Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Great Cover Ups: Bridal Shrugs and Boleros

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Planning to walk down the aisle in a strapless, spaghetti-strap or other skin-baring gown design? You’re in good company. The vast majority of modern wedding wear is designed to show off a bride’s neck, shoulders and arms, creating a perfect picture of femininity and grace.

But what about comfort? Specifically, temperature. During Houston’s hottest months, indoor temps, aided by powerful AC, can dip down to downright frosty levels. Outdoor weddings during Houston’s milder seasons, meanwhile, can be subject to the occasional big chill. So what’s a bare-shouldered bride to do? Shrug it off!

The classic bridal shrug or bolero is a very short (think no longer than ribcage length), usually open-fronted sweater or jacket that complements but doesn’t overwhelm a bride’s wedding gown. In general, a shrug or bolero is a better choice than a shawl or wrap because it won’t slip off, and leaves a bride’s hands free for dancing, toasting and showing off her ring!

Bridal shrugs/boleros run the gamut of fabrics and complexity of design, from a simple chiffon number, like this sweet one from David’s Bridal, which would work with almost any gown material or style:

Photo courtesy of David's Bridal

Photo courtesy of David's Bridal

…to this lacey lovely by Forever Yours, which would coordinate nicely with a simple, luxe fabric and relatively unadorned bodice style:

Photo courtesy of House of Brides

Photo courtesy of House of Brides

Another of our favorite spots for beautiful bridal shrugs and boleros is haven-of-all-things-handmade, Etsy, which features a variety of unique designs, including cashmere, crocheted and dupioni silk styles.

If you have not yet purchased your wedding gown and are thinking about a cover-up, ask about matching shrugs and boleros when browsing dresses. Many styles come with coordinating or detachable shrugs. And even when they don’t, a savvy Houston bridal boutique associate can suggest a perfect pairing.

South Asian Weddings: Baraat at the Omni Houston Hotel Galleria, Aug. 2

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
Photo: J. Cogliandro

Photo: J. Cogliandro

Much more than your run-of-the-mill bridal fashion show, the Aug. 2 “Baraat at the Omni Houston Hotel Galleria” was a spectacular showcase of the best in South Asian wedding style, décor and food trends, set in the hotel’s gorgeous new Regency Ballroom.

The show’s 300 attendees enjoyed champagne, South Asian and American menu specialties and sweets (all gratis—the whole bash was free to the public), while they perused offerings from 19 expert vendors, including decorators, floral designers, jewelers and photographers.

As if that wasn’t enough to entice South Asian brides and their families, guests got to indulge in treatments courtesy of the Omni’s own Mokara Spa. Hourly door prizes and special offers from featured vendors sweetened the deal that much more.

For Omni director of food and beverage Zee Qureshi, the event was an opportunity to demonstrate his, and his staff’s, inimitable expertise in South Asian cuisine and customs. He points out that the property offers both halal meat and divine vegetarian entrees—all part of “an extensive South Asian menu that caters to every region of South Asia.”

Omni director of catering Georgia Graugnard adds that the hotel specializes in South Asian wedding rituals including the traditional mehndi, sangeet, baraat and pheras ceremonies. Plus, with an outstanding array of reception space, including the opulent Regency Ballroom (product of the hotel’s recent $35 million renovation), which can accommodate 750 guests, the Omni has room to accommodate the large guest groups typical of South Asian weddings. On top of that, “We offer special rates for out-of-town guests and a lovely suite for the bride and groom,” she says. “Our goal for every wedding is to create a lifetime of memories.”

Getting an early start on wedding planning, or know a South Asian bride who might be? Good news: The Omni’s inaugural South Asian wedding show was such a smash success, the hotel plans to make it an annual event. Call 713.871.8181 or click here for more information.

Photo: J. Cogliandro

Photo: J. Cogliandro

Designer Spotlight & Trunk Show: Reem Acra @ Mia Bridal Couture

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Photo Courtesy of Modeulation

Photo Courtesy of Modeulation

A wedding gown by Lebanese-born designer Reem Acra is a very special dress for a very special event. Esteemed for their intricate embroidery and exquisite detailing, Acra’s bridal creations are among the world’s most luxurious. But that hasn’t stopped the award-winning Acra from getting a little lighthearted with her spring 2010 bridal collection.

Inspired by fairytales (designs have names like Rapunzel and Snow White) and featuring dreamy puffs of tulle, fanciful flowers and gold screenprinting, the new gowns evoke notions of charmed princesses and their handsome princes.

Drop in on the Reem Acra trunk show at Houston’s Mia Bridal Couture next Friday and Saturday, Aug. 14 and15, for an exclusive preview of these airy, ethereal gowns (and others in Reem Acra’s extraordinary bridal repertoire). Need more incentive than mere gorgeousness? Try 15% off all Reem Acra gowns during this not-to-be-missed event. Happily ever after never looked so good!

Web Find: European Wedding Ideas at Classic Bride

Monday, August 10th, 2009
Photo Courtesy of Classic Bride

Photo Courtesy of Classic Bride

Something about the long, warm, lazy days of summer always gets us thinking about vacation. And when we think about vacation, naturally we think about EUROPE. And when we think about Europe, we tend to get more than a little inspired about weddings with effortlessly chic continental flair (you see where this is going, right?). And when we get inspired—we just have to share our inspiration with you, dear Houston bride.

Our transatlantic daydreaming recently led us to a fabulous blogosphere find. Classic Bride, according to its own self-description, “strives to celebrate a balance between the traditions of yesterday and the modern trends of today.” Amen to that.

In striking this balance, Classic Bride has put together some simply delightful ideas for weddings with a sophisticated, yet completely down-to-Earth, European (mostly French) “je ne sais quoi.” From Paris to Provence (to England, a little bit), from fashion to favors, it’s all here. Peruse, muse, fantasize—then share your thoughts (and a link to this lovely blog) with your Houston coordinator, floral designer, stationer, caterer and/or bridal boutique. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have the European wedding of your dreams right here at home.

Designer Spotlight & Trunk Show: Simone Carvalli @ Mia Bridal Couture

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Simone Carvalli

Simone Carvalli

Exquisite pure silk, fine French lace, curve-hugging silhouettes and pooling chapel trains—these are the hallmarks of Simone Carvalli. We simply melt away at the sight of those incredible Simone Carvalli bubble hems and blossoming bustles, those screen-siren ruched bodices and hourglass-figure-flattering mermaid skirts. And the fit—fabulous!

Simone Carvalli’s new collection features plenty of styles for the bride who wants to make a major statement on her wedding day. Our favorite details include sparkling Swarovski crystals, dazzling beadwork and handmade silk flowers. And we love that these gowns are made to make the most of our womanly curves. Oh—and did we mention that a Simone Carvalli couture gown WON’T set you back the price of a down-payment on your newlywed nest?

Get star treatment as you experience these Hollywood-worthy wedding gowns when Mia Bridal Couture hosts a Simone Carvalli trunk show July 31 – Aug 1. Simone Carvalli representatives will be on hand to meet with brides at Mia, one of Houston’s most exclusive bridal salons (think Kenneth Pool, Elie Saab, Reem Acra…). Take advantage of this very special occasion to select the wedding gown of your dreams, glamour girl!