Women who adorned themselves in lace were, therefore, equated with the highest class of social economics and pedigree, as only the rich were able to afford such extravagant adornments on even a somewhat regular basis. Thus it makes sense that lace should have found its way to the wedding gown; what better occasion to don such a profligate display of one's lineage than the day upon which one is wed?
Of course, nowadays lace is everywhere. Clothing is only one of the various venues of lace; it is, in fact, more often spread over our coffee and dining room tables than over the planes of our suntanned skin. Not a single piece of clothing I own is made of lace, though the doily has of late begun to take over the surfaces of my living room furniture.
And yet, open the cover of any bridal magazine in the world, and the persistence of lace is apparent. It appears across the busts and down the trains of silk, satin and chiffon gowns; it acts as an overlay for the same array of fabrics, often washing over an entire dress, from the dip of the sweetheart neckline, to the hem of the chapel train. Tea length gowns are especially fetching in lace; the addition of a thick, lace colored ribbon at the waist is an excellent way of setting off the texture of embroidery from the smoothness of silk or satin.
Another way of incorporating lace in the dress of the bride is in the form of lace edging at the hem, waist and neckline, as well as upon the gloves and down the center of the front of the gown. If your gown is sleeved, consider a sleeve of sheer lace, three-quarters or full length.
It is important to note, also, that not all laces are created equal. I have provided the following descriptions in the hopes of making clear the differences serving to separate the many species of lace.
Formally known as Beggar's lace, Torchon lace was once considered the least of all laces, in regards to quality and aesthetic design. However, known for its coarse thread and geometric patterns, Torchon's popularity has increased with modern lace makers, as it incorporates very few curves, creating an effect dependent on textures and differing stitches, as opposed to intricate workings of thread.
This kind of lace is very much like Torchon in the way it is made, however it is set apart, slightly, by the checkerboard pattern in which it is weaved.
Bucks Point Lace
Consisting of a hexagonal background beneath a foreground of flowers and leaves, Bucks Point lace is, in my opinion, one of the more attractive species of lace.
Originating in Malta, this form of lace is made of cream silk, usually spun in a series of diamond matte designs. The texture of Maltese lace is softer than that of its predecessors.
Without a doubt the Thoroughbred of lace, Honiton was Queen Victoria's wedding lace. Spun in a pattern containing roses, thistles and shamrocks, Honiton lace is perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing of all laces. Unlike its cousin laces, each section of the Honiton pattern is made separately and then connected by brides, merely another term for a form of weaving. The pattern also includes aspects that remain separate from the more prevalent rose and thistle designs, known as slugs or snails!
Lace is an excellent addition to any gown, however it is especially appropriate for the more informal and tea length gowns, to be worn to a morning or mid afternoon affair. Just remember, the more lacy the gown, the earlier the ceremony should be. For an evening affair, consider a lighter incorporation of lace, such as upon the gloves and across the bodice, or down the center portion of the train.