The combo of pink and navy has always inspired me. A happy and classy mix these colors work for decor, clothing and paper. Thank you Naomi V. Goodman of Enchanted Dream Weddings and Affairs for putting together such fabulous images . . .
With all this winter around us it's surprising to think spring will be here in no time. Here's a look at an up and coming collection offering a bit of beaucoup in head chic. All these flowers you see here are hand dyed, hand cut and pressed by the artist, Jenn Wood of Mignonne. Says the designer, " I love to use lots of interesting bits of vintage this and that to add whimsy and magic, some of the vintage items used have been handpicked by me in the flea markets of France. I incorporate my own aesthetic when creating these flowers and as a result they are not "perfect" factory made looking pieces, they are all individual . . . . ."
This summer we're planning a whole editorial for Bride Chic just on The Bridal Blouse. . A little background here on how all this evolved. When I first started out as a designer my specialty was very intricate and lacy white blouses reminiscent of Laura Ashley's early work. Because I'd worked as a bridal buyer I had access and discounts to some of the most beautiful silks and laces in the world. Like a kid in a candy store, daily I was next to Alencon, Chantilly, Schiffli and Valenciennes to name just a few. I paired up these frothy creations with black velvet and taffeta skirts, making them perfect for evening and gala events.
White lace blouse equals bride; brides of course found me out and that's one of the reasons I'm here chatting with you about the advantages of wearing separates on your wedding day. Wear the blouse on your wedding day and pair it up with that black velvet pencil skirt on New Years. This is one of the best ways to go green. A long white tulle or lace skirt can be reworn with a jacket, corset, bustier, sweater . . . oh yes, I could go on and on here detailing the afterlife of your wedding ensemble . . .
Remember Carrie Bradshaw's Manolos? The ones she forgot and went back for that changed her fate all together? These blue icons do keep turning up out there in the fashion arena almost like a metaphor, reminding us, things aren't always as concrete as we see them. Add some blue dash to the formula via accessories, flowers and edibles and you've created more magic. Thank you to Shana over at SMP Style Circleonce again. She has a real knack for putting together colorful inspirations. You'll find more lovely stuff on her blog, Baubles and Bubbles.
Inspired by retro chic, British designer Suzannah has fused Parisian style with a twist of NYC thrown into the mix. All these pieces incorporate exquisite tailoring in top drawer fabrics. The great thing about this line is Suzannah is open to customizing dresses to fit as well as making changes to the original design (that is if you are in the UK). My eye was originally drawn to her line because of her expertly done applications on fabric as well as the imagination she has for drawing the best out of the past. For evoking a real vintage note, I give this designer an A plus for sure . . .
Have I got a a heap of eye candy for you today! Knowing how much you love gala and all that goes with it, I'll get right down to the swoon-worthy stuff. Last Friday was opening night at the San Francisco Opera. With a time-honored tradition for 'Puttin' on the Ritz', SF's opening is a bit like Cannes Film Festival meeting New Year's Eve in Old Vienna. Premiering with Pucini's Turandot, the parade of chic was especially inspiring this year and if you're as amped on couture as I am this is your visual fix for awhile. Notice all those bridal designers we know and love simply switch to technicolor when they come out on nights like this. . . .
WHAT'S NEW ON THE RED CARPET?
TREND#1.) Prints and Drapery . . . While we've been seeing prints featured more and more on the Red Carpet they had particular significance Friday night following Turandot's eastern theme. Add all the brightly embossed and embroidered fabrics and there was a real show of color. Gowns with draping have been no strangers on the runways and carpet; now designers are moving into asymmetrical and pleat variations in both bodices and skirts for evening wear. Above: Marissa Mayer (of Google fame) looked fabulous in a gold shot print gown created by none other than The Duchess of Cambridge's own wedding gown designer, Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. Below: Former Mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown with Sonya Molodetskaya in a gorg purple and lavender asymmetrically draped and fitted gown by Azadeh Couture . . .
Above: Deepa Pakianathan wears a Rubin Singer. A rich blue, the cut and lightness of silk organza are all this gown needs to take a walk down the Red Carpet. Check out the asymmetrically pleated bodice and draped skirt--a real must see must see in action on the video as Deepa goes through some serious twirls .
TREND#2.) EMBROIDERY. I haven't seen this kind of handiwork since the 60s when Oscar de la Renta introduced variations of it in the peasant/gypsy look. Well, Oscar is alive and well now reinventing gypsies into Czarinas as you can see in this masterpiece worn by Dede Wilsey. The detail work is exquisite and first glance totally took my breath away. Check out the video to get a close up of the intricate hand work.
In a word, awesome! Lucy Buchanan wears this all over embroidered Naeem Khan so beautifully. The movement in the train is just too stunning and can be seen in the video . . .
TREND#3.) Ruffles Have you noticed they're everywhere in bridal and gala wear with so many variations I could write a whole book about it. Of all the ruffled gowns (and there were stacks) this Christian Siriano worn by Afsaneh Akhatari took the prize and is another video must see.
DESIGNERS GOING GALA
SF Opera opening night has it's handful of fashion designers local as well as international that show up and look magnificent in their own creations. Above is the ever elegant and beautiful Karen Caldwell in a plum confection I just love with knotted/ruched drapery . . .Her bow at the waist is signature Karen. . . .
Jewelry designer Amber Marie Bentley is always beyond the fashion curve. Her 'Over the Edge' look lies somewhere between underground and the most quintessential couture . . .
Above left is Bay Area designer Rebecca Bruce in a masterpiece of silk and satin patchwork, following the eastern theme of this event. If you love one-of-a-kind couture with an edge keep a watch on this designer .
So . . . which of all these gowns is your favorite? It was hard for me to go through hundreds and pick the few that made it to this post. However, I feel this sampling encapsules just how Red Carpet Fashion is developing, evolving and moving to the next level . . . .
Lastly a note of thanks here. Getting it done professionally with an event of this size and scope is a gargantuan task. Without the top notch coverage Drew Altizer Photography gave to SF's Opening Night, this editorial wouldn't be possible. Special thanks to SF Gate for use of the video which I'm sure you'll all find enlightening and inspiring.
Want some out of the ordinary inspiration? Check out these gemmies by indie designer, Cherelle Yvette of Antithtesis Designs. Based in Galveston, Texas, Cherelle's pieces are full of unexpected elements and changes of texture. Says Cherelle, "I made a promise to myself to design for the person and not for the masses considering the wearer by creating garments that help seal memories… stealing moments in time. I design for the Woman, the Lady, and the Lover. It is my aim to infuse these components into each of my collections. My Client is the opposite of ordinary making the world pay attention one person at a time . . . ."
see more images of Aurora
For those of you unfamiliar with Sample Tuesday/Thursday, here's the lowdown: From time to time I sell off some of the photographic samples. So what you ask, is a photographic sample? It is a mock up made up just for the photo shoot in materials close to but not yet ready for prime time such as the almost priceless silks in which they are custom ordered by clients. It can also be the original and yummy silk dress I make that is two or three seasons old. In any case your sample will be one-of-a-kind and handmade, have couture techniques like hand-picked zipper and hand-tacked linings no machinery can emmulate. Before I sell these gems rest assured they do go through proper refurbishing and cleaning. Fabric samples on request.
What could be more bridal than a cloud of white tulle and Chantilly lace? Add to that the lace is backed with a blue/gray lining. With peach accents it reminds me of a muted pastel sunset. The skirt is four layers of tulle and a separate slip of crinoline and tulle. Detailed touches include a row of buttons accenting the back and it is all pulled together with a blue and peach sash. Can be ordered with detachable pearl straps. The headpiece is coral-peachy handmade silk florals attached to a tulle bow.
Photos: Ryan Chua Photography
Dresses and Headpieces: Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal Couture
Makeup: Juliane Chai
Hair: Steph Tsai
Model: Dominique Ansari
An Etsy store that has absolutely captured my heart is Tavin. Their selection of vintage wedding dresses is off-the-charts. As you can see in these images the range of decade dressing spans from 1900s-inspired to the 1960s Chantilly lace bridal gown . If you're lucky enough to live in SOCAL, Tavin has an actual brick and mortar shop in Echo Park Check it out at 1543 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026.