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10 Minutes With Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

Why We’re Obsessed with Jenny Packham’s New Stunning (and Affordable) David’s Bridal Line

 10 Minutes With, Wedding Dresses  Comments Off on Why We’re Obsessed with Jenny Packham’s New Stunning (and Affordable) David’s Bridal Line
Feb 102016
Jenny Packham Interview

Photo: Getty Images

Every girl wants to look and feel like a princess on her special day, and what better way to walk down the aisle than by wearing one of the Duchess of Cambridge's favorites, Jenny Packham. The British designer is known for her regal, red-carpet-worthy dresses, and her new collaboration with David's Bridal, Jenny Packham Wonder, puts her sophisticated silhouettes easily within reach.

The affordable line of wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and headpieces hits stores this week with a range of delicately elegant, figure-skimming looks that are designed to highlight a bride's curves. We recently caught up with Packham to hear all about her new Wonder collection, her wedding day fashion tips, and why feeling fabulous is always in style.

Jenny Packham Bridal Dresses

Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Packham

What's your source of inspiration for Jenny Packham Wonder?
The collection is inspired by the 'Belle Epoque' of the early 20th Century. It is a collection of romantically soft, feminine designs that encapsulate the spirit of Edwardian style with understated, flowing silhouettes mixed with more contemporary structured shapes, elegantly exposed backs, and geometric embellishment for a very modern bride. It was important to me that the designs not be compromised, so I worked with the team at David's Bridal to ensure that all of the intricate details — the beading layouts, the crystals, and the fabrics were at a standard everyone could be proud of.

What is the biggest difference between designing ready-to-wear and bridal?
There is definitely a "red carpet moment" to a bride's wedding day, but when designing for bridal it is important to focus on the details that will captivate and capture the imagination of the bride — she has to fall in love with the gown. There is such an emotional connection between the bride and her wedding dress, whereas in ready-to-wear you may just be focusing on color or prints for that particular season.

Jenny Packham Plus Size Dresses

Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Packham

Top styling tips for brides?
Accessories are the perfect way to add something special. A hair comb or a beaded clutch can be a lovely detail to finish your bridal look. However, for a dress that has a lot of embellishments, less is more when it comes to accessories. Sometimes simple accessories are all you need when your dress speaks for itself.

On why bridal trends don't really matter...
Regardless of wedding dress styles or trends, I think the most important statement a woman can make on her wedding day is to not only look fabulous but to also feel fabulous — from a dress that is comfortable and easy to move in to shoes that allow her to dance the night away.

Jenny Packham Bridesmaids Dresses

Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Packham

See More: 10 Minutes with Fashion Designer and Former Buyer for Oscar de la Renta, Alexandra Reboul

One of Packham's most memorable brides of all time?
Elizabeth Taylor was perfection in yellow chiffon with flowers in her hair when she married Richard Burton. I love brides who do it differently.

10 Minutes with Emerging Bridal Brand, Lakum

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Nov 142015
Lakum Irene Wedding Dress Interview

Photo: Courtesy of Lakum

Sathya Balakumar and Heather Green founded Lakum in 2014 to add a modern sensibility to the world of bridal fashion. Balakumar, a classically trained designer who studied at Parsons, and Green, who manages the business operations of the brand, have launched their collection to offer a new perspective on bridal fashion, informed by historical design and constructed in beautiful fabrics. After spotting their beautiful collection at New York Bridal Fashion Week, we caught up with the pair to get the dish on their exciting new collection, based in a very classic fashion sensibility.

Lakum is inspired by the two iconic fashion designers who redefined the way women dress for evening.
"The Lakum Fall 2016 Collection takes inspiration from the early 20th century Parisian designers Paul Poiret and Madeleine Vionnet. Both houses modernized the womenswear of their time by emphasizing the natural female form through focus on drape and the bias cut," said the designer, of the universally flattering fabric draping technique. "Poiret and Vionnet capitalized on ease of wear while highlighting the neck, collarbones and shoulders with their introduction to halter necklines. In this collection we played heavily on new necklines as a way of transforming the silhouettes. Our goal is to add a modern voice to the bridal wear market, through our non-traditional approach to a seemingly traditional industry."

They launched the brand with an ambitious 35 looks in 11 different fabrications.
"There are so many women seeking fashion forward, modern looks for their wedding that have not been provided by the current bridal market. We created Lakum for the bride who has a clear vision of who she is, and how she wants to represent her personality on her wedding day. She recognizes quality, seeks something rare, and demands an exceptional fit. The Anita top paired back with the Julia pant (below) is a look that can fit a multitude of wedding events. It can be worn for a City Hall wedding, a rehearsal dinner, or same-sex wedding. We push the limits in order to allow women to be themselves on this important day. We also recognize budgets and design our pieces to be worn again. Who doesn't need a pair of white pants and sleek white top for their daily life?"

Lakum Anita and Julia Wedding Dress Interview

Photo: Courtesy of Lakum

Lakum's top styling tips? Stay true to your personal style.
"I think the introduction of two-piece looks is really refreshing," said Sathya. "Not only does it diversify the offering for all women, it opens up bridal wear to a completely new set of brides, including same-sex couples. We also love the idea of pants and jumpsuits. Brides have so many occasions to wear white, the rehearsal dinner, the after-party, the Sunday brunch. A sleek jumpsuit in white is such a tasteful choice for any event, including the big ceremony. Trends involving color are tricky. Ombré, for example, might look interesting for a moment, but a bride may look back on that years later and find she doesn't love it anymore. The ultra sheer trend is also one we can do without."

See More: 10 Minutes with Fashion Designer Katie Ermilio

Lakum's style pairs a sense of modernity with tried-and-true silhouettes.
"With our bridal designs, we maintain a set of classic pieces each season. These pieces include the best-selling silhouettes and ones we find particularly timeless. We look at shapes we can introduce to complement that mix, while remaining true to our aesthetic. This season, we were drawn to the designers who modernized womenswear, changing how women dressed and perceived themselves."

Lakum Courtney Wedding Dress Interview

Photo: Courtesy of Lakum

The designer's top styling tips for a bride on her wedding day? Identify your signature style, and dress to play that up.
"Our mission when we design is for our dresses to feel like an extension of oneself," said the designer. "If a bride loves shoes, she should choose a silhouette that shows off her fabulous footwear. If a bride loves a strong shoulder, go for that modern silhouette that has a unique embellishment, like our Gwen dress. If the bride is known for always wearing a punchy lip color, she should have a gorgeous rich color on her wedding day. In styling her look for her wedding day, as long as a bride remains true to herself, she will never have any regrets."

Lakum is designed for women who channel timeless, elegant simplicity on their wedding day.
"Carolyn Bessette is one of our favorite brides. Her look was simple, elegant and classic. Her dress complemented her personal aesthetic and her body type. She could have been a bride from any era, her choice of gown and her styling were both effortless and timeless." We asked the designers about their favorite red carpet inspiration. "One of our favorite recent red carpet looks was a Ralph and Russo white jumpsuit worn by Michelle Dockery at Harper's Bazaar Woman of the Year Awards in London. It was both chic and elegant with its high neck and deep V-back. We especially love seeing white on the red carpet this time of year!" Their dream client? "We would love to see Diane Kruger as a Lakum bride. She has such a clear and unique sense of style that is both classic and fashion forward. She is not afraid to take risks, so we could push the limits and come up with a fantastic set of looks for her wedding weekend. Our ideal bride wants to step outside of the traditional wedding wear box, and that's exactly how we see Diane."

Lakum Collection is currently available at Kleinfeld and on LakumCollection.com

10 Minutes with Washington, D.C. (And DIY!) Wedding Planner Sandy Malone

 10 Minutes With, D.C. Metro, Local, MD, DC and VA, Planning Tips, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on 10 Minutes with Washington, D.C. (And DIY!) Wedding Planner Sandy Malone
Nov 102015
Wedding Planner Sandy Malone

Photo: Getty Images

What would you say if we told you we knew someone who could make all your DIY dreams come true without all the stress? Meet Sandy Malone of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events in the Washington, D.C. area. (You might have seen her on TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.) Recognizing a growing need in the event planning industry and an opportunity to fill that gap, the pro planner decided to roll out an innovative new concept catering to crafty brides with busy professional lives: DIY wedding planning consulting services. We sat down with Sandy to get all the deets and learn why it's such a game changer for modern couples.

The DIY craze she couldn't ignore anymore
"Wedding planners never like to talk about DIY," says Sandy. "Why teach the potential clients to do something that we want them to hire us to do?" However, after planning more than 500 destination and local weddings and having to jump in to rescue far too many DIY couples mere months before the big day due to lack of organization, amongst other things, she opted to embrace the trend instead of ignore it. "The DIY craze that has swept the nation isn't going away, she explains. "And as an increasing number of couples wanted to DIY their weddings, I learned how to help them, rather than fight them."

The big test and what the typical client looks like
Prior to offering DIY planning services to the general public, Sandy and her team tested the concept. Most brides and grooms that jumped on board stat were busy professionals with a creative side. Go figure! "Some are control freaks who don't think they need somebody else to run their big day, but the key thing they have in common is that they're smart enough to realize that it doesn't take anything away from the DIY experience to get tips, advice and offload some of the grunt work onto somebody else." Um, you're telling us.

See More: 10 Minutes with Megan Ziems, Founder of Grace Loves Lace

Time is money, especially when it comes to wedding planning
Anybody with enough time can DIY their hometown or destination wedding, but as Sandy and her DIY clients quickly found out, having a little help from a professional, including sample documents, lists and spreadsheets, is truly invaluable. "It takes us less time, for example, to come up with a list of acceptable vendors at any venue," she points out. "Clients hire us for a set number of hours and have a variety of options for extending the package as the planning proceeds if they require additional assistance. It's their time and they control how it's utilized, whether that's negotiating contracts or writing their welcome letters for them, we're happy to take the task off the DIYers' plates."

Who you gonna call?
Fortunately, in the case of catastrophe, Sandy's team provides an emergency option if a DIY client decides they do need us "on the ground" at their wedding after all (granted they're available on your date, that is). Of course, you can still purchase traditional and destination planning packages, and she'll also be offering some seminar opportunities for DIYers and aspiring wedding planners in the coming months. With her new book How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional coming out in March, it's clear Sandy is on a mission. "My goal is to make DIYing your own wedding a better experience for others than it was for me when I planned mine," she tells us.

10 Minutes with Fashion Designer and Former Buyer for Oscar de la Renta, Alexandra Reboul

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Nov 072015
Alexandra Reboul Fashion Designer Interview

Photo: Courtesy of Alexandra Reboul

Oscar de la Renta's former senior buyer of textiles has launched her own ready-to-wear collection of feminine sportswear and dresses, inspired by art and a sense of timeless style — for all body types. We caught up with the designer in New York City to hear all about her second season, her French-American upbringing, and working under Oscar de la Renta as he designed his gorgeous bridal collections.

What's your source of inspiration?
"I was raised in a Franco-American home. My sense of language, culture, and of course fashion, bridged two worlds. I was born with an interest in design and constantly trying to balance the inherent draw of French femininity with the chic sensibility of New York fashion. After studying design around the world, from RISD to Central St. Martins, I got the opportunity to work with such fashion greats as Diane von Furstenberg and Oscar de la Renta. Oscar knew how to design a dress to make a woman feel beautiful. He paid great attention to cut, quality textiles and expert craftsmanship — ideals that made a lasting impression on me and remain at the core of my own collection."

Her designs are full of artistic collaborations.
"I select a new artist each season to collaborate with on an original print for the collection, which usually stems directly from a piece of art. Together, we translate a print from canvas to fabric, essentially creating a piece of wearable art. I then use this print as the inspiration for the collection, bringing color, texture and design to life in fine European fabrics. For Spring/Summer 2016 I worked with artist Chelsea Hrynick Browne on a pastel hued Palm Leaf print that utilized Chelsea's layering technique to create the illusion of texture. It was the perfect start to a collection inspired by the 1950's breezy glamour of the Florida Keys."

Alexandra Reboul Fashion Designer Interview

Photo: Courtesy of Alexandra Reboul

She designs for all body types and has plans to create custom bridal gowns.
"I enjoy the intimacy of working with private clients — getting to understand their sense of style and how my collection can work for them. As a designer of dresses, there is nothing more iconic than a bridal gown, and it's always an exciting project! I love designing for real women and that's why I pay such great attention to fit. The right cut should translate beautifully at any size. It's a thrill for me to watch how one of my dresses can transform a woman. She feels beautiful, empowered, feminine; it's the power of fashion and it's my favorite part about being a designer."

See More: 10 Minutes with Fashion Designer Katie Ermilio

Her top styling tips for brides?
"Engaged girls, take a look at your closet and survey the dresses you wear the most. Are they fit and flare? Cap-sleeve? Portrait collar? Take note of the silhouettes that flatter you most in your everyday life — chances are they will be best for your wedding day as well." When it comes to accessories, her number one tip is all about the shoes. "Buy a fabulous pair of shoes that you can wear again and again — remembering them always as the shoes that took you down the aisle. And, most importantly — nothing looks better on a woman than happiness and confidence. Remember to wear both!"

Alexandra Reboul Fashion Designer Interview

Photo: Courtesy of Alexandra Reboul

And her favorite bridal trends...
"I love laser-cut florals, feathers, and lingerie-inspired looks. I also see a lot of bridal parties dressed in white and I think it's such an elegant way for brides to share the day with their closest friends. I don't love pants and crop tops — I think that's a bridal look that needs to fade."

Reboul's favorite bride of all time?
"It's a tie between Angelina Jolie and Grace Kelly for my favorite bridal fashion moment. I love how Angelina Jolie added such a personal touch by using her children's drawings on her dress. It was such a unique way of incorporating sentiment, and making her children feel like an honored part of the day. I love Grace Kelly's dress for the timeless elegance. It would feel just as beautiful today as it did 60 years ago."

Her dream client to dress?
"I'd love to put Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in an Alexandra Reboul look. She always looks so classic, refined, beautiful and elegant. I'd put her in one of my Sunset Tweed dresses from spring that she can wear as easily among royalty as at dinner with her fabulous friends."

10 Minutes with Fashion Designer Katie Ermilio

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Oct 302015
10 Minutes with Katie Ermilio Wedding Dress

Photo: Courtesy of Katie Ermilio

Fashion designer Katie Ermilio began designing at the young age of 12, inspired by her family's fashion lineage. The designer's grandfather was the personal clothier to Grace Kelly, and his work inspires the classic shapes she continues to reference each season. The ready-to-wear designer is known for her elevated, flirty aesthetic, and her whimsically flattering dresses have become a go-to for fashion-conscious brides. We caught up with the designer as she put the finishing touches on a custom bridal gown for her best friend, to learn about her inspiration process and her favorite bridal style.

Like the best designers, Katie Ermilio is constantly looking for inspiration, and finding it.
"My design process is something that I don't think I ever fully turn off," said the designer, when we asked about her creative process each season. "I never know when inspiration will find me, or when I will see something that I draw inspiration from. I always keep my eyes wide open, and find it helpful to have a sketchbook on my nightstand. Sometimes the best ideas come in the early hours of the morning or late at night. I am constantly designing. I begin each collection by jumping-in and creating the first piece and it is from the origin of that first look that I bring the collection together, much like building a wardrobe."

10 Minutes with Fashion Designer Katie Ermilio

Photo: Courtesy of Katie Ermilio

Ermilio started her collection designing for private clients, which continues today in her bridal business.
"When I first started designing, I was doing so for a private clientele," said Ermilio. "I think that's why my collections, for better or worse, are so specific. Working intimately with clients one-on-one keeps me connected to why I became a designer, for the women who wear my clothes. The custom design process is unique to each of my clients."

See More: 10 Minutes with Jewelry Designer Lizzie Mandler on Her New Bridal Line

Do women purchase gowns from her ready-to-wear collection for their weddings?
Absolutely. "My design aesthetic has maintained it's minimal and feminine quality with each collection, and that continues to remain something that resonates strongly with modern brides. I find it incredibly exciting as a designer that women are able to envision themselves in my gowns in shades of white on their wedding day."

Brides are one of the designer's favorite sources of inspiration.
While Ermilio is not directly inspired by bridal fashion, she is definitely inspired by the woman who search for it for their big day. "There's a distinct femininity ever-present in my work which just happens to go hand-in-hand with bridal. Brides are some of my favorite clients though because I get to become part of the biggest day of their life and it's so personal and special."

10 Minutes with Katie Ermilio Interview

Photo: Courtesy of Katie Ermilio

Katie Ermilio's favorite bridal trends? Relaxed elegance — think Sofia Coppola and Audrey Hepburn.
We asked the designer about her favorite bridal trends, and she explained her take on bridal style. "For me, it's about relaxed style that still maintains a crisp and tailored feel that you can wear forever. I want to make the kinds of dresses women want to wear and feel beautiful in throughout all of the days, parties, toasts, and celebrations surrounding the big day." Her favorite red carpet style star? "Sofia Coppola. She always looks beautiful, and like herself. My favorite bride of all time is definitely Audrey Hepburn as Jo Stockton in Funny Face."

Her dream client to dress? Her best friend.
"I'm currently putting the finishing touches on the gown that my best friend Lauren will wear down the aisle later this month. I was honored and humbled when Lauren asked me to design her gown, and working with her to bring her dream dress to life has been one of the most special commissions of my career. Lauren brought so much to the design process, and also completely put herself in my hands. I'd love to go into describing the silhouette of her gown, the veil, the train — but the groom has not seen her yet! But I will be sure to report back after he has."

10 Minutes with Megan Ziems, Founder of Grace Loves Lace

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Oct 232015
10 Minutes Interview with Megan Ziems of Grace Loves Lace

Photo: Courtesy of Grace Loves Lace

Love lace? Us too! We discovered Australian bridal brand Grace Loves Lace on Instagram, where you can pore over their gorgeous feed of real brides, divine lace details, and unforgettably effortless dresses. Designed with outdoor and beach weddings in mind, the Australian-based bridal brand Grace Loves Lace is a beautiful option for a bride looking for a natural take on her bridal style. We caught up with Founder Megan Ziems to hear about her inspiration each season, her love of her brand's signature fabric, and her top styling tips for brides.

Love the idea of a lace wedding dress? Grace Loves Lace collections are developed 6-12 months in advance, with a focus on the lace (of course!) and specific figure-flattering silhouettes.
"We always have a backlog of ideas when it comes to dresses we'd like to create," explained Megan Ziems, Founder of of Grace Loves Lace, about her design process. "So when we design a new collection, its more about what we are loving at the time," in terms of shapes, "and reviewing all of the laces that we have collected for sampling over the previous months. From there, it starts with sketching and rough sampling. It takes anywhere from 6-12 months for our collections to be designed and finalized. Our Untamed Romance collection was inspired by the female body; each dress is designed to compliment and showcase a woman's best assets. The Grace Loves Lace woman is modern with her thinking, and passionate and confident within herself, so she wants a dress that doesn't restrict or hide her body, but compliments the features she already has."

10 Minutes Interview with Megan Ziems of Grace Loves Lace

Photo: Courtesy of Grace Loves Lace

Her favorite part of designing for brides? Creating dresses that help brides shine in the fun of the moment.
We asked Ziems about her favorite part of creating bridal gowns, and she explained her perspective. "We whole-heartedly design for women who want to have fun at their wedding. We don't believe in using restrictive structures and heavy materials that might prevent a woman from letting her hair down. We want our brides to dance the night away. We let the beautiful French laces and shapes do the talking, and we don't overdo it with design. Our brides are all about being natural and having that special understated glamour — and we adore that." Asked about her brand's signature fabric, Ziems explains her love of lace. "A lot of our French laces are from the mills in Calais. French laces have always been a passion of mine, passed down from my mother who has worked with this exquisite fabrication for over 40 years. I love how lace can be so intricate and ornate, yet so simply beautiful. It's like a piece of fine art."

See more: The Ultimate Wedding-Dress Checklist

Not sure where to focus in terms of bridal silhouette? For Ziems, it's all about focusing on your body type, and purposefully dressing to play up your favorite feature.
We asked Ziems about her favorite bridal silhouettes, and she explained her perspective on the importance of dressing for your shape, especially on your wedding day. "In terms of silhouette, it depends on the woman wearing the gown, as everyone suits a different shape depending on her body type. Personally, I love a fitted top and waist with a half or full circle-skirt with either godets or a big split — our Valentina or Francis gown would be my personal choice. Once you know what part of your body you want to emphasize (or hide!) then it's fairly easy to narrow down what you're going to feel your best in." Her favorite custom Grace Loves Lace gowns? "My favorites would have to be for my good friends who have married in Grace Loves Lace gowns designed specifically for them. These dresses then become styles in our new collections. Nothing beats seeing a close friend represent your designs."

10 Minutes Interview with Megan Ziems of Grace Loves Lace

Photo: Courtesy of Grace Loves Lace

Her dream Grace Loves Lace brides?
Two women with major bodies and even more beautiful personalities. "I'd love to see Penelope Cruz in our Francis gown, she's my all-time girl crush. She just seems so cool, unique and is such a natural beauty with a bit of fire in her. I'd also love to see Gigi Hadid in our Alexandra gown; she would look insane in it."

Bridal styling tips from Grace Loves Lace: embrace a statement accessory, and push boundaries, while staying true to your personal style.
In terms of bridal trends, "I can leave bling at the door — it's not for me. I do love combining feminine and masculine design elements; pairing the bold with delicate details. I love to push the right boundaries, whether it's a sky-high leg split, or an untraditional mix of laces and embroideries. I always love a low back."

Her top styling tips for brides? Four important ones.
"My first recommendation is to always, always wear a shape that is flattering to your body. Second, make sure you feel comfortable," from your dress, to your shoes, to your wedding day beauty. Another critical styling tip? "Make sure to wear the right underwear for your dress. Finally, don't be afraid to rock statement accessories, like beautiful oversized turquoise earrings or a necklace. Make sure to bring yourself into your bridal look."

10 Minutes with Jewelry Designer Lizzie Mandler on Her New Bridal Line

 10 Minutes With, Jewelry & Accessories, Wedding Jewelry  Comments Off on 10 Minutes with Jewelry Designer Lizzie Mandler on Her New Bridal Line
Sep 112015
10 Minutes with Beloved by Lizzie Mandler Interview

Photo: Courtesy of Lizzie Mandler

We caught up with fine jewelry designer Lizzie Mandler just days before she landed in New York City to kick off fashion month — because jewelry designers participate in fashion week, too! The designer — who collaborated with ready-to-wear designer Jonathan Cohen Studio on a capsule of limited edition earrings in conjunction with Cohen's spring collection, which debuts Friday — has some very exciting bridal fashion news to share: She's starting her own bridal line, Beloved by Lizzie Mandler. In light of her new venture, the Los Angeles native (who counts Madonna and Rihanna as fans!) began designing custom engagement rings four years ago and since then, sat down with BRIDES to share her expert insights on engagement rings exclusively.

Want to peruse the Beloved by Lizzie Mandler pieces?
"My bridal business is officially up and running! I will be releasing new sample styles and one-of-a-kinds as they come to me, which I think is the best way to design! Other than one-of-a-kinds, all rings are customized depending on the client, so the photos you see online are either custom rings I have made for clients or sample styles I have created for the line," said Mandler, of her brand's dreamy Instagram feed, @BelovedXLizzieMandler. "Designing bridal is the ultimate manifestation of what I love about jewelry. Jewelry has an inherent ability to be representative of a specific moment in time or a feeling, while being a timeless memento. It is the greatest honor when a client trusts me to create such a symbolic piece for them."

Her bridal line will certainly stand out.
"Its always a challenge to design pieces that are current and contemporary, yet maintain a timeless quality, and this challenge is even more difficult in the bridal market. Many of the engagement rings on the market are relatively conservative, as people really want their engagement ring to be a 'forever' piece, and often shy away from anything too avant-garde. I think the sweet spot is to find subtle ways to update classic silhouettes, like the solitaire."

Beloved by Lizzie Mandler Engagement Ring

Photo: Courtesy of Lizzie Mandler

Mandler's tips on designing a custom ring?
"Surround yourself with the right people. Creating an engagement ring is an incredibly personal process filled with lots of decisions. Find a jeweler who is on the same page as you, and who understands your future spouse's aesthetic. It's important that whoever you work with guides you through each step and educates you about the various decisions you're making," she says. Second, check out her current jewelry to get a sense of what she really loves. "Pay attention. What color gold does she wear? How much and what type of jewelry does she wear on a daily basis? Has she pinned any ring pictures that could give you clues? If you're working with the right jeweler, they will help guide you to a style that suites her based on the information you can provide them. The devil is truly in the details, so pay attention!" And finally, listen to your heart. "Most importantly, trust yourself. It sounds cheesy, but really, follow your heart. At the end of the day this ring (regardless of its shape, size, color, design) is a symbol of something much more important. Make your decisions from that place."

See More: How to Accessorize Your Wedding Day Look

How do you choose the style of ring?
"Figure out what your priorities are. Do you want the shape that looks the biggest? Do you want the stone that sparkles the most? Do you want the shape that is unique? Certain shapes tend to make the stones look larger than they are," says the designer, referring to elongated shapes like marquis, oval, rectangular radiant, or pear. "Second, do your research and explore all the options. There is a lot more to selecting a cut than just its shape, as the facet patterns of the stone (the way in which the stone is shaped to create its sparkle) really determines the overall look of the stone. Educate yourself on the various cuts and facet patterns and how they effect the look of the stone." Finally, the designer encourages brides to think about style. "Think about the overall look of the ring you want. Do you want something that feels more antique? Do you want a rose or yellow gold setting? Do you want a more understated ring? A beautiful stone can be completely undermined by a poorly designed ring, and vice versa, so it's important to think about the two as a pair."

Beloved by Lizzie Mandler

Photo: Courtesy of Lizzie Mandler

Thinking about your own wedding-day look? Mandler's top jewelry styling tip isn't what you'd expect.
"Make sure to clean your engagement ring! Have your ring professionally cleaned before your wedding. Your wedding band will be brand new, and you want your engagement ring to look brand new too. In terms of other jewelry on your wedding day, focus on choosing pieces that complement the silhouette of your dress and always try on jewelry options with your dress ahead of your big day. Let your dress and your rings be the focus and keep the rest of your jewelry simple."

10 Minutes with Designer Adam Lippes

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Aug 072015
10 Minutes Interview with Designer Adam Lippes

Photo: Courtesy of Adam Lippes

Adam Lippes is known for his refined take on luxuriously understated dressing, from his elegant fabrics to his tailored silhouettes. When we noticed that Lippes, who is also the former Oscar de la Renta creative director, joined the ranks of Net-a-Porter's Bridal Edit, we couldn't help but wonder if a full bridal line was in the works from the sought-after designer. Keep reading to find out what the CFDA-member and New York City-based designer had to say about that and more below!

When it comes to bridal, it's all about the body.
"A bride might have ripped out a page from BRIDES and will say, 'I want this dress!' But, that dress might not be the right fit for her," explained the designer, who often does custom bridal work. "You have to work out the client's wants, but make sure it's something that she'll look good in and feel good in at the end."

In a nod to his background at Oscar de la Renta, the designer adores lace for bridal.
"I love, love, love to work with lace," said the designer, who explored the fabric in his latest ready-to-wear collection. "My favorite way to work with lace is in a simple manner, focusing on how the lace is sewn and constructed, really working on the seams. Construction becomes paramount when lace stands on it's own. Satin-backed crepe is another favorite fabric, which I've worked with since I started designing."

10 Minutes Interview with Designer Adam Lippes

Photo: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Lippes's top tips for brides?
"Be as simple as you can from the makeup and hair to the dress. Simplicity will always help a bride relax on her wedding day." Equally fundamental, Lippes returns to importance of the fitting process. "Aside from just liking the dress aesthetically, a bride needs to make sure that her body looks and feels good in the dress, and that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. We all have our insecurities. It's so important as a designer or seamstress to work closely with the bride when tailoring the dress to make sure all of the bride's insecurities go away the moment she puts on her wedding dress."

The designer's favorite bride of all time is...
A classic New Yorker, who would have worn his collection beautifully. "Carolyn Bessette was such a beautiful bride. Her dress was so simple and so elegant. It felt so modern then and still does today," said the designer, who noted that her dress by Narciso Rodriguez was an example of timeless design done right.

The designer isn't planning a full bridal line yet, but he gave us a hint of what it might look like.
"Something that really interests me is a new way of doing bridal. We've been doing looks for evening in a new way — and I love the idea of eveningwear as separates, or worn with flats. I find translating those ideas into bridal to be really interesting." We look forward to seeing those ideas continue to come to life!

BRIDES New York: 10 Minutes with the Owner of Flower Girl NYC

 10 Minutes With, Flowers, Local, New York, New York City, NY, NJ and CT, Wedding Flowers  Comments Off on BRIDES New York: 10 Minutes with the Owner of Flower Girl NYC
Aug 072015
Flower Girl NYC

Photo: Stephanie Geddes

Before Denise Porcaro's Flower Girl NYC expanded to become the effortlessly cool, flower-crowned Instagram It Brand that it is, Denise was a born and bred New Yorker with a small shop inside Earnest Sewn, churning out some seriously edgy-meets-polished floral arrangements for private clients. Her business quickly snowballed by word of mouth amongst the style-set, and now includes two majorly chic stores in the Lower East Side neighborhood and Gansevoort Market, as well as regular clients like Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler. Plus, there's her Instagram presence — 51K followers worldwide who seek out her floral inspirations and designs on the regular.

We caught up with Denise to learn about her start in the floral design business, her favorite flowers for every season, those famous crowns of hers, and what's next for Flower Girl NYC.

She draws inspiration from New York City.
"I am inspired by this effervescent city that I have called home for my whole life... art, fashion, food, and the changing seasons. Everywhere, quite literally."

She can describe her unique Flower Girl NYC designs in less than 10 words.
"Lush, seasonal, polished, with a fun edge or pop."

Flower Girl NYC Bouquet

Photo: The Gary Ashley Show

She loves clients who trust her design instincts.
"Lots of things are about trust in relationships; my favorite brides are the ones that trust Flower Girl completely. It makes the process wonderful when you know that someone is happy working with us — that the person chose us to be a part of their biggest day."

See more: Still Need to Book Your Caterer? Read Real Brides' Reviews of the Top NYC Wedding Caterers Here!

Denise's best advice for brides? Stick with seasonal flowers!
"Stay seasonal, and make the flowers a more up-stated or elaborate extension of what you and your husband-to-be like in general. I also advise on talking in photos, pull inspiration of style/color/size - it is generally very helpful to all!"

Her favorite flowers vary by season.
"I see so may flowers in every season, but the crowd pleasers that are favored constants are: fall, dahlias; winter, anemones; spring, peonies; summer, garden roses."

Flower Girl NYC Split

Photo: The Gary Ashley Show

Her newest floral trend favorite may be surprising.
"I am loving these very ethereal, bounty-of-the-garden arrangements, especially in all green — it is just fresh and clean, yet very lush and full."

But her famous floral crowns are still going strong.
"People love reasons to wear flowers, whether it be for a special occasion, or just around town! We get many requests, and do all sorts of crowns. So with weddings, everything from the flower girl, to the bridal party to the dog are adorned with crowns based on the couple."

She's started a hot new wedding reception trend: Floral Crown Stations!
"We have been doing a lot of crown stations at music festivals, parties, and weddings as well. Basically people can hire us to both handout premade and/or create personalized flower crowns as an added interactive part of their wedding, to for instance wear for the dance party portion. It's a fun addition!"

Want more New York City florists? Browse our NYC Wedding Florists page to find the best in your area.

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10 Minutes with Designer Alon Livné

 10 Minutes With, Wedding Dresses  Comments Off on 10 Minutes with Designer Alon Livné
Jul 312015
10 Minutes Interview with Designer Alon Livne

Photo: Courtesy of Alon Livné

Alon Livné is one of Israel's hottest young designers, designing both a ready-to-wear line and his Alon Livné White bridal collection from his Tel Aviv studio. The young designer, known for his graphic shapes and innovative fabrics, will debut his first bridal runway show this October, and this year marks the opening of his first New York studio for bridal and ready-to-wear. We caught up with Livné to learn about his design process, his favorite fabrics (hello, dreamy French lace!) and his top styling tips for brides.

The designer starts every collection by focusing on his fabrics — the more beautiful, the better.
"For each collection, I start with inspiration boards with images and materials that move me. They typically include a variety of photographs, landscapes, objects, personal pictures, fabrics, and more. I always play music in the workroom to create ambiance. I love classical compositions and Indian acoustics. I'll sketch for long periods of a time, usually into the wee hours of the night (that's when the magic usually starts)."

Livné's favorite part about designing for brides?
"My favorite part of designing bridal is looking for fabrics and embroidery. I find that being able to touch the fabrics and discover new materials in the beginning brings me so much value to production later on. The hunt for special details, pearls, crystals, and embroidery, excites the entire process and gives me a long lasting enthusiasm throughout the design process. My heart always races for French lace. It is so delicate yet so versatile. I love adding my own touch of fine beads and pearls to accent different pieces. It's a classic fabric that always seems to win the heart of so many brides."

See more: 4 Reasons to Say "I Do" to a Second Wedding Dress

He loves the celebrity-approved transparency trend.
Not only is he a bridal favorite, but Livné's designs always end up on the red carpet. He has dressed countless celebrities, from Lady Gaga to Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding to Kim Kardashian West and the Jenner girls. So, it's no surprise that the designer advocates for the white-hot red-carpet trend of transparency. "I love using very nude linings under extravagant lace to create looks that are sexy and interesting. I love dresses that combine conservative silhouettes with unusual elements like edgy cutouts and transparency fabrics. There is nothing sexier to me than cutouts combined with laces of different densities for unique exposure."

The designer's top styling tips for brides...
"I love seeing how brides style my gowns with accessories. Earrings, for example, can add so much to a bride's look. I tend to favor hanging pearls with different stones, which I find so majestic and feminine. I always recommend high quality shoes that not only suit the gown, yet comfortable for celebrating all night long. Last but not least, always be aware of underwear! I recommend seamless, skin-tone styles that you won't see through the gown."

His favorite bride of all time is one of the most iconic, too.
"My favorite bride is Grace Kelly, who wore a lace dress with long sleeves, and her hair styled up. Her look has inspired so many designers, including myself."

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