Friday, April 17, 2015


Bride Chic ran a styled shoot awhile back called, La Boheme Bride. Behind the scenes at The Presidio Golf Course in San Francisco I teamed up with Joanna Sirak of Novia Blanca . She offers some elegant traditional as well as vintage-styled bling. The jeweled hair combs here are my personal faves--they compliment those Golden Age of Hollywood gowns I love so much.  All these pieces are versatile though moving easily from one era to another.  Even the modernista bride will love and wear these. . . . .

Photography by Erica Garlieb Photography
Gowns by Amy-Jo Tatum
Hair and Makeup by Bun Bun Bridal Lab
Jewelry by Novia Blanca    

Thursday, April 16, 2015


For the bride who is romantic at heart, this dress can go storybook chic or Dioresque easily. You're not going to believe this but The Rose of Sharon Dress has been in my collection for about 15 years (see the oldies here and here).  That's right--when something's a classic it can endure the years.  Though this is still the same strapless sheath with a full tulle over skirt that hooks on and off, I've made some modifications over the years in adornments and fabric.  The original design was a sheath made out of dupioni silk and the overskirt had tiny little roses dappled all over it.  The newer version was created especially for The Bouffant Collection so the fabric for the sheath is more of a medium weight taffeta.  The over skirt is yards of tulle sans the scattered teeny flowers. A cluster of silk roses, ivy and an embroidered taffeta sash ornament the back skirt.  I love both versions.
Designing Rose of Sharon was pure joy because it has so much drama going on.  It starts out simple enough with a silk taffeta strapless sheath (think Grace, Audrey and Jackie)  Add yards and multi- layers of tulle over skirt and this dress goes ultra romantic!  The bodice is fully boned and the back has covered buttons.   So many small details make this dress a work of art  . . . . .
 Photos by Shona Nystrom of Studio 7Teen

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Today's post has to be the best example of how the bridal portrait has evolved into an art form? You can imagine my awe once I found all the boho-chic waiting in the inbox.  Fort Worth, Texas, shooterAdria Lea has pulled out all the stops in this visual story of a bride and her horse--both decked out and festooned in fresh florals.  How this story unfolds Adria tells us, "My husband's family has some beautiful land out in McKinney, Texas with horses and I've been dying to get a bride out there for some shots with them.  Alison, owner of Southern Belle Lash is the model here in the photos.  Her style is bohemian to the core and I knew she would be perfect for the job.  She's also hoping to be planning her very own wedding within the year.  Domonie of Wild Rose Events did an incredible job working with our stubborn horse to get the gorgeous flowers on her mane.  The floral bouquet and halo were more than I could have imagined . . . . . .

Monday, April 13, 2015


The Knot Book of Wedding Gowns put it succinctly when making this observation: "When it comes to topping it off there are two types of brides: 'hair' brides and 'veil' brides."
In the case of the veil bride, she may figure wearing this traditional accessory will be a once-in-a-life time deal; others claim they don't really feel like a bride till the veil goes on. A hair bride is another story. Her crown of glory is her way of pulling the whole look together whether her hair is worn up, down or even with a veil tacked to the back of a bun, back and out of the way. For today's bride variations of headpieces and hats can either compliment or replace a veil. We're even seeing hair jewelry added to the 'topping it off'' process. I had the opportunity to work with makeup artist and hair designer, Christal Caladaio on this shoot;; she made available the stick pin hair jewels shown in these images that so many brides love. Check out the variations here from pearls to rhinestones, round and star shapes . . .
Above: Often hair brides will opt for cage veils or netting woven through a hairstyle. In the case of the above photo, Christal wove and swirled a yard of 12 inch netting though AnaMaria's chignon and and sprinkled rhinestone jewels through the hair.
Below: Christine gave Elle a little bit of veil tacked onto the back of a bun here. She looks so debutante.

 Reminiscent of Breakfast at Tiffany's and My Fair Lady, both Audrey Hepburn flicks, if you check out the models--they too are hair-dressed in the spirit of Audrey. Are we perhaps a tad bit Audrey obsessed here . . . .?

Long hair and/or hair worn freely is very on trend. The Boho look you see here is just one of your options
I'd like to thank Robin and Shelah of Sweet Light Studios in San Francisco for their beautiful work on these images. And those three beauties, Elle W, Natalie and AnaMarie.
Gowns and Headpieces: Amy-Jo Tatum 
Makeup and Hair: Christal Caladiao

Friday, April 10, 2015


Even though I specialize in alternative bridal wear, alternative doesn't rule out brides getting married somewhere palatial and in the most formal sense.  HARMONY from my Bouffant Collection is certainly a treasure for the bride looking for something unencumbered and easy to wear (no long trains to bustle up) yet with all the elegance to pair up against the backdrop of the beautiful Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, California.  Super lightweight, the silk dupioni skirt is a pleated bell shape--the pattern modeled after Grace Kelly's.  The bodice with an asymmetrical neckline is covered in Chantilly lace under shirred tulle. My signature covered button line the back and the dress is lined in silk Habotai to keep it light.  This is a custom order available in silk white or ivory. You can see these pictures and closer detils of the bodice on Etsy.
Makeup by Audrey Mendoza
Hair by Justina Downs of Intertwine Hair Design
Venue: Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, California

Thursday, April 9, 2015


  I'm hoping this offers some options for all those brides out there searching for an alternative wedding look.  Awhile back we ran a lovely series of photos, called Painting Inspired by Shannon Grant Photography.  These are the gems we didn't have room for in the last editorial and I'm glad you all are getting to see the rest of her romantic and light-filled works of art now.  The styling on this project is incredible and dresses by Tara La Tour are nothing short of inspiring . . . .

 Photographer:  Shannon Grant Photography//Personal Stylist: Amanda Antunes//Hair Stylist: Kacie Corbelle Makeup Artistry//Floral Designer: Petal Floral Design//Dress Designer: Tara Latour//
Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I snapped the above photo last week and put it in my preview of up and coming attractions here on Bride Chic.  I was going to run a whole series of behind the scenes images on what its like to shoot a video out at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.  That is till I caught sight of photographer and film maker, Hayden Housini's teasers below.  In this case less is more and these two nuggets of visual poetry say it all. Though Hayden was videographer on the project, in addition he's a trump shooter, so indeed, an editorial for BC is in the works. A bit about the innovation and creativity behind this video.  After doing 'getting ready' scenes in a San Francisco apartment, we moved out to the Palace of Fine Arts--one of the most historically captivating backdrops in the world for shooting lovers and weddings.  The architectural interest of this landmark combined with Hayden's keen eye for capturing details make this one editorial and video worth waiting for . . . . .
 Above photos by Hayden Housini///Makeup artist and hairstylist, Felicia Chang of Bun Bun Bridal Lab putting last minute touches on model, Kaspen's hair//Black and white photo of models Case Grant and Kaspen Kuehner in front of The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.  
Special kudos to Travis Sanchez, Case's makeup and hair stylist.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Charles James Clover Leaf Dress
 Looking for a bit of inspiration?  Wedding mags and blogs aren't the only place to find your muse.  If you're anywhere near the San Francisco Bay Area check out High Style at The Legion of Honor, running through July 19.  On loan from the Brooklyn Costume Museum you'll find the work of iconic designers spanning one hundred years plus.  Whenever you can look at clothes like these up close some transformation happens and if you're a bride I know transfixed is also part of the mix. Used to one man/woman shows, I was blown away by the plethora of designers represented in the show.  For me, the perennial design student, it was as if I was invited to a party with every design giant from the last century filling up varied rooms in the museum. Must sees in this exhibit: the beautifully intricate workmanship on garments from The Jazz Age; the rise of women sportswear designers in 1940s America like Bonnie Cashin and Claire McCardell.  And of course the iconoclast designers-Elsa Schiaperelli and Charles James. This whole show just took my breath away
Above: Absolutely exquisite Jean Lanvin dress circa 1920s
Above: Madame Eta Hentz, evening dress, spring/summer 1944. Ivory synthetic crepe embroidered with a band of gold metallic beads in a Greek-inspired floral motif. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Madame Eta Hentz, 1946
 I was totally surprised to find only two works in the whole exhibit by Christian Dior (below) who was in his time the most famous couturier in the world. On the other hand two rooms were devoted to the work of the practically obscure  Charles James (above) who in Dior's heyday (1947-1957) went at his work like a sculptor/architect.  You can see this by the way the dress needs no mannequin to stand on its own. Genius that James was he was also impossible to work with amid a list of other personality disorders and plummeted into financial ruin.  Eventually after his death he drifted into oblivion.  His work, thanks to the curators at the Met for reviving him to new generations, stands head and shoulders above most designers.

I highly recommend the book, High Style: Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Loads of inspiring images and swoon worthy dresses. If you're into fashion history or are just curious, this is the book for you . . . .