A while ago I came across the most amazing haute couture gown by John Galliano for Dior (pictured above) and was immediately struck by it's beautiful curves and pretty blue china pattern. So with bold blues proving a popular colour choice at weddings, it's about time we looked at the classic blue willow design.
The willow pattern is a fairly common site in many homes, being used for over 200 years on kitchen ware! Derived from an older Chinese design it was commercially produced in 18th century England. The story depicted in the design is said to be an ancient love story, so here goes:
"Once upon a time there was a wealthy Mandarin, who had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se). She fall in love with her father's humble accounting assistant (Chang), which angering her father. He fired the young accountant and built a large fence around his house to keep the lovers apart. The Mandarin wanted his daughter to marry a powerful Duke, one day the Duke arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift. The wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow tree.
On the eve of the daughter's forced wedding, the young accountant disguised himself as a servant and snuck into the palace. The lovers escaped with the jewels, but the alarm was raised. They ran over a bridge, chased by the Mandarin, whip in hand, to escaped on the Duke's boat. They made their way to a secluded island where they lived happily for many years. But one day, the Duke learned of their whereabouts and wanting revenge, he sent soldiers, who captured the lovers and killed them. But the Gods intervened and transformed the lovers into a pair of doves."
credits: Haute couture gown by John Galliano for Dior, bold blue shoes photographed by Chelsea Elizabeth, classic willow pattern dinnerware.
Blue and white paddle fans shot by Allegra's Studio, chiffon flower on cream silk dupioni wedding ring pillow by Woomi. Willow pattern cake via Cake Central, blue and white teacup gift tags by Catnip Studio Too, 12 different blue and white china patterns via Martha Stewart weddings, blue vase with white hydrangeas.
colour palette: cobalt blue and white