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.

'Odile''Odette'

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.”

'Ekatarina'

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.”

Kosibah Real Bride Hadiza
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

The Carolina Herrera Collection

SAVE THE DATE! April 11 2014 the mother of wedding gowns Carolina Herrera will release her 2014 ready to wear spring collection. If you simple cannot wait until the release date don’t fret because we have the marvelous pieces below.

Why wait until your wedding day to look fabulous? The spring collection is designed to supply the bride with every ensemble she will need leading to her big day. Spring 2014 include a elegant ivory suede wrap dress for the rehearsal dinner and a modern chic suit for a meeting with caterers and the wedding planner.

Last but not lease the line includes a silk ivory crepe gown for your big day of “I dos” The entire line is ready to wear, you will be confident and timeless in any of these pieces from the 2014 Carolina Herrera collection.

Visit carolinaherrera.com for additional details.

 

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