Friday, July 30, 2010

A Little Bit of Luxury...

A little bit of luxury…
The Luxury Weddings Yearbook second annual edition

A special media review to share today – it is exciting to reveal the second annual edition of the ‘Luxury Weddings Yearbook’ is on newsstands and ready for every bride-to-be to take hold of and never let go.

The yearbook works to provide a summary of the best of the best for every aspect of the wedding, including everything from fashion and jewels, to photographers and receptions and even destination weddings and honeymoons.

We are very flattered for Victoria Black and the Luxury Weddings team to have included Karen Willis Holmes in their bridal Haute Couture section of the publication.

The stunning ‘Satine’ gown holds pride of place at the opening page of the section, with its combination of contrasting textures, the gown looks simply fabulous on such a sparse page layout.

Karen Willis Holmes ‘Satine’ gown

The Karen Willis Holmes advertorial showcases some of our favourite gowns here at Karen Willis Holmes. All true to Karen’s signature style with simple lines and a hint of drama, these gowns show all the different elements that can take a gown to the next level.

Karen Willis Holmes ‘Angelica’ (top left, and bottom left), ‘Alisha’ (second from top left), ‘Maddison’ (third and fourth from top left), ‘Gabriella’ (full right page) gowns

Karen Willis Holmes ‘Sophia’ (left) and ‘Angelica’ (right) gowns

We love these photographs, especially the way the soft tulle of the Sophia gown is scattered up the stairs and then the shot of fiery red hair of the model, just enhances the crispness of the ivory in the gown.

And Karen Willis Holmes is keeping good company in this edition, with Cartier, Wills Quills and Studio Impressions also being featured, each of them offering brides the best possible service and product for their sector.

The only problem we find with the ‘Luxury Weddings Yearbook’ is that it only comes out once a year – if only we could have it quarterly with all the other publications, we would be living the life of luxury.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Body shapes – how to choose the best gown for you

Today’s post – Hourglass

The “Hourglass”… Women with an “Hourglass” shape body have the body shape that is considered an ‘ideal’ and perfectly proportional body shape. An “Hourglass” has a bust and thighs which are approximately the same width, along with a defined waist, creating a sexy and curvy silhouette.

Some of our quintessential “Hourglass” celebrities are the stunning Scarlett Johanssen, the glamorous Salma Hayek, and of course, the striking Dita Von Teese.

The “Hourglass” shape boasts a good bust and a tiny waist, and these celebs have taken advantage to show their best assets and really worked the right silhouette for their shape. Follow their example, and work on choosing simple flattering styles that cinch in at the waist to show off your fabulous figure.

Scarlett Johanssen, Salma Hayek, Dita Von Teese

So, what do we recommend for “Hourglass” shapes? Below we have a selection of gowns that would look fabulous on any “Hourglass” girl.

Karen Willis Holmes Allegra, Bailey and Francesca gowns (L-R)

The fishtail shape is a stunning choice for an “Hourglass” shape as it emphasises your womanly curves. The ‘Allegra’ gown with its long lace bodice and layered tulle skirt creates a beautiful feminine feel, while the sweetheart neckline softens your shoulders and shows off your great bust. With lace and tulle, it is a classic gown but with a dramatic shape, creating a modern, show-stopping look.

When you have such a striking body shape as the “Hourglass”, there is not much need for anything too fussy if that look isn’t you, understated glamour really does work best. Opt for a simple column shape like ‘Bailey’, if this idea appeals to you. While the sleek, straight shape may not seem to be the best choice for some, when on the body an “Hourglass” girl it is the perfect option, showing off your gorgeous curves. With an intricate rose patterned fabric, and a thick belt to emphasise your waist, ‘Bailey’ channels a sweet vintage look that is simple, yet stunning.

For a more dramatic look, ‘Francesca’ is a full classic gown with a modern feel. Designed with delicate, silver lace on the bust, and a sweetheart neckline, it oozes femininity and class. The belt with a simple, diamante brooch cinches in your already defined waist, teamed with a fuller skirt creating a touch of drama, ensuring all eyes are on you.

These are just three alternatives “Hourglass” brides could take – remember, for “Hourglass” girls, the perfect gown choices would show off your waist, and your fabulous curvy shape. Don’t feel shy to really go for something simple and fitted to flaunt your ‘ideal’ body.

For some more options, head into our stores where our friendly staff will be able to help you.

Keep an eye out for next week’s body shapes post – Triangle (aka Pear)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Go dotty at Polka Dot Bride...

Go dotty at Polka Dot Bride…

One of our favourites amongst the team here at Karen Willis Holmes has just received the breath of new life. For any bride to be who has begun their quest to organise their dream wedding, they would have to know about the amazing Polka Dot Bride.

Polka Dot Bride is one of, if not the most, popular wedding blogger in Australia. The site showcases an amazing array of information to cover just about every aspect of the wedding planning process. Including the best of the best in terms of vendors, resources and some truly stunning inspiration in the form of real brides and their wedding days, Polka Dot Bride has long been a one-stop-shop.

Experiencing fabulous growth since its conception, Friday saw the unveiling of Polka Dot Bride’s new site design to bring the site up to scratch with the quality of information and service it is offering its readers. True to its name, with a beautiful pink and white polka dot background, teamed with stunningly intricate branding, the homepage is pretty as a picture.

Its not only the visual aspect of the site that has been improved, with a bevy of new features being added, including Polka Dot Groom, Polka Dot Wisdom, Polka Dot Made, Polka Dot Weddings, Polka Dot Honeymoons, and the amazing Polka Dot Directory the blog has become more than just a blog – it is a portal into what can only be known as a Bride’s Bible.

Another amazing feature that has been added to the site is the ability to create your own ‘bridal scrapbook’ if you will. In the form of a ‘Personalised Collection’, Polka Dot Bride now allows you to bookmark all your favourite posts and vendors so you can quickly jump back and find that perfect flower to finish your bouquet, or the number of the bonbonniere expert so you can spoil your guests with a special treat – all in your ‘Personalised Collection’.

Polka Dot Bride also welcomes submissions from anyone who has anything to offer a bride in need of ideas. If you have beautiful wedding photos to share, or know where you can find the perfect bridesmaid dress, don’t keep these things to yourself – Polka Dot Bride wants to know all about it and share your wisdom with other brides in need.

Head over to Polka Dot Bride now to see just how wonderful a resource this site really is, it will keep you completely enthralled with all of its amazing imagery, information and inspiration.

Polka Dot Bride – pretty, pink, and super spotty yet oh so chic.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Body shapes - how to choose the best gown for you

Women and their bodies are in constant battle with each other - everyone wants to be slimmer, or taller, or more petite, they want more curves or a smaller bust - we are never happy with what we have. Everyone is unique and while we all have different body shapes, there are 6 common body shape terms used as a general categorisation, each distinguished by varying characteristics:

Oval or Diamond (aka Apple)
Triangle (aka Pear)
Inverted Triangle
Rectangle (aka Athletic)

Over the next few weeks, one post at a time, we will tackle one body shape at a time in a quest to help you to determine your body shape, how to work with your best features and find the perfect wedding gown style for your big day.

Taken from the site ‘All style solutions’ – these body shape images show us a basic idea of the common different shapes there are. We have added an extra one of a ‘Petite’ body shape as that is also a common body shape we see in the stores.
Check out ‘All style solutions’ for extensive information on different shapes and characteristics for all your body parts! 

Today’s post – Oval or Diamond (aka Apple)

 The “Apple”… Women with an “Apple” shape body could be generalised as a more curvy and round shape. They tend to be wider around the midsection, sometimes with fuller busts, and slim legs, ankles and wrists.

Although at times, the term ‘barrel shaped’ may be used and some women struggle with their curves, the advantage of being an “Apple” shape is that there are simple ways to accentuate the waist to create a more flattering shape.

Take the cue from some of our favourite “Apple” celebrities like the sultry Catherine Zeta Jones, adorable Drew Barrymore, and beautiful English rose Kate Winslet. As you can see, these girls have opted for simple flattering shapes that cinch at the waist and show off their stronger assets such as their soft shoulders and sexy bust. By highlighting these areas, “Apples” are able to show off a smaller waist, creating that sexy and very womanly, hourglass shape.

Drew Barrymore, Catherine Zeta Jones, Kate Winslet

So for the big day, what should “Apples” be looking for? Below we have three gowns that could all work magic on the beautiful shape of an “Apple” girl.

Karen Willis Holmes Lauren, Melissa, and Dakota gowns (L-R)

The v-neck ‘Lauren’ gown has a twisted ruched feature on the bodice to help draw the eye in and create a smaller waist. The modest v-neck is flattering and helps keep a fuller bust in control, while also showing that slightly sexy side. The soft georgette fabric is lovely and light on the body and the floaty effect will assist in working to make the body appear less heavy.

‘Melissa’ is a beautiful strapless option, with soft ruching all along the bodice that trickles down to the skirt in a gorgeous, slinky tulle. Detailed with crystal flowers and a wide ribbon sash, these features distract the eye from running across the body, and create a beautiful overall look.

V-neck ‘Dakota’ may seem similar to ‘Lauren’ at first glance, but the layered cap sleeves and lace overlay create a completely different appearance, which channels vintage-chic. The lace overlay also helps to reduce the cling of fabric against the body and around the curves, which is a problem for some women. 

While these gowns are just a few of the many options available to “Apple” brides, each of these gowns with their soft sashes and fitted torsolettes built into the bodice, are fantastic choices which work to give “Apple” girls a flattering style and shape in their gown, without detracting from already existent gorgeous features.

Keep an eye out for next week’s body shapes post - Hourglass

Friday, July 9, 2010

Modern Wedding - Winter 2010

The next bridal publication to have hit the stands is the Winter 2010 issue of ‘Modern Wedding’ along with a special Free Receptions Magazine – a great supplement showcasing some of the most amazing locations for the post-wedding party.

Modern Wedding magazine is like a Bridal Bible for pulling together all the elements of a wedding, from the ceremony right down to the finer points of consideration, like music selection and playlists. Modern Wedding is a one-stop shop for brides who are building their dream wedding.

With a special announcement in the ‘Modern News’ section of the publication (page 20), there is a small piece divulging the details of Karen Willis Holmes’ big move from Woolloomooloo to Newtown that took place late last year for the couture studio and head office.  With mentions of the stunning building space in which the new studio is located, ‘The Flourmill Studios’, it is exciting to see how well the new space is being received. The couture ‘Sharon’ gown in this feature also looks simply stunning!

‘Expertise Me!’ (page 82) – answers for every girl who needs a little guidance at the start of their planning process. Broken down so that those who are completely new to the idea of a wedding are able to get their head around who it is they need to be speaking to, what they need to consider, and even how to get the language down pat. As always we are happy to offer any advice and support to brides in their quest to find the perfect gown for their big day – just head into any of our stores.

We love the story ‘Kick Up Your Heels’ (page 182). While we can offer you our expertise regarding the dress, the next step is to find the perfect shoe for your big day and this piece gives sound advice beyond just the appearance of your Cinderella slipper that people sometimes forget. Remember you are going to be wearing your shoes all day you need to be 100% confident in what you put on your feet. So finding the perfect accompaniment to your gown just got easier with the checklist already in place for you.

‘High Season’ (page 266) puts forward ideas for how you can take the seasons as the inspiration for your big day. Whether it be a winter wedding, or a summer celebration – this piece shows how to get the best ideas from the most simple source of inspiration – Mother Nature. We always feel it is important to consider the time of year you are getting married when you are picking your gown. Fabrics and styles are more suitable to particular seasons. For more information on this just ask our staff in any of our studios.

And finally, some brilliant beauty tips that aren’t just relevant to brides but for any woman wanting to nail a fantastic beauty routine. ‘Beauty and the Best’ (page 277) serves up the knowledge needed to get yourself looking your most magnificent in the lead up to your wedding day.

So with the winter issue done and dusted we now look forward to the next Modern Wedding release, sending us all the spring specialties to savour.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

L’Oreal – Matrix Australia Destination (MAD)

In April 2010, L’Oreal played host to a bevy of local and international talent, with over 500 salon professionals heading to Melbourne for the Matrix Australia Destination. MAD, as it is commonly referred to, is an educational event that was held over three days to celebrate the creativity involved in hair.

To celebrate the event, there was a MAD Hatter Tea Party Gala Dinner held in the main ballroom of The Sebel Albert Park Hotel. The grand event provided the leading international hairdressers, Errol Douglas and Jo Jordan, both of the UK, along with American Nicholas French, to showcase their extreme talent in Avant Garde hair.

Karen Willis Holmes gowns were worn on the runway, including the ‘Petal Skirt’, the ‘Maddison’ couture gown, and also the couture ‘Pleated Ruffle Skirt’. We also saw the ready to wear ‘Margot’ skirt, the couture ‘Francesca’ gown in silver, and the couture ‘Ava’ gown rocked by the models with their amazing hair. Two of our beautiful, couture, soft tulle pieces were also included in the parades in the form of the ‘Tulle ‘Jumper’’ and also the ‘Satine’ tulle coat’, taking the pieces to a world beyond bridal. Once again there has been an element of   gothic glamour brought into these looks, and with the dramatic hairstyles the finished product is simply fantastic. While we aren’t sure that many brides would choose to sport the Avant Garde hairstyles on their wedding day, we love some of the ideas shown for how to take the wholesome element away from the gowns and add some rock chic – food for thought for the bride wanting to do something different!

Karen Willis Holmes ‘Petal Skirt’ – left

Karen Willis Holmes ‘Maddison’ gown – second from the right

Karen Willis Holmes ‘Pleated Ruffle Skirt

Karen Willis Holmes ‘Tulle Jumper’ (worn under corset) and ‘Margot Skirt

Karen Willis Holmes ‘Francesca’ gown in silver

Karen Willis Holmes ‘Satine Tulle Coat’

Karen Willis Holmes ‘Ava’ gown

Thanks to Six Photography for the images

Friday, July 2, 2010

Real Weddings... Briana and Matt

Real Weddings… Briana and Matt

After initially meeting in their teens through Briana’s sister, a school mate of Matt’s, the couple bumped into each other at a number of social events but it was the engagement party of a friend that saw the sparks ignite between the pair.

And the romance blossomed into a proposal that saw Matt present Briana with a beautiful diamond while they were in the car stationary at a set of traffic lights, catching Briana completely off guard. After the proposal the pair spent the day celebratory shopping followed by a delicious dinner at Tetsuya's with Briana’s best friend and her husband.

Fast forward to Sunday the 16th of May and there you have the beautiful wedding day, ‘the perfect autumn day’ as Briana described it in fact '22 degrees, not too hot and not too cold’.

The ceremony took place at St Stephens Anglican Church in Newtown, after attending a friend’s wedding there the couple fell in love with the beautiful interiors and the contrasting graveyard surrounding. A beautiful reception followed at WatersEdge in Walsh Bay, with the 220 guests being able to take in the amazing harbourside views.

Briana and Matt wanted to keep their wedding their own, keeping the mix of old and new with their own signatures on the day. The colours used in the theme were kept simple – black, white, ivory and champagne kept the palette neutral and classic.

Briana’s dress is the Karen Willis Holmes ready-to-wear ‘Athena’ gown – a beautifully draped, strapless gown with a bustier base and silk georgette overlay. After having seen other brides in KWH gowns, Briana was drawn to visit the ready to wear store in Paddington with her mum, in search of a simple, elegant gown with as little sequins, beading and glitz as possible. After trying on a few the ‘Athena’ was the one that Briana fell in love with. “I loved that it was simple yet very elegant and feminine,” said Briana. “The soft floaty fabric, ruching across the bust, coupled with the long train and veil made the dress just so romantic and incredibly stunning.”

Briana also wore a Karen Willis Holmes veil to finish her look, and this photo shows just how fabulous a veil can look in photographs, adding a touch a drama.

While Briana looked absolutely amazing for the big day, mention must also go to Matt who also looked fantastic, wearing his Prada suit well.

The groomsmen all scrubbed up nicely in David Jones suits, while the bridesmaids looked elegant in dresses from Sam & Sita in Paddington.

Speaking of, the bridal party was filled with fun and laughter, consisting of plenty of friends, along with Bri’s sister and cousin, with one of the groomsmen also acting as the MC – keeping the group close to share in the magic of the day.

The music kept the party going late into the night with live band ‘Ben Ackland’ playing, who is actually a friend of the couple, plays with a talented group of musicians around Sydney and at weddings. ‘They were fabulous and had people dancing most of the night.’

The couple also danced the night away, but shared their intimate first dance to Ben Harper’s ‘Forever’.

The finer points of the big day cannot go unnoticed here. Briana put in hours of research, trawling the Internet drawing inspiration from other people’s weddings, examining photos, and ploughing through various bridal sites, such as, Amy Atlas and Martha Stewart. Briana also credits Matt as a ‘creative genius’ who often offered his share of inspiration in the planning process too. ‘We designed and printed all stationary ourselves! With Matt being an artist, we couldn’t leave it to anyone else!’

Briana went to Inbud at Cronulla for her flowers and could not speak highly enough of them. ‘Beth is an absolute pleasure to deal with – nothing is too hard for her.  The bouquets and arrangements were above and beyond what we had imagined and were commented on all day.’

Briana selected ‘Sydney Classic’ to video the days events for them after working with them and experiencing great results, while the photographer, 'Simon Wilde', provided the couple with beautiful photos that truly captured the most wonderful of memories for them to indulge in, in years to come.

WatersEdge offered the recommendation of ‘Doys Cakes’ to Briana and Matt and they were thrilled with the results, ‘…her cake was delicious! Rich, smooth chocolate mud….YUM!  People loved it.’

The bombonieres were extra special for the couple, who turned to the experts at 'Sweet Celebrations' – Helen provided them with fantastic service, which one would hope seeing as she is actually Matt’s mother! Briana offered a rave review about her mother-in-law’s business, ‘She has an incredibly fun and well run business doing lolly buffets and bombonieres for weddings and corporate clients.  Of course, our small mini buckets with hand made coconut ice were a real hit!’
Briana’s hair and makeup were just gorgeous and were completed by professional, Sarah Laidlaw who is represented by agency, DLM. Again, Briana had worked with Sarah previously and knew she would be dealing with the cream of the crop if she had Sarah on her wedding day. 

It is so obvious in these photos that Briana and Matt had a wonderful day, shared with their family and friends. Briana was so grateful that she got the dream wedding, ‘Matt and I had an incredible day with all our family and friends.  We couldn’t be more thankful to all those who helped make it just so special,’ she said. ‘There were times where we laughed, cried and just had childish fun that made the day so memorable.’

We would like to thank Briana and Matt for sharing their beautiful photos with us and wish them a long and happy marriage together.

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