Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Real Wedding: Jaimee and Steve

Good morning!  I have a sweet wedding to share with you all today from Jessica Hill Photography.  One of my favorite parts of this wedding is the location:  Mt. Hood Timberline Lodge.  A magical setting up in the Cascade Mountain range full of tradition and enchantment.  It's just breathtaking.  Another reason why I love this couple, they created their wedding rings in a foundry!  I just can't get enough of all the personalized touches brides and grooms come up with--this one is truly one-of-a-kind! 

Thank you to Jessica for capturing this beautiful celebration and congrats to Jaimee and Steve and their new life together!  Be sure to check out the vendor listing at the end of the post--it's a great list of some wonderful vendors here in Portland!

Location: Timberline Lodge, http://www.timberlinelodge.com/weddings/ (that's Oregon's Mt. Hood in the background!)
Makeup: Austie Eckley, http://www.austieeckley.com/
Flowers: Blum In Design, http://www.blumfloraldesign.com/
Videography: Shields Films, http://www.shieldsfilms.com/
Reception Music: Bad Mitten Orchestre, http://www.myspace.com/badmittenmusic
Firedancers: Flamebuoyant, http://www.flamebuoyant.com/
Photo Booth: The Original Photo Booth, http://www.theoriginalphotobooth.com/


I wanted to share with you those big three designers who influenced my own creating over the past few seasons.  Their imprint is on just about everything we see in the clothing arts.  Here it is, my own version of each designer . . . .

Art Meets Fashion
Jewelry by Studiolo
Christian Dior revolutionized fashion in 1947 with his “New Look”, a 180 turn out of the gray days of fashion following WWII.  Once restrictions lifted on fabric post war, Dior had the freedom to introduce the hourglass silhouette, showing off a cinched waist atop skirts flowing in yards of silks and layers of crinoline. Recently this defined  waist has made a come back and brides are loving it.


The great Mademoiselle Chanel spanned several eras of changing fashion. Her most notable signatures are close fitting cloche style hats, halters, separates, jerseys and strands of many different pearl necklaces all worn at once. Until her retirement in 1939, she was the probably the world's most influential designer. She made a comeback in the 1950s ushering in her most enduring contribution to fashion, The Chanel suit still popular today.
I see the Chanel bride of today much like Mademoiselle herself. Casual and classy, sophisticated and quirky. Above all stylish. The bride above is in separates: a Chantilly lace halter paired up with a long shantung skirt with a sweep train. All her accessories are inspired by Chanel.

Balenciaga Inspired
Photos by John Truong and Stuart Lirette


Balenciaga was one of a handful of couturiers who could actually design, cut, and sew his own designs. A designer's designer, his minimalist creations  were so well crafted they resembled sculptures and were considered the optimal of haute couture circa 1950s and 1960s. Balenciaga would have stayed in Madrid designing for the Spanish aristocracy but the Spanish Civil War forced him to Paris where post war he did some of his most innovative work (see what hanging with a bunch of Paris designers can inspire?).

All gowns and headpeices available though Amy-Jo Tatum 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bridal Hairstyles

Good morning!  It's hard to get back into the swing of things after a long, lazy Thanksgiving week!  It was so nice to have my hubbie home and spend time with our families!

I love these modern bridal hairstyles, especially the faux bob above.  Those beautiful curls are just at the right spot for a bride wearing a bird cage or flyaway veil!

{images: Olivia Graham for Instyle}


How gorgeous are these?  British milliner Jane Taylor creates fascinators, hats and headpieces to die for.  In her London studio you'll find everything from vintage-inspired to the theatrical.  Plumes, netting, beads and other gems are found by Jane and woven into all the imaginative chic you see here.  You'll find  her work in Vogue, Elle, and Harpers and of course the bridal mags like Brides UK and Cosmopolitan Brides.  Check out her truly visual feast of a site  Jane Taylor Millinery

Photos courtesy Brides UK

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Thankful for You
I see the last of November as the perfect break in the holidays for a late fall wedding.  All these deep amber, ochre and aubergine touches say we're just teetering on the brink of winter.  Check out the ivy laced in with the roses . . . the fruits and berries.  Many thanks to Shana over at SMP Style Circle.  I'm forever lifting her beautiful inspiration boards off the site to share with you.  And for a real treat in bridal potpourri check out her blog, Bauble and Bubbles.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Winter Beeches
It's officially winter!  At least here in Northern California where the temps have been dropping below freezing at night.  To celebrate the coming of warm and cozy, please enjoy this series of images that the talented Sarah Ehman over at SMP Style Circle whipped up for us.  Want even more inspiration?  You have to see her blog oomphasis, all about mail enhancement (ha, ha!) and other paperlicious goods . . .

Friday, November 26, 2010


Now that it's official, Kate and Wills are tying the knot in the one-thousand year old  Westminster Abbey come April 29, the burning question is, "What will Kate wear?  We can speculate till spring and only one thing will be certain between now and then: Kate will choose a British designer.  I thought this the perfect opportunity to launch a series focusing on the innovative talents of British bridal designers.  First of all, let me say, along with the Dutch, England turns out the most talented bridal designers in the world.  The British can be a bit bi-polar when it comes to fashion though.  Rooted deep is a loyal tradition for adhering to proper dress and protocol.   Despite this, the fashion rebellion and/or avant garde factor is usually going full tilt as well.  Wasn't it cutting edge sixties icon Mary Quant who introduced the mini skirt?  Soon after a plethora of revolutionary mod designs streamed off Carnaby Street and changed the not only the way we dressed forever--but how we lived.  Mix these two extremes--traditional and radical and you're in for some great  if not juxtaposed style sensations . . .

There's something very romantic about British bridal fashion.  They seem to have the waif/Goth/fairy-tale image all figured out . . . frothy head pieces, gossamer fabrics, florals everywhere.  This is just a sampling of a few of my my favs in the industry . . .

Charlotte Balbier

Charlotte's gowns have either that rose or yellow hue about them including all those gorgeous accessories that go with the look. Always, always so incrdibly feminine . . .

Sassi Holford

One of the reasons I love Sassi's creations other than they are works of art in lace is that she designs and has all her gowns made by hand in her studio. Also I hear she's been in the business almost thirty years and is self taught. She sounds a lot like me.   Sassi’s gowns are known mostly for cut, fit and her incredible use of just the right fabric.

Don't these designs reflect an incredible storybook quality . . .  with a real bit of edge?  Based in her design studio and store in Congleton, Cheshire, Sharon recently paired up with Rosie Panasar, a pioneer in the Asian wedding industry. The bridal wear Sharon and Rosie turn out now is a tour de fore of innovation as well as cut. The imagination and execution of their designs make them true style setters.
I've been following this designer for many years and always marvel that she can take romantisim in so many different directions.  A top notch corset maker, Terry works this skill into
making gorgeous costume-inspired wedding gowns as well.  Her site has a beautiful gifts section and is truly an experience you won't want to miss.


Caroline Castigliano

Caroline is a master of combining fabrics and layering --underneath as well as outer fabrics
so that they flow and move beautifully.  She also sits down with her clients before any gowns are even looked at and spends about 15 minutes getting to know all about them. 

Jasper Conran

I think of Jasper Conran as a pruist when it comes to style.  A fav designer of the Diana Generation Royals, Jasper designed Lardy Sarah Armstrong-Jones wedding gown  Niece of the Queen, her 1994 wedding gown was simple and elegant.  In 1982 Vogue called Jasper Conran a ‘British superlative’. At only 26 he won the British Designer of the Year Award. Here's what Mary Quant had to say about Conran, 'He makes clothes women want to wear’.

Jasper Conran

Jenny originally trained as a textile designer.The shapes of Packham's dresses may be basic and simple but the construction is more detailed and could be compared to the Dioresque designs of the  1950s, big on intricately placed seams, linings and inner-linings as well as boning and shaping materials. Her full skirts are made with layers of stiff netting and crin..  Best known for accentuating the female form

Art of Being by Elizabeth Emanuel

Elizabeth was Princess Diana's wedding gown designer. The day Diana emerged from her carriage swathed in tulle and taffeta, her storybook gown opened up so many new possibilities. Suddenly bridal designers and manufacturers could innovate and even break a few rules. Overnight Diana, with the help of the husband and wife team known as the Emanuels, eclipsed the granny gown and cookie cutter bridal uniforms of the time.   Fast forward almost thirty years and Elizabeth Emanuel is still producing gowns reflecting that little bit of Belle Epoch, a little bit Boho . . .

Art of Being by Elizabeth Emanuel

Actually Phillipa Lepley is the front runner in the, Who Will Design Kate's Dress Competition?  Known for her sweet and classic gowns, imagine Grace Kelly (of whom Kate resembles)  in one of these gems. 

Phillipa Lepley

Phillipa Lepley

Stay tuned here to find out more about the hottest British designers.  I'll be covering just about everything British and bridal all through the new year . . .