Archive for the ‘Ask The Experts’ Category
We absolutely cannot wait for our ‘The Something Old Collection’ Accessories Trunk Show this Saturday, May 18th! Not only do our brides have the pleasure of viewing a large selection of gorgeous vintage accessories but they also have the opportunity to meet the curator of the fabulous collection, a woman who knows all about bridal- Bridget Kellogg.
We recently chatted with Bridget about how she got started in the industry and how her business of finding vintage pieces came to be! Read her recount below and then ring us for an appointment at 860.669.4596.
I began working in bridal as a fit specialist and stylist in the 1970′s and have always had a passion for bridal fashion. The collection was born 5 years ago. The love of all things vintage and the quality of the pieces made around mid-20th century were the perfect combination for a collection that I knew brides would love and would complement today’s styles–from victorian to the late 20th century. The collection is made up of approx. 1000 pieces mostly made during the height of the costume jewelry heyday just after WWII.
The jewelry that becomes part of the collection is the object of a constant search–everywhere and anywhere I can find it. A lot of the pieces come from estates, having spent the past 60 years or so in someone’s jewelry box or drawer. I look specifically for pieces that have been signed by the maker or fashion designer who commissioned it, or will buy an unsigned piece simply for it’s good design. Condition is a big factor in determining whether or not to buy. Early costume jewelry is a very collectable market and early pieces of good design in excellent condition are covetted by the collectors and therefore hold their value. The patina is beautiful real age, something that cannot be duplicated in new jewelry. The color of the metal is warmer, not bright, and looks better on the brides complexion. I love discovering a piece–perhaps findings I have never seen or superb castings–that I have never seen before. I have been in awe of the beautiful pieces I have found. Some of the designers came from a fine jewelry background and their designs reflect that (Marcel Boucher who worked for Cartier before he came to the US) Other pieces are signed by fashion designers, Hattie Carnegie, Elsa Schiaparelli, etc. These are among my favorites.
I have found that today’s brides appreciate having a keepsake that they will treasure and wear again. I tell them that it is the one part of their ensemble that they will wear again and again and will become a very sentimental thing. I wish I had a brooch or earrings from my wedding day that I could wear today. The idea of having something old is your reflection on the past and jewelry is the perfect way to express that. These pieces compliment today’s bridal gowns and can be combined with fine or new costume jewelry.
When I am talking about the pieces of the Something Old Collection you will hear me say “this is my favorite” over and over again! It changes minute to minute because when I hold a gorgeous, well designed, well made piece of vintage jewelry I fall in love with it instantly. My love of elements that were designed to specifically enhance the beauty of the woman wearing it has driven the collection and will continue to fuel my passion.
Q: “After doing a ton of wedding dress research online I have found I love lace- I’ll see you at the Lace Event! But with that said, I feel a bit confused by all the different types of lace out there. How many lace options are there and how can I tell the difference?”
A: Megan, great question! With the ever increasing amount of options and our Lace Event fast approaching we are sure you aren’t the only bride out there with this question! Below we have broken down each type of lace with a short description for each. Of course there are many different variations but these are the basic categories:
Chantilly lace is a handmade bobbin lace named after the city of Chantilly, France, in a tradition dating from the 17th century. Chantilly lace is known for its flat, outlined pattern, and abundant detail. Brides who are looking for a soft, romantic lace pattern will love Chantilly.
Alençon lace or point d’Alençon is a needle lace that originated in Alençon, France. It is sometimes called the “Queen of lace.” There is a raised cording throughout the pattern of the lace, and the cording follows the lace pattern underneath. Some but not all of the edges of the lace have “eyelashes”. Brides who truly want a traditional lace gown should look for Alençon !
Guipure lace (also called Venetian lace) is a firm, stiff lace with no net background. The pattern is made by a series of closely packed embroidery stitches and works well for the bride who LOVES texture.
Cotton Lace has a soft, less formal feel than more traditional lace styles. Perfect for a spring soiree or wedding on the water.
Laser Cut Lace
Laser Cut Lace is a unique and modern take on the traditional fabrication. It is perfect for a bride who loves the tradition of lace but has a more modern style!
We adore Awards season! It gets us inspired and allows us to get lost for an evening in gorgeous gowns, jewels and beauty! Last night were the Golden Globe awards and the red carpet was full of glamour! I am thrilled to share my 2014 Golden Globe Red Carpet Recap with all of you!
The hot colors of the evening were red, black and our favorite (white)!
The dresses were understated for the most part and were all about the gorgeous silhouette and beautiful fabrics. The jewelry was also very understated. We saw lots of stud earrings paired with a statement cocktail ring. The exception was Sophia Vergara in this glorious turquois statement necklace:
I was thrilled to see Sophia in a fuller silhouette and not her signature mermaid style. She was wearing one of our fashion icons, Zach Posen. Despite, the fuller skirt, the shape of this gown flattered her curves beautifully! I think this gown would translate beautifully into a wedding gown!
Overall, I felt that the hair on the red carpet was a little disappointing. It looked as though most of the starlets did their hair themselves. The exception to this was Cate Blanchette. Her hair style evoked old Hollywood Glamour and she was radiant, as always. She was among my top looks of the evening, which are listed below:
Cate Blanchette stopped everyone in their tracks in this gorgeous lace and organza gown by Aramani Prive. I loved it all – the lace detail, the femininity, the sleeves and the glorious plunging back (be sure to google it).
Taylor Swift is developing into quite the fashion icon in her own right. Her entire look, including her Caroline Herrera gown was stunning.
I loved the color blocking and the beautiful drape and flower in the back of this gown. She looked simply elegant.
Sandra Bullock made my list as well! First of all, her skin is flawless! She seems to get younger with age! I need to know her secrets, STAT! Her Prabal Gurung gown was modern, sophisticated and elegant. It was a risky look for the red carpet and it paid off!
Juliana Margulies looks radiant in this Andrew Gn gown with gold embroidery. The silhouette was simple, but the fit was impeccable and the embroidery gave it just enough glam! Adored the entire look!
Maria Menuonos wins for the best use of color! Her ‘Pantone color of the year’ inspired, orchid gown by Max Azaria was stunning! The silhouette was magnificent and the color really made a statement!
I adore Leslie Mann and had the same feeling about her lace peplum gown from Dolce & Gabanna. This would be a gorgeous silhouette for a wedding gown!
My all time favorite look of the evening, and quite possibly my favorite gown in several award seasons, was this clean, modern, CAPED (!), gown by Ralph Lauren wore by Lupita Nyong’o (a Yale grad)!
Below are the gowns that I felt could easily transcend the red carpet to the white aisle! They were stunning and wedding worthy!
Magrot Robbie in Gucci
Michelle Dockery in Oscar de la Renta
Naomi Watts in Tom Ford
Zooey Deschanel in Oscar de la Renta
As always, there were a few fashion mis-steps on the red carpet, but you all know who they are! We choose to focus on the pretty! Until the Oscars…….
*all images courtesy of Getty Images
Did he ‘put a ring on it’ over the holidays? Wondering what to do next?
Here is our suggested wedding preparation checklist involving many of the important, fashion related steps as you begin your journey down the aisle. The White Dress by the shore is your one-stop destination for all of the following, so be sure to give us a ring, as we would be delighted to help you with every last detail- 860.669.4596
For more information when beginning this process be sure to check out owner, Beth Chapman’s shopping tips here.
Several weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking at Toss The Bouquet, a conference for the luxury wedding professionals of Chicago. The event was organized by my friend, Beth Bernstein, event director and founder of SQN Events. Beth and I met several years ago at the Engage Luxury Wedding Summit and bonded instantly over our mutual love of fashion and the wedding industry!
Beth created this conference to take a ‘taste’ of what we had experienced at Engage to the incredible vendors in Chicago. Her mission was to “Educate. Exchange. Elevate.” She was able to achieve that, and then some. In opening the conference she said, “Each person you will hear from today will give you nuggets of information that CAN change your business. I promise you. It has happened to me when I have heard some of them speak before. They are the best of the best, and yes, while many of them are getting paid to be here, they are also here because they are “honorary” Chicagoans. They want you to learn. They want to educate you, they want us to exchange ideas, and they want you to elevate your business.”
In speaking about her fellow Chicagoians, she said, “That’s what I love about Chicago. We’re open. We’re honest. We’re approachable. And we care.” I could not agree more!! I adore the “Windy City” and the people in it! I had the honor of meeting and bonding with several Chicago natives though Engage- the incredibly talented photographer, Kevin Weinstein, Andrea Liss, founder of Hannah Handmade, the most divine resource for custom invitations and accessories, event planners extraordinaire, Cindy Shanholtz and Hope Weiss, and my all – time favorite fashionista and jack-of-all-trades, Elan Villamor. I also made countless new friends and business contacts through this amazing experience (in fact, far too many to list)!
Below is a graphic of the incredibly talented speakers that I had the honor of being included amongst. I spoke about the current trends in bridal- you can see the trends on my blog post, here.
My co-authors of The White Dress in Color and I also had a panel discussion about the art of collaboration and how our book came to fruition.
Scroll down to see the beautiful faces and beautiful decor that made up this fabulous conference. I was honored to be surrounded by such talent- not only in the speakers, but in the amazing attendees!
I can’t wait for my next visit to Chicago-land!
graphic courtesy of Calder Clark
Wendy Wahl of Chic Productions discussing ‘creating your sweet spot’
Rocking my Aquinnah necklace and discussing what’s hot in bridal fashion
My smart, fabulous friend, Bernadette Coveney Smith of 14 stories, educating us all on how gay marriages are changing the face of our industry and how we can embrace it!
The sassy southern wedding planner/designer, Calder Clark helping to make the distinction between what it means to be a planner vs a designer.
Truly one of the smartest people I know, Liene Stevens, helping us understand how to market to millennials and how to stay relevant in the digital age. If you don’t follow her blog, Think Splendid, you must!
A new friend, LA based, Debbie Geller of Debbie Geller Events, discussing her secret to success. One thing that she said that completely resonated with me, and frankly blew me away (second only to seeing her work), was ” Many of you may not know who I am…and I am glad, because many of my clients wouldn’t hire me if you did.”
Two incredibly talented women that I had the pleasure of meeting at Engage 12, The Breakers, Andrea Liss of Hannah Handmade and Cindy Shanholtz. These two women are two of my biggest supporters and I am so grateful for them!
The Brain Behind the Operation – Beth Bernstein (SQN Events)
Venue- W City Center
Event Production- Art of Imagination
Photography- Carasco Photography
Paper- Courtney Callahan
Flowers- Hello Darling
Linens – Private Label Linens
In anticipation of our upcoming Hayley Paige Trunk Show, December 12th through 14th, we are excited to share this video with you! You may often wonder what the designer of your gown is like and we love how this short video captures Hayley Paige’s inspiration, ethos and personality. If we weren’t head-over-heels in love with Hayley’s gorgeous gowns already, this designer’s passion and personality has sent us over the edge!
Take a peek and then ring us to book your appointment during this exclusive event to receive a $100 discount off of your Hayley Paige gown. 860.669.4596
A little over a year ago, Super Storm Sandy struck the East Coast and literally struck my home! For years, my husband and I had discussed redecorating our bedroom, but other house projects always took precedence. Because after all, why make your bedroom pretty when no one really sees it?! Well, ”Sandy” decided to force our hand in the re-decorating decision!
During the storm, an 80 foot oak tree fell on our house, landing on one of the dormers and collapsing it into our bedroom. The tree was so tall that it covered the entire width of my house! We had a guardian angel watching over us that day for so many reasons – 1) The fact that the tree fell on the dormer, a reinforced structure, was a blessing. The dormer ‘broke the fall’ of the tree and prevented it from falling through to the first floor of our home. 2) One of the branches from the tree impaled the gabled roof in the front of the house, also helping to slow the tree’s momentum. 3) I had JUST been in the bedroom moments before and had left because the wind was getting intense and I had a terrible feeling that something was going to happen. 4) Because I came downstairs, my husband got up from our dining room table where he was working, which was directly below where the tree fell.
After a very stressful few days of cranes, chainsaws and trucks, the tree was removed from our house. The holes were boarded and tarped, and an insurance adjuster (who drove all the way from Texas in that crazy snow storm we had a few days later) came out and gave us a quote for the damage. It was then that we began to think about how we wanted to transform the bedroom. My first call was to my friends Sara and Melissa at Hartley and Hill Designs. Sara and I have been friends for years and she understands my taste level perfectly. Sara created a rendering of a design for the room and it was PERFECTION! I did not want to change a thing! I am honored to have revealed the finished product on Style Me Pretty Living. (click the link to see their post and a full gallery of images)
As terrible as the entire experience was for myself and my family, it taught me so many things. Firstly, we were so thankful that the damaged that we experienced was minimal compared to what so many others experienced. We had a hole in our house, but we still had a house! There were so many that did not! Secondly, I learned that your bedroom should be your sanctuary. It should not matter that no one spends time in your room but you and your family. Your bedroom should be beautiful and filled with the things that bring you comfort and joy! I wake up every morning now and look around and can’t believe that I am so lucky to be in such a beautiful space, surrounded by pictures of my husband and children.
I can’t thank Sara and Melissa enough for transforming my room and for creating an environment that is so beautiful that when I look at it, I don’t think about the damage that was done, but instead about the beauty that was created!
And a big smooch to my girl, Carla Ten Eyck for capturing all of the beauty of this project!
*necklace from Aquinnah Jewelry