{insert envious sigh here}

So I stumbled upon this gorgeous dress while doing homework for a class that I truly have come to despise... Thanks, OSU. I guess I really am able to apply what I am learning.

And bonus, it really made my assignment much more enjoyable to complete. Minus the fact that I was a little distracted by the amazing possibilities and potential of this dress, and wanting to hurry up and post it on here.

Hmm. Worth it.
This vintage (1977) silk organza gown is by Zandra Rhodes of London. This photo is from Vintage Textile, an amazing website with vintage garments (many of which are for sale) from the 1920s and on. New finds are updated regularly.

I have to admit, it is a little sad that I don't have a photo of this knockout dress on an actual body. Plastic appendages just don't quite do it justice. But can't you imagine??

Gall dang. I want to see this on a bride. Or on a a non-bride who has a fabulous summer evening party to go to.

...Or just on me. {sigh}

love birds.

Found this super cute, cheeky cake topper a couple of weeks ago, and just had to share. ...and it's handmade, to boot! (Doesn't look like these birds are for sale, but still some fun inspiration, no?)



Top, left to right: Nine West shoes, theknot Bridesmaids, paper by Verde Paperie, theknot Tie and Bout, theknot Ring Pillow, grass, jelly beans, keys, flowers and paper Max Wanger, gloves by The Bohemian Goddess on Etsy, oranges and limes, theknot table decor, lollipops, limes

Colors: tangerine, lime, turquoise
Mood: fresh, vibrant, young, sweet, sophisticated, breezy, tart

My first wedding trend board! Many more to come. This one was inspired by Ashley. I have a few more to make for her, too.



I am more than a little obsessed with feather hairpieces right now. I have yet to snag one... I am waiting for the perfect one. I can't decide what I like best.

In the meantime, here are a few that make me drool.

Top left, clockwise: Sweet Grass Mill, mlachin, Jenny Pickle, and twigs & honey all found on Etsy.com


outfit inspiration

A couple of weeks ago, I went up to Nike headquarters in Beaverton with a group of classmates to shadow some of Nike's buyers and merchandisers.

Loved it, for the record. Everyone we met was more than willing to spill whatever knowledge they had on how they got where they are, and what exactly it is that they do everyday. Some of them even seemed a little unprepared regarding our arrival, yet still dropped everything they were doing to see how they could help us. The company culture was very laid back, and yet incredibly fast paced in their technology and philosophy of employing and rewarding only the best of the best.

I could go on, but my point for this post was that one of the merchandisers I worked with had spot-on style. Loved it. Completely laid back, simple, appropriate for her work environment, didn't scream "I'm a Nike basketball billboard!" and still uber cool.

A simple cotton black 3/4 sleeve top, grey skinny jeans, almost high top black Nike kicks, and one bold accessory... my fave part of the ensemble. A wide brushed silver ring stacked against a skinny diamond eternity band. Sidenote: She had it on her right hand, but this would make a rad wedding band set, fyi.

Something like this:

Diamond ring: mastergoldcraft on Etsy.com Top: Gap.com Jeans: likeWise fashion blog Shoes: Nike.com Brushed Ring: adornmodern on Etsy.com

Like I said, the rings were the highlight for me. Made me want a set for my right hand, it did.

And many more ring posts to come, I am sure.


flower girl dress

Flower girls. ADORABLE. Let's get that out of the way, shall we? Unpredictable, traditional, sometimes even a little cheesy... Not for everyone, I know. But come on. They can be so gall dang cute.

But what is up with flower girl dresses costing more than prom dresses? Or even wedding dresses? That is just a scam and a half. Tack the name "wedding" onto ANYTHING and it's value is suddenly inflated 6 times over.

Let's face it, toddlers are wearing these things. And often these frocks are white (more on this later) or at least some precious pastel color. It is hard enough for a bride--a grown woman, mind you--to keep her white dress clean. I don't even need to say more about that. But can we mention that this dress will more than likely never be worn again? And sure, her mom might save it in a box somewhere, but who really re-wears those things? And you know that they will be grown out of it by the time you are back from your honeymoon, right?

Okay, so let's cut to the chase. I walked by this adorable dress in Old Navy this week and instantly thought "Perfect flower girl dress!" Why? It is modern, just dressy enough, age-appropriate, summer heat appropriate (but adding a sweater is totally do-able ,too), comfortable for baby (100% cotton!), washable (again, 100% cotton!), and BONUS: It's $19.50!P.S. Seriously, go see this in person. It looks so much better on the hanger, it is almost sad. I really wished they had a photo of this dress on a model, but alas. This squint-your-eyes-real-hard-at-it photo is all there was.

Okay, so now my rant on white flower girl dresses...(I apologize. I do this time to time, but I promise, it isn't daily.)

Whether you are a traditional, non-traditional, religious, non-religious, church wedding, or courthouse wedding-type... Whatev. I think it is a pretty safe assumption that the vast majority of female wedding guests wouldn't want to wear a white dress to a wedding. Agreed? K. You just don't want to take that from the bride. You wouldn't do it even if you hate her, because you know that every other guest would hate you for it. So why are already adorable toddlers exempt from this rule? Isn't the whole point of not wearing white for the "all eyes on the bride" deal goin' on? (Read: I am not into the "I am the princess. It is my wedding, so my day will be perfect, even if you all suffer to make it that way" thing. I hate bridezilla. But this is the one thing I am on Team Bride about.) But really, what is the deal with it not being okay for cousin Jimmy's hot girlfriend to wear white, but it's cool for niece Maddy? Most weddings today include colors other than white in the decor (please!). Put her in a dress that compliments the color scheme or theme of the wedding. She will still look precious, non-white dresses are much more practical, there won't be insane wedding inflation on it, and it will be so much easier to find.

That said. Drumroll, please. Here is my $19.50 perfect flower girl dress at it's finest:



Watch this Chanel no. 5 commercial ...and then come back.

Marketing at it's finest. Absolutely beautiful. Somehow you're sold on a perfume that you can't even smell while you are watching. You just think to yourself, "I want the bottle that has that much romance floating around in it."

...Except, I can't stand the scent. Dangit.

Oh well. Still gorgeous. Love that. And I pretty much want to rob Audrey Tatou of her wardrobe. Ah, to be French. At least my name makes me sound it.

Who and why

hello, hello. I'm Claire. I'm a couple months away from graduating from Oregon State University with a Merchandising Management degree with an emphasis in Apparel and Sewn Product and a minor in Business Entrepreneurship. I have worked in retail for the last 5 years. I was married July 9, 2008, and planned the whole thing, and DIYed quite a bit. See some photos here. But don't forget to come back! I will be posting more photos from our wedding as I blog along here, to talk about how and why we did the things that we did, why it was so "us," and hopefully inspire others to figure out ways to make their weddings really "them." Because--those are just the best kind of weddings.

My vision for Backdrop is to be a place of style inspiration. As of right now, I don't want to focus on a single sector of style. I like too much of it. Selfish motive, I know.

Weddings: I've been married almost a year now (crazy!) and absolutely loved planning our wedding. And I am still obsessed with wedding style, all the love in the air, the photos, and all the personal, drool-worthy decor details. I love the endless combination of colors, moods, and stories that weddings tell. I love it when couples simply nail it. So hmm... I would love to help.

Disclaimer: Even though I've already had my wedding, I still find myself sitting in class with 4 browser tabs open to wedding blogs. I actually worry my friends that I was just in it for the wedding, and can't wait for my next one (okay, so they are half joking, and half just don't know me very well). But still. Confession: yes, I loved playing "wedding" when I was a little girl. My mom remembers me telling her I couldn't wait for my wedding, and that my favorite part would be when I walk in and everyone stands up and looks at me. True. But I really didn't go wedding crazy until i knew that I wanted to marry my husband. And after all the insanity of planning my own wedding, I realized that, dang. I love it. I survived it. And I can almost see myself doing that for a living. That said, I am totally and completely content with our wedding day. It was the absolute perfect day for us. There isn't a thing that I would change. I just love staring and daydreaming through all the other possibilities that are out there for other couples to make their day perfect too. Fair?

Interiors: The stuff I really dream about. Why? Oh, because I live in a white walled apartment. So I have several years ahead of me to dream through many combinations of dwelling bliss. Several years to nail down the absolute winners of the bunch. ...And then maybe a down payment will magically appear in our bank account. Oh, it doesn't work like that?

Clothes: I am a couple months away from graduating with degree in the fashion field (see above). I know my shat, k? And yes. I meant to say shat. I go crazy for the elements of fashion, but I also have a newfound appreciation for quality, now that I have all this knowledge about textiles and construction. Pretty sweet, not gonna lie.

Accessories: I love details, how can I not obsess about accessories? Everything from functional, silly, sentimental, hard edged, intricate, screaming, whimsical, to absolutely impractical. All. of. it.
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