"It is our function as artists to make the spectator to see the world our way, attempt to make art more than just something to look at, we want it to be something to be involved in, something too big to ignore."

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Priscilla Of Boston Store Closing!

I wish I could say I am surprised to hear that one of the longest running wedding dress shops, (its been around for 65 years!) Priscilla of Boston, is closing its doors at the end of the year. But as many other brides in 2011/2012 know, our economy is really feeling a blow and it's taking its toll, even in the bridal world.

Here is the statement by POB:
Here are a few of my favorite gowns I saw at the salon.
 Gemma dress by Vera Wang
 Gracie dress by Vera Wang
 Gabriella dress by Vera Wang
 Sunni dress by Melissa Sweet
Billie dress by Melissa Sweet
 PL399 dress by Priscilla of Boston
PL399 dress by Priscilla of Boston

The company is connected to their sister company David's Bridal which caters to brides with a bit less to spend in their pocket books. The average POB dress weighs in at around $5-8,000.00+ and the average modern bride spends about $1,000.00 on their gown. DB's most expensive gown comes in at most for $1,400.00, which happens to be by Vera Wang White label.

Vera Wang's gowns usually come with a hefty price tag just like POB and Melissa Sweet, but she has taken on a smart new twist by starting to carry her White label at DB.
Pretty much the White by Vera Wang label is her version of knocking off her own line, just like the Go International feature in Target Stores. 

Simply put, a big name designer makes their signature look available to the general public by cutting the costs by a whopping 70-90%. So a traditional Vera Wang dress which costs $9,000.00 is simplified and cut down to be about $1000.00. Pretty awesome for us budget brides out there. And I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of these dresses.

Here are regular Vera Wang gowns:
 Vera Wang gowns

And the next are the Vera Wang White label gowns:
White by Vera Wang

I'm sure you wont be getting as much silk and Italian lace in the White label as in the regular VW line but really, do you think they look cheap? I don't. I think this was beautifully done at a very appropriate time.

Also, for the money savvy fashionista, if you have fallen in love with any of POB's gowns you should get yourself in store asap to catch the 40% off sale, and a get a piece of bridal history, before it's gone!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Just a sneak peek

Happy Cinco De Mayo!
What are all of you lovelies gonna do today?
All I know is this calls for a margarita or at least a shot of Sauza.

  My engagement ring is finally being made!!
After almost a year of searching for "perfect one"
and even after ordering the Tacori ring in that I posted about earlier,
I have finally got it! (I think)
The Tacori ring looked amazing in pictures but once I tried it on I realized I didn't LOVE it the way I should love something I'm suppose to wear for the rest of my life. 
(And something that cost over $6,000.00)
 So after scouring jewelry stores and vintage shops I decided I wanted 
something that had that "vintage" look to it but with a modern twist.
And after some deliberation, the sales guy at Jared told me I should just design it myself.
(why do I keep coming back to that?!)

So, I sketched and pulled images from the web and came up with a totally custom "Mackenzie" engagement/wedding ring.

Here is the CAD design
It will be made with white gold, a 1 1/2ct  dark blue sapphire 
(it was a better quality guarantee than using my original idea of a black diamond) 
which looks black from far away, and many small pave' set clear diamonds for sparkle.
What you cannot see in this picture though is the filigree that will be added to the metal, it will give it a much more of a vintage look.

You would think designing your own ring would be expensive, 
but it's actually going to cost about $2,000.00 less than the Tacori!!
(I was surprised)

I'm getting really excited and I kinda feel like Veruca Salt.
"Daddy, I want an oompaloompa NOW!!"

I'm lucky my fiance' supports that trait in me at times. 
(although to be fair it goes both ways, 
you should see the amount of Star Wars and video game stuff she has!!)

Enjoy your tacos!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Royally Dressed

Now, just because you aren't royalty 
doesn't mean you can't dress the part on your wedding day.

From crowns, to long trains, and long sleeves,
there are so many ways to look regal on your special day.

Kate Middleton was inspired by Grace Kelley's gown
and wanted to maintain tradition while keeping up with modern high fashion.
She also chose Alexander McQueen as her designer 
who is now headed by Sarah Burton since his death last year.

It's no surprise he has been one of the biggest creative influences 
in my creations since I started designing.

Here is one of my favorite looks from the late designer

Alexander McQueen is impeccable to me as a designer
and I think Sarah and her team have done an excellent job of keeping his style,
although no one will ever be able to mimic his genius. 

These are some of my wedding dress obsessions from McQueen.

Even a Hi-Low Hem!!

Now, I will take some inspiration for my own gown from these images
and I hope I look like a princess, even if I'm not royalty.
Does that count for something borrowed?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yummy Yumi Kim

Happy Spring!!
I welcome the warmth, the sun, and the rain and say good bye to the snow and the cold. 

And what does that mean my fellow friends?
It means NEW CLOTHES!!
Well for me it does.

So, we have just moved and donated over half of my wardrobe to charity and a few friends.
Now I have more room to update my style!

I am also traveling to NY next weekend to beautify some east coaster's at the salon Kropps and Bobbers in the L.E.S. of Manhattan. And something I have found to be a treat to me in that neighborhood is the Yumi Kim flagship store.

Here is an interview with the designer herself. She will tell you where you can find her looks. Or just click her name above to go directly to her website.

I freaking L♡VE her style.
Her colors.
Her patterns.
Her silhouettes.

And I love that most of the clothes are made of silk and other quality fabrics. Which creates a beautiful drape.
So far I have bought about 3 or 4 of her garments. 

This is one of my favorites of her pieces I own.

I plan on going back and purchasing another addition to my spring/summer wardrobe.

I have had my eye on this this little romper for awhile now. 
It's the Nyla Romper. 

Since these little delights are usually priced from about $70-$200 a piece I can only get one.

Sad I know but we just bought two new cars, engagement rings (which I will dish about in another blog), and moved to a swanky new apartment.

I might cry. 

Although she is famous for her sample sales, in which I'm hoping I might find two adorable items on discount. 

Maybe even this?!

I will post my new looks later! 
Ciao for now!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wedding story board and color inspiration

Hello my friends!
Phew! What a week!
It's almost done. One more day to work then the weekend!!

Yesterday I went to Macy's bridal salon with my nearest and dearest buddies. We shall call them my "lovelies". (as I already call them) And I tried on a few dresses.
A few hit and few missed, but one almost nailed it perfectly on spot. And under $1000.00 to boot! (Surprised? I am!!)
But after a long night deliberating with myself, I will call that one white gown my "back-up" dress. You know, just in case I don't find anything particularly enchanting at any other stores, or if I FAIL at making my own dress. I do want to try.

I absolutely FELL IN LOVE *swoon* with a dress a Monique Lhuillier on Tuesday. But one giant problem with that; it cost a mere $8,000 before alterations. Hmph.. chump change right? Nooo... not when you have to pay for your own wedding.
So instead I am taking inspiration from that dress and working it into my own dress design.

It's true, if you've heard I will be stopping at one more boutique next week. Priscilla of Boston. They have their own line and also carry a few others, including (datdadadaaa!!) Vera Wang, which I featured a pic of one of her bridal looks in my last entry.
Although I think when I was scanning the dresses in the Edina shop when I made my appointment, I didn't see any hi-low hems, and they only hand a handful of Vera Wang. Bummer!

Like I keep saying,
cuz I am a f****ing designer after all.
But who really wants to toil like a sweatshop worker over their own wedding gown when you can just sit back and have someone do all of the work for you? This way I will have more time to pick out flowers and sample petit fours. Well, one last store.. one last try. And it is fun trying on all of those couture gowns after all!!

Ok, now on to the pictures, cuz we all know why you "read" this blog,
not for my clever words, it's for the FASHION!!

First we will start with the crazy shoes I chose for the main event.
They came in this lovely box! if you have been to my house you would know how loud I shrieked when I realized they have "got" my style.

And this is what I found inside!! OMG OMG OMG...
Iridescent beautiful little babies! LOVE.
So know you see why I am going with a hi-low hem dress. There is no way I'm gonna let anyone miss the sight of these!

Ok, now we can all calm down and get back to the dresses.
This is what I saw at Monique Lhuillier.
They still take my breath away.
I'm obsessed with the horsehair trim that gives you that beautiful ruffle.
I'm definitely going to try and use that in my dress.

I tried these on...

Gorgeous, but too long and too much pouf for me.

This one the sales lady pinned up for me in the front so I could get the idea of it being hemmed from long to short, and it even had horsehair trim on the bodice!
I was starting to fall.. oohh lala..

Then I tried on this bodice..
(they were separates)
...with this skirt.
I die.
She threw on a beaded black sash and that was it!
I loved how the back cascaded down to a cathedral length.
But It simply was a little too poufy for me with the silk organza flowers.
But nothing has topped the feeling I had when I was in that $9,000 wonder.
(of course!)

Now that made it really hard to like anything else I saw. Even though I know I would alter that design to make the PERFECT dress for me, I highly doubt I will ever put anything else on off of the rack that I will get so emotional over. But, it's worth a try. ;)

Now, now, now...
I promised that I would share my inspiration and color scheme with you.
So here it is...
Those 3 boxes on the top is my color scheme..
The picture is from Printemps window display in Paris.
Freaking amazing right? God I wish I lived there!

And this is just some more inspiration I pulled and put together after searching the web for my lightly Alice in Wonderland themed reception. We will see how far I go with it or if I completely scrap it! But right now it's still fun to look at!
(sometimes I can't believe I'm sharing all of these secrets with you!)

I think it's time to go.
I will catch up with you later.
Have a lovely day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A few dresses, a few messes.

Well, hello again!

So I have entered the official "bride" zone.
I finally got to try on a wedding gown for the first time in my life.
Now let me tell you my friends and followers, it is a unique moment indeed the first time a girl gets into one of these structural masterpieces.
With the first tug as you "step" into the dress you feel the weight of the layers of fabric. The tulle crinoline
, the extra linings, and the pleated and folded cloth everywhere.

The bodices are a whole nother' world.
As a designer I am familiar with boning and wires. But I never expected so much buckram to encompass the garment!
Ok ok, I'm losing some of you.. the ones who think I'm speaking a different language. But honestly if you have no idea what a crinoline or buckram is then I doubt you would even care enough to read my blog. LOL! But just in case I will try and keep it light on the couture wording.

How about I tell you about the few dresses I have tried on so far?

First I went to Brides of France in Uptown. I didn't have good expectations as I have never been impressed by the dresses I have seen in the window displays before. But they didn't need appointments and I work close so thought I would just run in for a minute and take a peek.

This La Sposa gown was the first I tried on. It somewhat surprised me that I would like a fishtail/mermaid style dress. But I just loved the ruffles and it actually made me look thinner! I didn't know anything white could do that!
Ok, I wasn't exactly sold on this dress. It was a little too long for me. But It gave me some ideas about the texture and bodice I like so far.
Oh, and I have nothing but good things to say about this place. They sell new and consignment dresses, I even tried on a $6,000 pre-owned Swarovski crystal encrusted ball gown style princess dress that looked amazing with my jeweled 5' pumps. And the sales ladies were so helpful and excited! Although I think they will be disappointed when I don't splurge for that one for my nuptials.

Ok, on to the next store..
I decided I wanted to go to more of a warehouse type store to utilize the many types of silhouettes they carry so I made an appointment at David's Bridal in Roseville.
I was told to look online and pick out a few of my favorites and write down the item #'s for each one and they would run and pull them all for me when I arrived. Man was I disappointed with what I saw when I got there.
I stood in the front of the store literally being pushed around by other brides to be and some of the sales people in the store. Obviously I came at the busiest time of year. The woman up front who was suppose to check me in was too busy on the phone to even look at me for the first 10 -15 mns. I just stood there like a deer in headlights wondering what I was getting myself into.
Eventually, my personal sales associate came by to escort me to the back of the store which was littered with crowns and tiaras and crinolines. I almost stepped on a few and I quickly rounded them up into a corner as the sales lady apologized for the mess completely ignoring the fact I was doing her job. Oh and she was about 16 years old. (yay)

Out of about 14 dresses I asked to try, they only had 3 in stock. And I only ended up trying on 2. Here is the first one I tried as it had the asymmetric or some call the hi-low hem. This is the cut similar to what I had in my head for my dream dress as to show off my fabulous shoes!
I hated the flower and I planned on removing it if I actually wanted to buy this dress. So I asked the sales lady to get me a black sash to tie over it. (this is also one of my original ideas) I thought I would LOVE this dress but from the side it made me look like I might be 3 months pregnant. And the sales lady tied my bow super loose and crappy. At this point I was ready to get out of here. But I decided to give another dress a try.

Next I tried on this one (after the sales girl brought me a grandma looking ivory pearl adorned cathedral gown, ick) And now that I have posted this I realize how similar it is to the first dress I tried on at B.o.F. . Hrmm.. I must love ruffles and lace?
I asked the sales lady to clip up the front of the hem so I could see what it would look like when I had it altered because I couldn't imagine wearing the dress the way it was.
When the alterations lady came by she told me we could absolutely not alter the "style" of the dress and the most I could do was shorten the whole thing about an inch or two. At this point I was so annoyed that I practically ran out of there.

Well so far that is my bridal gown adventure.
I already made an appointment at Monique Lhuillier in Edina tomorrow at 1pm and at Macy's Bridal Salon on Thursday at 5pm with my lovelies!! I'm hoping I find a few more inspirations to make my own dress or maybe I will even fall in LOVE with a ready made dress? We will see..

As for now I will leave you with this delightful little number by Vera Wang.
It reminds me of what the mice and birds created for Cinderella a bit with the free standing bow on the shoulder as if an invisible helper is still in the air tying it for her.

I can't imagine what it would feel like to try on one of her gowns, but you never know what I might find at Macy's! *crossing fingers*
Have a good one.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Ringing" in the New YEAR!!

Only about halfway into the first day in 2010 my fiancé and I decided to head out for a date. We went to see Hubble at The Omnitheatre at The Science Museum of Minnesota. It was pretty amazing actually.

The funniest thing is that I found design inspiration in the beautiful images that the telescope produced. My brain never stops. Obviously. The images brought on ideas similar to layered tulle skirts of black and gold and blue and purple.
It was a gorgeous thought. Maybe someday I will make a line inspired by the mystery of the universe?

On our way back we checked out the gift shop where I was stunned by the design of a specific jeweler they had displayed. The company is called Nervous System and the line I loved was called Cell Cycle.
Check out their blog HERE. The rest of their stuff in unbelievable, I will most likely purchase one of those black 2-layer plastic laser cut rings soon. (Still deciding on exactly which one)

I walked over to see what Liza was doing and I happened upon a sweet surprise! When I saw them it brought back memories of friendship bracelets, BFF necklaces, and flavored Lipsmackers. It was a pile of MOOD RINGS!! And not just the old run of the mill fake stick on plastic mood stone rings that fall off after a shower and leave your finger green.
These were stainless steel full circle mood rings, and at $3 a pop, I couldn't resist. I scooped up two of them. And gave one to Liza to replace her "nicer" titanium and black carbide engagement ring we bought for her.
After wearing it for a week it became all scratched and dull. You can hardly see the design anymore, and we plan on returning it asap.

I'm currently wearing a black titanium and diamond promise ring we found last year on a titanium website, and it has lasted well so far.
I love it but I wanted something that said more of "I'm married" rather than "I'm taken". After months of searching I keep running back into this ring from Tacori.
I love the intricate detailing from the side and the crownlike design on the prongs along with the other tiny diamonds. I wish I could find something I like that is a bit less pricey, but I also don't want to compromise on such an important piece of jewelry. We still haven't been in to try it on in person, and who knows, maybe when it's on my finger I might not like it? We will see.

I hope all of you had the most wonderful beginning to your 2011. Mine already feels different.
I'm going to go back to relaxing on my last night of this holiday vacation with yet another inspiration from Hubble's images, the iPad game called Osmos.
It's a mix between deep sea diving around swarms of jellyfish and floating around in outer space among the stars and blackholes. Try it sometime.