Monday, June 28, 2010

Gothic Glamour

With such a fabulously bright sunny start to another week in our gorgeous city, we thought it would be the perfect time to share with you some fantastic new images we have, courtesy of the brilliant photographer, Josie Lee and very talented stylist Jam Baylon.
With what can only be described as “goth glamour”, this photo shoot has taken the soft beauty that is often associated with bridal gowns and twisted and contorted it with striking results, creating some truly beautiful images. 

Karen Willis Holmes 'Gabriella' couture gown

Karen Willis Holmes 'Maddison' couture gown

Karen Willis Holmes 'Margot' skirt (with hoop underneath)

We love this new take on our gowns, especially when you consider that each of these looks are still very wearable for your wedding day. At Karen Willis Holmes we have always loved the black and white combination – it is such a simple way to lift a traditional gown and give it a more modern and sexy look. You can see that even dramatic costume jewellery can totally transform your whole gown’s look and feel.

Thank you to Josie and Jam for sharing their beautiful images with us. To see more of their amazing work, view their portfolios at the links below.

Photographer: Josie Lee

Stylist: Jam Baylon

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Real Weddings... Edith and Michael

At Karen Willis Holmes, we love when our brides share their photos with us from their wedding. It is so wonderful to see how all the elements come together on the big day, and also to see how each bride puts her signature on the gown they have chosen.

Today we are lucky enough to share a “Real Wedding” story that is very close to our hearts. One of our employees from the Paddington store, Edith, married in October 2009 and has kindly allowed us to share with you the story and photos of her wedding.

Michael and Edith

Edith and Michael had been dating for about 9 years when he proposed while holidaying in Europe. “Michael had planned to propose in Paris when we were going to go to the ballet and out for a beautiful dinner,” said Edith. “But after he lost his credit card in Barcelona, the location was scaled back to a beautiful bridge where he proposed with the Art Deco engagement ring that belonged to his grandmother”.

Then, with a date set for Friday October 23rd, Edith and Michael began planning for their big day.

Deciding on the beautiful Carrington Hotel in Katoomba for the location was the natural choice, after having spent several anniversaries in the area. “We love the cold, the antique stores, and the natural landscape in the area,” said Edith. “We have always loved the grandeur of The Carrington. It was perfect for our old-fashioned sensibilities.”

And it is these sensibilities that helped to create the theme for the day. Being devoted to all things of the 1940’s and 50’s, Edith wanted the event to be reminiscent of these eras stylistically. “I wanted the whole thing to feel like one of the jazz age ‘swell parties’.”

Even though Edith was always surrounded by Karen Willis Holmes gowns at work, she said she was unsure what direction she would take when it came time to picking her own gown. After meeting with both Karen and Francesca from the Paddington store, Edith tried a few different options but decided it was the couture Sharon gown that really captured her. “The impeccable construction and the intricate surface detailing reminded me of corsets from the Victorian era, which fit nicely with the theme.” said Edith.

Edith's gown - the couture Sharon gown.

For something extra special, Edith opted for silver fabric to be used when making the gown. “I did not plan on wearing silver but as soon as I tried it on I fell in love with the lustre of the fabric and the way the colour changed with the light.” With Edith’s beautiful red hair and milky skin, the silver contrast looked absolutely amazing on her. Edith finished her outfit with a beautiful silver garter that was made for her by a friend.

The silver colour looked especially fabulous when teamed with the gorgeous purple bouquets made by Ria Floral, Bondi. Edith entrusted all artistic direction to Ria for the floral arrangements, who created pieces filled with Burgundy David Austin roses, Queen of the Night tulips, silver Dusty Miller foliage and Juniper berries in floral arrangement stands and bouquets for Edith and her bridesmaids to carry.

Edith's bouquet and flowers by Ria Floral 

The bridesmaids each wore a different black gown from Wayne Cooper, Morrissey and one bridesmaid wore a vintage black dress, while the groomsmen were donned in handsome suits from David Jones suit hire.

Edith and her three beautiful bridesmaids

Michael wore a beautiful charcoal, lightweight, Australian wool suit from Farage, Strand Arcade teamed with a pair of olive coloured ostrich skin cowboy boots from Route 66, just to add some extra flair to his attire.

Music played a key part in Edith and Michael’s wedding, as Michael is a musician and Edith absolutely loves to dance. They had the “Snaketown Rattlers Swing 5 Piece” perform, along with “Wheelers and Dealers Irish Trio”. The song chosen for the first dance was “Dance Me to the End of Love” by Leonard Cohen and was actually sung by the groom.

Edith and Michael

All in all, Edith and Michael said that they had a truly wonderful day and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We may be slightly biased, but we do think that their wedding was just beautiful and we love the overall look of the day.

Photos by Infinity Sydney

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Bride to Be May-Jul 2010 issue

At Karen Willis Holmes we love our bridal magazines – such a fantastic source of inspiration and also a great place for brides to get ample information and advice that is really beneficial in their planning process.

One bridal publication that has just released their new issue, setting the tone for brides to be in the chilly winter months, is the appropriately named, Bride to Be. With 8 issues per year, editor Amelia Bloomfield always manages to pack the best in bridal onto her beautiful pages and the May-July 2010 issue is no exception.

In this issue, Amelia and the team at Bride to Be have given us plenty to love: “A Venues Special” (page 249), which is a special highlighting over 40 different locations for your ceremony and reception; “Your Day” (page 69) which features 16 fabulous real weddings and an opportunity to take inspiration from other brides; and the “Ultimate Gown Guide” (page 201) an amazing resource to help you choose the best gown for your big day. 

Of course, for us, the “Ultimate Gown Guide” is our favourite piece in this issue!
With options ranging from dramatic and attention-grabbing, to simple, understated glamour, there is literally something for everyone. There are also small titbits of advice on each page from the Bride to Be team to help you choose the perfect gown in relation to your personal preferences, whether it be related to length, style, or features.

We are so flattered to have three Karen Willis Holmes gowns featured also. Two of our stunning couture gowns - Gabriella’ and ‘Satine’ provide real wow-factor for your special day, while ready-to-wear option, ‘Greta’, is a slim, empire line gown, which creates a sexy and sophisticated look.

The major feature editorial for this issue was taken out into the wilderness of Tasmania resulting in a truly breathtaking photoshoot. Our couture gown ‘Maddison’ was shot perched high on a mountain top with a truly stunning backdrop. The amazing natural scenery creates such a fantastic contrast to the starkness of the gown, making it really pop on the page. 

Something exciting and new to share is the launch of Bride to Be’s new online shop. You may remember that we did a feature on the blog recently where we mentioned that Karen had the fortune of being invited to celebrate the introduction of Bride to Be’s current issue as well as being one of the lucky first to find out about the online store. Well the store is now open to the public!

Providing a space for a range of goods to meet the needs of every bride, from adorable wedding favours to amusing cake toppers, invitations and decorations, bridal shower supplies and even a range of parasols which offer a perfect alternative to a bouquet. The Bride to Be online shop has all the little things you need to make your wedding complete.

Between the magazine and the store, every bride will be able to find whatever ideas they could possibly need to help put their mark on their own big day with the help of Bride to Be. 

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sex and the City 2

Sex and the City 2

Friendships, Cosmopolitans, Love, Shoes and Fashion… what else but ‘Sex and The City’?

The highly anticipated release of the second movie instalment is finally here, and along with many girls (and boys) around the globe, the team here at Karen Willis Holmes are very excited to see what the girls are up to.

When we hear ‘Sex and the City’ we can’t help but think of fashion! Over the course of the six season series and film duo, there has been plenty of memorable fashion. There have been a few wedding gowns throughout time and then there have been some simply inspirational frocks that can be translated to the perfect dress to walk down the aisle in. To celebrate the release of ‘Sex and the City 2’, we thought we might share with you some of our favourites along with ideas on how you can recreate the look for your big day.

Carrie has always been the risk taker when it comes to fashion. She can work any outfit to make it look like a million dollars, no matter how much of a jumble of fabric, texture and style it may be.
While it isn’t a wedding gown, this gorgeous frock adorned by Carrie in season 2 is simply gorgeous. If you love this look, try our ‘Keisha’ gown. With an all-over muted sequin fabric, there is a gorgeous shimmer and the corseted bodice will give you a figure as enviable as one Ms Bradshaw!

Season 6 saw Carrie head to Paris where she wore some truly amazing pieces and this one is no exception. With circular ruffles, tulle and lace cap sleeves and bodice, this gown is simply perfection.
Love it? Opt for something like our couture gown Carrine with its layers of circles, and matching bolero to create the kind of drama that comes with an ‘it’ gown.

The eternal debate – are you Team Big or Team Aidan? Whoever you feel Carrie belongs with, you simply can’t not love Aidan! There were plenty of girls who thought Carrie to be mad when Aidan tried to convince Carrie to elope with him and she turned him down. It was picture perfect – Aidan looking swish in his tux and Carrie looks simply fabulous in this stunning white, fishtail gown that fits her like a glove. For a simple, slim-fitting fish-tail look, ‘Sharon’ is our recommendation.


Some of the best bridal fashion was showcased in the first ‘Sex and the City’ film. Carrie lived every girl’s dream, donning some amazing couture gowns for a Vogue photo shoot.
This simple style made of gorgeous lace can be matched here with the ‘Georgie’ gown.

Carrie looks gorgeous in an adorable, short, layered number. ‘Gina’ is a suitable modern option with layered ruffles on the bodice, but a simple skirt to keep with tradition.

A strapless asymmetrical silk gown is a classic look that suits most figures. Opt for ‘Rebecca’, with an asymmetrical skirt and draping on the bodice – it is oh so flattering.  

Ruffles ruffles ruffles – the fashion forward Carrie (and stylist Patricia Field) honed in early on the current trend with this choice of gown. The ‘Ribbon corset’ and ‘Full Petal skirt’ is a fabulous and fun option for ruffles in a bridal gown.

Ruffles again – but slightly more subtle this time round. For those who love the idea of ruffles, but not keen on the all-over look, go for ruffles on the skirt like ‘Roberta’ for a more sharp and sexy look.

What a dramatic vintage look! We love structured jackets, and if you are the same, go for a full skirt and bodice like ‘Chantilly bodice’ and ‘Margot skirt’ to create Carrie’s full skirted look, and finish it off with a structured silk jacket like ‘Megan’.

‘The Dress’ – what every girl is searching for, and Carrie found her true love (in bridal fashion) in the form of this amazing gown that helped bring the full-gown look back into fashion. ‘Sophia’ is a fabulous choice – right on trend, with plenty of soft layers to create that striking look!

But the fashion isn’t always just Carrie – the other girls all had their moments in the limelight too, each channelling their own personalities through their fashion choices.

When she got the marriage right with the lovable Harry she also wore the right dress for her beautiful, understated Jewish ceremony. If you love this look then ‘Collette’, with its soft silk georgette and lace cap sleeves is the perfect wedding dress beautiful candidate.

When marrying Trey, Charlotte wore an amazing dress with a fuller skirt. A beautiful combination is the ‘Annabelle bodice’ with its beaded lace and the ‘Margot skirt’, which when put together create a simply gorgeous, strapless look.

Spoiler alert!

In the latest movie, will Samantha get hitched? With photos like these emerging, we can only hold our breath and wait and see.
Samantha’s amazing figure is perfect in this gown (centre). For the same shape with all over lace, go for ‘Georgie’. Love the shape but not the lace? Stunning ‘Evaline’ would be the best choice for you.

We loved Miranda’s original choice of gown and colour here with the rich red velvet working fabulously with her red locks.
‘Scarlett bodice’ and ‘Camellia skirt’, shot previously by Bride to Be magazine, is a bold option for unconventional brides.

Want to wear a different colour to ivory but not feeling as daring as Miranda?
Follow the lead of our real bride Fleur, and go for either a metallic tone such as silver, also seen in our ‘Sharon’ gown. For a softer look, an ice blue like our real bride Anna is also a pretty option.

Bridal gowns can look really fabulous in colours other than that found on the ivory/white palette, so if you are wanting some kind of colour on your big day, there are many different options that we can help you explore – just ask!

So there you have it ladies, proof that you can channel any of the four girls in your wedding gown selection for the big day! So looking forward to the movie tonight!!

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