Fashion trends come and go, but few garments have the staying power of the christening gown. That’s what we love about designing these beautiful gowns. They represent a family’s heritage and tie generations of families together like no other garment in history. A fascinating example of this time-honored tradition is the British Royal Family’s christening gown. It has a storied history that begins with Queen Victoria, who commissioned the gown for the christening of her daughter, Victoria, in 1841. It was styled after the Queen’s wedding dress and has been worn by 62 royal babies over the course of 163 years. That’s truly amazing and is just as it should be. Queen Victoria described the precious gown in her diary as ‘a white Honiton point lace robe and mantle over white satin.’ The Christening gown reads like a history book, but its style has stood the test of time and is just as relevant today as it was nearly two centuries ago.
CREDIT: John Stillwell/AP
Of course, even these barely worn gowns cannot last forever. The original 1841 gown was officially retired in 2004, but Queen Elizabeth had it replicated to a tee, so future royal babies can blissfully carry the tradition forward as if nothing has changed. Prince George wore it in 2013 and we are excited to see the heirloom of all heirlooms appear again this summer for the christening of his royal sibling, who is due to arrive in April.
For those of you who want your baby to be christened in a gown similar to Kate and William’s, try Isabel Garretón’s lace and cotton batiste Renaissance Gown.
Other styles we love are made of the finest fabrics and are just as lavishly appointed with intricate hand-embroidered details, hand smocking, collar treatments, monogramming and more.
While christening gowns are meant to be worn by girls and boys, we also have a selection of boys’ rompers, a style that came into vogue in the 1920s and is growing in popularity today.
Accessories, such as booties and monogrammed bonnets, blankets and bibs, sweaters and coats, feature the same exquisite fabrics and embellishments as the gowns and rompers and are irresistible finishing touches.
The best part is, Isabel Garretón handmade dresses are part of a social enterprise to give underprivileged artisans in Chile dignified work opportunities and the chance for a better life. So, every time a baby is christened in one of our gowns, our family tradition of giving back to the world becomes a part of your family’s tradition.
5 things we are thankful for at Isabel Garretón
As a brand that gives back with every stitch and every design inspiration, we have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Like Oprah, we focus on what we have and what we have accomplished in our quest to help Chilean artisans and their families live a better life. We feel so grateful for the opportunity to make a sustainable difference in the lives of so many good hearted, talented and hard working people over the last 25 years.
Here are the 5 things we are thankful for this Thanksgiving:
Those who support our social enterprise to help women.
The talent of the artisans who make each of our designs unique.
The fairytales and fantasies that make childhood special and give us endless inspiration.
The shared family time that Thanksgiving and other holidays bring.
A moment to pause and say ‘thank you’ for the things in life that make us happy.
We wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving,
At Isabel Garretón, holiday greeting cards are a tradition we love! It is fun to see our children, as well as our friend’s and family’s children grow over the years, and is the reason these cards become keepsakes in themselves. Selecting the children’s clothing, deciding where to stage the photo – indoors or outdoors, at home or in a studio – we know how much thought, time and planning goes into creating the perfect holiday portrait. That’s why we thought we would share a few of the tips that have guided us through many a professional photo shoot of children modeling our Isabel Garretón designs. All children dressed in their holiday best are adorable. The key is capturing those irresistible moments that others will love too.
Here are some tips to capture the moment:
Have fun! This is a visual adventure. To bring out your children’s best smiles and expressions, take lots of snapshots of your children being children. Let them play with each other and hold props or sit in a chair. If they’re having fun, you’ll capture their true personalities.
Avoid stiff, posed shots. It’s okay if they’re not all looking at the camera. Instead of asking them to “say cheese,” ask them to think of something funny or if they think Santa’s coming to their house.
Learn how to tie a good bow. There’s nothing worse than a messy or out of place bow to spoil an otherwise great shot. Here are 9 steps to tie the perfect bow.
Dress your children in coordinating colors. That’s not hard with Isabel Garretón holiday dresses. We especially love our chiffon and velvet A-line girls dresses that come in red and blue. And we love our hand smocked silk dresses in classic red, green and blue holiday colors. For a fancier look inspired by Victorian era holiday styles, our Surprise and Swing dresses with an organza overlay come in different colors that will make each sister feel special.
Oh Baby! Isabel Garretón has baby dresses and rompers for baby boys so that the littlest members of the family fit the holiday theme.
Accessorize! Holiday accessories, like matching purses and headbands, add polish to portraits and smiles to little girls’ faces! And don’t forget the tights and patent leather shoes. For baby, matching bonnets and booties are a photo must!
Now that summer has turned to fall and Halloween is behind us, the holiday season has officially begun. While our thoughts naturally turn to Christmas celebrations, we also are gearing up for our first big family holiday of the season, Thanksgiving. Chances are, you’re already busy making arrangements to share this day of gratitude with friends and family from near and far. If your family is like mine, Thanksgiving is not a moveable feast. It is always at our place and the dishes we share are part of a long family tradition, where the cards with Grandma’s handwritten recipes are brought out and repeated year after year to everyone’s satisfaction.
We gather together around the table before sitting down and everyone takes turns sharing something special they are thankful for this year. Laughter and teary moments come from this much-anticipated ritual. It is always so beautiful. The conversations, stories and discussions that come with the meal are legendary. Sometimes I think we hold back a whole year of thoughts just so we can share them for the first time on this special day.
For these reasons, Thanksgiving has always had a more intimate and casual tone in my mind. Dressing for Thanksgiving should remain special. Dressing for the occasion honors an important family tradition and recognizes that this day is not like any other day. Your choice of clothing is shaped by your awareness of presenting yourself in a gathering wearing clothes that are comfortable and cozy, yet more elegant than your everyday outfits. Special accessories, like a headband or pretty cardigan, add polish and a lovely finishing touch. This is especially true for children who look forward to feeling special and still want to run around in the great outdoors and play games, indoors and out, with cousins and friends.
As parents we are challenged to find children’s clothing that will make us feel proud of their appearance and give them the freedom to play without looking like they’re wearing their school clothes. That’s why I love gray and other neutrals. Gray, especially, is inherently dressy, and looks great layered with splashes of color and subtle embellishments, like ivory lace. Pair it with bright tights or a bright cardigan and you will have a happy look. Peter Pan collars, darker hemlines in equally rich fabrics, piping and even delicate flower details create a special touch.
Our chocolate chevron pleated dress trimmed in soft velvet at the hem and collar is one of my favorites this season.
Another favorite is the modern flair of the timeless black and white gingham dress, pair it with a nice coat and you are set! Those looking for something traditional, who are familiar with our designs, know we will always have the most beautiful hand smocked girls dress to consider.
Depending on how chilly it is outside, you can choose from a selection of cozy soft faux fur coat or tailored wool girls’ coats. Wool bucket hats, bonnets, and muffs are icing on the Thanksgiving cake.
Craftsmanship, attention to detail and beautiful styling that brings a contemporary feel to traditional skills define Isabel Garretón girls’ dresses, and everything we do. Our designs are even more meaningful knowing that every stitch is made by artisans in Chile where, for more than 20 years, we have supported more than 100 seamstresses and embroiderers and their families, giving them opportunities to earn fair wages, break the poverty cycle and educate their children. Social responsibility is woven into each and every one of our beautiful pieces. We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. My intention, always, is to wrap your precious family holidays in timeless elegance. My hope is that our beautiful garments will endure as your family heirlooms, to be preserved and passed from generation to generation, and worn at many family gatherings to come.
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving.
(Blessings are not the same as Christenings or Baptisms. More information on this below)
After 25 years offering gowns, rompers, and accessories used in many, many Christenings, Baptisms, and Blessings, we know that to use a gown for a boy’s christening is a frequent debate close to the heart of many families.
Our version of a Lace Gown, Renaissance
If you are a boy and not Prince George, what to wear for your christening can be a family kerfuffle. Mom’s are often happy to put their sons in a gown, perhaps not as elaborate as the one Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby wore selected by the force of many years of tradition, but a gown for a boy is preferred by many moms. They endure the dads concern that it is too feminine. While for some dads the disapproval is serious, others cave in by the weight of family traditions or love for their wives. Some dads, who may have been in a gown themselves and are no longer concern with gender ID, are more confortable with this tradition and more likely to use the same gown for a girl or a boy in their family. It becomes an heirloom, a family treasure for years to come. For this reason the fabric, the design, the craft, and finishing touches in every piece matters.
Classic Traditional Ceremonial Coat
For other dads and some moms the preferred choices are rompers for boys, the style depending where in the world they live, what time of the year the event takes place, and how formal they want the ceremony to be.
Not only are Christenings, Baptisms and Blessings a religious ceremony, they are also important family traditions. We often do monogramming of the family initials either on the garment or baby’s name and date of the event on the slip, where other new members of the family will add their name and event date. Can be a siblings or a different generation. Some families choose to have the baby’s initials in a special blanket, bib or bonnet the baby wore.
How was the choice made in your family?
Find below from Wikipedia some truly interesting information regarding the content and meaning of the ceremony itself, who practices it, how the meaning changes depending on the denomination and more.
Baptism (from the Greek noun βάπτισμα baptisma; see below) is a Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also a particular church tradition. In some traditions, baptism is also called christening, but for others the word "christening" is reserved for the baptism of infants.
The exact details of the baptismal ceremony vary among Christian denominationsthe belief is that infant baptism has spiritual value for the infant, defined differently by each denomination. Some believing it is as a way to incorporate newborn babies into the secular community as well as inducting them into the Christian faith.
The naming and blessing of a child in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a christening, The purpose of the practice is twofold: to give a baby an official name and to provide an opportunity to give a blessing for the child's spiritual and physical welfare
It is common for this blessing to be an occasion for family members to gather. In some families, it is also traditional for the baby or older child to be dressed in white clothing similar to a christening gown, but this is not required.
Looking for options for your Baby's Special Day?
Every family has its own back to school activities set, many become annual rituals and traditions, I share here some of ours
1) Clothes Shopping: A sure measure of how every child changes with time. What they love this year they wont the next, when finding a pink dress for your little girl is the most important until it is a purple dress that matters. Finding an animal friend they can take to school, like a kitty or an owl is fun for a while too. Then there are those unexplained fashion moments... like when my daughter insisted in going to school with her life jacket. I always wondered how to interpret that.
2) Choosing a backpack. Can also be mom vs Hollywood. Looking for sturdy, sensible or well made? likely the action figure of the moment or the heroine, (not many in that category), plenty of princesses will tend to win. What fits or doesn’t fit not always to the point the child makes.
3) Visiting the school: A big deal when its the first time going to that school. Reminds me of my youngest daughter, on our way I was mentioning to her the great things she would be doing in school until she replied..."don't forget I need time to do nothing!..."
4) Lunch and snacks: A tricky territory, my children insist the first time they wished they had a different mother was when their lunches were different from the other kids. Keeping it healthy along with a treat takes some dedication.
5) First day of School Picture: My favorite ritual. We did it simply, on our way with our new dress and backpack. Fun memories come from those images as they grow older. We have lived for many years in the same house, so it was always out the same door. Some people get super creative about it.
What I didn't mention is how I felt as I saw every one of my children walk away from me for the first time as they went to school. This image says it perfectly...
Does your family do something special? Or have any back to school activities that you remember? Do you remember how you felt the first time you dropped your child at school?
Back to School,
First Day of School,