Sunday night had several hundred buyers and members of the press waiting an hour for this much anticipated show to start. The Disney Princess Collection by Kirstie Kelly has been being buzzed about for months. The premise is to have an established designer create for Disney a line of Bridal gowns inspired by the Disney princesses. So what was the verdict? They were wedding gowns, nothing to shout about. It wasn’t that they weren’t beautiful, they were; but they did not begin to approach the hype. What did stand out in my mind was the taste they gave us of the yet to be released Maidens line. These were unique, beautiful social occasion gowns. The short ones would easily go for weddings or a cocktail party. The long one would certainly stand for a formal event. I look forward to seeing the rest of the collection.
Kudos to Camilla Chafer over at Bridalwave for her Frock Horror section. I have been reading Bridalwave for a while now but had never had the time to read the entire thing. Oh my, it isn’t just the gown’s that are hysterical it is the descriptions that Camilla writes. Take a few minutes and laugh out loud. I will forgo my ususal suggestion that you pour a glass of wine or a cup of tea so you don’t risk spitting it all over your keyboard!.
What was it that made me finally take the time to read through the complete Frock Horrors? Maybe it was the evite I received this morning to the runway show and launch party for the new INAGURAL COLLECTION
Ah yes, what fun. An entire collection designed to look like the Disney Princesses; Belle, Arrielle, SnowWhite. Oh, why not?
Today I intended to limit myself to gowns, but well we all should have know that wasn’t going to happen. There are just too many pretty things at market that just pop among the white.
First stop, Bel Aire Bridal. Their primary business is in veils and tiaras but you most likely know them for cake jewelry. I loved the tear drops for your tiers. Joyce was telling me that they are doing a lot more of the pieces in gold. You have to take a look at all the bouquet accents they have now- initials (of course), butterflies, pretty little jeweled dragonflys and crystal babys breath. Prettiest of all was the ‘cake tiara’, how much more fun that a few fresh flowers.
I found a stunning sheer, beaded shrug at Adrianna Papell. I photographed it in white but it was just as pretty in black. Great for Mom.
Planet Fashion had the cutest dresses for the bride that thinks outside the box. White with a black sheer lace overlay in a short, very fifties cut. Sylvia also had several brides maids dresses in white that would be perfect for that bride not caught up in the traditional wedding dress train of thought.
A bit more traditional were the beaded beauties from Stephen Yearick. What I loved in addition to the design and quality of the bead work was his choice of colors. Nothing harsh, just beautiful subtle hues. Even his reds were well done. Bravo Stephen, I loved them all!
I did look at the more traditional gowns but from a different perspective. I toured the show today with a new friend that not only designs but also acts a production manager at the factories. Leanne knows everything there is to know about bridal gown construction. I got quite an education on exactly what to look for to tell the difference between well done and not so well done; seemingly tiny little differences that can make a huge difference in the way a gown hangs and feels. As soon as I get done with market season I will share all I have learned.
Every third corner at the mart has a display of evening purses; all very pretty all just the same. Then there is Leigh Ann Kline Handbags. The queen of feathers, Leigh Ann has some of the most unique, quirkiest handbags around. Because they are handmade the are a bit pricier that all the rest but amazing enough that I could see replacing your bridesmaid bouquet with one and letting it double as a ‘Thank You’ gift. I know I’d be doing back flips of appreciation.
It’s that time of year again. Designers and buyers are flocking to Bridal Markets around the world. Susi Rogol, my dear friend and the editor of Bridal Buyer Magazine just sent me all the Dish from the British Bridal Exhibition in Harrogate. Here is some of what she had to say:
“There was a lot of more of the same , but Allure had some goodies and, of course, Ian Stuart dazzled. His collection showed a bit of a departure – lots of slinky gowns but with piles of style and the sort of detail that got him the Best British Designer Awards again this year. (Oh how I wish he had better exposure over here. Love him, love his gowns)
Lots of ivory and cream – piles of lace, and thank heavens finally, suggestions of shoulder cover – from fine straps to princess necklines and beautiful tiny shrugs and jackets. Jason Jennings was picked up by Kleinfelds, which is great news for him. Some seriously good accessories – tiaras getting bigger and bigger and very pointy shoes.”
So there you have the latest dish direct from the UK Markets. The other buzz that was running around Harrogate was the launch of the Sophia Tolli line from Mon Cheri Brides. For those of you that don’t know Sophia is the designer that was the head of the Maggie Sottero design team for years. Late last year she moved to Mon Cheri to design her own line. MC has played it very close to the vest and Harrogate was the first full showing of the line. It launches in the States this weekend at National Bridal Market in Chicago. Of course yours truly will be front row for that one. Until then MC has posted a sneak peek to wet the appetite. Don’t look for the Sophia Tolli line to be in all the magazines and all over the internet. My understanding is that it will be a salon exclusive line.
I had an interesting conversation with a gown designer Tuesday. She was telling me that she hears that comment quite often from brides. Yes, it probably did. The model wearing it was most likely 5′ 11″ and weighed 100 pounds and then the photographer airburshed the photo to within an inch of it’s life. So I asked her what she would tell a bride before she started trying on gowns.
First, have realistic expectations. The photos in the magazine are not anymore realistic than Playboy centerfolds. Pay more attention to the details than the overall look.
Second, all designers cut differently. The store consultant should be able to show you designers whose cut is more suited for your unique figure.
Third, the gown you liked on paper may not be the most flattering to you figure. Be open to different silhouettes and necklines. Most details such as beading or splashes of color can be found on a variety of styles. Determine the cut and style that is most flatering and then find one with the details you love.
Another thing to be aware of when you start shopping…most gowns have no ‘hanger appeal’. So even if it looks like yuck on the hanger, if it had the details you love try it on. You may be pleasantly surprised.