Meet Cornelia

Cornelia's namesake bridal art-to-wear store c1980-90s
As a writer and popular guest speaker, wedding folklorist and costume historian Cornelia Powell shares captivating stories of goddess legends and bridal mythology, royal ceremonies and rituals of the heart, fashion history and women’s self-expression—all combined with a bit of cosmic mystery! 
Her latest book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding, features the influence of the archetypal princess’ life on the world of weddings and the lingering effects of the “princess myth” in popular culture. She is also the author of Amazon bestseller The Bride’s Ritual Guide: Look Inside to Find Yourself and The Handkerchief Has Been Thrown! Something Old & Something New for Same-Sex Couples

(Cornelia is at work on the second book in “The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride” series, tentatively titled, A Memory of Beauty: The Spiritual Mission of a Princess.)

Cornelia with Winterthur historian at
Downton Abbey costume exhibit 2014
Ms. Powell was the featured speaker in 2014 at the prestigious Winterthur Museum during their “Costumes of Downton Abbey” exhibit; at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, in the spring of 2015 for the premiere presentation of the “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times” nation-wide touring exhibition; as well as at other venues around the country. She also presented special programs at Biltmore Estate during their 2016 “Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Film” and 2017 “Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics” costume exhibits, highlighting behind-the-scene stories from award-winning costume designers.

King Louis XIV of France said that “fashion is the mirror of history.” And in the imagination of a good storyteller with a bit of costume savvy, the most entertaining “history lessons” are told through this “who-wore-what-when-and-why” mirror! Whether the focus of Ms. Powell’s talks and PowerPoint presentations—full of charming commentary and stunning images—is Downton Abbey, American Heiresses and the London Season, Princess Brides, the Coronations and Weddings of Queens, the Gilded Glamour Aboard the Titanic, or a myriad of other intriguing fashion-related topics, her audiences love the journey. (In addition, as a wedding folklorist and fashion historian Cornelia’s magazine articles and blog posts become an intimate view into a distinctive moment in history.)

Cornelia featured in Victoria
magazine 1993
The author first made headlines in the world of weddings with her nationally celebrated bridal art-to-wear boutique in Atlanta, Georgia, in the 1980s and ‘90s. During this time both Cornelia and her shop were featured in numerous magazines and books including Hearst Publication’s The Business of Bliss: How to Profit from Doing What You Love, highlighting women entrepreneurs presented in Victoria magazine. 

Cornelia at a book signing in 2010 for
The Bride's Ritual Guide
Cornelia is a former associate fashion editor at Vogue magazine and served for years as a member of the Costume Society of America’s Board of Directors. After 30 years in Atlanta, Cornelia moved to the Western North Carolina Mountains in 2008 and now looks out at the world and its ever inspiring landscape from her writing loft nestled on a steep, green mountain ridge.  She claims growing up on a farm in south Alabama, including visits “up the road” with two extraordinary grandmothers, gave her a “wondering” quality about finding beauty in the everyday of Mother Nature. ~
Cornelia's shop in Victoria magazine February 1993
[Three photographs from Victoria magazine courtesy of Hearst Publications; photographer William P. Steele. New York City, USA]

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