Léa’s beautiful sense of style and to the stunning silver dress she wears in Spectre! Cheers indeed!

Love Léa’s style? Wish you could own a gown like hers? Drop us a line at virtuousprom@gmail.com and ask us about creating your own custom made gown!

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Behind the Scenes of Odile

Behind the scenes photos brought you by Megan’s iPhone!

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The minute the wind picked up it was like magic!

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K & M were such a darling couple to work with!
imageimageimageimageTired feet after a long day!

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Like the ice votives? Stay tuned for our DIY article!
imageimageThe photographer’s choice from the evening. Stay tuned for the edited pictures of our gorgeous dress, Odile!

A behind the scenes glimpse would not be complete without a time lapse video of part of the evening!

A time lapse of part of our shoot!

What to do When Virtue Doesn’t Seem to Pay off

For those of you who love Jane Austen, I have found my Mr. Darcy (at least as he’s presented the first half of the book. For those of you who haven’t read Pride & Prejudice (or seen the movie), Mr. Darcy is the BOMB. He is the MAN of the early 19th century. Almost two centuries later, women still swoon when they think of having their paths cross with a real life, dreamy Mr. Darcy.

In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy is moneyed; cultured; dark, tall and handsome; provides stimulating (if not almost always abrupt) conversation, is rather lacking in common politeness, and does his best to stay away from promptings of what he fears to be a foolish heart.

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In those final exhilarating pages of the book, the reader finally understands that Mr. Darcy’s inner struggle has been with a heart so deeply capable of love and passion it’s staggering. He is in love with his darling beyond words, beyond reason, beyond that common love that so many believe is the real thing. He loves her completely – for her mind, body and soul; and his love is so overpowering he cannot begin to act rationally – he confesses his love and proposes, in the rain no less!

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So, recently, I met the most lovely creature. Unbelievably handsome, a fellow baseball fan, smart, sensitive, a great listener and, it’s hard to describe, but his character and personality were just perfection. I felt completely safe with him and was attracted to him like a magnet, but objectively I don’t think he would be considered charismatic.

When our paths crossed, as they did frequently (sometimes due to some choreography on my part!), I of course wanted to look stunning. I wanted to turn his head and have him see me as a woman, not just a friend

I knew the quickest way make his head turn would be to raise my hem line, leave a few more buttons on the top of my buttoned down shirt open… you know really show myself off.

I decided against this and went about my days and weeks cute but without compromising my standards.

Nothing happened. Wait a second, I’m being virtuous, a good girl in my choice of dress and I’m not being showered with blessings (i.e. Mr. Darcy)?

My thoughts crept back to how easy it would be to turn his head by dressing more provocatively. With all transparency, I played the idea back in forth in my head more than I ought.

As my ideas and emotions pinged back and forth like so many tennis balls, I realized more and more that being provocative would work.

As l realized this, though, I knew I wouldn’t want things to start any relationship with only inflamed sexual passion as the main motivator. Yes, of course, I want my future husband to find me beautiful and be attracted to me, but I want so much more! I want to be a Mrs. Darcy someday. I want to be loved for my loyalty, bravery, deep love of others and everything else good that makes me me!

So my Mr. Would Be Darcy, I adore you, but I respect myself more than attract you at any price. And, if you really are Mr. Darcy, I know you would respect that deeply in me. Until then, my true Mr. Darcy, I stay patiently and virtuously yours.

To Customize or Not to Customize – The Pros and Cons of Having a Dress Bespoke

Back before the Industrial Revolution made it possible to manufacture things like clothing on a mass scale everything was bespoke, as in “it was bespoken” and then made exactly to the client’s wishes.

Very quickly people realized that buying something mass produced was a lot cheaper and the tradition of bespoke largely died out.

Well, we’re bringing bespoken back! Yah!

You ladies don’t know where fab is at! Yah!

(Sorry, Justin Timberlake… I just couldn’t resist!).

But in all seriousness, having a dress customized can be a truly wonderful and amazing experience!

Here’s why:

1) You get to control the design. Whether it’s showing us a picture or giving us a jump off point for inspiration, this dress is your design and NOBODY else’s. It’s exclusively yours! One of a kind couture, some might even say!

2) It will fit you without needing to be tailored extensively.

One of the reasons we got started at Virtuous Prom is a good friend had recently helped his niece “hem” her dress by using double sided sticky tape. The niece and her family had made a special journey, traveling hundreds of miles to the nearest big city to purchase a prom dress, only to be greatly disappointment. They didn’t find anything there that was modest enough or that began to fit properly. Crushed, they selected the least of all evils for her to wear to the prom, went home and “hemmed” it with an office supply.

Hearing about this debacle made me want to help out women everywhere. Very quickly I realized that tall girls have problems finding longer dresses, shorter girls need them hemmed (which can be quite costly) and 99% of girls don’t have their bust, waist and hips all sharing the same size. One of our models has a 10/12 size bust, a size 6 waist and size 8 hips. When a pre-made dress fits her bust, it hangs down the rest of her like a potato sack!

Retailers do their best, but they just can’t account for the unique and beautiful diversity we all possess. Having your dress custom made, however, makes all those issues a breeze.

3) We will help you with every step of your design!

Most of the gals I work with have a really clear idea of what they’d like, but not everybody does. One bride, Lila, that I worked with was so nervous and overwhelmed that we literally went through every aspect of the dress step by step: Do you like lace? Ivory or white? A scoop neck? No sleeves? Long sleeves? And so on. She very quickly gained confidence and her dress turned out AMAZING. When I saw the finished product in all its glory all I could say was, “Wow, wow, wow…. about twenty times in a row”

Next on “To Customize or Not to Customize,” we’ll talk more about Lila’s dress, the in depth side of collaboration, the electricity in the air when she first saw her wedding dress and of course pictures of her on her big day!

In the meantime, here’s a selection of some of the custom work we’ve done recently:

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We were commissioned to make a dress based on a a $1300 gown from Latter-day Bride in Salt Lake City. We ended up saving the bride over $1,000 and we matched the pattern, cut and even the lace to perfection!

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Why Modest ISN’T Hottest – Part 2

Why Modest ISN’T Hottest – Part 2

A Frank Commentary on Why I Hate The Term

We left off in Part 1 of Why Modest ISN’T Hottest having established that in all practicality, modesty isn’t hottest (which is just fine!). Modesty can be the outward sign of virtue, it can be a vehicle for fabulous fashion or a way to identify oneself as part of a religious or ethnic group, but it is definitely not the “hottest” when it comes to being sexually provocative.

In fact, being sexually provocative should be the last thing on a virtuous woman’s mind. While it is not our responsibility as women to prevent men’s minds from wandering, we should be helpful in their quest to keep their thoughts pure.

So where’s the balance between inner and outer beauty, and where are safe parameters for embracing our beauty and modesty whilst disregarding the faulty notion that modest is hottest?

The first question is the easier to answer. Both our inner and outer selves need basic, daily attendance, such as brushing our teeth, combing our hair, praying, reading the scriptures, journaling or meditation. My advice would be that any surplus energy we have should be at least evenly split between who we are on the outside and who we are on the inside, with preference paid to our inner selves.

In other words, if you have enough time to give yourself that pedicure, take the time reflect on your character, uplift your spirit with music or stop and enjoy that gorgeous sunset.

Our second question posed was, where are safe parameters for embracing our beauty and modesty, having let go of the idea that modest is “hottest?” Well first, ladies, we really have to let go of the idea that we’re going to be showing ourselves off. Really let go. We have to ignore what the media says about how women should be hyper-sexualized and picture perfect 24/7.

Next, if you feel uncomfortable wearing it, don’t. Even if an item of clothing passes your “checklist” for modesty, if you don’t feel comfortable wearing it, don’t! It is possible for certain items of clothing to cover up what needs to be covered while at the same time doing it in such a way that it is still incredibly provocative. Embrace the spirit of modesty, not simply the do’s and do not’s.

Lastly ladies, don’t feel shame in the natural beauty God has blessed you with. Just because you choose to keep certain parts of your body covered up doesn’t mean they’re bad or evil or wicked – it just means they’re not for everyone to see. Seeking to cultivate our natural beauty doesn’t make us vain, it makes us good stewards of gifts from our Heavenly Father. Just be sure you’re also being good stewards of your inner beauty as well. ❤

In the words of Grace Kelly, “Your dress should be tight enough to show you’re a woman, and loose enough to show you’re a lady.”

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Why Modest ISN’T Hottest – Part 1

Why Modest ISN’T Hottest – Part 1

A Frank Commentary on Why I Hate The Term

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “modest is hottest.” I was still taking the missionary lessons and the elders had been trying, in their sincere but fumbling way, to explain the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s modesty standards.

Having a discussion with any`one (besides perhaps your parents) about what parts of you need to be covered up is awkward, but at the time I was 23 and the elders 19 and 20 and, as we delicately tried to discuss the Church’s standards, there were so many euphemisms flying left and right it would take me YEARS to understand exactly what modesty meant as a Latter-day Saint.

I had just begin to get the gist of things when I was sitting in Sacrament, waiting to give a talk, next to our Stake President. When standing, my dress hit about knee-length. When sitting… well, let’s just say it was quite a bit higher. I was so thankful that at least I had dark nylons on.

During my meandering course in figuring out modesty, the words “modest is hottest” stuck in my head. I’ll give whoever coined the phrase this: at least it’s catchy.

My first LDS boyfriend tried to help get me on board with the concept of Church-approved modesty by just telling me, “modest is hottest.” Modest is hottest. Over and over again. Well, if he thought it was hot… I was still scratching my head over the concept, but at least he seemed happy.

Fast forward a few months… we went from talking about being sealed in the temple to his confession that he had battled a pornography addiction for about a decade. I was crushed on so many fronts, but I felt betrayed in the fact that he had tried to convince me something was hot when it was clearly, at least, to him, NOT. I never looked, but I’m pretty sure none of the center-folds or websites he visited featured women in maxi skirts and cap-sleeved tees.

As women, we want to be beautiful. We want to be desired for our inner and outer beauty. And that’s just fine. In fact, it’s more than fine; it’s part of the way God designed men and women to work. After the Fall in the Garden of Eden, as part of Eve’s punishment, the Lord declared to her: thy desire shall be to thy husband (Genesis 3:16).

How clearly apparent is that truth? As women, one of our greatest driving forces is to be loved and admired. We desire the adoration of a husband. In the (slightly altered) words of Cheap Trick:

We want you to want us
We need you need us
Yeah, we’d love for you to love us.

Part of how that happens (in no small part to how visually wired men are) is that we as women cultivate our outer beauty. Don’t get me wrong – inner beauty should always be the priority, for, as Proverbs 31 reminds us, beauty is fleeting and a woman of great value is one who has cultivated the beauty of her inner self through industry, kindness, creativity, innovation, etc.

Trying to ignore our outer beauty and simply writing it off as shallow and vain, though, is (in my opinion) an affront to a God who is so clearly aesthetically minded. Anyone who has seen a beautiful sunset or stopped to observe the wealth of beauty in spring flowers will recognize this without a doubt. God created a beautiful universe. He created beauty all around us. He created beauty in his daughters. Should we not care for ourselves and tend our beauty just as we would tend and care for any other gift of beauty from our Heavenly Father?

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(photograph courtesy of bpease photo)

So where’s the balance between inner and outer beauty, and where are safe parameters for embracing our beauty and modesty whilst disregarding the faulty notion that modest is hottest? Hold tight for Part 2 of Why Modest ISNT Hottest!