Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wonderful extras

On your wedding day, your wedding gown will be one of the stars. The gown itself will be gorgeous, but there are loads of options that you can have to really accentuate the design, work with your theme and finish off your look. The brides below have opted for some classic (and not so classic) extras that work wonderfully.

Rachel Hamilton accessorised her gown with a lime green sash and a pretty floral print parasol. Gorgeous choices for a spring garden setting. 

One of our couture brides, Holly (Nolan) Kendall, chose to have a soft latte coloured sash around her waist. With all of the elaborate and delicate lace appliqued onto the gown, something like this helps to bring all of the different elements together to a focal point, with the added bonus of being very flattering by cinching in the waist. Her diamante hair comb was also a beautiful touch.

Michelle Sprogis chose one of our favourite diamante brooches from our stores. This brooch (which we call the 'Spider brooch') works fabulously with so many looks, but particularly well with the 'Velvet Ribbon bodice' which Michelle wore on her special day. 

We have featured our couture bride Kris Teychenne before, but I could not resist the opportunity to put her in this post again. She chose a headpiece (instead of a veil) which is something a lot of brides are opting to do. For those who do not want a traditional veil this can be a stylish alternative. We have also had a lot of brides who wear their veil for walking down the aisle, then switch to a headpiece for the reception.

Lauren Neil looks so pretty in a headpiece with face net.

Another one of our couture brides, Jade Hawkins, looks stunning in her gown, with a rich green velvet ribbon sash and a green headpiece as well. Both worked perfectly with her flowers and her colour theme.

Another extra feature which is very 'in' right now is the one shouldered flower corsage. Laure Dickson-Battye teamed her gown with our soft bella georgette corsage over her left shoulder - gorgeous! 

And lastly, our couture bride Cindi Roennfeldt accessorises her gown with a flower in her hair and a cute little bub in her arms - what an adorable look!
(Photo by Blumenthal)

Check out more real brides on our website

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Bless this windy weather!

Now we all know that for your wedding day, you hope and pray for a gorgeous sunny day with perfect skies, no rain and calm conditions. And, in Australia, it is not just wishful thinking. We are quite blessed with lovely temperatures most of the year.
But sometimes, Mother Nature likes to throw a bit of something our way that we didn't necessarily expect or want. And your first reaction could be panic and stress. (I hope I am not making anyone panic now?)
We, at Karen Willis Holmes, receive a lot of pictures from our beautiful brides from their wedding day and I do have a very long list of favourites (I basically love all the shots we get from our brides). But some of the best ones, are the ones where the weather has not been perfectly ideal. So, IF you wake up on your wedding day, and it is a smidgen windier than you expected, you can think about these photos below, and know that regardless, you will have a huge smile on your face (like all the brides below) and a wonderful day (I mean you are marrying the love of your life!)- and you will end up with some amazing photos too!

Danielle Sullivan - looks fabulous despite trying to organise her train.

Danielle Sullivan - One of my favourite couple shots of all time.

Marianne Nahas - has a laugh and looks adorable.

Emma Neil - her husband should be helping her with her veil but is distracted by how beautiful she looks!

Naomi Lincoln - so dramatic!

Sarah Eddy-O'Shannessy has her faithful bridesmaids helping her keep her gown and veil down.

Fleur Elson-White in a non-traditional silver gown looks stunning while trying to hold onto her veil.

Helen Colville looks pretty as a picture with her gown whipping out behind her.

Jenny Luong - in San Francisco has the help of her husband to hold onto her dress.

If you would like any more information on any of these gorgeous real brides, please feel free to email us or check out our website.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Love and bicycles...

Wow, we are doing a lot of posts lately!
(I am sure you can tell I am trying to catch up from when we moved).
I absolutely love today's featured real bride and wedding. 
The fateful day that Samantha Swian (nee Gibbens) chose her gown, she walked into our store in Paddington, Sydney, wanting to show her mum another gown she had tried on with us before. She wasn't 100% sure about it but she knew she loved it and it was a contender for 'the gown'. She put it on, and she looked very pretty but something didn't seem right. Then she saw another gown (new into the store that week) hanging up next to the fitting room. She thought she would give it a go even though it didn't have as much rack appeal as the other one. As soon as she walked out in it, everyone, including her mum and the girls at the store, breathed a collective sigh - we just knew it was perfect. She told us she had a black hand beaded ribbon from her grandmother (who beaded it during the depression!) that she wanted to wear as a sash and we knew that it would look pretty special. 
The photos are just beautiful - they were taken by Photos by Jay.

What a stunning shot!

Samantha accessorised her gown with a hand beaded ribbon from her grandmother, and a flower from Etsy.

The happy couple relaxed and having some fun in their pictures.

Samantha's husband, True, is a bit of an avid cyclist so their wedding theme was centred around bikes. 

The couple were married in the Hunter Valley and their reception was at Roberts Restaurant (an absolutely beautiful place with delicious food!)

So adorably cute! (She is going to be a heartbreaker..)


I would like to say thank you to you, and ask that you pass on a Big Thank you to all of your Staff at the Paddington Store for their help with my wedding dress!

Your staff all made every step of the way so fun and an enjoyable experience, from trying on gowns to final fittings I felt like a princess!! At my last fitting the girls asked if I could send through a few photos of the wedding day. The photographer has posted some pics on His Blog: 

Both dress and Veil are KWH, I accessorised with a black hand beaded ribbon my grandmother had made during the depression, I found the sequined Purple flower on a handmade site called ETSY.

Thankyou again!

Samantha Gibbens"

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Crazy but fabulous!

There is a new phenomenon going around for brides called 
'Trash the dress'.
Of course when I first heard about this, I did not really pay much attention as the words 'trash the dress' give me a bit of a mini heart attack.
Then, one of our brides Michelle Iovannella, sent me this picture of her and her new husband on their wedding day, looking radiant and happy.

Then she sent me more pictures, from her 'trash the dress' photo shoot.
I almost fell off my chair when I saw her standing in water with her dress and her veil! But she assured me in her email that the shoot was after the actual wedding - phew!
Once, I got over that little shock of seeing her gorgeous silk dress wet, I opened up all her other photos, and my second feeling was amazement - I was blown away at how fantastic the images were. Having the shoot after the wedding as well, made for some fabulous relaxed shots. 
We have featured Michelle in one of our newsletters before, but I thought this would be a good time to show all of you a few more of her 'trash the dress' images as more couples seem to embrace this idea - and I can understand why!

This is one of my favourite shots - she looks like she is having so much fun!

This is like a scene in some romantic movie...

Definitely a shot worthy of a closing scene in a movie -
the couple finally find each other and live happily ever after!

"Hi Karen!
Just thought you would like to see some photos from our 'trash the dress' photo shoot! Don't worry, the dress survived! It actually came out a little cleaner than what it was from the wedding day!

Michelle Iovannella"

All photos from Cato & Pade Photography
Check out our website for more real brides.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

A romantic garden setting

Today's wedding is a gorgeously pretty wedding in a quaint and romantic garden setting.
The happy couple are obviously smitten with each other (as you will see by the pictures!)
Simone Taylor wore our Karenna gown - a perfect choice.

A kiss by the gate...

The draped bodice showed off Simone's figure beautifully. 

This looks like a shot from a period film...
(Another stolen kiss!)

The gorgeous couple obviously just adore each other. True love!

"My wedding was in October of last year and I thought I'd send you a picture and to drop you a note to Thank you so much for making my wedding day that much more special by creating my amazing gown, it was so comfortable and all my guests commented on how beautiful it looked. I'm so glad I discovered you!

Kind Regards,


View more of our real brides on our website.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

New studio launch party!

We had a successful launch party last Wednesday, to celebrate the move to our new premises!
We did move last November, but we have been so busy getting the studio looking fabulous and perfect, that we only just managed to hold a party.
It was such a fun night with delicious food and drinks from Simone Logue catering, amazing music from the Accent strings Trio and, of course all our guests!
All the guests we invited were our friends, staff and industry - people who are special to us in their own way, and we had so many of them coming along to celebrate with us, which was wonderful.
I have some images from the party, as well as some images of our space looking pristine and perfect before everyone arrived to show all of you where all our gorgeous Karen Willis Holmes gowns and creations are made. There are quite a few pictures this time - enjoy!

Our front door with one of my favourite couture gowns, 'Gabriella'

Our office - where I envision all the beautiful gowns and designs...

The Workroom - where my fabulous staff make my visions a reality.

The Couture studio - where some of the gowns end up. This is where I meet with couture clients to show them (or design with them) their dream dress!

The kitchen - where we all sit for a break and a cuppa.

At our launch party, we had catering organised by Simone Logue. They provided us with the delicious canapes on the night, and a range of alcohol to keep all of us happy. The wait staff were all lovely. Here, they pose next to the perfectly set 'bar' before the guests arrive.

Four gorgeous Karen Willis Holmes past and present staff members, myself included!
From left to right - Teresa, Karen (me), Anna (Romance was Born), Nitasha

Francesca and Edith from our ready to wear store in Paddington, Sydney

Francesca, Karen (me), Tony (Sass and Bide) and Carl.

Natalia and Lina - two of our Karen Willis Holmes staff 

Rowena (Harpers Bazaar), Jason, Anna, Natalia, Nick, Teresa and Micah 
A mix of Karen Willis Holmes staff and their partners.

On the night, Jonathon from 'Hatmaker' generously agreed to bring along some marvelous head pieces. We had them on display on one of our big tables and they were just perfect - absolute works of art. 

We were entertained with a mix of classical and popular music by string trio 'Accent Strings'. Their music was wonderful and all three of them were just gorgeous.

Thank you all and I hope you enjoyed all the pictures!

Love Karen and Geoff.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Moving, Renovations and Weddings

It has been a long time since our last post - a huge apology to everyone.
I am sorry we have been a bit slack but we have been so busy with our BIG move last November from Woolloomooloo to Newtown. We are having a big opening party next week with friends and industry, so I promise we will post some photos from that to show all of you our fantastic new space.

We were also very busy renovating the ready to wear store in Sydney, Paddington.
I think it looks even better than before...

Being busy with moving and renovations, has not meant that we have been any less busy with weddings!
We have received a lot of gorgeous pictures from our real brides, and we would love to feature them all.
Today, I wanted to show you some pictures of the wedding of Helen Colville (nee Cusworth).
She was married last October in sunny Noosa, in a beautiful beachside wedding.

This image is just stunning with the white lines on a black background complimenting Helen's gown and black ribbon (almost an inverse reflection) - Fabulous!
The flowers in her hair also work so well with her gown. 

What a beautiful setting...

An adorable image of the gorgeous couple.

"Hi Karen,

I had the pleasure of dealing with both your Melbourne and Sydney stores and just wanted to send you through a couple of photos of me in my Athena gown from my very special wedding day. 

I originally purchased my gown from your Melbourne store as I was there visiting my parents, I then had my fittings from the Paddington store as I live in Sydney. Please pass on my thanks to the lovely ladies at both stores... I was just amazed at how helpful and professional they were and how they knew exactly what to add to the dress to make it look even more stunning!

I'm sure you hear this all the time from your brides but I loved my dress so much and can't believe I only get to wear it once! So pleased with how it turned out in the photos with everyone that sees my dress commenting on how beautiful it was. It was just so perfect and suited the beach location perfectly, it was quite windy on the day but that just made the dress whip out around me and look even better. I was married last year on Oct 26th in beautiful, sunny Noosa and photographed by Brad at Focus Films in Brisbane.

Hope you enjoy the pics!!

Thanks again for creating such elegant and beautiful dresses - such a talent.

Helen Colville (Cusworth)"

We have many more real brides coming!
I can't wait till our big party next week to show you all our new space.
We will put up some pictures then so you can all see it.

Until then, check out our website and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Best wishes,

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