Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Emmy Awards

Television’s version of the Oscars – the night of nights and we take great pleasure in watching the beautiful gowns make their way down the red carpet.

This year, we have picked our top three looks that can be taken from the red carpet to be worn on your wedding day.

Angela Kinsley and Karen Willis Holmes ‘Victoria’ gown

First off we have Angela Kinsley from comedy series ‘The Office’ who oozes sophistication in this fitted, strapless, lace gown. Our ‘Victoria’ gown ticks all the right boxes with all-over lace and a fitted, corseted bodice that truly flatters the figure. 

Claire Danes and Karen Willis Holmes ‘Keisha’ gown

Claire Danes sparkles in a stunningly, beautiful sequinned gown, in a beautiful shade of peach.
‘Keisha’ is a simple design in fabulous fabric, which hugs the body in all the right places, catching the eye and giving you a truly show-stopping look.

Eva Longoria and Karen Willis Holmes ‘Bailey’ gown

Eva Longoria always exudes effortless chic, and she didn’t disappoint on the red carpet this year – in a stylish, strapless black number, the intricate texture of her gown takes it to ‘Wow’ level.
Our ‘Bailey’ gown has a gorgeous, all-over texture and with a tiered train, not only gorgeous, but a touch of classic drama.

Friday, August 27, 2010


A picture is worth a thousand words, and on your wedding day, this could not be more true. 

An album full of beautiful images is one of the most treasured memories from anyone’s wedding day. This is what you are able to share for years that follow your big day and for the future generations of your family to be able to enjoy.

At Karen Willis Holmes we see so many wedding photos, all of which are beautiful, but some of our favourites are from the talented team at Infinity. They are able to capture the true magic that exists at a wedding, between the bride and groom, the bridal party, and the family and friends in attendance. A stolen kiss, a nervous smile, those little moments that show the true importance of the day are always evident in their photos, making them beautiful keepsakes.

We are so inspired by the Infinity team that we have engaged in their services before for a Karen Willis Holmes shoot and we were thrilled with the results – ethereal beauty at its best…

Infinity are available to work out of both Sydney and Melbourne.

phone - 03. 95. 008. 008.
studio - level 1. studio 10. 95 victoria street. fitzroy. 3065.
by appointment

phone - 02. 93. 194. 194.
studio - level 1. suite 3. 136 raglan street. waterloo. nsw. 2017.
by appointment.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spring has sprung at Cosmopolitan Bride

As Spring slowly starts to show itself – hurrah! – we are also excited to see the Spring releases of some of our favourite bridal magazines, including the ever popular ‘Cosmopolitan Bride’.

One of the best sources of inspiration will always be the red carpet, and Cosmo Bride serves up a range of ideas guaranteed to meet the needs of any bride in “Spotlight on You” (page 30). This issue, Elizabeth Banks is very much channelling our lovely ‘Nicole’ gown (page 31), and with its slim skirt and high neckline, it is simple elegance defined in a gown.

Featured in “Love Story” (page 91) is the Karen Willis Holmes Ready-to-Wear ‘Dakota’ gown. With its pretty cap sleeves and lace overlay, this gown has a lovely vintage feel to it.

In the beautiful editorial, “Sealed With a Kiss” (page 116), the Karen Willis Holmes Ready-to-Wear gown, ‘Allegra’ (page 124), looks fantastic with statement, black accessories. We love the lace bodice and extravagant tulle fish-tail shape of this gown.

“Anatomy of a Dress” (page 148) provides brides with a great breakdown of a gown to help them understand what they are getting in terms of value when purchasing a gown. The Karen Willis Holmes Couture range has been mentioned in this article, featuring the ‘Maddison’ gown (page 158), and the ‘Chantilly Lace Bodice’ and ‘Pleated Ruffle Skirt’ combination (page 159).

We are always thrilled to see one of our bride’s weddings splashed across the glossy pages of Cosmo Bride, and Shannon and Gregg (page 184) are no exception. We thought Shannon looked amazing in our Ready-to-Wear ‘Sharon’ gown when she married Gregg in November last year.  And what a perfect day! Gorgeous location with fantastic weather – couldn’t ask for much more than that!!

Beyond the beautiful gowns, Cosmo Bride has some fantastic articles in this issue that we are loving here at Karen Willis Holmes!
“Love Blossoms” (page 49) contains some stunning floral arrangements and ideas, which will help any bride in her quest for the perfect bouquet  – keep your eyes peeled as we will be featuring one of our favourite florists on the blog soon.
These days there are so many politics surrounding gifts for weddings, “Cash or Gift” (page 99) provides you with all the best ways of broaching the situation politely but also so that you can get what you really want and need (instead of 3 new toasters).
Planes (or helicopters), Trains (or water Taxis), and Automobiles… “Ride of your Life” (page 164) offers up some fabulous alternatives for every bride to consider to show up in serious style for their big day!

For more amazing advice and ideas for your big day, head to your local newsagent and pick up your copy of Cosmopolitan Bride today.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Accent Strings, music to your ears…

For all the Sydney-based brides to be out there in search of the perfect string performers for their wedding day look no further than the talented Accent Strings.

Comprised of performance-major graduates and postgraduates of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Orchestral Professionals, Accent Strings specializes in providing outstanding string quartets and trios for hire across Sydney Metropolitan Area, and have canvassed most of the main venues in town.

With some serious talent to boast in their performers, Accent Strings frequently perform in a variety of environments and social events, including weddings, corporate functions, special events and even for commercials and session work. We have even engaged in their services recently for one of our Karen Willis Holmes events and were thrilled with their performance. They created a beautiful atmosphere, which complimented the situation perfectly.

For more information head to their website: www.AccentStrings.com.au

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gown in Focus - Rebecca

With a corseted bodice, the ‘Rebecca’ gown helps to create a perfectly placed bust that is both completely secure and looks absolutely fabulous.

The boning in ‘Rebecca’ works to cinch the waist, helping give a wonderful, womanly curve through the torso and highlight the definitive waistline.

An A-line skirt, showcased in the ‘Rebecca’ gown, gently skims over the hips, without hugging, which is great for girls trying to conceal this problem area, without drowning in a full skirt.

The asymmetrical draping seen here on the ‘Rebecca’ helps to draw the eye down, instead of straight across. This is important as it creates the illusion of a longer, leaner body.

The 100% silk contessa is the lightweight, crisp fabric of the ‘Rebecca’ gown and is a great option for brides who are looking for a low maintenance gown – it has enough structure to hold its shape, but is still soft allowing plenty of movement and mobility.

‘Rebecca’ is normally cut with a very slight train to give the gown that real special feel, however the train is easily concealed and upon request* can be cut without the train.

A strapless gown, such as ‘Rebecca’ can help to showcase beautifully soft shoulders and dellocatage, however for brides who want to steer away from strapless gowns, cap sleeves can be added* to the gown. Or for a gorgeous feminine look, opt for a one shoulder flower corsage such as the one below which we have available in our stores* and it will completely transform the overall look of the gown.

A gorgeous handmade silk shoulder corsage

The simple design of ‘Rebecca’ creates the perfect canvas for any bride to put her signature on the gown and make it her own. Ribbons, jewels, bows, beading, flowers – the options are endless… You can even go for a different colour*, like our real bride Fleur, who chose silver to create a modern show-stopping look.

* Extra costs may be associated with this work, please speak to our staff for more information.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Body shapes – how to choose the best gown for you

Today’s post – Inverted triangle

The “Inverted triangle”… Women with an “Inverted triangle” shape body generally have wider shoulders and narrow hips.

Our favourite “Inverted triangle” celebrities are the amazing Angelina Jolie, the drop-dead gorgeous Charlize Theron and the radiant Demi Moore.

The “Inverted triangle” shape, has a fit athletic type figure, similar to “Athletic (aka rectangle)” shapes, which we will feature next week.

These body shapes are best flattered in slim fitting, flowing gowns.

The “Inverted triangle” shaped celebrities pictured below all opt for slim gowns that accentuate their enviable figures. With either a one-shouldered look, like Charlize, or a crossover strap, like Demi, you can divert the attention away from your shoulder area, which you may be more conscious about. Or, go for a v-neckline or a dipped neckline, like Angelina, to draw the eye in and down. 

Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Demi Moore

So, do you have an “Inverted triangle” shaped figure? Below we have just a few of the many choices available to the “Inverted triangle” shaped bride.

Karen Willis Holmes Ashley and Kimberley gowns (L-R)

‘Ashley’ is a stunning silk georgette gown, with georgette twisted and ruched on the bodice, finished with a v-shape strap to draw the eye in. With a soft flowing skirt, it is perfect when accessorised with a sash or belt to cinch the waist. For something a little different, why not try a silver ribbon like we have, and add a diamante brooch for some sparkle?

‘Kimberley’ is a fabulous asymmetrical design gown, with a one-shouldered strap, and asymmetrical draping on the bodice, and the skirt. Tie the one-shouldered strap into a big bow for a feminine sophisticated look and to add another feature to the gown. To really bring it to the next level, finish it off with something special, like the 3D flower belt we have opted for here.

‘Ashley’ and ‘Kimberley’ are two perfect choices that would show off your “Inverted triangle” shape. With such a striking, statuesque figure, it’s not hard to find a gown that will show off all of your beautiful features. Go for interesting straps and detail to redirect some attention from your shoulders, and you will be comfortable and confident like our favourite “Inverted triangle” celebs.

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

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Real weddings... Lyndelle and Christopher

Lyndelle and Christopher were friends who worked together for a few years before their relationship developed into something more. Then, while holidaying in Noosa over the Christmas break in 2008, Chris dropped to one knee of the beautiful Noosa beach and asked Lyndelle to be his wife. Lyndelle said, ‘I was so overwhelmed with happiness that I didn’t even hear what he had to say!’

After 12 months of planning, the 16th of January 2010 rolled around where the happy couple wed at the Centennial Vineyards in Bowral.
The destination came about by chance, when Lyndelle and Chris were lunching with friends in the area and through it would be a beautiful place for wedding. While the couple were actually intending on a longer engagement, they decided to stop in at the Centennial Vineyards on a whim and see what the availabilities were like for a wedding. They were told there was a vacancy for 6 months time and booked it on the spot.

The theme for the wedding was kept simple and classic, with a statement black and white colour palette. Lyndelle is thrilled with how this has come up in the photos. ‘It made for some amazing photos because the beautiful deep green landscape of Bowral was accentuated and became the hero of the day… apart from my dress of course!’
And the dress was gorgeous on Lyndelle, who opted for our ‘Roberta’ gown, complete with a corseted bodice and a three-tiered ruffle at the bottom of the skirt.  Lyndelle put her signature on the gown with a black belt and brooch, to carry the theme and add just a touch more drama to her overall look.

Lyndelle said she had actually already bought a dress that she liked before ending up with her Karen Willis Holmes gown. ‘I happened to be walking past the Karen Willis Holmes Paddington store and was mesmerised by the window dressings that I just had to go in. Once I tried on a few gowns I knew I’d be taking the other one back!’
After getting the nod of approval from her mum and one of her bridesmaids, Lyndelle went ahead with the ‘Roberta’ gown. We also assisted her with her veil and jewellery, where she decided on a simple, long veil, ‘Because when else can I wear a veil?’ said Lyndelle, and a pair of earrings we had in store also.

The shoes were gorgeous peep-toe’s from Midas that Lyndelle simply loved, helping to finish her overall look.

The bridal party consisted of close friends of the couple. Chris’ best man was Richie Jameson, a friend from high school who flew in from the US for only two days, before having to head back for work. That is the testament of a true friend right there. Chris’ other groomsmen were Karl Kuchel, who also flew in from the US and Dave Bennet who lives in Sydney and is a close friend to both Chris and Lyndelle.
Lyndelle went for something a bit different and had a ‘man of honour’ who she claims did an ‘outstanding job’. Greg Treverrow had been a friend since year 8 and Lyndelle was also his ‘best woman’ when he was married a few years prior. In addition, Lyndelle had two close girlfriends, Josine Baz and Hayley Stanton, be her bridesmaids also. 

The bridesmaids were dressed in elegant, black Charlie Brown gowns, while the groomsmen wore suits from Peppers at Cremorne.

Lyndelle and Chris engaged in the services of Gwenda-Louise from Annabelle’s Florist in Bowral, who kindly allowed Lyndelle and Chris to have some photos taken in the antique store, resulting in some of their favourites from the day.

The photographer was Daniel Griffiths, when Lyndelle found his website online she said she knew at that moment that she had to work with him. ‘His images are so arresting and emotive, and there is also a sense of spectacle. On top of that he was lovely to work with, he guided us but was never pushy, I cannot recommend him highly enough’.

Lyndelle and Chris had most of their photographs taken before the ceremony so that they had enough time to go to the antique store as well as take advantage of Hopewood Estate, which was the honeymoon cottage the couple hired. They didn’t want a huge break between the ceremony and reception, so in order to squeeze everything in Daniel organised some photos for them before hand. Lyndelle was thrilled with how it all went. ‘Daniel even set up a shot in the Hopewood gardens when Chris saw me for the first time (instead of when we walked down the aisle) and it was nice to have this moment set up and captured on film. Having said that, the walk down the aisle was still very special!’
The videographer for the day was Joseph Buller from Running Images, who works closely with Daniel. Having them working together made the effort professional and easy.

While there was rain on the big day, Lyndelle and Chris didn’t let it spoil their day and took it in their stride. ‘It started raining halfway through the ceremony so we had to run inside to finish it off and get our marriage certificate!’ claimed Lyndelle. ‘But I have to say I didn’t mind one little bit as Centennial Vineyards has a gorgeous interior area, so it was completely fine’. Plus, we think the rain and dark clouds made for beautiful shots. Lyndelle said ‘I was so excited to climb over the fence and get raining shots in the vineyard’.

Once all the formalities were done the party began, where the couple had fabulous time celebrating their marriage. Half of Lyndelle’s family is Peruvian and they love to dance, so they combined a mix of South American music with the more stock-standard wedding party songs. The guests were encouraged to get up and dance with the family to the traditional South American dances.
The couple shared their first dance to ‘The Story’ by Brandi Carlisle. Lyndelle said, ‘While not an obvious song choice, it’s a song we both love with pertinent words’.

As you can see from the photos, Lyndelle and Chris had a beautiful wedding. The couple look like they are having an amazing time and we wish them all the happiness in their life ahead together as Mr and Mrs O’Keefe.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Karen's Inspiration board...

Karen’s Inspiration board…

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Bobbi Brown... Beauty for Brides

Bobbi Brown - Beauty for Brides...

Bobbi Brown is often referred to as a cosmetic genius. Praised for her amazing talent to create fantastic colour palettes and beautiful products that the skin simply loves, the Bobbi Brown empire is truly admirable. But it isn't just her products that are amazing – an expert with a number of books under her belt, including the popular 'Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual', which is arguably the beauty bible for any woman of any age.

At Karen Willis Holmes, we first fell in love with Bobbi Brown makeup, when we were approached to do some ‘Bobbi Brown’ days at our ready-to-wear store in Paddington. We loved the idea and have had a few Bobbi Brown days since. These days consist of a bridal gown consultation with the KWH team and a Bobbi Brown makeup application from one of their expert make up artists. A great opportunity for brides to get an idea of what the full look will be for their wedding day.

Whether a bride enlists the help of a professional, or chooses to do a DIY job, with the best products in hand, it is so easy to create a beautifully, flawless look, but our recommendation is to get a professional for your bridal makeup - they can work true magic that looks fantastic in your photos and stays in place all day long. 

It is said that every bride has a certain glow on the big day, but it doesn't hurt to get a little help from some fail-proof make up, enter the newest season from Bobbi Brown, 'Bobbi's Beach Club'. Comprising of a collection of beautiful shimmery products, this range offers the gorgeous highlights and lowlights that are needed to create an immaculate look.

One of our favourites in the collection is the 'Beach Shimmer Brick' (RRP $85) which is a makeup bag must have. A multi-purpose product that when all five shades are combined, operate as a beautiful shimmer to sweep across the cheeks and forehead to highlight and radiate. While using an individual shade, this product can add a subtle glimmer when used as on the eye.

The new 'Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadows' (RRP $50) are so luxe and soft that they shimmer on the skin. With their gently infused sparkle, they can be swept across the lid for a subtle sheen, or layered for a more solid colour and dramatic overall look. 

Due to hit counters August 8, 2010, head down to your local Bobbi Brown location and have the experts show you how to master these fabulous products that are the perfect addition to your bridal makeup.    

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Body shapes - how to choose the best gown for you

Today’s post – Triangle (aka Pear)

The “Triangle” aka “Pear”… Women with a “Pear” shape body generally have a lean torso with a smaller bust and waist, then tend to be larger in their hips, thighs and bottom.

Some classic “Pear” shaped celebrities are the bootylicious Beyone, curvaceous Jennifer Lopez and the sweet and demure Kristin Davis.
The “Pear” shape, like the “Hourglass” we covered last week, has a sexy curvy figure. As you can see “Pear” shaped celebrities, Beyonce, Jennifer and Kristin, all opt for gowns that accentuate their busts and tiny waists, their dresses then have a flowing shape to cover their larger bottom half, which is usually the area “Pear” girls are more self-conscious about.  

Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Davis

So, think you have a “Pear” shaped figure? Trying to find gowns that work for you? Below we have just a few of the many choices available to the “Pear” shaped bride.

Karen Willis Holmes Betsy, Bethany and Chelsea gowns (L-R)
‘Betsy’ with its ruched bodice and full tulle skirt is a fantastic gown for a “Pear” shaped girl. The sweetheart neckline with the soft cap sleeves frames your face and highlights your upper frame. The corseted lower line bodice is great for accentuating your waist, and the full skirt hides your hips and thighs. Covered in spot tulle, ‘Betsy’ gives you a very sweet, 50’s-fun look.

‘Bethany’ is a pretty option for a “Pear” shape. With adorable lace cap sleeves and a slimming sash around the waist, ‘Bethany’ emphasises your waist and encases your beautifully shaped torso and bust. An a-line skirt skims your thighs and hips to create a flattering look that enhances your beautiful shape.

With such gorgeous shoulders and bust, a strapless sweetheart neckline is also a fantastic choice for a “Pear” body shape. ‘Chelsea’ has a corseted bodice to highlight your waist, then carries through to a fuller skirt and dramatic train detail. The full tulle skirt covers your bottom half, while the gathered layered trains, create drama giving you a confidence boost knowing you are showing off your best assets.

These are just three gown choices from our collection, but with choices like these, as a “Pear” shaped girl, you know you have it covered! Go for gowns that really accentuate the features you are most confident with, and you can’t go wrong for your big day.

Keep an eye out for next week’s body shapes post – Inverted Triangle

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Media Alert!! Vogue Australia...

Media Alert!! Vogue Australia…

Before the shelves are hit with the much-anticipated September issues this week, we thought we would quickly share with you our PS Mention from the August edition of Vogue Australia.

The re-known fashion bible, Vogue is one of our favourite monthly reads here at Karen Willis Holmes and we simply love seeing our gowns making their way to their beautiful pages. 

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