Thursday, June 23, 2011

As seen in...

Sydney Bride Magazine
Winter 2011

This season’s Sydney Bride Magazine features plenty of wedding theme ideas and some gorgeous real weddings.

I love how the Magazine showcases some of Karen Willis Holmes evening gowns paired with items and accessories that display different fun and flirty wedding styles.

The sweet “Caroline” is a full length halter neck dress with a belted waist was paired with classic white pumps and vintage style earrings to achieve a classic look. The Caroline is also available in Violet, Natural, Black and Taupe.

“Jessica” is a V Neck, ruched midriff with fluted sleeves, perfect as a classic look or add some bright accessories for a colourful bridal party look. The gown is displayed in violet but is also available in other colour options such as black, ivory, violet, and turquoise.

Featured below is the cute “Avery” dress, adorably coupled with soft and feminine pieces accomplishing an endearing overall look. “Avery” has a full pleated cocktail length skirt, with a ruched bodice and spaghetti straps to hold up that sweet heart neckline.

Sydney Bride Magazine also featured the wedding of Holly Chen and David Macedon at The Tea Room Gunners Barracks in Mosman. The whole feel of the wedding was Australian Inspired and looked charming and intimate. Newlywed Holly Chen wore “Sophia” Ready to Wear gown and looked stunning. The gown features a French Chantilly lace bodice with Tulle wrapping from the bust down into a full circle skirt.

I hope your traditional Chinese ceremony in Sichuan, China was just as beautiful as the one in Sydney. 
Best Wishes to Holly & David in their future endeavours.

Karen x

Luxury Weddings Magazine Cover!

Just an additional side note to the blog I posted... The 'Maddison' couture gown and bolero  is featured on the cover!!!!!

The 'Maddison' couture gown features a strapless bodice, fitted silhouette with ribbon and top stitch detail and full mermaid skirt with pleated tulle insert at the hem.  The look is finished off with a pleated tulle bolero.

If you are interested in a couture appointment please contact us on (02) 9519 3901.
Couture Appointment are by appointment only.

Karen x

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

As seen in...

Luxury Weddings
3rd Annual Edition

The new annual edition of Luxury Weddings is on sale now full to the brim with dresses and Real Weddings to inspire you.  The new stunning ‘Paige’ gown and overlay is showcased in the editorial – and it looks beautiful.

The ‘Paige’ gown features a waisted silhouette with sequin georgette bodice with sweetheart neckline, the gown is finished with a full tulle skirt with a top later organza.  For a more dramatic statement look why not add the ‘Paige’ overlay.  This hand draped overlay features fold and drapes defined with a belted waist.

Karen x

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Gown Styles...
Empire gowns

An empire line is a traditional and slimming silhouette – great for petite figures.  The under bust line with elongate your figure and legs.  An empire line gown is perfect for a more relaxed or destination wedding.  Many of our gowns featuring this silhouette are soft and floaty gowns, some with a silk georgette overlay that is lovely.

Karen Willis Holmes – Ashley with 3D Flower Belt

The ‘Ashley’ gown is a stunning silk georgette gown, with georgette twisted and ruched on the bodice, finished with a v-shape strap that draws the eye to your décolletage.  With a soft flowing skirt, it is perfect when accessorised with a sash or belt to cinch in and define the waist.

For something a little different, why not try a silver ribbon like we have, and add a diamante brooch for some sparkle?  

Karen Willis Holmes – ‘Kate’ gown

The ‘Kate’ is beautiful in its simplicity, with silk georgette ribbons draped in a criss-cross pattern across the bust, that meet at the centre front and fall.  ‘Kate’ also features hand-beaded crystals at the bust for a delicate embellishment.

Greta’ gown

The ‘Greta’ gown is another empire gown perfect for your day.  This v-neck slinky 1930’s inspired silk satin bridal gown with bodice and front drape detail and bias skirt is finished with shoulder and front diamante detailing.

Also be inspired with some of our Real Brides...

Karen Willis Holmes – Real Bride

Karen Willis Holmes – Real Bride
‘Seiran’ gown

Karen Willis Holmes – Real Bride

Please feel free to visit the Karen Willis Holmes Ready to Wear stores in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to view our collection of Empire gowns.
For more information please contact us on (02) 9519 3901.

Karen xx

Friday, June 17, 2011

As seen in...

Lifestyle Asia

I was recently approached by Lifestyle Asia, the highest selling Chinese weekly magazine in Australia for a Q and A session to tie in with the cover story about weddings in Sydney.  Check out the questions and my answers below! 

1.         How and when did you start out in bridal wear design?
I had moved back to Australia from the UK and started designing day & eveningwear. A few brides commissioned me to make their wedding gowns, which I enjoyed making but did not see it as a full time proposition, my (now) husband suggested I worked on a wedding gown collection, I did not want to design traditional gowns as I was more interested in stunning eveningwear. We moved the business to a new location in Perth and at the same started a collection of wedding gowns and it worked extremely well from the beginning that I made it my main focus.  It has now come full circle because last year I started work on a new eveningwear collection again!
I started the original store in Perth around 20 years ago but moved to Sydney with my husband at the end of 2000 for the business (and because we love Sydney).

2.       How would you describe your signature style? What do you think makes your designs unique? 
I think I design a beautiful gown that complement’s our brides varied and unique personalities.  They are more fashion orientated and a bit edgy in design.  We make all our gowns in Australia in our Sydney workroom and I am very focused on the fit and quality of each and every gown. 

3.         What is your favorite thing about designing wedding dresses?
I get to work on what I love, making a stunning piece of art, which you get to wear on the most important day of your life. There is a great deal of skill and craftsmanship behind each gown and I love the challenge and excitement designing new gowns brings.

4.       Do you have a personal favorite style of bridal gown, and if so, why? 
I love them all for different reasons (or else I would not design them) I design for all different styles of brides and for different wedding days. My absolute personal style has a vintage 1950’s edge that cinches in the waist and has a fuller skirt reminiscent of the New Look by Dior.

5.       What inspired your latest collection? And what type of fabric and embellishment feature in the latest collection? 
My inspiration this collection is for feminine vintage layers using textures and mixed fabrics that work with many different silhouettes. Some of my favourite looks from the latest collection include belts and motif accents with diamante features complimenting sheer and floaty fabrics with a structured base.  I also love reinterpreting the classic all over lace gown this time with a slim fitted silhouette and playing with proportion with a fishtail silhouette.

6.      How far in advance do you recommend purchasing a wedding dress?
Six months order time is an industry standard, but my real answer is as soon as you know this is the gown you would love to walk down the aisle in – pay your deposit and book it.  At Karen Willis Holmes we are very flexible with the time frames because we make the gowns to order. If you only have a short time period and we have the fabrics and space in the workroom of course we will make it for you. However, we do not have all of the fabrics all of the time. I recommend you book as soon as you know you want it. Of course, it is not unheard of for brides to want to loose weight, you can book your gown so everything is locked in but we can resize the gown for you closer to the wedding date.

7.       Can you provide a retail price guide for both your bridal wear and your line of accessories? 
Evening collection $489 to $600
Ready to wear bridal gowns - $1489 - $3989
Couture gowns - $6000 upwards
Jewelry and accessories - $79 upwards

8.       What advice would you give brides who want to have their dress custom-made? 
The first thing I recommend to is to do some research for your gown, look at lots of images (magazines and the internet are great) to give you an idea of what you like get a little collection together. You might find most of the images are from one or two designers.  The next is to work out your budget – and look at stores, which are at your price point.  Shop around, ask for recommendations, find out what do you get from each store? As services provided are very varied so you need to know what is included and what is not with each store.   Lastly, your wedding gown is a huge decision to undertake and brides usually want a second opinion.  Choose the people whose opinions you trust – you will get honest answers and opinions and will not be inundated with several conflicting opinions and comments. 

Have a great weekend
Karen x

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Karen’s best dressed picks...

The 2011 Tony Awards

Image – Just Jared

Catherine Zeta-Jones shines on stage   during the 2011 Tony Awards held at the Beacon Theatre on Sunday in New York City.
The actress who won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Desiree in Sethpen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music in 2010 looked radiant in a red Elie Saab gown, which she paired with Van Cleef and Arpels jewellery and Jimmy Choo shoes.

Image – Just Jared

Jennifer Damiano from “The Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” hit the red carpet at the  Tony Awards in a Reem Acra Resort 2011 dress.
The tea length canary yellow dress with a beaded overlay looks picture perfect with wavy updo, red lips and Charlotte Olympia pumps.

Other honourable mentions:
Edie Falco opted for a simple Romona Keveza one shoulder midnight blue gown. Her gown was accented with a silver Swarovski crystal belt plus she added a Diane von Furstenberg metallic silver Lytton clutch to complete her look and Brooke Shields in a gown by J.Mendel.

Karen x

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gown Style
Asymmetrical gowns...

An asymmetrical gown is always flattering. The drape of the fabric across the bodice or on an asymmetrical skirt will give the illusion of a slimmer silhouette.

‘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.

‘Kimberley’ as featured in
WHITE Magazine – Issue 10

Karen Willis Holmes - ‘Kimberley’

Gowns that use an asymmetrical drape detail will also draw your eye line to your face as well as highlighting it.  Real Bride balanced off her silhouette by accessorising with a black sash – tied at the opposite side to her asymmetrical strap.

Real Bride – Samantha (Photos by Jay)

The ‘Rebecca’ gown is an asymmetrical draped gown in powerloom silk.  Delicate drapes are folded through the bodice and skirt meeting at the hip.  Accentuate this point with a silk flower or bejewelled brooch.

Karen Willis Holmes – ‘Rebecca’

Real Bride Kathryn completed her wedding day look with a handmade powerloom silk shoulder corsage and fingertip veil.  Again using a one shouldered strap detail with further show off your décolletage and shoulder.

Real Bride – Kathryn (Photos by Jay)

Have a look at this dramatic draped detail of the ‘Renee’ gown in powerloom silk.  The cross over ruching and definition to the waist at this side is highlighted with a diamante leaf brooch giving the illusion of a cinched in waist.  

‘Renee’ bodice close up

Karen Willis Holmes – Renee

Come in store to try some asymmetrical looks!
Karen xx

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Karen loves...

Wedding List Co.

The lovely people at Wedding List Co. have just sent us an update of new ranges and products that they have recently added to their bridal registry collection and we are tickle pink with excitement.

Wedding List co has added more great prints and products from the Missoni Home collection and for the truly fashion conscience, there is no better bath towel – in particular best sellers Giacomo – the trademark zig zag pattern and Homer, new editions with Morgan and Melville prints. 
With rainbow stripes and butterflies these new towels will brighten up your home especially during these cold winter days.

Missoni Home - Towels

Missoni Home – Morgan Print

Missoni Home – Josephine Print

Missoni Home – Montgomery Throw

Missoni Home: Margherita Dinnerware Collection
Names for Margherita Missoni, granddaughter of the founders this collection of serving pieces combines classic Missoni patterns, bold colours like sherbet pink, lemon, raspberry, and blue with a platinum rim.  The perfect statement for any home.

Only at Wedding List Co. can you register the innovative brand Seletti.  The Italian design house is all about quirky yet functional products.  The latest range Estetico Quotidiano, meaning Daily Beauty is made up of items that are traditionally disposable – think plastic cups, foil pie tins, water bottles and ice cream cups cast in fine white china and glass.  These pieces are the perfect addition to any modern table or house.

With showrooms in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth you will be spoilt for choice!

Karen xx

Friday, June 3, 2011

Real Bride...

Jasmine & Grant 

When asked how the couple met Jasmine jokingly replied “Kings Cross of all places. You never know where you are going to find your future husband!” 
Jasmine and Grant were married in April at Suummerlees, Suttons Forest. 
Describing the location so visually for us with “the beautiful autumn weather you get in the Southern highlands, the amazing rambling gardens, the rustic ballroom and the lovely cottage where the girls got ready and where we stayed after the wedding.  Patty, the owner of Summerlees, was amazing throughout the entire process and on the days leading up and on the day was a huge help.”

Jasmine wanted a formal classic country wedding. With a colour theme of black and white, she accentuated and added some personal touches by adding gingham and the chandeliers - “with only three months to plan needed to stay in classic lines!”

Jasmine’s father opened the ceremony preceding the bridal party in traditional Scottish attire and playing the bag pipes, her friend Jess and brothers Morgan and Courtney walked her down the aisle.

When looking for the perfect gown for her day Jasmine was very lucky – only visiting the Karen Willis Holmes Sydney store and trying on just two dresses – (even I am impressed that Jasmine was so restrained and sure in her choice!) Also she only told her mother that morning that she was getting married in three months and the next minute buying ‘the’ dress!
Jasmine chose the ‘Allegra’ gown commenting that it was “the beautiful lace, soft tulle and the way it molded onto the body the longer you were in it.”

Jasmine finished off her look with a double tiered blunt edge fingertip veil, jeweler by Stephanie Browne and shoes from Panache.

Jess, Jasmines bridesmaid chose her gown from One on the Way maternity wear and accessorized with some dress clips and a Hair comb fascinator from Karen Willis Holmes.

Annette’s Florist in Moss Vale did the flowers for the wedding and Hayley Rose from Snaparazzi came highly recommended from friends.  Jasmine did all the Stationary – from invites to place cards and menu’s herself and on danced the night away with a personalized iPod playlist.

Describing the wedding cake as ‘Not your average fruit cake’ was perfect for the stick date pudding cake with brandy caramel sauce and toffee almond shards Jasmine’s aunty made.  Lucinda Fine Foods in Bowral supplied the menu for the reception.

Congratulations Jasmine and Grant!

Karen xx

p.s. photography by Snaparazzi

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