When presented with an idea of an elegant ball gown where the back is somewhat backless, yet needed a zipper closure, I rose to the challenge. Year 12 student, Keely looked nothing short of amazing in her ball gown recently. … Continue reading
There is nothing worse than spending a fortune on a gown or item of clothing and seeing ‘made in China’ on the label. Sadly, this is a common theme and happens even among the ‘big’ designers. It doesn’t mean you haven’t bought … Continue reading
What a fabulous event Perth Wedding Upmarket was on Saturday 6th April. Save the date cards went out and by the amount of brides to be among others, the event was a huge success. Thank you organiser, Justine!
It was lovely to see a few familiar faces and meet a few more. A few weeks ago I was asked to take part on a collaborative shoot with some fabulous Perth wedding vendors and to add to the excitement, a small preview was printed in the Wedding Upmarket magazine which was handed out to hundreds of people.
This beautiful handbag sized magazine was a little black book of wedding loveliness, a brides bible from which she could plan her whole wedding right down to the last tea light.
Not only did we take center page, but No.9 featured on page 4 (below) with ‘Olivia’
Page 10 with ‘Rita’
and page 22 with our opulent and beloved ‘Tuscany’
We arrived at 8am along with our roaming model, Monique and while she was having hair and make up done, we set out our stand.
Monique (below) looked nothing short of stunning in our gold slipper satin, bias cut gown. The lace bridal cap from Olive Farm complimented the gown and the look was discreetly accesorized with a glass goblet provided by Wedding Day Flair
Photographer Jason Tey captured these images beautifully
And along with the three other roaming models (below) worked so hard for us at the event.
I loved the table design (below) Maeline of Wedding Day Flair did for her display. Opulent yet intimate. Images by Jason Tey
And Olivia at Olive Farm Designs (below) wowed potential clients with her floral creations and headpieces.
Of course, e mails are coming in along with more exciting collaboration shoots. I think its going to be a busy year!
With special thanks to Twigged Flowers by Tali who gave me a wonderful bouquet of stocks. My favourite flower.
The next Wedding Upmarket is scheduled for August 24th and entry is free. Will you be saving the date?
Magazine Tickle The Imagination
To view the whole Wedding Upmarket guide by Tickle the imagination, click here
The excitement of the year 12 ball probably began around six months ago for our year 12 students. The venue has changed over the years however, from the school hall to the Hyatt Regency and the borrowed frock has become a designer gown worth anything up to $1,500 and this year No.9 designed three very special couture gowns specifically for three very special high school students of Duncraig Senior High School.
With the hype of over excessive spending including substituting the parents saloon car to stretch limos and party buses, I feel the ball is a worthy event because in many cases it teaches young ladies important social etiquette skills. The high school ball will probably be the most formal event these teenagers will do before they get married. Why shouldn’t these young ladies feel like a celebrity for a day and experience the glitz and glamour of their own Red Carpet event? Does over indulgence on the school ball lead to unrealistic expectations in later life? I think not. When you have a parent practically hurl herself at you because she is so overcome with emotion in seeing her already beautiful daughter look just breathtaking (as I do my own) makes my job worth while. For a young lady to feel nothing short of glamorous is a gift in itself.
Our couture gowns ranged from deep purple silk Georgette and lace, white chiffon and satin and black taffeta and organza. Here’s a few images of the pre ball gathering at the Botanical gardens Joondalup. We are also delighted these young ladies will be donning their gowns again in a few weeks for our photo shoot.
Deep purple silk Georgette with hand dyed lace. White chiffon and satin with diamante art deco style motif trim.
Black taffeta fishtail gown with organza overskirt to soften the snug look of the fishtail beneath. Hand dyed lace again softened the look to compliment the skin tone.
Our beautiful students below with their fellow students. Those smiles just say it all!
Wow, where do I start?
Who’d have thought January this year and winning the Wedding Industry Award 2012 best wedding gown designer Regional and national winner to now being in Australia? Certainly not me, but you never know what life lays before you.
Here are some of my 2012 highlights which include our fabulous brides and working with some truly wonderful people.
We won this
Appeared in this (among others)
Worked with the amazing Jo Bilham, fabulous friend
And gorgeous James Melia
Delightful duo Chris Hanley and wife Claire at Sutton Park. Home of the Prime Minister David Cameron’s Mother in Law. (Lady Sheffield)
And ate Macaroons on Lady Sheffield’s furniture!
Rob Booker, who provided the amazing images for our Sirens collection and website
The lovely Jane Hardman Ferris, HF Couture to you. Designer of exquisite pieces
And Kizzy. Who ‘does’ hair in the most wonderful ways. Proud to have her work on our website.
We’ve made some pretty frocks
And showcased them on our website
But above all of that, had the honor of working for some truly wonderful brides.
And her maids
Helen and daughter Saskia
Mikaler and maids
Victoria’s mantilla veil
To our first Australian bride, Monique
and dressing my daughter for prom.
I cannot begin to express how wonderful it has been to share this year with you all, but on a final note would just like to thank my wonderful family for putting up with an obsessed wedding freak who likes to make pretty frocks.
I wish you the happiest of Christmases and a wonderful new year.
In no particular order
“Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body…”
I do get very excited when I hear my favourite wedding vendors are involved in a clients wedding of which I am making a gown and this was no exception. As soon as Mikaler told me three of those, photographer Rob, make up artist, Jo and hair wizard, Kizzy were her chosen vendors I squealed.
Mikaler had very clear visions of the gown she wanted. A VERY iconic image of a gown was presented to me and so I set to work to make Mikalers dream come true. On research we discovered the original gown didn’t have much going on at the back and I needed Mikaler’s gown to look amazing from behind as well as the front.
The gown was all about the gorgeous deep collar so I used a beautiful silk which could be molded and sculpted around her shoulders. The back was buttoned to add detail and an internal corselette gave the gown its structure and enhanced Mikaler’s beautiful silloutte. A small blue crystal heart and silver sixpence was clipped to the corset for something blue and for luck.
The bridesmaids, having completely different shapes, heights and requirements, chose the same coloured silk with the drape at the waistline echoing throughout each of the gowns. An internal corselette inside the strapless gown added comfort and full support, while spaghetti straps were added to Mikalers younger bridesmaid.
I’d just like to say thank you so much to the wonderful talents of Rob, Jo and Kizzy and of course Mikaler for allowing us to share a part of her very special day. Also to thank Mikaler for sending over these wonderful images. You simply looked nothing short of stunning. Congratulations to you both.
Photography Rob Booker
Make up Jo Bilham
Hair Kizzy Edkins
Venue Crathorne Hall Yarm
Without my brilliant jewels,
Couturier to stars of stage and TV, I first met Jane Hardman Ferris of HF Couture the summer of 2010 at Harrogate Designer Wedding Fair. I was truly captivated by the genius in her creations, each piece intricately hand worked down to the tiniest seed pearl and so began my love for such sparkly, pretty things. The likes of Miriam Haskell, Stanley Hagler, Dior and Schiaparelli among others have inspired Jane’s creations and I knew instantly she was the only person who’s style would work perfectly for my first collection showcase, The Vintage Shoot. The collaboration received much media interest, being described as the most authentic shoot to be seen and features in Vintage Life, Pure Weddings and British trade magazine Attire Bridal. Many of these can be viewed here
Jane and my working relationship is intensely close and on occasions we have clashed because having the right look for her is just as important as having the right look for me, but it has never tainted the friendship. I regularly pass on clients to Jane for their headpieces and jewellery so the client will get that perfect balance on her big day and am super excited to introduce her to Perth WA. She is the couturier/designer and as she quite rightly has said.
“A headdress should
always be beautiful and compliment
the art of the couturier. It must never
compete with it, or draw the eye
away from the ‘main dish’. A good
headdress is like a great condiment
adding a little ‘pizazz’ to finish the
dish! That’s how I approach designing
all my pieces…..never overwhelming,
never too much, but always in tune
with the style of the gown and the lady
“Jane. Faithful friend, designer of the most beautiful and elaborate headpieces you could ever imagine. Bird, you sure do rock!”
Make up on ‘Sirens’ and Sutton Park shoot Jo Bilham make up artist
Hair on ‘Sirens’ and Sutton Park shoot Kizzy Edkins Charisma Bridal Hair
Chris Hanley Photography http://chrishanleyphotography.com/
Rob Booker www.robbooker.co.uk
Marry Me Films -Forever Memories www.marrymefilms.co.uk
“It’s guts and love and glory,
One mortal’s chance at fame,
His legacy is rodeo,
And cowboy is his name.”- Baxter Black
With it’s wonderful rustic charm, Windy Creek Estate nestles among the Australian bush, a relaxing place to while away any balmy afternoon. Not the easiest place to find among the many ‘No Through’ roads the Swan Valley has to offer, but I could easily become accustomed to the journey. The company was as good as the wine Windy Creek has to offer as we mingled among guests, waiting for the arrival of our bride Monique.
The ceremony was relaxed and intimate if having 200 well wishers could ever be intimate and while the guests waited for the arrival of the bride on her horse, I watched the groom. He played his part well along with the groomsmen, holding up their table tennis come score cards as the bridesmaids made their way down the track, but you could see in his face, it was his bride he was waiting for.
The vows were sincere, and along with other guests we held our breath as Rod and Monique stood holding hands, palms up so we could see the gift they were giving. “These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on our wedding day and I promise to love you all the days of my life.” It was then on to Chapel Farm for the reception, the setting providing the perfect canvas for Rodeo meets Princess, even down to the cake. So without further ado, may I introduce you to Mr and Mrs Rod Caddies. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your day and to meet your wonderful friends and family.
I very much look forward to seeing the professional images from Perth Photographer Prophoto.
Some of the above images taken by myself or used by kind permission of wedding guest Ellice Neaves.
“The beauty of a woman must be seen from her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.” – Audrey Hepburn
Not so much breakfast at Tiffany’s, but more like scrummy cake at a wedding for our gorgeous bride, Rebecca. Rebecca was so reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn, her grace, her gentleness when we first me at the studio and I was so glad she didn’t choose the traditional ‘Funny Face’ wedding gown so many vintage brides opt for.
We did have a significant design change just as construction was about to commence, but that is the whole point of the design process. Design ideas are subject to change.
I think you’ll agree, Rebecca looked amazing in her spot organza wedding gown. And the delicious cakes are made by Nadia of Truly Scrumptious.
Professional images supplied by the bride along with this lovely message.
“Sorry it has taken so long to get the weddings pics (of the dress) to you. Thank you again for making me such a beautiful dress, it received many compliments and, had you not emigrated, you would have a waiting list of my soon-to-be-bride friends wanting something similar!”
Rebecca in the studio on collection day
An absolute delight working for you, Rebecca. Thank you. x
Cakes – Truly Scrumptious at Haworth.
It’s lovely to be referred by friends and family, but what happens when it IS a friend or family member who wants to use your services? One can make the huge mistake of assuming that this kind of ‘client’ is the easier option as there is an emotional bond with a no strings attached underwritten rule. However, working for friends or family can come with a host of problems.
Consumption of time. The time it takes to make a single garment whether that is a wedding gown, occasion piece etc is exactly the same as making the item for a paying customer. In many instances it can take anything from 70 hours plus to months depending on complexity. However, you may be expected to a) do the job for free or b) heavily discount because that’s perks of being a friend isn’t it? With this in mind the work is going to be subjected to scrutiny. Oh yes it is. There is an obvious closeness for a friend or family member which will immediately allow them to nit pick every single opportunity they can. You’re a buddy and won’t be offended so you can suck it up cant you?
Payment for the job in hand. I will always ask for a deposit. I have materials to buy, but as it’s for a friend or family member, I can hang on until they get paid can’t I? Or, remember years back when they did that huge favour for you? You know, the one you returned which seems to now have been forgotten? Then there is the discount issue again. You’re a mate so of course there has to be mates rates which again means that the job in hand doesn’t take any less time because they are a friend. In fact, because there is an emotional involvement between you, you actually pour your emotional heart and soul into the project. I have friends however, who wouldn’t dream of asking for discounts. It’s my prerogative to give them.
If something goes wrong. This is a biggie because if something goes wrong, you’re going to be right in the firing line. There is the emotional damage to think of here and if there are going to be differences of opinion, it could cost your friendship/relationship. This could be anything from having to actually charge full price for the task you have undertaken, or in the design itself. If you are a photographer for example and you’ve shot the most awesome (your opinion being the professional) images, to then see them all over Facebook or other media platform where the images have been cropped, tinted, or ‘doctored’ is going to be a bit of a shock. They can do that cant they because you’re a mate and you wont mind. Much the same as a gown. You spent hours with the design, ordered the fabrics, constructed the gown with appropriate fittings to then find the gown has been taken elsewhere for amendments because the friend/relative didn’t quite like how it looked and just didn’t have the heart to tell you. Suddenly, the design doesn’t belong to you any longer as someone else has had their mits on it, but the friend/relation may not tell people that’s what they’ve done (of if they do that’s going to look really good for you isn’t it?)
Separating the relationship from client. Because this is the job that you do on a daily basis, it’s easy to separate the friend/relative/client relationship isn’t it? But is it from the friend/relative perspective? I’ve made a few gowns for friends/relatives and most have been perfectly successful. The first wedding gown I made was for an old school friend. You could almost say it launched me into this career. Over the years I have ‘gifted’ gowns as wedding presents and yes, have discounted the ‘mates rates’ However, time is valuable and while you are discounting you are still working just as hard. I don’t think the ‘mates’ actually get that. As a designer or photographer or cake maker or florist you really need to focus on what actually makes you money. Do you really have time to get involved with extra stuff that distracts you from what really matters. Making money to pay the bills, because that’s what they get out of bed for isn’t it? Now I say that with a good pinch of salt, because the bottom line is exposure is exposure. You could have a friend or relative that could render your project some great media attention that gives you a huge boost. I’ve made gowns for free and have had some extremely good exposure and am happy to continue to do so.