Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Secret Weapons Accessories now available

In store we have often get questions from brides about what to wear under their gown.  Now I am thrilled to say that the Karen Willis Holmes e-boutique and stores now stocks Secret Weapon Accessories.  From seamless ‘Nudi Knickers’ and ‘Nudi Bra’s’, Stick It Rescue Tape and Gel Cushions you can now purchase the underwear and accessories you will need on your big day.

Here are some of my favourite products that all brides should have on their big day:

One of the most common questions we get is what underwear is best under a wedding gown.  There is such a variety of choice now with underwear and shape products – you can get almost anything to suck in every lump and bump from navel to knee.  I find that a good pair of seamless underwear in either nude or white does the trick - save the frills and lace for later!  

The Secret Weapons Nudi Knickers are skimpier than a full brief and more flattering than a boy short, Nudi Knickers are designed with a woman's body in mind, to flatter the parts you love and hide the bits you don't!  

While you don’t need to wear a bra with our corset gowns some brides are more comfortable wearing a bra in the less structured gowns however you don’t want any annoying straps of the bra itself showing.  If you are after some a strapless bra that will still provide you with support then go for a Nudi Bra.  The backless and strapless adhesive bra is super light, reusable and will give you that perfect cleavage and line when you want to avoid wearing bra 

straps. Being an adhesive bra the Nudi Bra will give you the ultimate in support, lift and cleavage! 

The Nudi Bra will provide you with maximum comfort and works fabulously with the ‘Tiffany’ or ‘Greta’ wedding gowns for example.

(L-R) Tiffany and Greta

A staple in any woman’s handbag, and I think all brides should have Stick It Rescue Tape with them on their wedding case for those ‘just in case emergencies’ for either yourself or your bridesmaids. With 5 metres in length, Stick It double-sided fashion tape is excellent value, convenient and easy to use.

You have the perfect pair of heels for your big day, but we don’t want you in pain by the time the reception starts so why not pick up a pair of gel cushions for your dancing shoes!

Karen xx

p.s. for more information please contact us on (02) 9519 3901 or have a look on the e-boutique 

Friday, May 27, 2011

If you are a subscriber and receive the email updates the Youtube video from Karen's interview is not working on the email so here is the link...

Inlighten Photography 
talks to Karen Willis Holmes...

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Rachael Bentick from Inlighten Photography.
Check out the video where I talk about the replica of Princess Catherine's Royal wedding dress. Fully finished within 3 days after the wedding the dress will now be won by one lucky Woman's Day.  There’s also talk about choosing the right dress and our new store opening in Paddington, Brisbane.

Karen xx

p.s. for more information on Infinity Photography - http://www.inlighten.com.au/

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shop Til You Drop
June 2011 – Wedding Mag Special

Shop Til You Drop is always a great source of easily wearable inspiration and this month is no exception with the team applying their accessible brand of magic to achieving your dream wedding.  Weaving in some Karen Willis Holmes magic is easy as shown through the mag’s bonus wedding insert, featuring KWH gowns, bridesmaids dresses and accessories.

Of course easily accessible means more boutiques and Shop Til You Drop are so excited about our newly launched e-boutique and Brisbane store that they’ve featured us in their Style Insider story on pg 174.

The mag’s dreamy runaway gypsy inspired shoot demonstrated how soft ruching and 50’s silhouette of the cocktail length ‘Avery’ bridemaids dress is a cute accompaniment to any bridal party.

(Top Image - ‘Avery’ featured on the centre model, Bottom Image - ‘Betsy’)
And for brides the look is achieved by the whimsical spot tulle skirt of the ‘Betsy’ dress, shown with delicate gathered straps to complement the corseted bodice.

Completing the look is easy with our delicate lace edged knee length veil or embellished tiara. The Karen Willis Holmes stores and e-boutique have a great range of accessories including veils and jewellery that will complete your wedding day look!

With fashion and a bonus wedding special, this bumper issue is not to miss!
Karen xx  

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cosmo Bride
Winter 2011 – Part Two

As I said yesterday, this Winter 2011 issue of Cosmo Bride magazine was so jammed pack with our gorgeous Karen Willis Holmes gowns that we had to show you in two parts.  Today dresses from the Bridesmaid collection take focus!

The ‘Jessica’ gown with it’s v-neck bodice with ruched midriff, fluttered sleeves and bias skirt is belted at the waist.  Your bridesmaid would look stunning in the'Jessica' gown as shown here in Violet.

Or for those bride on a budget why not try the ‘Jessica’ gown it in Ivory as a flattering and stylish bridal gown that won’t break the bank!

After a vintage look and twist for your bridesmaid?  Take a look at the ‘Dotti’ dress.    The v-neck bodice with front pleat detail. The full pleated cocktail length skirt is belted at the waist and the soft blue powerloom silk is perfect for bridesmaids in any season.

Want your bridesmaids to make a statement and have fun in some colour, well COSMO Bride shows you some great options to make your bridal party pop!  The ‘Morgan’ gown is features in tangerine and the v-neck wrap front bodice with A-line skirt is a flattering choice that can be dressed up or down.

With two blog posts dedicated to this bumper issue, you should be running to grab a copy!

Karen xx

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cosmo Bride
Winter 2011
Part One

On chilling days what’s better then a cup of tea and a good magazine to read?  Well this month of Cosmo Bride is a winner and with so many Karen Willis Holmes gowns in this issue we are sharing it with you in two parts!

The ‘Madelyn’ gown is featured on pg89 and is a great choice for modern brides after a strapless silhouette.  Our very own Lyndel from the Melbourne store photographed this look.  Look at the full shoot at http://misslyndelyeo.blogspot.com/2011/03/country-breeze.html.  I love this shot – it is effortless and fresh and I am very proud and excited to see Lyndel’s work in the future.

Inspired by Hollywood glamour the 'Claudia' and 'Satine' couture gowns were the perfect choice.  Achieve instant glamour with all over sequins and the tulle fishtail skirt of the 'Claudia' gown.  The ‘Satine’ gown is a strapless bias gown with a tulle coat with feather shoulder detail will also give you the wow factor.

For a sleek look reminiscent of the 1930’s with it’s cowl neck front and back the ‘Tiffany’ gown from the Karen Willis Holmes ready to wear collection.  Team with a brooch at the waist or a gorgeous necklace for a stunning result.

Cosmo Bride is always filled to the brim with on trend information and advice and their body shape sections are always great at helping brides choose gowns that will flatter and enhance their silhouette.  The ‘Alyssa’ gown is featured with its A-line skirt and tiered ruffle detail – perfect for adding feminine curves to tomboy shapes.

Look out tomorrow for Part two of our Cosmo Bride special – for a look at some of the bridesmaid gowns featured this issue.

Our ready to wear stores in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney do not work by appointment. 
For a couture appointment please contact us on (02) 9519 3901.

Karen xx


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Monday, May 16, 2011

Womens Day link

I have attached the link to Womens Day website to see the images of the royal wedding gown replication happening at KWH!
The competition closes on 18th May - so you better be quick if you wish to win the gown, bridesmaids, rings, flowers, cake and a trip to London

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

White Magazine
Issue 12

The new issue of WHITE Magazine hit stores this week.  The cover is just stunning with the autumn colour so warming on these cold days!  This month I am contributing to the magazine with an article on the tips and tricks to make your search for the perfect gown as stress free and fun as possible.

Check out the article on page 85!

Two Karen Willis Holmes wedding gowns are also featured in the editorial ‘Golden Glamour’ – inspired by vintage style.  An ode to decadence and a strapless ball gown silhouette the Madelyn gown and Paige gown with overlay are stunning choices for the modern bride.

Karen Willis Holmes - Madelyn

Featuring a silk georgette bodice and full tulle skirt the Madelyn gown is picture perfect.  Add a coloured sash of embellished belt for an individual twist.

Karen Willis Holmes - Paige gown with Paige overlay

The Paige gown is a sweetheart strapless gown with sequin georgette bodice and tulle skirt with an organza top layer.  Featured with the Paige overlay – a dramatic statement with draped architectural organza on a belt to cinch in the waist.
This issue of WHITE Magazine is a definite must on the shopping list of any bride to be.

Karen xx

Monday, May 9, 2011

Karen Willis Holmes
as seen in...
Woman’s Weekly

Last week I showed you how we recreated Kate Middleton’s wedding gown for Woman’s Day over the weekend topped off by a high tea event at the QVB Tearooms on Monday – well now you can win it in a massive competition featured in the new issue of Woman’s Day in newsstands now!

Tell them in 25 words or less “ What did you do to celebrate the royal wedding?” for your chance to win.

Competition closes 18.05.11 – grab your copy of Woman’s Day today to get more details.

Karen xx

Friday, May 6, 2011

The new Brisbane store is open!!!!

I am so excited to say that our new Brisbane store is now open! 
Like the other ready to wear stores, the Brisbane store doesn’t work by appointment so please come and visit us when you can.
Shop 5, 2 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington
Ph (07) 3368-2216
Tue, Wed, Fri – 10 to 5.30pm
Thur – 10 to 7pm
Sat – 9 to 5.30pm
Closed Sundays & Mondays

We can’t wait to see you!
Karen xxx

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Karen Willis Holmes
The Royal Wedding
Catherine Middleton’s replica gown

In February, I was contacted by the ladies at Woman’s Day and asked if I would be able to make a replica of the gown Kate Middleton would wear at her wedding to Prince William.  The catch – it had to be done in less than 48 hours and with no prior knowledge of the design of fabrics needed!

Like the rest of the world I sat eagerly in front of the TV anticipating what Kate’s gown would be and I thought her gown was absolutely perfect for her – she looks stunning and completely appropriate.
I was hoping it would be Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and think she was the best choice for her gown.  It fits to perfection, looks as demure as it needs to for the royal wedding but stylish and stunning.
I loved every minute of the wedding and afterwards went to work to start going through the images on the internet and starting pattern cutting and sorting out the most appropriate lace and fabric to use so I was already to go with the team on Saturday morning.
On Saturday morning I looking at different pictures – full length and close up to see all the fine details of the gown.  Our cutter starting at 7am and it was all engines go all day.

I have chronicled the weekend process and would love to share with your some insider tips about making this stunning gown.

One we had organised the patterns for the gown our cutter got to work placing and cutting out the pieces as the first stage in the construction.

We had two machinist busily working on the gown.

I oversaw the team to make sure the construction process was smooth – a 48hr deadline is not something we work to often!

Amy and Lina are hand stitching the delicate lace we used on the bodice.

It was great to have the team working in such unison and very quickly we had the base of the gown and the lovely pleated detail of the skirt on the dress form.

At first the lace appliqué on the hem of Catherine’s dress wasn’t noticeably, but it was a stunning and subtle feature of the gown.  Here the ladies are hand sewing the lace on to the gowns hem.

Checking the sleeve of the lace overlay.

It was by no means a normal day at the office the weekend with a photographer from Woman’s Day and a news crew from Channel Nine interviewing me and documenting the process.

The finished gown... it took 8 people a little under two days to finish the gown, completing it on Sunday afternoon.

The back of the gown – with the beautifully draped bustle forming the 2.7m train.

Woman’s Day held a special High Tea event on Monday in celebration of the Royal Wedding.  The gown along with a replicas of Kate’s maid of honor, Pippa’s gown, the cake and ring were all on display.

The Royal Wedding was such a momentous and special occasion and it was an honour to have been asked to replicate Kate’s gown.

Karen xx

Please note that this replica gown was commissioned by Woman’s Day for a competition and therefore no other replicas will be made for sale.