Amazing $4,000 (and over) wedding gowns are standard fare on Say Yes to the Dress, the hugely popular wedding dress shopping reality show. And Kelley Brooks, a gorgeous paraplegic from Tennessee, was the first wheelchair-using bride to be featured on the show.
You know, I’m not quite sure how this episode managed to go under my radar since it aired over a year ago (October 17th, 2009), but thanks to a random Google search I did last week I learned this episode existed, and thanks to Netflix Watch Now, I’ve now seen this episode (Season 4, Episode 7. “The Blowout Sale”). Its truly awesome seeing a wheelchair bride rock such a couture frock on national TV. She looks great; the tummy panel is proving it’s worth in gold, giving Kelley a flat stomach as she’s seated, and her waist is accented well too. Here’s another view of her dress (with the veil).
Refusing to tone down her dream of a grand dress just because of her wheelchair, Kelley ended up purchasing a gorgeous $4,500 strapless Kenneth Poole gown, with a beaded bodice, a-line skirt (with a barely-there slip so no volume was added), and custom-made train (designed by Kleinfeld) that attaches by slipping over her wheelchair backrest. Smart idea, nice effect, and actually doesn’t look cheesy, as you can see below:
If you would’ve told me they were attaching a piece of satin to the back of her chair before seeing this pic, I would’ve cringed in horror (my newly-injured mind would have though such a thing would look juvenile). But as I’ve learned more and more about seated fashion over the years, sometimes working the wheelchair into the outfit isn’t necessarily always by-default a bad idea.
A wheelchair can have a graceful, gliding movement….just like a movement of the hem of a dress as a bride walks. And in an occasion like this when you’re in a processional for cripes sakes, using gorgeous fabrics to create a train, or to even accent/hide certain aspects of the wheelchair (subtley is key), you can transform your wheelchair into a floating throne…or setee (whichever you prefer).
To read an article about Kelly’s story, here’s a nice read from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Bride Says ‘Yes’ to Special Dress
– Tiffiny, the fashionista paralyzed blogger (bio)