July 8

Bridal Style Icon: Olivia Palermo

Most people consider me a really creative person, so they’re always surprised when I share my number one maxim on thinking in new ways: “Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

It sounds like Albert Einstein is endorsing plagiarism with that quote, but this is actually a perfect how-to guide for how an artist—or a DIY bride—should make use of their inspiration. Your thing shouldn’t look just like somebody else’s thing. Take the influence and transform it enough that nobody could think of your original inspiration. Pablo Picasso had a similar opinion: “Good artists borrow; great artists steal.” A good artist will copy an idea that belongs to someone else; a great artist will take it and make it his own, doing it even better in his own style.

Needless to say, I spend a lot of time finding and thinking about inspiration in my day-to-day life, and the wedding is no exception. I think it’s especially important to source inspiration for the areas of a wedding you don’t know much about. For me, that’s bridal beauty.

If you remember, Olivia Palermo’s laid-back look was one of the inspirations for my hair trial. Olivia graced the cover of the June/July 2014 issue of Brides magazine just before she was set to wed model boyfriend Johannes Huebl, and I sat around for longer than I’d like to admit admiring her perfectly imperfect hair.

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oliviapalermobrides2Brides Magazine

I just about died when I read that she decided on a whim to layer a white oxford over the ball gown the shoot stylists put her in. I love unexpected choices like this and I think its great when brides feel comfortable enough in their own style to do something totally un-bridal.

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We got a few tastes of what she might look like on the big day from Brides, but the fashion icon kept pretty hush-hush about her wedding style in the issue.

Well she’s married now, so the secret’s out.

Girlfriend wore a pair of shorts.

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Olivia Palermo

Carolina Herrera shorts, but still. It’s pretty out there as far as bridal fashion goes. My bridesmaid W and I may have shared a few OMG‘s and excessive exclamation marks over email when these photos came out.

Olivia paired the shorts with an also-unexpected cashmere sweater and a high-slitted tulle skirt overlay by the same designer. Obviously this look isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am in love. If there was any debate about my bridal icon before, let me clear it up: I want to channel Olivia Palermo on my wedding day.

Not that I’m going to return my dress and go shopping for white shorts. I love the way Olivia played with tradition in both the shoot and her own day by bringing in something totally un-bridal (take your pick from the messy ponytail, trenchcoat vest, oxford shirt, sweater or those effin’ shorts). I’ll keep her daring style in the back of my mind when I need a little bravery to go against what’s expected at a wedding and do my own thing. That’s the real inspiration here.

The other lesson? Let’s get all over some bridal separates, wedding gown designers. OK?

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