Mothers of Style: Inspiration From the Emmys Red Carpet

From the huge sweep of Breaking Bad to the heart wrenching Robin Williams tribute, the Emmys were full of beautiful moments. While the show is great for TV aficionados, it is also perfect for fashion spotting. If you haven’t already, be sure to scan all the fabulous photos of the stars and their stunning couture.

Of course with bridal fashion on the mind, I was taken by how many dresses were perfect for the Mother of the Bride. Depending on the bride’s length of leash, there are a number of beautiful outfits to fit the day that can exemplify your style as well. Where better than to find inspiration for your MOB or MOG dress than on a red carpet?

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All the Red: From coral and crayon, firehouse red, shades of ruby took the stage
Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji // Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Carolina Herrera

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Old Hollywood: Also a popular trend on the runway, and easily convertible to wedding day fashion

Katherine Heigl in John Hayles // Kierman Shipka in Antonio Berardi

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Bright Lights: Bold hues, depending on the bride’s cue
Kerry Washington in Prada  // Kate Walsh in Stephane Rolland

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Whites: Matching the bride has become more popular in recent years

Angela Bassett in Elisabetta Franchi // Lucy Liu in Zac Posen

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Keeping it Classic: Navy has been the color of choice for MOB/G’s for years

Natasha Lyonne in Opening Ceremony // Viola Davis in Escada

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Lets Talk Fashion with British Bridal Designer – Kosibah’s Yemi Osunkoya

Even though it was almost 8 years ago, I remember vividly the excitement I felt when I decided to look for my dream wedding dress. The plan was to buy something off the rack, an elegant statement piece, one that people would ooh and aah and one that would take my groom’s breath away upon first sight. However, my dress was designed and made just for me, my first haute couture experience.

Shall we fast-forward 8 years as I walk into Kosibah to meet with the owner Yemi Osunkoya. Yemi is an impressive man, tall and charming yet eloquent in his approach. As he guides me through his journey, his labor of love shines through when he describes to me his journey of how he came to be one of the foremost British black haute couture bridal designers, still standing for 23 years. I ask if there is any significance with the name Kosibah. It turns out to be a derivation of his mother’s name. She was born on a Sunday and named Cosiba; he changed the spelling to make it a little more user friendly yet different and Kosibah was born.

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Image courtesy of Damien Lovegrove                            Image courtesy of Alakija Studios

I wanted to know more about this important designer, so I delved into his background and how he came to be a designer. He explains that the compromise he made with his parents when he told them he wanted to be a designer it would be for that reason he would go to university. “If I could have gone to university to study fashion design in Nigeria, I would have done so, but there wasn’t any university offering fashion design courses at that time. So I decided to study textile design because I thought fashion and textiles go hand in hand and it could always come in useful afterwards. So when I came to England, I didn’t want to go through another 4 years of fashion school; I just wanted to learn how to sew, how to draft a pattern, how to cut fabric and other practical skills relevant to creating clothes because I could already design and was pretty good at sketching out my design ideas.” In London he attended a private fashion school called the Paris Academy School of Fashion. It’s closed now, but there he was taught old-school couture: “where you take 26 very precise body measurements from your client, you then develop a body block, from the body block you make a pattern draft and then you do a fitting on your client with a mockup/prototype of the garment you are making in toile; there’s usually some slight fitting issues that are flagged up at this stage because everyone’s body is different so I don’t deal in dress sizes, I deal in body measurements for each individual.”

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Image courtesy of Kosibah

After starting his business in casual wear, he very quickly realized his methods of production were not viable and would be both too expensive and labor intensive. His business organically evolved into bridal and special occasion wear because of the way he wanted to make his dresses. “I can create whatever my client wants. The unifying factor in all my dresses is the figure enhancing aspect of them, so regardless of whether I’m using kente, or I’m using ankara or I’m using lace, or I’m using duchess satin, it’s the same couture process I use but it’s all client led.”

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Image courtesy of  Kosibah

Ladies, finally a designer that cares about women with curves! Yemi goes on to explain, “they obviously come to me because they’ve seen something I’ve done. I sit down with them, I look at them physically to see what would fit because that’s my basic ethos. I ask myself what can I do for this person in front of me to flatter them and make them look their best? Sometimes we minimize certain body areas and sometimes we enhance other body parts.” As a woman with curves, I begin to smile and Yemi smiles back in acknowledgment that I like his style!

Kente-Oke BridesmaidMother of the Bride Lady Boateng and Yemi
Images courtesy of Kosibah

Dressing his bride is a service he offers because after working for months on a dress, he wants to see the dress in the right setting and wants to ensure it looks exactly the way he designed the piece. A client who he met through Instagram flew him to Abuja to the wedding to dress her. Ladies, you can bring the designer to you! Yemi is not only a 21st century designer but he is engaged with social media and recognizes how powerful a marketing tool it is for his product. He understands the power of Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, “learning the etiquette of the social platforms he uses” he now has clients he would not have met under normal circumstances.

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Images courtesy of Kosibah

I asked Yemi whom would he consider as his ideal client. He explains, “she is a full-figured woman because anybody that is a size 14 or under, people might just assume she’s got great body.” A full-figured woman that wears one of his dresses should expect a significant amount of body sculpting in order to make more of an impact. If you’re not sample sized, it might be more difficult to just get something off the peg which is where getting something bespoke might be your priority. Because of “the quality of the fabric, embellishments that I use in my dresses and the line and the silhouette of the finished gown, I want it to always scream class and grace.” I ask him if he could dress any bride, or create a bespoke dress, who or what would that be? Yemi immediately responds, “if Oprah ever decides that she wants to marry Stedman, she should come and knock on my door, and I will create the most amazing dress for her because she has the perfect figure I’d like to get my hands … ’cause she has an hourglass figure.” I smile and tell him we’ll have to get that message across the pond to Oprah.

Check out Yemi at the following:

http://www.kosibah.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/YemiKosibah
http://www.twitter.com/yemikosibah
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/yemiosunkoya
http://www.yemikosibah.com

 

Michelle Lowe is the travel editor for World Bride Magazine and is based in London, UK.

Mothers of Style: Looking to the Leading Ladies

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There are many debates over the appropriate dresses for the mothers of the bride and groom.
Tradition states that they should match the bridal party in hue or cut, wear black, navy or cream. While it’s generally agreed upon that the dress should be age-conscious and not overly glitzy, there’s nothing to say about it being boring. The rules are being broken every day—with the bride’s permission.

As the mothers, you are representing the families and are part of the stylish glue that elevates the wedding’s ambiance. In this role, you’ve most likely helped prepare for the wedding; you’ve chatted and collaborated with relatives, supported the efforts. But being one of the mothers of the day also allows you a certain amount of pride; the wedding day is certainly a time to show it off and choose a dress that reflects your personal style.

This is perhaps no more true than for past ladies of state: they know how to dress within reason for the more conservative, public affair while still looking fabulous. From classic dress suits to elaborate gowns, I encourage you to take cue from their past style successes.

Michelle Obama visits the Queen, J Mendel Jacket and Skirt // Tadasha Shoji Lace and Mesh Dress, Saks // Carmen Marc Valvo Pleated Floral-Print Ball Skirt, Neiman Marcus

Patterns: Hillary Clinton in Oscar de la Renta at Chelsea’s wedding // Lela Rose Half-Sleeve Floral Print Dress, Bergdorf Goodman // Kay Unger Floral Boatneck Dress

Pat Nixon at her daughter’s wedding in 1971 // Dolce and Gabbana Floral Brocade dress, net-a-porter // Teri Jon Lace & Gazaar Convertible Slip Dress, Saks

 

Jackie Kennedy Onassis at Caroline’s wedding // Laura Bush in Oscar de la Renta at daughter Jenna’s wedding // Badgley Mischka Off-The-Shoulder Belted Sheath, Saks

Bridal Accessories: The Ultimate Guide

Any bride-to-be knows that when choosing the perfect overall look for her wedding day, there is a constant battle going on in her mind between the need to fit in and at the same time, stand out.

Whereas wedding day traditions pull her in the direction of fitting in by looking almost exactly like every other bride that walked down the aisle before her the need to be remembered and appear more beautiful than other brides pulls her in the opposite direction of wanting to stand out.

So the question remains, how to stand out and be remembered while still dressing like a traditional bride? And the answer is…accessorize! On top of that traditional white dress wear the kind of jewelry and veil that speak to your true individual sense of style. Under it, wear shoes that complement the overall look and enhance it. Lastly, carry a bouquet made of your favorite flowers and accentuate it with accents such as crystals, pearls, or even quirky pins. Use your accessories to make your wedding day look your own!

Here are some options to help you accessorize your wedding day look perfectly and stand out in the best way possible from that other girl getting hitched in all white.

VEILS: RUNWAY VS. READY TO WEAR

Veils come in many different price ranges. A bride has the option of choosing to don a designer veil (from the likes of Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, etc.) for a higher price; or a ready to wear veil at a lower price, without having to compromise on the quality and beauty of the product.

Veils also come in many different lengths which then correspond to a certain overall look. For the sake of simplifying the process, I will break them down into three main categories and showcase both designer and non-designer options for every bride and every budget.

1) Short Length (Birdcage Veils, Blusher Veils and Headpieces). These veils tend to convey a lot of personality, are not traditionally worn and are flirty in appearance. An emerging trend seen amongst designers for this category of veils is headbands. Beautiful headbands worn on their own adorned with flowers or feathers as a headpiece or worn with blusher veils attached to them.

RUNWAY(Bridal Fashion Week 2015)

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Jenny Packham

 

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Reem Acra

READY TO WEAR

ETUDELOVE by Sara and Eugenia showcases a collection of extremely charming and feminine handmade blusher veils and headpieces that very much resemble those showcased at both Reem Acra and Jenny Packham at Bridal Fashion Week 2015. However, they come at a fraction of the price and are perfect for those brides that want to stay well within their budgets.

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ETUDELOVE Blushing Lullaby veil $60.00
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ETUDELOVE Pizzicato veil $115.00

ETUDELOVE veils available at ETUDELOVE.com

2) Medium Length (Fingertip and Waltz Veils). These are the most traditionally accepted form of veils and they give off an air of innocence. Most of the fingertip and waltz length veils seen on the runway were versions of mantilla lace veils, with scalloped lace edging which added a romantic touch.

RUNWAY (Bridal Fashion Week 2015)

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Naeem Khan

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Oscar de La Renta

READY TO WEAR

Erica Elizabeth Designs offers a great selection of traditionally beautiful medium length veils with the same lace edging as Oscar de la Renta and Naeem Khan. These veils would look best when paired with a wedding day look that wouldn’t be too embellished, such as a lightly beaded gown with very delicate, feminine jewelry.

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Erica Elizabeth Designs Chantilly Lace edge Mantilla Veil $355.00
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Erica Elizabeth Designs Daphne Silk Tulle Chantilly Lace Drop Veil $720.00

Erica Elizabeth Designs veils available at EricaElizabethDesigns.com

3) Long Length (Chapel and Cathedral Veils). The longest veils are meant for the most regal of looks. There were many designer veils on the runway this season with a cascading front.

RUNWAY (Bridal Fashion Week 2015)

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Carolina Herrera
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Naeem Khan

READY TO WEAR

Great examples of Chapel and Cathedral length veils with cascading fronts can also be found at Sara Gabriel; whose luxe floor sweeping veils lend a dramatic air to complement beautiful gowns paired with statement jewelry.

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Sara Gabriel Chloe Veil

Sara Gabriel Veils available at 155 Wooster St Unit 3W New York, NY 10012 212.206.1915

 

JEWELRY:

Wedding day jewelry should be very carefully selected in accordance with the color and accents on the dress, veil and shoes. A bride can either opt to wear a necklace, earrings, bracelet or headwear. However, a general rule is to try not to wear all of these items at the same time. If a bride wears too much jewelry, it distracts the onlooker from the overall view and if she wears too little then she seems underdressed. Thus, if the veil and dress are heavily adorned, wear less jewelry; if the veil and dress are not as embellished, pile on more jewelry.

For the stylish bride with a budget, there is always the option of borrowing jewelry for the day of your wedding. Happily Ever Borrowed houses a great collection of elegant jewelry that can be borrowed at prices starting as low as $35.00. On top of the price of the item, the customer just pays a shipping fee of $12.99 and then returns the item back after using it for either four or eight days.hr60hr63

Available at HappilyEverBorrowed.com

If borrowing jewelry isn’t your preference, then there are many fine jewelry retailers that can satisfy a bride’s craving for all things shiny. Mija is home to sterling silver and 18k gold plated jewelry, encrusted with precious and semiprecious stones that are affordable and luxurious.

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Available at MijaJewelry.com

Tejani Jewelry incorporates modern flair and traditional Indian accents from designer Urvi’s cultural background into couture accessories. These pieces are one of a kind and perfect for the traditional bride who prefers jewelry with a vintage, feminine feel.hr80hr44

Available at Tejani.com

Powder Blue Bijoux offers a wide range of couture bridal accessories in every category, including headwear with prices ranging from $29.00 to $225.00. Thus, there is a piece on their website to please every bride.
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Available at PowderBlueBijoux.com

SHOES:

This is the area where comfort is key and the most experimentation with color, embellishments, textures and shapes is allowed. Even though shoes are hidden under a wedding dress most of the time, do not underestimate their power. The saying goes that the right shoes can make the outfit, whereas the wrong shoes can completely ruin it. This definitely holds true for your wedding day as well, so choose wisely.

Harriet Wilde is a British brand that offers worldwide shipping and is headed by designer Ruth Shaw. It is home to vintage inspired stylish wedding footwear that would glam up any wedding day ensemble.
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Available at HarrietWilde.com

Ruche carries a wide variety of shoes from flats and oxfords to wedges and heels in a variety of colors. The prices are more on the lower end and with a wide selection. A bride is sure to find something at Ruche that would make her feet very happy!
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Available at ShopRuche.com

BHLDN is a collection of bridal necessities inspired by world travel and the idea of regal and proper dressing at formal occasions. These two ideas are combined and evident in their beautiful collection of shoes that would make any bride blush.

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Available at BHLDN.com

FLOWERS:

A bridal bouquet can be as personalized as possible. When selecting one, the bride should keep in mind her favorite flowers, the season during which her wedding falls, and the color schemes of the wedding and her ensemble for the day. Or she can skip the flowers entirely and go straight for a crystal or bejeweled bouquet! Either way, the final result should be a bouquet that will help her perfectly round out her wedding day look.

Here are some of the most lovely flower shops and boutiques that will make any of a bride’s floral fantasies a reality.

Bridal Bouquets by Ky is an Etsy shop that will provide a bride with the most magical bouquets made of things such as pearl beads and mirrored beads. These will look beautiful with any dress and be a keepsake for the sole reason that they are not made of perishable materials!
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Available at http://www.etsy.com/shop/BridalBouquetsbyKy

Red Rose and Lavender makes beautiful rustic bouquets out of wildflowers and even succulents that would accompany a bohemian wedding day look perfectly.
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Available by appointment at 653 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211. (718) 486-3569

Posy NYC puts together the most perfect little beautiful bouquets that lend a romantic and fabulous air to a traditional wedding look.

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Available by appointment at 145 E 72nd St # 2F, New York, NY 10021. (212) 744-7788

For The Bride Who… Isn’t Afraid to Make Her Day a Royal Fantasy

For the Bride Who…
Isn’t Afraid to Make Her Day a Royal Fantasy

by Saroyah

Sound familiar? We’ve all seen it: the woman who has dreamed of her day since she could barely walk. She’s spent the time perfectly curating her Pinterest wedding board—maybe it’s not even on private. Personally, I’ve always envied these women, stalking their fairytale table decorations and flowery runways. She doesn’t shy away from being perfectly over the top, and it totally works.

 

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Elie Saab revived the dress for this bride in his Spring/Summer 2014 couture collection. Crossing the border between floral romanticism and dream-like fantasy, it seems that almost nothing was off limits to the designer. Sheer gowns of all shapes and sizes and vibrant colors, ranging from pale pinks to dark purples and blues, and even—not for the faint of heart—black gowns, made quite the impression on the runway. The collection was fit for the cast of a beautiful fairytale.

 

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It is this royal vibe that carried over into his collection for Pronovias, Elie by Elie Saab. In a season dominated by plunging backs, large bows and off-the-shoulder sleeves, Elie Saab has chosen to take a definitively distinct approach—restoring this wedding fantasy to the bridal world with a modern twist. Think Kate Middleton meets glamorous 1920s movie star. The combinations of lace overlay and full, delicate sleeves temper plunging necklines, keeping the designs classic.

 

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A similar feeling is evident in Ersa Atelier’s 2015 collection. Ersa is the product of two Romanian sisters who began designing gowns ten years ago and have since achieved great success, winning countless awards across the globe. Their designs stem from the idea that a dream can become a physical reality. Using rare, handmade materials these dresses would work perfectly in a royal wedding or that of a Southern belle, since they are inspired by traditional balls. The beautifully full skirts, tulles, and light lace tops in variant neutrals are something truly breathtaking. These are the dresses for the girl who knows her wedding is the chance to be a princess, if only for a day.

 

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Elie Saab available at Pronovias stores / http://www.pronovias.us
Ersa Atelier available at Dimitra’s Bridal, 1011 Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611 / 312-787-0920 / info@dimitrasbridal.com

For the Bride Who… Doesn’t Shy from a Sexy Slip

For the Bride Who…
Doesn’t Shy from a Sexy Slip

by Saroyah

Vera Wang’s Spring 2015 collection has something for every bride. Whether you’re the type who loves to show off your slender physique or prefers to retain a more classic, voluminous style, Vera Wang has the dress for you. The designs range from silk slips to finely embellished ball gowns and from classic A-lines to fit and flare mermaids. This is what arguably makes her collection so unique—it doesn’t quite put anyone off.

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Perhaps the most unifying quality of her collection is its appearance as a set. Looking at them, you almost get a sense that they were designed for the cast of a ballet, each one serving a different purpose, fitting a specific role. And just as Vera Wang has designed these dresses for a multitude of characters and personalities, so too do they fit a variety of brides. They are all delicate, lady-like, and full of class. Yes, even the slip dress, with its slinky fabric and plunging V-neck, is somehow among the most elegant designs this season. It is understated, yet sexy and not too risqué. Each one is different, but, in essence, the same.

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The all-white collection is extremely feminine, and it shares a similar feel to that of Amanda Garrett. A Sydney based designer, Garrett has been designing for over 30 years, with much success among celebrities and brides who wish to feel the transformative power of a dress. Garrett describes her recent collection as “poetic glamour,” and we couldn’t agree more. While her dresses are not as ornate as Vera Wang’s, they do present the same minimalist, utterly feminine look. There is something to be said of the draped chiffon, crystal beading, and simply cut silk organza gowns. The dresses are almost undone in appearance—they are so simple, but nothing is missing.

Both designers are perfect for the woman who is looking for a contemporary look. While the dresses are, as a whole, relatively simple and somewhat understated, they are perfect for a clean, elegant wedding. They also leave plenty of room for accessorizing, so maybe that ornate, glittering veil won’t seem as extravagant anymore. Both are sophisticated; they will seduce. Both exude a feeling of glamour lost in time but are simultaneously, unquestionably modern.

Vera Wang available at Vera Wang Flagship stores, see http://www.verawang.com/# for a store near you
Amanda Garrett available at multiple locations across the United States, see http://www.amandagarrett.com/Retailers.aspx for local retailers

Think Chelsea Taylor Jewelry for Spring

Looking for some great gift ideas that may suit your bridal party? Well look no further. With a little bling and color, you can provide your bridal party with a gift that will not only suit your immediate need to accessorize their bridal look as they walk down the aisle for your wedding, but they have something memorable from your wedding that they will cherish.

Chelsea Taylor jewelry has teamed up with Swarovski crystals to come up with a fabulous and bold jewelry line. This line is a celebrity favorite and has been featured on the Today show, Good Day New York and Good Morning America. It is time to bring out those bright colors you have been hiding in the closet, ladies. Luckily, this line features pieces that have blossomed just in time for the season. Chelsea Taylor offers lush greens, beautiful pinks and far from mellow yellows to add a pop that will complete your look. Chelsea Taylor is your go-to for statement rings and bold earrings. Think retro 70s and 80s pieces for 2014. Another amazing feature is every piece is ready to be customized and available in 20 shades.

Go to chelseataylor.com for your must-have spring and summer accessories. I took a look at the site and picked out my favorite pieces for you. ENJOY!

 

 

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