Friday, August 9, 2013

Salon Updates

Hi!......I haven’t given you, my readers, a salon update in a long time! This post is well over due. 

Over the past couple of months, the salon has experienced a few changes and some new additions. We’ve had the amazing opportunity to have a scene from the movie ‘Baggage Claim’ filmed in the salon! The cast and crew were all extremely nice and professional and it was such a pleasure to see, well hear (we had to stay in the back), a few lines from the movie. Speaking of filming, last week there was yet another film crew at the salon. This time around, a independent student film was being shot to take to the Cannes Film Festival and hopefully get picked up. The salon has been getting some major exposure in the movie industry.

Now, with all that excitement, we’ve still been working on hundreds of gowns for brides, bridesmaids and mother of the brides. Spring is always the busiest season for the bridal industry and the salon has seen it’s fair share of hectic days.  At one point we had over 8 brides picking up gowns in the same week! That’s a lot for a couture bridal salon that creates every gown in the back room! We’ve also been developing the next collection for the label and I’m very thrilled to present the gowns for everyone to see. This collection is reminiscent of Old Hollywood with lots of beading, luxurious fabrics, and intricate details.

It’s been a busy yet exciting season and with the help of my wonderful team, all these things have been possible! I have two employees; Jocelyn is our sample maker/seamstress with the “magic hands” and Eve is my super upbeat assistant. We have been working together as a team for the past 6 months but every bride seems thinks we've known each other for years. The chemistry at the salon is so creative, fun and friendly, we find at times we are here all night and never noticed the hours passing by. The salon has always been my second home but now I have two lovely ladies to share it with............but  I cannot forget the salon’s mascot, WOOKIE! Wookie is my baby, my dog of 4 years and my everything. He keeps the salon running smoothly and all of us on our toes.

I can’t wait to see what else this year has to bring for the salon, the label and all of us! Stay tuned for many more updates!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Location, Location........Destination

A lot of my brides (current and pervious) have destination weddings that take place in other states/countries. I love to travel and when we began to discuss the location for the ceremony, I get inspiration from hearing where my brides will be traveling to for their big day. After connecting with my brides and doing a bit of research on the location the wedding will take place, I began to imagine the fabrication I will use to create my bride’s gown. If my bride tells me she’s getting married on a beach, I began to picture a soft flowing dress that flows fluidly when she walks down the aisle and standing in front of her husband saying their vows. Each destination wedding requires a different look and feel. 

If you decide to go with a destination wedding there are a few tips that I would like offer: 

  • Check the weather- I advise my brides to research the weather around the time they will get married. With every gown that I create, I want my brides to be as comfortable as possible on their special day. It’s important to know how hot or cool the weather will be, because this will also help me in choosing fabrication (I would not want to put you in a heavy brocade in 90 degree weather). 
  • Transportation- how will your dress get to you? I ALWAYS advise my brides, if they can, take the dress with them! My two biggest fears are: 1) damage to the dress before the wedding, and 2) the dress NOT arriving to my bride in time for her wedding. I have personally driven gowns to my brides to make sure they receive them. 
  • Care- caring for a gown is very important no matter where you get married. If you cannot personally handle your gown, please pick someone you trust to care for it. I always advise my brides to check with their wedding planner or hotel concierge for a steamer or services available in the area. Steaming is an essential part of caring for your gown on your big day. I also advise my brides to have someone with them when they pick up their gowns from the salon so that my staff and I can properly show you how to get into your gown, bustle or attach/remove your train, and any other steps needed. 

For many of my brides, a destination wedding is also a time to squeeze in a bit of a vacation. I encourage you to have fun, see the place you’re visiting and truly enjoy this one-in-a lifetime experience. I’m the type of person who really enjoys my vacation; I love to take in all the culture, sites, and enjoy the different types of food! This is the perfect time to take a mini break from planning your dream wedding and enjoy the beautiful sites other states and countries have to offer.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Molly & Stephen

My bride Molly and I were first introduced when she came into the salon with her friend to view the gowns we had. Molly instantly fell in love with Samarah from my Fall 2012 collection.  After trying on a few of my other gowns, Molly needed more time to decide if Samarah was the right dress for her or if she wanted to try a different look. A few months past by and I did not hear anything from Molly until she called me at the salon to inform it was time to get the process started on her Samarah gown.

To make her gown a bit more personalized, we added delicate ¾ length lace sleeves and created a mid-back “V’ shaped neckline.  We kept the dress at mid-knee, although she had considered a longer length when she first tried it on a few months back. The Samarah gown and Molly’s personal style/personality complimented each other fantastically! To top off her remarkable look we created a classic pillbox hat out of the same Dupioni silk as the under dress. Molly suggested the hat have a bow on the side to add a bit of detail, along with French netting that would be used in place of a veil.

Molly and Stephen’s wedding took place at the historic Camarillo Ranch in the beautiful Ventura County. The open space and outdoor scenery was the perfect match for their rustic, fun, and unforgettable wedding. The bride and groom along with their wedding party performed a “flash mob” dance for their guest to mix of their favorite songs. The incredible Jen, of Fondly Forever Photography, captured their special day and festive reception.

Congratulations Molly & Stephen!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pasadena Museum of History

I recently had another great opportunity to work with two of my good friends, jewelry designer Liza Shtromberg and photographer Shelly Waldman, on another fun photo shoot. The pictures from the shoot will be featured as informational postcards during the "I Do! I Do!" exhibit, that is currently on display at the Pasadena Museum of History.

The shoot featured three of our gowns: Rita (Spring 2010), Petal (Fall 2010), and Nasira (Fall 2012). Each gown was dressed up with pieces from Liza's beautiful jewelry collection; the gowns and the jewelry were a perfect match for this exhibit about the history of weddings.

If you have some time, I would definitely recommend checking out the exhibit. You just might learn something new and interesting about the history of bridal gowns, I know I did.

Exhibit Information: 

Pasadena Museum of History
470 W. Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA 91103

"I Do! I Do! - Pasadena Ties the Knot"
Part 1 - February 14 to July 14
12 p.m to 5p.m Wednesday - Sunday
$7 - General
$6 - Student & Seniors
$0 - Members and Children under 12


Photography: Waldman Photography 
Bridal Hats: Louise Green Millinery  

Friday, July 12, 2013


I first met my bride Perrin two years before her wedding when she came from New York to visit her parents.  Perrin came to the salon with her mother and they brought her mother's wedding dress. Perrin already had an idea that she wanted me to work with; how to make her mother’s wedding dress more of her own style, so she could wear it as her own wedding gown.

Perrin’s mother’s dress was a very beautiful lace tiered sheath dress with iridescent rhinestones. The dress was simple yet elegant with a vintage feel. Since I love working with vintage pieces I saw so many possibilities in creating something new with this dress. I wanted to give Perrin a dress that she would feel incredible in but I also wanted to keep certain elements of the original dress.   

We had the idea of making the dress a bit shorter, like a mini, by moving the all tiers of lace up a few inches. The dress originally had long sleeves that I shortened to ¾ length and used the leftover tiers of lace to create a beautiful scalloped neckline and “V” shaped back to compliment her collarbone.  Since the dress already had rhinestones on it, I had to find new ones to match so I could continue the flow of the rhinestones on the sleeves and neckline.  The end result was a perfect match of Hollywood glamour and modern chic.

Perrin and Michael were married in Santa Barbara at the historic Casa de la Guerra and this wonderfully special day was 
captured by Limelife Photography

Congratulations to Perrin and Michael! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Breaking The Rules: Not Wearing White

Traditionally, most brides wear white on their wedding day but sometimes I have the opportunity to work with a bride that decides to break this unwritten rule. A white wedding gown is not for everyone, just like a strapless bodice may not be your cup of tea. Using color for a wedding dress can be just as much fun as dancing all night on the dance floor after the wedding. Color has the ability to spice up the simplest gown and turn it into a memorable piece of art.

The first wedding were a woman wore a white dress can be traced back to Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert in 1840.  Before Victoria’s wedding, many brides choose colors including blue, yellow, black and grey for their wedding gowns. Soon after Victoria’s wedding, the white dress trend spread throughout Europe and more elite brides were beginning to favor white over any other color.  A white dress indicated the bride’s family had money to spend on a garment that could be worn once and possibly ruined by getting dirty.  In the 19th century, brides of the middle class also picked white as the color of their gowns instead of the different hues that were picked previously.  Most brides of this era would wear their gown more then once to get plenty of use out of the expensive garment.

In the past I’ve had the pleasure of working with a few brides that decided to use colors like red, black, purple, hints of green, and multi-colored lining to make their day and dress more unique. Actually a previous bride, Deborah's black wedding dress was part of the inspiration for my Spring 2013 collection; a black, sand washed jacquard gown with hand beading on the bodice.  Her gown was classic old Hollywood at it’s finest.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Kat & Fred

When I met Kat for the first time, she came in with her aunt who lives in Guam.   She knew that her loving aunt was not going to be able to attend her wedding and wanted her to partake in as much as she could during her visit. It was very touching to see how important it was for Kat to involve so much of her family...her mother, father, aunt and grandmother were all involved at some point in the process.   As it was difficult for her grandmother to see, Kat would explain in detail every inch of her dress for her to really "see" the gown come together.  It was beautiful to see her light up with each word. 

One of the most important factors in the design,  was the beading...or as Kat called it "bling"...and lots of it!   We started with dense beading on the top which faded into the body as it trickled down towards her skirt. At each fitting, more and more beading was added...soon she was fully covered. If there was an open space to be found, believe me, Kat would want another stone to cover it. She wanted to sparkle like no other bride she'd seen, and she had seen many, many weddings prior to her own.
The beaded bodice flowed into an organza ruffled skirt which looked like roses, but it didn't end there. From a chapel length train,  we added a detachable cathedral train, finished off with a mini organza belt on her waist.  The end result was stunning!
A beautiful side note...when her aunt returned from Guam, Kat put on a second showing of her gown so that her aunt could feel the same wonder that was felt on the actual day.
All of the special day was captured by the husband and wife team of Connie & Jeff's Photography.

Congratulations Kat & Fred!