Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kristi & James

When my bride Kristi, who is a kindergarten teacher in the Pasadena area, came to her first appointment, she opened up to me about her family and the recent passing of her father.  As we spoke, we instantly bonded and connected over the fact that we had both lost our fathers.  After shedding many tears, Kristi told me what her vision was for her gown and her wedding.  She gave me her full trust and wanted me to style her and her entire party from head to toe, which I gladly and proudly did.
Her Bohemian vision came to life in the design of her gown which we made from Battenburg lace appliques and Crinkle chiffon, from the simplest of ideas, one of which was a sun dress.  After every meeting and fitting, I knew that as we adjusted and played with ideas, that I was on the right track when I could see a glimmer of tears in her eyes.
I even involved her sister Cami in the fabrication of Kristi's gown and had her assist with a portion of the beading, making it very personal for her and her family.
Kristi also put her lovely Mom in my hands, as I put her in a gold Dupioni jacket with matching cigarette style pants.  As the matriarch of the family, I thought it only fitting that her Mom be in gold as the rest of the party were in shades of yellow.
The wedding and reception took place at her beautiful brother-in-law's house in Altadena.  Quaint, intimate and emotional, her wedding brought tears all the way around, including myself and my husband.  All of it captured by Rose City Photography.

 Congratulations Kristi & James!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kristi's Wedding Party

Nine different dresses for nine unique ladies and girls....
This is how many gowns I designed and fabricated for my bride Kristi's Wedding Party.  It all started when discussing Kristi's wedding as she wanted all yellow for her bridal party.  So, I thought, why not come up with different shades of yellow in order to make it more unique, since each design was different.  The colors complemented her Bohemian vision of her wedding and reception and brought a beautiful array of Summer color to a wonderful outdoor Fall wedding (just as the drizzle cleared!).
Additionally, I designed and fabricated the head pieces, out of burlap, for the girls and added burlap floral broaches to their Toms ballerina shoes.
All of my girls, my little "pollitos" - Ava, Elle, Niki, Kerry, Lisa, Cami, Laura, Gloria and Andrea, who will be featured in the next blog along with Kristi, were the most wonderful wedding party that a bride could ever want.
The closeness of the two families from the beginning of the design process, to the fittings and through to the wedding itself was inspiring and touching.  I am very happy and proud to have been part of Kristi's wedding and now count them as family myself...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jacky & Vince

Before I begin to talk about my bride Jacky, I wanted to thank her "adopted" mom Sue for discovering me in her own backyard...
My bride Jacky came to me with a very special request.  She wanted to incorporate elements from her Mother's original wedding gown into her gown as a beautiful homage to her mother, as a remembrance as well as a celebration.  This thought was especially dear to me as I too have experienced the passing of a parent.

So, I set about coming up with a creative solution of how I could delicately remove some of the lace patterns from her Mother's dress and re-create Jackie's gown while still retaining a contemporary look and style and fusing the two elements together so that they appeared seamless.  Additionally, Jacky wanted a gown with a long train, but one that could also be removable to allow her to dance and celebrate at her reception.
Her fittings always included Sue, her Maid-of-Honor Mary, and her Mother-in-Law Celia. As we worked on fittings and adjustments to the design, the idea of her gown being contemporary, yet also having that Hollywood glamor was discussed more and more, as I found out that her reception venue was the Majestic Halls in Downtown LA. 

What I came up with was a lace gown that had a hidden attachment for the removable train.  I incorporated the lace flowers and appliques from her Mothers gown into the lace around her shoulder and alongside the hem as an added detail.  I also matched the original pearl bead work and kept that as a bit of "bling" wherever I could. 
I would say that Jacky looked quite I am sure Vince would agree!
The beautiful wedding, lively reception and wonderfully playful shots were captured by Glen Lastimoza of BlueLabel Photography and Peter Trans of Icons Photography.  Excellent work!

Congratulations Jacky & Vince!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kelly & George

My bride Kelly, who I now refer to as my "Number One Fan", is more than just a previous Client, she has truly turned into a friend.  She discovered me in Pasadena, as she was starting her search for her wedding gown very early on.  In fact, Kelly visited me almost 16 months prior to her wedding.  When she made her appointment and came in to try on gowns, she instantly fell in love with two different gowns, the Veronica gown, which is a twist front design, and the Marilyn, which has a beautifully tiered train. 
So, I redesigned her gown to incorporate both of the beautiful features from these gowns...
The final result looked very vintage Hollywood, with all the glam, beauty and class that fit Kelly to a tee!
At her fittings, her Mom and friends would also attend, and our meetings became more like girlfriend sessions.  I don't think we ever talked for less than an hour as we laughed and chatted together.
So now, Kelly has become a great supporter of me and my work and has become my "Number One Fan" as she continues to give me love...Thank you Kelly!
Kelly's wedding and reception were wonderfully captured by Cean One Photography at the beautiful Mission Inn in Riverside.

Congratulations Kelly & George!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Art of Couture

So many Brides ask me this question when I first meet them, "What is couture?".  Of course, the word couture is used by many bridal designers and bridal salons to describe their gowns.  But, what does it truly mean?  And, what really makes a couture gown?
Well, the word comes from the French "haute couture", which means "high sewing" or "high fashion".  It is a word that is actually protected in France to describe only those designers and Fashion Houses that meet a certain criteria on the fabrication of their clothing.  These pieces are typically made to order for each client, made with high quality fabrics, and sewn and finished by only the most experienced seamstresses with a great amount of time spent on the details.  To be even more specific, a true haute couture designer must even have a workshop in Paris that employs at least 20 full time people among a few other rules.
Now, at this time, that I am afraid I am not able to do.  Although, working in Paris sounds fantastic! Lol!!
But, unlike many other salons and designers, that just call themselves couture for marketing purposes, I strive to reach much of the "couture" criteria with each and every one of my brides.
  • It is just as important to me as it is to my brides that her gown fits beautifully, so however many fittings as are needed to achieve this must be met.
  • I am also proud to be able to say that I make each and every gown locally, at the Salon in Pasadena, yes, something actually "Made In America"!
  • Attention to the details is paramount and nothing should be overlooked.  As many of my brides know, I am a bit compulsive and if I personally feel that the gown is "not quite there", I will be up all night, all week, whatever is necessary, to get it right and even deliver the gown myself to my bride.
I believe that trying to keep couture "alive" is what makes my brides experience and her gown so special and dear.  After all, this is her wedding day, one of the best and most important days of her life....and that is something to be valued and cherished.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Process of Design: Part 3 (Raquel)

Now that my bride Raquel's wedding has been celebrated, I can post the images from our last and final fitting without worrying about her new hubby seeing them.  If you recall, in Part 2, we had a full version of Raquel's gown fabricated in muslin to insure the correct fit and make any design changes prior to cutting into the actual finish fabric of her gown.  After all of the corrections and alterations to the gown and tweaks to the design were completed, I took apart the muslin and proceeded to use this as my new pattern to trace onto the final silk fabric.  Getting the muslin version of her dress (or of any of my brides) correct is crucial to allowing our final fitting to go smoothly with minimal adjustments.
I put her gown back together, leaving any small details to be adjusted the days Raquel came in for her final appointment.  This time Raquel set aside a full week in L.A. to be sure we had enough time to get everything right before she flew back East with her gown.  
After a little bit of pinning, adjusting, tacking and sewing, Raquel's gown was complete!  
As she is on her honeymoon now, I am waiting for her return and looking forward to the photos.  Oh, I also created three cute dresses for the little flower girls, their photos are coming as well...