Friday, January 28, 2011

New Stockist...

Great news for brides to be in Perth – Karen Willis Holmes is now stocked in ‘Zanzis’!
Zanzis’s holds a spot in my heart it was a store I established and owned until I decided to move to Sydney in 2000.  There was no one I would trust with the boutique and my ‘baby’ more than Jennifer and 10 years ago she took over the store and made it her own and has done a fabulous job.  Meeting though our careers within the bridal industry, I have been good friends with Jennifer, the owner for over 17 years. 
Jennifer continues to design couture bridal gowns and has complimented her designs with a collection of other labels. I am so happy to see that our collaborating has come full circle after all this time.

It’s a match made in heaven.

Here are some of the Karen Willis Holmes gowns that are available from Zanzis:
Allegra – A bustier strapless fishtail gown with corded lace detail and a tulle circle skirt.

Alyssa – A corset based gown with layered rolled edge organza ruffles starting at the bodice and forming the skirt.

Ashley – This bustier gown has a draped and ruched bodice and skirt in silk georgette.  

Renee – Strapless bridal gown with fitted fishtail silhouette in silk powerloom. Featuring side detail draped bodice, with circle skirt flowing into a train.  

Becca – A strapless bustier with draped bodice, bias skirt and full fishtail train, finished with a tie at the waist.

Dakota – A V-neck corded lace slim-line bridal gown with small train. Bella silk georgette frill sleeves and waist tie.

Estelle – Bustier style gown with lace and ribbon top stitch work on the bodice skirt is a 1/2 circle made from layers of tulle which flows into the train.

Lauren – This v-neck gown is a softly asymmetrically draped with panelled skirt and waist tie.

Keisha – Simply stunning wedding gown on corset base with sequin georgette overlay to form a sleek silhouette. Bias skirt flows into small train. Finished with Velvet ribbon on hip & diamante clasp.

Greta – A V-neck slinky 30's silk satin bridal gown with bodice and front drape detail with a bias skirt flowing into a small train. Finished with shoulder and front diamante detailing.

By Appointment only.
Western Australia, 6008
Ph. (08) 9388 3322

Monday, January 24, 2011


Autumn 2011

COSMO Bride has gone all out in their new issue and it is jam pack full of our gorgeous gowns!!!!

Everyone loves a good wedding – and the most anticipated wedding of the year is of course the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April.  COSMO Bride asked Karen what she would design for the bride to be and with the lace detailing and silhouette - it is a stunning design.

Our ‘Keisha’ and Sharon’ gowns are featured in the Frock Stars pages drawing inspiration from Heidi Klum and Liz Hurley’s red carpet looks.
‘Keisha’ features a strapless corset gown with bias skirt in sequin georgette overlay and velvet ribbon hip detail. Our ‘Sharon’ gown is a classic sweetheart neckline corset gown with intricate ribbon and top stitch bodice detail and a bias panelled skirt.

When we were browsing the magazine we just loved the article ‘The Lunchtime Workout’ with our ‘Sophia’ gown styled with runners and pastel pink boxing gloves.

In the editorial photo shoot ‘Swept Away’ our 'Melissa' gown looks stunning for a relaxed beach wedding. Featuring delicate asymmetrical drape in silk tulle this bustier strapless gown is finished off with crystal flowers at the side front.

We love to see our Real Brides grace the pages of Cosmo Bride and in this issue Jo Ann and Jakin’s wedding is featured –and what a stunning day they had for their beach wedding.
Jo Ann wore the ‘Roberta’ gown with ruched strapless corset bodice and bias skirt with 3 ruffles at the hem.  Jo added a unique shoulder corsage and cathedral veil to complete her look.

If that isn't enough to tempt you to go out and grab your copy, 
I don't know what is!

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Sydney Bride Magazine...

Summer 2010-2011 Issue
Yesterday we received the brand new issue of Sydney Bride and we just could not wait to share it with you because our gorgeous ‘Melissa’ gown is on the cover!!!

From the editorial photo shoot ‘Cloud Nine’, our ‘Melissa’ gown is the perfect choice for a heavenly look, matching floaty gowns with simple embellishments.  Featuring delicate asymmetrical drape in silk tulle this bustier strapless gown is finished off with crystal flowers at the side front.

We also wanted to point out some articles we loved in this issue – great inspiration for all including finding the perfect pair of shoes to finish off your look in ‘The Perfect Pair’ and ‘Return of Vintage Glamour’ – great for those of you who are wanting to embrace the feminine vintage look of the 1940’s and 1950’s – think Mad Men!

Our Karen Willis Holmes Couture gown ‘Sienna’ is also featured in the editorial photo shoot “Vintage by the Beach”.  This stunning gown is accented by delicate georgette ruffles at the bust and gradating down the gown elegantly, and finished with an elegant jewelled motif belt.

And lastly, who can’t resist their ideas to escape and explore our sunburnt country with some great honeymoon suggestions right at your door.

Keep an eye out next week for our post on Melbourne Bride Magazine.

Our Sydney and Melbourne stores do not work by appointment.
For couture appointments please call (02) 9519 3901.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Golden Globes 2011

The Golden Globes 2011

The start of the awards season and more importantly the red carpet season….. how exciting.

It is great to see some of the catwalk pieces make it to the red carpet and to see who wore what and of course who looked stunning? As is the trend in the last few years – it all seems to be quite safe. There really are a lot of the actresses with the same clone like look with botoxed faces, smooth up-does, over-exercised arms, generally too skinny and wearing identical safe gown choices – there is not much individuality, but who can blame them? You do not want a bad gown call on the red carpet, so stylists are employed and we get one safe look.

A few of the new young stars, such as Michelle Williams and Scarlett Johansson, who do not fit the starlet clone mould made the mistake of being very conservative and looking older before their time  - lamb dressed as mutton.  Perhaps trying to be safe and not the cliché of the modern starlet as many of the other actresses do.  They do look beautiful, but safe and older – perhaps not the image they are trying to achieve.

I also find quite often, that what looks great when watching the red carpet E- news special (what else?) does not translate as well when a photo is shown in the style pages – of course it could just be not a great picture

My list of loves are:
The red carpet was awash with pink in all shades and green, there were no prints to be seen, but most of my favorite gowns tended to be in black –I loved them for the craftsmanship, fit, styling and simplicity.
All of the following would make a stunning wedding gown in similar designs to this shown with your own personal twist.

Eva Longoria - Zac Posen, She was the ultimate screen siren in this stunning gown, which fitted her to a perfection, dramatic but not overpowering. Try our Payton jacket and Stephanie skirt, for a similar look

Halle Berry - Nina Ricci, who looked simple and sexy in a black corset dress, and I love a corset - showing off that sensational body of hers, which looks fit and fabulous. My choice would have been a longer skirt even though she does have the pins to pull this off.  For a corset bodice choose the Estelle gown, with full tulle skirt 

Jennifer Lopez - Zuhair Murad, Ivory draped chiffon gown with a Swarovski crystal overlay. The draping showed off her incredibly small waist. This could have looked too bridal but worked for her on the red carpet and she pulled it off. Select the Kimberly gown for a center drape and show your waist off with a belt. This gown can be ordered without the straps 

 Mandy Moore - Monique Lhuillier – Choose the Allegra gown for the same look

Anne Hathaway - Armani Prive – stunning with the flat oversized sequins and the sheer low back.
Angelina Jolie - Versace, when watching Angelina on the red carpet I loved the movement and the fit of the gown, I do not think it translates into a picture as well – perhaps a flash of skin would have enhanced the look.
The Ava gown will give you a similar look to these screen goddess's. The fabric is made in delicate sequins also featuring a low back, and dramatic shoulders

Jane Fonda - George Hobeika shows her style and defies her 73 years with a modern, embellished take on the simple black column. Really we could all take a page from this woman’s book, she looks stunning and age appropriate - a great look for Mothers of the bride. 

Helena Bonham Carter with her quirky take on her outfit and independent style with mismatched shoes, Victoriana hair and classic Vivienne Westwood dress.  I thought she was a breath of fresh air and I love the way she sticks to her own style – like it or not she is true to herself (and she was brilliant in the Kings Speech) How lucky are we to have a star who has  fun  and knows who she is. - Perhaps not a look for your wedding day, but then again be true to yourself.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fishtail Gown Style


The fishtail shape is a stunning choice for a bride with an ‘hourglass’ shape as it emphasises the 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.

Our ‘Renee’ is the perfect gown to achieve this look. A strapless fishtail shape with a ruched bodice, the fitted corset throughout the torso pulls the waist in, creating womanly curves. To really draw attention to your sexy waist, add a big diamante brooch at the waist, and you have a gorgeous red carpet worthy gown.

Real Bride – Liz Yow wearing Couture ‘Gemma

Couture ‘Maddison’ Gown with ‘Maddison’ Bolero

Our couture ‘Maddison' features a strapless bodice and pencil skirt with ribbon and topstitched detail.  The very full mermaid skirt has pleated tulle detail peaking out.  The bolero jacket in pleated tulle balances the fishtail silhouette.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Real Wedding... Jennifer and Tony

Jennifer and Tony met at university while both working on a student organization committee.  As president of the organization Tony comments that he use to organize ‘extra meetings’ with Jennifer so they could meet up and get to know each other.  After 4 years together Tony proposed at Eureka Tower, however because Jennifer was scared of heights it did not totally go to plan.  Nevertheless, Jennifer says, “After the proposal, I actually forgot about the heights.”

Uniquely the couple chose to spread their celebrations over two days with their ceremony on the 2nd October, 2010, “We wanted to have a formal Catholic wedding which is important to us. St. Patrick’s Cathedral has always been a special place for us so it makes sense to get married there.” said Jennifer.  Their reception on the following day was at the International of Brighton.  “The Georgian Room where we had the reception was perfect for an intimate 100 guests wedding reception that we would like. I love the fact that during the reception I could see everyone from the bridal table.”

The couple chose a colour theme of ‘Salmon Pink’ and ‘Mushroom Grey’ for their wedding but because of the two day celebrations Jennifer got to mix it up a bit.  Her bouquet for the ceremony was from Armadale Flowers and featured yellow Ranunculus and dusty pink roses.  For the reception and the bouquet throwing the bride carried a bouquet of dark pink carnation.

The couple was also conscious of the environment incorporating eco friendly elements such as the bombonieres were tiny pots of Alyssum flowers which doubled as the centre pieces as well as using soy candles.  For other unique features for their reception that couple replaced table numbers with words relating to love – ‘Devotion’, ‘Adore’, and ‘Admire’.  The couple’s first dance was to an Indonesian song titled ‘Marry Me’ – the same song Tony had playing when he proposed.

Sitting proudly on the four tier cake by AbFab Cakes was a figurine of a bride and groom on top of a red scoot because “Tony has a red scooter and he insisted that the scooter should be part of the wedding.” said Jennifer.

Jennifer looked stunning in our Karen Willis Holmes ‘Sophia’ gown. “I loved the simplicity and modernity of the designs and decided to visit there. I love my experience at Karen Willis Holmes, the girls are so friendly and no booking was required to try on any gowns. And I liked not have any pressure to make immediate decisions also helped.”  
Jennifer had custom made flowers from Etsy added to the gowns sash as well as a crystal belt to mix up her look over the two day celebration.  She finished off her look with a cathedral length veil from Karen Willis Holmes for the ceremony, a headband from Mimco for the reception and bright pink Moschino shoes.

Jennifer’s bridesmaids’ wore darker peach pink Bacinni and Hill gowns with light pink Alannah Hill cardigans while the Groomsmen wore suits by David Marcs.

Jennifer’s hair was styled by Melissa Angeline who “created hair styles for me to accommodate for the two day wedding. She knows what suited me and created hairstyles that lasted even until the last photos were taken.”  Hermia Lee did the brides make-up.

Photographer Jave Lee took the couples engagement photos and they loved his style that they asked him to photograph their celebrations as well. Kurioz Wedding captured the celebrations on video Jennifer says they were easy to work with and discreet.

Jennifer found inspiration from magazines such a Martha Stewart Weddings, Wedding Style Guide and websites such as The Knot, Ruffled, Once Wed, Polka Dot Bride and Etsy. “But I think the most wonderful inspiration came from the people who were involved in the wedding process, like my bridesmaids who picked their own gowns and the different suppliers I’ve worked with. Their ideas helped to refine my own ideas to make the wedding a wonderful affair!”

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome to 2011 a new and exciting year for Karen Willis Holmes. 
Look out in the coming months for some great tips and gown style guides to help you find your perfect wedding gown.  We also cannot wait to share with you some of our Real Bride photographs and stories.

Launching in our stores in Sydney and Melbourne this week is our Ready to Wear Collection of bridesmaid gowns, ideal for complimenting your Karen Willis Holmes wedding gown.

Our Sydney and Melbourne stores do not work by appointment so go in and see the girls when you can.  If you would like to organise a couture appointment please contact us on (02) 9519 3901.
In the meantime check out our website: