Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jonathan Howard launched his label ‘Hatmaker’ in 2006 with the opening of his boutique in Double Bay.  With more than 14 years experience in the fashion industry, Jonathan is consistently developing and re-inventing new techniques and hat making processes.
In 2009 Jonathan was the first milliner to be awarded ‘Best Australian Fashion Accessory Designer’ at the ‘Prix De Marie Claire’ awards and Jonathon’s creations have been featured in advertising campaigns and magazine editorials for Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia and In Style.
In 2010, Hatmaker designed showpieces for Camilla, Carla Zampatti and Fernando Frisoni at Fashion Week.
His eye for detail and disposition for intricate work, with the ability to translate an idea into a finished product is what has made Jonathan the ‘Go-To’ guy for bespoke Hats and Headpieces for Men and Women.
Hatmaker- 'crystal branch' $390

Hatmaker- 'the perfect day crystal headpiece' $990

Hatmaker is also one of Sydney’s leading Bridal Millinery Boutiques specialising in Exquisite custom made Bridal Accessories and Headpieces.

A range of high quality materials and fabrics are used to produce your dream Bridal Headpiece such as hand made flowers of all descriptions, hand beaded Swarovski crystal slides, structured feather creations, modern wedding veils with intricate detailing, anything your heart desires.  

You can find Jonathon’s handmade creations at Hatmaker Boutique – Double Bay (02) 9326 2528.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Real Wedding... Heather and Jed

It took mutual friends of Heather and Jed’s to make the introductions at a farewell party for Jed’s flat mate Tom who was heading overseas.  On his return, much to Tom’s amusement a romance had blossomed between his flat mate Jed and co-worker Heather leading to a proposal three years late at Stradbroke Island as the sun rose.
Jed somehow convinced Heather to venture outdoors with him in the chilly darkness for a walk along the beach.  Heather recalls “My first attempts to scale the dune were a bit of a disaster, because the sand kept collapsing underneath my feet. Once at the top, Jed popped the question, and then the cork on a bottle of Moet - it definitely made the morning's boot camp style effort well worth it!”.

Heather and Jed married on April 25th 2010 in front of family and friends at Broken Head, just south of Byron Bay.  The couple wanted their guests to travel for the wedding, so they could enjoy the celebrations for the entire weekend.  “I am originally from the United States, and I particularly wanted to choose a spot that people would travel around the world to see, and not be disappointed! “ Heather said.
“We loved the idea that people could just amble down to the beach to see the ceremony, and then just amble back for the reception, with a glass of champagne in hand!  The beach path was a bit difficult to navigate in high heels, so we provided thongs for the ladies – that also helped set the tone of the day, elegant but relaxed at the same time.”
The couple first chose the ceremony and reception location and let the beach and beach house inspire the theme of the wedding choosing colours that complimented the scenery – shades of blues, greens and browns.  Britte at Beautiflora in Byron Bay created the floral arrangements, Heather said “I fell in love with their simplicity and the fact she used so many native flowers and incorporated other natural elements, i.e. twigs and apples in the centerpiece.”  The couple were inspired by this theme and used stationary by Alannah Rose.

Heather looked picture perfect in the ‘Sharon’ gown from the ready to wear collection. The corseted gown features a sweetheart neckline with ribbon and top stitch detail on the bodice and a bias paneled skirt.
“I love the fitted corset, which really showed off my waistline, as well as my height.  Also, the cabbage rose detail is so unique and special – I just love it.”
Heather accessorized her gown with a handmade cabbage rose shoulder corsage, giving her gown an individual and unique look.  Heather bought along her friends Isabel for final approval and “she helped confirm the decision I had really already made in my heart.”

Heather’s sister, Lara travelled from the US to serve as her maid of honor wearing a Harvey and Ella dress and Jed’s brother, Peter was best man suited in Hugo Boss.  Heather wore earrings on loan from the jeweler who designed her engagement ring and wedding rings.  For the beach ceremony, Heather wore satin ballet flats but switched to sparkly Christian Louboutins for the reception. Heather did not wear a headpiece or veil, joking that she “didn’t want to battle the wind”.  Tracey Tresize did Heathers hair and makeup.

For the reception the couple used Byron Bay based Eat Drink Catering. Simon from Eat Drink Catering had heaps of ideas for the couple and suggested that the food have a Moroccan theme featuring a tagine bar with chicken, North African lamb and vegetarian tomato tagine, because Heather and Jed were stopping there as part of their honeymoon.
For their wedding cake, Heather and Jed chose cupcakes from Charlotte at ‘Let them Eat Cake’, displayed with a blackboard sign of the different flavors including carrot cake, vanilla and passionfruit and of course mud cake, “they must have been good, because they were all gone by the end of the night (I caught several guests actually eating them before dinner!)” said Heather.

Greg Mace was the photographer for the day and Heather found him online, loving his website and his focus on candid photos.  While the guests danced the night away at the reception with music from an iPod it was a touching moment when Lara, Heather’s sister sang Jack Johnson’s “Better Together’ and Jed’s old flat mate Tom accompanied her on guitar.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Karen's Inspiration Board


These images evoke a vintage feel and we are inspired by:

The Art of Corsetry


Waisted Silhouettes

Chantilly Lace

Vintage Looks

Christian Dior

Smoke Art

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fabrics in Focus - Lace

Lace is a delicate and unique feature that can add detail to your wedding gown and will create a timeless and elegant look.
Chantilly lace is a handmade bobbin lace named after the city of Chantilly, France, in a tradition dating from the 17th century.  The Duchesse de Longueville organised the manufacture of lace at Chantilly. It came into fashion again during the reigns of  Louis XV and Louis XVI, and was a favourite of Louis XV's last mistress, Madame du Barry, and Marie Antoinette.

Our ‘Allegra’ gown features a strapless sweetheart neckline and fishtail silhouette.  The corded lace used on the bodice of the gown balances the tulle of the skirt.  The lace softens the design and adds a subtle unique detail to the gown.  By using a ribbon in ivory or an accent colour can break up the lace detail and personalise your look.

Beaded lace can add detail and sparkle to your gown. The beads catch the light beautifully and this detail is perfect for brides who love some bling.  Keep accessories to a minimum so you don’t have different jewelled elements conflicting – a pair of diamond studs or drop earrings would be perfect.
Our ‘Juliet’ gown features this beaded lace over a corset base with georgette skirt and drape detail.

For those brides wanting a vintage look and feel to their special day, lace is perfect.  Our ‘Emily’ Jacket shown here with our ‘Margot’ Skirt features a delicate lace with scalloped edge. 

Whether you add a touch of lace or go for a full all-over lace look, lace gives you a gorgeous pretty vintage look that is perfect for Spring and Summer. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Real Weddings... Amber and Josh

Amber and Josh met through friends and 9 years later Josh surprised Amber with an amazing proposal disguised as a Birthday treat.

This is by far one of the most impressive proposals – all the team at KWH were jealous!

“On my birthday Josh took me out for breakfast in St Kilda where my family also joined us. I received a Spa Voucher then as a birthday gift from Josh for the Aurora Spa Retreat at the Prince Hotel. The voucher was for an amazing 2 hour treatment which Josh also explained was booked in for 12noon that day. Josh delivered me to the spa after breakfast and explained there was an envelope in my handbag that I was to open when the treatment was finished.
The treatment was divine and after it was finished, while relaxing in the lounge, I opened the envelope. It stated that I had 40 minutes to get ready, and that a car would be waiting for me downstairs. There was another envelope inside which I was to open once in the car. I went downstairs to find a driver and a black Statesman waiting for me.
The next envelope revealed a boarding pass for Sydney (and I LOVE Sydney) and a gorgeous letter from Josh. A third envelope was enclosed to be opened in the plane on decent. Excited, I boarded the plane alone with just myself and my handbag. On decent I opened the final enveloped that explained a driver would be waiting for me and would be taking me to the Shangri-La Hotel at The Rocks to meet Josh. I found the driver easily as he had a sigh with my name on it and I enjoyed the drive through Sydney at dusk.
Josh was waiting for me in the lobby. He took my hand and led me up to our stunning Suite with a panoramic view of Sydney Harbor. Josh stood in front of the view with the sunset behind him and got down on one knee and proposed!

Josh had flown up to Sydney while I was at the Day Spa. He packed a bag for me and had contacted my boss to get a few days off work for me. That night we went to The Wharf Restaurant and had a delightful dinner and we spent a few days away enjoying Sydney. We had talked about getting the ring made together, so to mark the occasion Josh gave me a beautiful Tiffany necklace.

Josh felt that because we had been going out for 9 years at this stage, he wanted to really surprise me with a proposal. He therefore chose to do it on my birthday in an attempt to keep me guessing and not expect the proposal. It was perfect, amazing in fact, such a wonderfully romantic experience…”

On a barmy afternoon on June 6th, 2010 Amber and Josh married in Bali in front of their closest family and friends. 
Amber said on their choice for a destination wedding, “We decided we wanted a wedding that was intimate and simple yet luxurious. A small group of our closest friends and family of 40 people felt like the perfect number and group for us to share not just the day but a holiday and week of celebration.”

Amber chose a ‘Tropical Glamour’ theme featuring Phalaenopsis orchids and colour accents of purples.
Amber looked stunning in her Karen Willis Holmes ‘Veronique’ gown. 
The ‘Veronique gown features a delicate French Chantilly lace on the bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a skirt of tulle circle overlays.  The velvet ribbon tied at the waist was an element Amber particularly loved.  She accessorised her gown with an orchid in her hair, Swarovski jewels and shoes from Alan Pinkus.
Amber’s sister who was her matron of honour wore a dress by La Bella Donna while Josh and his best man wore suits by Calibre and Declique.

Amber and Josh married at The Legain Resort in Seminyak, Bali and held their reception in a private villa called Villa Dew Sri.  By nightfall the lanterns and candles created an amazing and inviting atmosphere perfect for a celebration. “We had Cocktails and Bintang Beer as our drinks choices plus a Gelati Cart which came out after dessert containing 6 flavors (perfect to cool you down after some dancing!),” said Amber.

The couple chose stationary from Paper Rock Scissors, and gave guests wooden fans as bombonieres. Amber and Josh exchanged wedding bands by Peter Arnold Jewelers.  Leanne Hanley, the photographer, took these amazing shots capturing the relaxed glamour and happiness of the couple.

Amber told us “our wedding was everything we hoped for. Nothing too formal or choreographed like so many weddings we have been to before. A beautiful ceremony following by a sensational party back at our private villa. Bali was a stunning destination for our wedding and everyone who attended agreed the whole celebration was amazing…”

Leanne Hanley Photography - http://www.lhfoto.com.au/

Monday, November 8, 2010

SMH feature - Briana and Matt

We were thrilled to see our real bride Briana featured in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper yesterday.

Briana looked gorgeous, and we have featured her on our blog before.

Briana looked stunning in a Karen Willis Holmes 'Athena' gown.
(I loved the fun shot with the picture frame!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Everyone loves a Royal Wedding and we were ecstatic when Karen Willis Holmes was asked to design Kate Middleton’s wedding gown in the latest issue of NEW IDEA.

Tipped to be the wedding of the century, people have long been speculating when a royal engagement would be announced.  Along with designers Alex Perry, Steve Khalil, Henry Roth and Uffe Frank (who designed Princess Mary of Denmark’s wedding dress), Karen has designed a stunning wedding gown perfect for the future Queen of England.

“I designed something that I feel can stand the test of time, while still showcasing Kate’s youth and modern style”

Featuring a strapless sweetheart neckline with lace detail on the bodice, the design cinches Kate’s waist with a belt for a modern silhouette before falling into a skirt with layers and layers of tulle with a statement train, perfect for her walk up the aisle. The lace bolero with full- length sleeves conveys the tradition and history of a royal wedding. Completing Kate’s look, I added a tiara from the Royal’s collection and a cathedral veil for some drama and sophistication that an event such as a Royal Wedding deserves.

While there is no announcement just yet, we at KWH think an engagement announcement will be just around the corner.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bride to Be Magazine - November 2010 - January 2011

Bride to Be Magazine is always bursting at the seams with great inspiration and ideas to make your wedding truly unique and wonderful.  This issue focuses on theme and venue ideas, a style guide for your bridesmaids and of course photo shoots and editorials to help you find your perfect dress.

The KWH team and I are so excited to get our hands on the new issue of Bride to Be Magazine because our Newtown studio was featured as the fantastic backdrop for the ‘A Stitch in Time’ photo shoot, focusing on details of vintage beading, fabric flounces, handcrafted floral finishes and textural detailing.

We have nearly been at ‘Flourmill Studios’ in Newtown for a year and we love our space.  With reminders of the machinery and the beams and pipes showing in the interior space of we have created a workroom and couture studio that is truly unique, and an extension of the brand.
We also took some behind the scene’s shots from the photo shoot that we want to share with you. 

Our ‘Alyssa’ gown is featured in the editorial, perfectly placed next to the sewing machines we use to sew our stunning gowns.  The ‘Alyssa’ gown with its layers of hand cut bias silk strips layered on the bodice and gradating down the skirt creates a beautifully textured look.

Our ‘Lauren’ and ‘Chelsea’ gowns are also displayed on our mannequins highlighting their silhouette.  Our ‘Lauren’ gown features a v-neck softly draped asymmetrical gown with paneled skirt and waist tie.
The ‘Chelsea’ gown highlights your shoulders and décolletage with its corseted bodice with draped silk panels fall into a full train over a half circle tulle skirt.

The photo shoot ‘Desert Heat’ shows off sheer layers and corsetry and our ‘Estelle’ gown fits this to a tee.  The bustier with lace and ribbon top stitch work and the half circle tulle skirt is stunning and modern, against the desert landscape of the Las Vegas, USA.

One of our ‘Real Brides’ was featured in ‘Your Day’, Stefanie Jackson chose our stunning ‘Theresa’ gown for her nuptials in the gardens of Vaucluse House.
p.s. We love their idea of using French alphabet cards in silver frames in lieu of table numbers.

Why not also check out the ‘Love Blossoms’ section showing you that flowers can be used in a number of ways from table settings to party favors – think outside the box when it comes to flowers and your special day!

Go and pick up your copy of Bride to Be Magazine today and take a look at all their great ideas as well as our feature!!