Here at Joseff of Hollywood, now run by the third generation of Joseff family members, one of our favorite things is hearing from our customers what Joseff has meant to them. Often these stories are sweet, but quite simple and short ("I remember my grandmother wearing her favorite piece..."), but sometimes a truly touching and remarkable one comes through that simply must be shared. Such is the case with Alyson Burton, nee Lea.
We first learned of Alyson through an Instagram post from @forties_face_flossy with a picture collage, and a simple story caption that mentioned she'd acquired these Joseff bell earrings from an American dealer years before getting married, and had known she would wear them on her big day.
We reached out to learn more, and received the sweetest love story between a woman and her earrings...
Alyson describes how being brought up with old films from the 1930's and 1940's influenced her style and manner. A true "vintage" spirit, she was often found "dressing up," aspiring to Old Hollywood glamour while wishing to be (and pretending of course) wearing those costumes and jewelry she saw on screen.
In particular, she remembers watching Gone With the Wind, and of all things, falling in love with a smaller, lesser known item. "One particular pair of earrings captured me the most. These were the ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ bell earrings that Una Munson wears in her portrayal of Belle Watling in Gone With The Wind. I’m not sure why I loved them so much? Perhaps it was because I watched Gone With the Wind at Christmas time, and they conjured up seasonal novelty. Either way, I had to have some"
She describes searching for them for years once discovering that they were made by Joseff of Hollywood, visiting specialist vintage costume dealers, antique shops and fairs in the UK where she lives, and even a few in in New York. Finally, she stumbled upon a pair from an American dealer online and was thrilled. She says she knew even at that time they would be the pair she wore on her big day.
When the time came to get married, she says she was amazed that everything just fell into place, as her fickle nature wanted everything just right down the most minute detail. Finally, Alyson Lea and Mr. Andrew Burton were married during a small ceremony in their Town Hallin Wentworth on October 30, 2015.
An absolute vision on her wedding day, Alyson paired her Belle earrings with a 1930's silk satin bias cut dress of vintage perfection previously worn by a Florence Emily Bulland (it was, when she discovered it 10 years prior to her union, accompanied by a picture of Ms. Bulland wearing it in 1936, and Alyson knew she simply must treasure it and show it love once again). Our bride decided to forego any headdress or veil so not to detract from her beautiful earrings, but opted instead to further enhance the vintage look with a clever victory V hairstyle.
Wedding photographs were taken afterwards in the Ornamental Gardens Of the nearby Wentworth Woodhouse - the largest stately home in the UK, once home to the Fitzwilliams one of the richest families in England through the 18th and 19th century.