Monday, October 16, 2006

Yikes, What A Day

Yesterday was amazing. It was everything that you would expect from fashion week in the world of designer bridal. There were runway shows scheduled every hour on the hour starting at 9 in the morning with the last show starting after 8.

We started at the Flatotel at Justina McCaffrey’s show. Justina brings in ballerinas from the Canadian National Ballet Company. It is nice to be able to see the way the gowns move as the dancers pirouette down the runway. The gowns in the Majestic Collection are all about the cut. They are so different and very precise. There was Alencon lace, lovely satins, organza and shantung. As always, a hit.

Because the shows were so tightly scheduled we hired a car for the day. Bruce, our driver kept the engine on the BMW reved at the curb and he whisked us off across town to the Reem Acra show. This is the show for which everyone that’s anyone tries to get an invitation. Carley Roney of the Knot was there but her fashion editor Kim Sunshine was absent. I later found out she had her baby yesterday. (Congratulations Kim!) Speaking of babies, Darcy Miller, editor of Martha Stewart Weddings was there with her darling daughter.

Next it was back across town to have a look at the Monique Lhullier Collection. The fabrics she uses are just spectacular. The first gown down the runway is a good example: a mushroom colored matelasse pleated trumpet gown. Then of course the use of lace was exquisite; it is after all one of her hallmarks.

We finally got to relax a bit over sandwiches and Perrier at the private salon of Vera Wang in the Garment District. That is the way the entire day went.

The trends I saw overall leaned towards a certain softness. I saw fewer strapless ball gowns than I have in years. The mermaid silhouette and the sheath were also strong. As with anything some designers do those styles better than others. Flowers are in most collections. There were large silk flowers, embroidered flowers, re-embroidered flowers, appliquéd flowers, cutwork flowers, tiny flowers and beaded flowers. I can’t think of a single collection where they didn’t bloom.

I have so much news and information to share that I will be blogging for weeks. That’s all for tonight though; the Wedding Diva is off to the Martha Stewart party at Tavern on the Green.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Welcome To The Big Apple

Hello from New York!! I promised you all the latest from the Wedding Channel Couture Show and here you go.

I am here this week with my old friends Tony and Gipsy Williams, publishers of Enchanted Brides Magazine. We hit the ground running at 11:00 yesterday and didn’t stop until after 10!!. So far we have seen four collections and loved every one.

We started the day at Ivonne de la Vega’s suite. Her designs are gorgeous and incredibly designed in a way to flatter real women. Not only did she have her bridal collection but also her evening gowns. There was one sea green chiffon gown that I just loved. You have to see her collection if you get the chance.

Next it was off to St. Pucchi. Rani is a master of detail and this collection is no exception. Over all the collection has an organic feel, you could almost imagine the wedding of an ice queen in a forest in Narnia. Whether it was beaded vines or mutli-layered cut work the details were amazing. There was also a color I hadn’t seen in her collection before, maize, a golden beige. It was a nice departure from all the ivories and blush out there. This collection is on of the prettiest I have seen from St.Pucchi. I took a ton of detail shots to use in an article for my friends the cake decorators. Believe me, these details will start showing up on cakes in the next year.

Then it was time for the runway at Ramona Keveza’s suite at the Waldorf.
As always, the collection was a study in timeless designs in the most wonderful fabrics imaginable. Which got me thinking about what it is that makes couture gowns different. Yes the designs are amazing as is the workmanship, but really, a lot has to do with the fabrics. They are lighter and move better, they drape and hang better, and they feel more sumptuous against your skin. No matter how good the cut or the designer, cheap fabric will ruin it every time.

Finally time for a bit of dinner and a rest for our tired tootsies. We stopped by Youlin’s suite to get her,(that's Youlin's picture at the top of the post) and then hooked up with Janell Berte and off to our favorite for Thai food, Red Garlic. Yum. That's Youlin's picture at the top of the post.They also have the absolute best chocolate soufflé in the city Janell and Youlin are a riot. Some how we got off on a riff about dogs and their names. Someone showing at the Essex House has a dog named Stiches. Janell has two dogs, Weaver and Tailor who replaced the late Lacy and is acquiring a new puppy named Zipper… do you see a pattern here? Oh, those designers.

This morning we start with Justina MaCaffrey and have a show every hour on the hour until 9:00 tonight. If your Wedding Diva is still alive and kickin’ tonight I’ll let you know what wonders I saw.

One more thing before I forget… Amanda, I love my bracelet. I picked up the lapis bracelet I ordered from A. Jaron Designs last week and I am enchanted. It would be soooooooo easy to spend my entire paycheck with her.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

And The Winners Are...

Last night’s Debi Awards held at the Field Museum were thrilling and I was so honored to be in the presence of so many wonderful and talented people. Before I even begin I have to say, no group of people knows how to dress better for a special event than those in the bridal industry, after all they know this kind of fashion like it was their life. Oh yeah, it is their life. I saw the most beautiful gowns and jewelry you can imagine. Let’s have a big hand for the crowd and how pretty it was.

Your Wedding Diva has a confession to make. I couldn’t fit a pen in my tiny evening bag so I am working from memory here, my apologies to the winners in the Prom and Flower Girl categories. If you know who the winners of those two awards are please leave it as a comment.

Drum Roll Please…..

The 2006 Debi Award winners are..

      • Accessories----------------------Salon Shoes
      • Special Occasion---------------Montage by Mon Cheri
      • Headpieces-----------------------Bel Aire Veils
      • Bridesmaids-----------------------Bill Levkoff
      • Bridal /Moderate-----------------Allure
      • Bridal Designer-------------------Paloma Blanca
      • Bridal/Couture--------------------Monique Lhullier

Congratulations to each and every one of you. See you next year.

For my readers that don’t deal in bridal fashion, I have an interview scheduled with the event planner for last nights soiree as soon as mart is over. I promise to post the complete rundown and all the info behind the bash.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday Bling

In my search for the new and unique at the Chicago Market I seem to be stumbling over the most fun must have accessories. From guest books with bling to fabulous feathers for both hair and gown there are some really hot designers here willing to not just step outside the box but to leap joyfully out of it.

As promised I wanted to tell you about this seasons collection from Aalexis. My readers that follow me on MySpace already know about the cutting edge designs Lisa Levin has put together. The Great Gatsby Collection is the perfect choice for the Hollywood Glam look, ring pillows and guest books in lovely silks with fab mini brooches as accents. Then there is the Breakfast at Tiffany collection with black velvet ribbons for that Uptown feel. Their products are some of the best made I have seen and are made entirely in the USA. Only a small part of the Aalexis line is available on the internet so check your local salon for a complete viewing.

I can’t seem to get enough of the feathers at market this season. If you think they are as fun as I do be sure to give Lori London a look. I loved her flowers made out of feathers, from small enough to double as a boutonnière to large enough to be a small hat. All are designed for double duty, when you flip them over the back has both a hairpin and a small crocheted loop that will fit over a covered button on a gown. How cool is that? You could easily add that needed zing to a plain gown and then carry the theme to your attendants hair and groomsman’s lapel.

I have often gazed in wonder at the collection from the UK tiara and jewelry firm Halo and wished that there was a collection as different and unique but widely available here in the US. Well I found one, TigerLilly is relatively new to the bridal market but is coming on strong. They are in 60 salons so far and after this market and New York I wouldn’t be surprised if that doubled. Their pieces can best be described as organic in look. They certainly are not your granny’s tiara. Bright, light and sassy is how I would describe them. To top it off, all of the tiaras convert to necklaces so you never have to stop wearing them. As much as we’d like to, few of us can get away with wearing a tiara with jeans and flip-flops!

Just as beautiful was the collection across the aisle at Haute Bride. If you want a true feel of Hollywood Glam for your wedding jewelry look no further. These pieces are red carpet worthy, big, beautiful seductive baubles. One piece that particularly caught my eye was a multi-strand pearl necklace with a clasp on the front and another larger one that draped down the back. Hot,hot,hot for those off the shoulder gowns.

I have found two more interesting gown designers that I want to introduce you to tomorrow. One of them I suspect will tie in to my review of the Debi Awards. Until then
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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sunday=Fun Day

This is the reason you should never let the Wedding Diva loose at market!

Seriously, the fabulous hats at Brenda Waites Bolling Couture Hat Design mesmerized me. Her designs take hats to a new level. If you are considering a garden wedding, her designs are a must see. Sadly I do not have a website for her but you can get more information by email at

Today was a sea of white. So much of what I saw looked like everything else I saw. But there were a few exceptions.

Eugenia Couture has introduced some beautiful gowns in their new more moderately priced Nitsa line. As I was looking over the gowns I had to ask the designer Eugenia Vasiliadis if she danced. (She does) Her creations need to be danced in. I could practically see them twirling on the dance floor. The Swarovski crystal details are made to sparkle in the moonlight. The skirts of her gowns are light enough to dance on their own. If you picture dancing the night away at your wedding you have to give these gowns a try.

I ran into an old buddy Amanda Jaron of A.Jaron Designs. As always her jewelry blew me away. (so much so that I ordered two lapsi lazu pieces). While I was in her booth I also found out that she is designing pieces for the Kelly Chase Couture Collection. I think this is brilliant. Just think, instead of a marginal piece of costume bling on your wedding gown that bling was REAL jewelry that you could wear every day of your life. Cool. Not only that, but Amanda is also designing the accessories to compliment the jewels on the gown down to the accent broaches for the bouquets. This is so new that they don’t yet have pictures. The have a photo shoot scheduled at the end of the month and Kelly and Amanda both promised to send images for me to share. This is huge.

I also stopped by the booth of upcoming bridal gown designer Songi and had an interesting conversation with his pattern maker Catina Robertson. One of the beauties of buying a gown from a small house is their ability to customize. Songi is still small enough that they can do ‘made to measure’ gowns. If you have a body type that is hard to fit, look to the smaller houses for the custom fit you need. I also learned a lot about construction from Catina. When she showed me the duchess silk lining of the built in corset I wanted to wear it, I wanted to feel it against my skin. The seams were so beautifully finished and the construction so light that it was almost sensual. These are gowns you never want to take off.

I saw so much more today including Aalexis Accessories and a fab new embroidered good collection, but kids, the Diva is tired!!! I had too much fun at the Conte Nast cocktail party and then off to dinner with Amanda, Kelly & Chase. I will be back tomorrow afternoon with the latest up date.

See you then.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Accessories and Other Things

Today seemed to be Prom day at the National Bridal Market. By the time I arrived this afternoon most of the runway shows were prom lines for this spring. Even though I was here for all things bridal I did sit in on the Mori Lee show. I’ve got news for you, a lot of the dresses they were showing in their Viscaya line would absolutely work for the bride on a budget. With corset backs, full circle ball gown skirts and pretty pick ups at these prices they are a real deal. Most every dress in the Viscaya line is available in white; some have pink or gold accents.

I spent the rest of my limited time looking for fun stuff. If you haven’t discovered FlexFlops yet you should give their site a look. They are the cutest little flip flops that fold in half and fit in their own little pouch. Just the perfect thing to throw in your tote for the trip to get your pedicure. They would also make a nice little something to give to your bridesmaids. They have been written up in People and American Spa magazine.

Next I stopped by the Beverly Clark booth. Since they are one of the largest and best known suppliers of wedding accessories I wanted to see what they are showing in terms of color for spring. I think they went to Starbucks for their inspiration. The colors were all shades of cream to brown and every cappuccino tone in between. I am anxious to see what Aalexis is using because what I hear from you brides is that you are not yet tired of color. Time will tell.

I stopped by another booth and talked to Gary Lau of Macy Fair, Inc an accessory house of another kind. They had beautiful tiaras, jewelry and evening purses, but what really caught my eye were the feather fascinators. Fascinators are a staple in the UK and I am delighted to see them heading here. They are darling little hair accents with feathers and crystals, smaller than a hat, not as formal as a tiara and just too much fun. If you can find them you might consider them for the ladies in your wedding party.

Tomorrow I hit the ground running to catch as many runways shows as I can. I’ll be back then with all the finds of the day.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

The Wedding Diva Is Taking The Dish On The Road

Over the next ten days the Wedding Diva is on the road and I’m taking you with me. First stop: The National Bridal Market in Chicago. Four days of fashion, fun and frivolity. Not only will I share with you the newest styles and trends in bridal gowns for Spring 2007 but also all that there is to be seen for bridesmaids, grooms and social occasion wear. I am also quite interested to see the new colors for spring in things like accessories from Aalexis. Having just gotten a review of the spring Market at Harrogate, UK I can’t wait to see what our designers have come up with in jewelry, tiaras and head pieces. You can read the review from Harrogate on I’ll also file my report on the Debi Awards. The Debi’s are a black tie event honoring the top designers in Bridal and everybody who is anybody will be there. Check here first to find out who the winners are for 2006.

After a day or so back in the office to catch my breath it’s off to New York for the Wedding Channel Couture Show at the Waldorf–Astoria in Midtown Manhattan. I will post all the doings from the Runway shows from Reem Acra, Monique Lhullier, Ramona Kaveza, Justina McCaffrey and Amsale. Also on tap are private showing with St. Pucchi, Ivonne de la Vega (one of the Diva’s personal favorites) and of course Vera Wang. Whew! New York market is always a mad dash and this one doesn’t look to be any different. What fun to be an insider.

Just because I can’t resist, I’ll also clue you in on any fabulous place we find to eat. New York is such a great town for food.

Don’t miss a single word of the fun, Add Wedding Dish to your blog feed today and come along for the ride. Except that you won’t have to do it in 4” heels.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Perfect Wedding

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of helping my friend Alice orchestrate a beautiful wedding for 350 people. The ceremony was at dusk in a very old boxwood garden in that perfect climate of a soft fall evening. The bride was a vision in a lace gown from Monique Lhuillier The guests dined on quail under a tent made festive with the colors of fall: dark coral roses, linens of copper and gold, bronze candelabrum held hundreds of candles that lit up the space. Later the happy couple and their guests danced the night away in a lounge setting created just for the event, the low sofas were decked out in lush silk pillows plumped to perfection and the air was rich with the scents of fall. Ahh, what a lovely, flawless evening it was.

And now for the rest of the story…did things go wrong? Of course, this is after all real life not Hollywood. Did they matter, not a bit, they weren’t even noticed and here is why. First of all there was a planner. A planners job is to smooth out any rough spots. The caterer was running behind schedule and with 350 guests and four buffet lines it could have been a nightmare, but it wasn’t. The cake cutting was stretched a bit and the line of communication was working well. Rather then the planned unnoticeable flow from cake cutting to dinner the five minute or so wait allowed the anticipation to build slightly and when the doors leading to the tent were opened to was a grand ceremony met with ohhs and ahhs. What could have easily become a bottleneck of all 350 guests at the closest buffet line was averted by well placed staff directing the first guests to the farthest buffet. Everyone was served with speed and efficiency because the planner and catering staff worked together on the issue of crowd management. A minor snafu translated into perfection from the guests’ point of view. This is why you hire professionals.

The second reason that this particular wedding was so amazingly stress free and wonderful was because of the bride. You see, she is a wedding photographer. Having documented the good, the bad and the ugly she knows weddings inside and out. She knows what can happen and what can’t. Unlike a bride with no background in the business this young lady knew that being a bridezilla wasn’t going to get her anywhere. If, as happened, the flower girl refused to wear her hydrangea wreath upon her head that it didn’t really matter. It also didn’t matter that the ribbon roping off the aisle was not the right ribbon. This my friends is the difference: I have worked with brides that are so stressed and such hard core micromanagers that either of these things would have sent them into an ear blistering tirade or a fit of tears; thus in fact ruining the day. For this bride, the fact that at the end of the day she would be married to the man she loved was all that mattered. She understood that the rest is only window dressing.

It doesn’t matter if your wedding is for ten people in your parents backyard of 350 at a mansion, the right attitude and a bit of a this can be ok if we let it outlook will make all the difference in the world. Happy planning.

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