There are only a few times in life when you can legitimately rock a tiara. Prom and playing Pretty, Pretty Princess come to mind. But the big one is—you guessed it—your wedding day. That’s where Virginia resident Mandy Greenan comes in. Her Richmond company, Tigerlilly Jewelry, was built around her own wedding and her love of all things tiara.
After years of scouring antique shows and flea markets for vintage jewelry, Greenan has just launched her latest line, the Vintage Bride, a collection of headpieces that combine stones from her best finds with accents such as ostrich feathers and Russian netting. If vintage is your thing, let Greenan tell you more:
What inspired the Vintage Bride collection?
I’ve been collecting vintage rhinestone jewelry for a long time without quite knowing what I was going to do with it. I amassed a pretty huge collection, and one day I sat down with it and started taking things apart and putting them back together with other pieces. It was like a big, sparkly puzzle.
Is each piece in the collection unique?
Yes, every piece is one of a kind. I have gotten requests to recreate pieces that have sold with new components, which I am happy to do, but I can never get an exact match of the original.
So if I buy a piece, I can say that no other bride has exactly the same one. That’s fun. How many are in the collection?
So far, I’ve completed 13 pieces, and there are another dozen or so that are nearly finished. I plan on adding to it each season.
Are the headpieces meant to be worn with vintage dresses?
I try to make pieces that have a timeless quality to them. They might be vintage, but I try to put them together in a modern way. For example, one piece uses a vintage rhinestone brooch, but it is placed asymmetrically on a headband with ostrich feathers. I definitely think they would work with a vintage or new gown.
Do you know the story behind any of the vintage jewelry you’re disassembling?
I try to get stories whenever I can. I write a note to send along with each piece that details where I found the components and what the inspiration was. I get the jewelry wherever I happen to travel—I will stop and browse any antique mall or flea market I come across. I’ve also ordered a few pieces at auction.
So when it comes to the old adage, do these headpieces qualify as something old and something new?
Absolutely! I even have a few blue ones, too!
Brides can find Greenan’s designs at Rizik’s (1100 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-223-4050) and Blush Bridal Boutique (7344 Atlas Walk Way, Gainesville; 703-753-8303), but the Vintage Bride collection is available only online. Prices in the collection range from $120 to $350.
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