alvina valenta

NYC Bridal Market {how we buy wedding dresses} - Part 2

Ahhh... after a whirlwind first day, we're off for the next part which involves a lot more running around the city as we visit the individual designer showrooms. Thankfully most are located near the Fashion District, which at least helps but it's still a day for flat boots. 

First up, scouting new lines. We are constantly working to make sure that our collection is fresh and that means checking out new lines and new designers. We work to strike a fine balance between having enough of a selection without being overwhelming. And this market we came back with not one, but two new designers: Anna Maier and Amy Kuschel. Try as we might to limit ourselves to just one new line, we couldn't help it - but lines were stunning and are run by fastidious,creative, and and an uberly-talented team that we are delighted to partner with! Plus, both are designed and fully produced right here in the States using gorgeous fabrics so we feel good about supporting these companies. 

And while new is always fun, we were wowed by the collection at Alvina Valenta and Modern Trousseau. There were so many great choices that you can see a small debate starting in the Alvina showroom between Breanna and myself (pretty sure we both won and we just ended up bringing back more dresses!). And then at Modern Trousseau how cute is Callie! Such a treat to chat with her and hear all about the new fabrics that they have sourced.  

Anna Maier:

 Anna admiring an Anna Maier gown at NYC Bridal Market - Photography by Laura Dombrowski of COUTUREcolorado

Anna admiring an Anna Maier gown at NYC Bridal Market - Photography by Laura Dombrowski of COUTUREcolorado

 Charles, the designer/owner of Anna Maier, shows anna bé a detail on a gown - Photography by Laura Dombrowski of COUTUREcolorado

Charles, the designer/owner of Anna Maier, shows anna bé a detail on a gown - Photography by Laura Dombrowski of COUTUREcolorado

 The Anna Maier showroom in NYC - Photography by Laura Dombrowski of COUTUREcolorado

The Anna Maier showroom in NYC - Photography by Laura Dombrowski of COUTUREcolorado

 

Amy Kuschel:

 Amy Kuschel herself shows the anna bé team a dress from her newest collection

Amy Kuschel herself shows the anna bé team a dress from her newest collection

 Amy Kuschel Rosemary Gown

Amy Kuschel Rosemary Gown

 Amy Kuschel Clover Gown at NYC Bridal Market in NYC October 2012

Amy Kuschel Clover Gown at NYC Bridal Market in NYC October 2012

 Anna, Chelsea, and Melissa discuss an Amy Kuschel gown at The London hotel

Anna, Chelsea, and Melissa discuss an Amy Kuschel gown at The London hotel

 Anna, Chelsea, and Melissa wait for our Amy Kuschel appointment to begin in The London hotel

Anna, Chelsea, and Melissa wait for our Amy Kuschel appointment to begin in The London hotel

 The gorgeous view from our Amy Kuschel appointment at The London hotel 

The gorgeous view from our Amy Kuschel appointment at The London hotel 

 

Alvina Valenta:

 Moving on to the Alvina Valenta showroom in the fashion district of NYC - Photography by Laura Dombrowski of COUTUREcolorado

Moving on to the Alvina Valenta showroom in the fashion district of NYC - Photography by Laura Dombrowski of COUTUREcolorado

 Breanna and Anna discuss an Alvina Valenta gown - Photography by Laura Dombrowski of COUTUREcolorado

Breanna and Anna discuss an Alvina Valenta gown - Photography by Laura Dombrowski of COUTUREcolorado

 

Modern Trousseau:

 Next, we visited Modern Trousseau's showroom that is also in the fashion district in NYC. Cassie, the designer for Modern Trousseau, shows us a gown and veil design from her newest collection. 

Next, we visited Modern Trousseau's showroom that is also in the fashion district in NYC. Cassie, the designer for Modern Trousseau, shows us a gown and veil design from her newest collection. 

 At the Modern Trousseau showroom we lined up all the gowns we liked  - so many!

At the Modern Trousseau showroom we lined up all the gowns we liked  - so many!

Lace and...

There is no fabric in the world that makes us think of wedding dresses like lace. Alencon, chantilly, guipure, tape lace, floral, paisley, it doesn't matter the pattern, size, texture; lace can't help it! The delicate needlework, gorgeous patterns, and spider-web fragility feel feminine and special, reminding us of a time when everything was hand-crafted.

The great thing about lace is that it does come in so many shapes and styles that you can pair lace with almost anything in any setting. You name me a style, a fabric, a venue, and we have a gorgeous lace dress that goes. Don't believe me? Here are some ways to pair lace in unexpected ways:

 

Leather and Lace

Okay, so this one we've all heard of before, but who doesn't love a good mix of hard and soft, masculine and feminine? Just because you want things with a tough edge doesn't mean lace isn't going to hold up! You could go as extreme as a cream leather pencil skirt, sheer chiffon top, and use lace as an accent in a wrap or the shoes, but if you're looking for more traditional, I love the Alvina Valenta 9102. Perfect with a slight contrast to the lining, really making the classic lace pattern pop with just the right amount of fit. For accessorizing, think leather braided belt and gold-tipped espadrille, boho tousled curls, and a flower in your hair to bring back that 70's love child who's gone a little glam.

 

 

 

Modern Lace

Think lace is too frilly for a modern, sophisticated bride? I think lace is the perfect foil to strong architectural lines, and can be kept minimal with clean lines for real wow. Like the Monique Lhuiller "Treasure", with its silver thread to make lace look super modern while still 100% classic. I love this with a palette of platinum, ruby, and wine. Just imagine an evening in Denver surrounded by lush dark fabrics, lit up with a backdrop of the city lights giving the evening a perfect glow, letting the texture of the lace take on new forms with the highlights and shadows. Smoky eyes, a gloss red lip, and Drama (with a capital "D") when it comes to the veil and earrings - diamonds, of course!

 

 

 

Lace at the Beach

Too fussy? Too doiley? No way! Lace can also be feather weight and super easy to wear, even with the sand between your toes. I love the brand new Modern Trousseau "Dove" which combines an all-lace dress with the freshness of a super light pinstripe lining. It's the most gorgeous seersucker-like silk that perfectly offers a look that romantic and clean, while being daring and traditional all at the same time. Imagine this in a sleepy New England town just after labor day, the beach is all yours, hair tucked loosely with a ribbon, seashell mixed with peonies for a bouquet fragrant as well as whimsical, and your grandmothers pearls wrapped as a bracelet; proof that you now how to do tradition your way!

Behind the Scenes with the designer behind Alvina Valenta

Check out this awesome post from the JLM Couture blog with an insider look at one of our designers. We are so excited to share this interview today! Jessica Williams, head designer of Alvina Valenta gave an inside look to not only her office, but her inspirations and design details. She really is something!

 

Q: How would you describe your design style?  

Jessica: My design style for Alvina Valenta honors the classicist bride with modern sensibilities, and seeks to infuse gowns with either ethereal and romantic qualities or more recently, touches of architectural edge. In both, I seek to impart varying degrees of modern elements to the mix, whether in the beading and embroidery, interesting lace placements or silhouette, so the bride feels both of the moment and elegantly timeless. I value high quality fabrics, laces and embroideries, and I love that I can offer such amazing workmanship to my brides. I love creating intricate details in my gowns’ beadings and embroideries that can be explored layer after layer, and much like women, there is often more to discover than what is perceived at first glance.

 

 

Q:  Where do you turn for inspiration?

 Jessica: I find inspiration everywhere- such as in beauty found in unexpected places, in music to set a mood, and in art and fashion illustrations that tell a story. There is beauty everywhere, so inspiration abounds! I admire how French women create timeless yet modern looks that are personalized, seemingly effortless, and oh so chic, which is certainly inspirational in creating for the Alvina bride. I believe a bride should wear a gown that amplifies her inner and outer beauty and expresses her personality and her personal style, so I also think about the brides I meet and about how to create something fresh and modern yet still timeless that they would love. Lately, I find myself thinking of the full spectrum of femininity, and beyond the idea of a fixed girlish beauty. I find intriguing how differing and multi-faceted aspects combine to create a woman’s individual allure- as she grows, she comes into her unique power more and more and learns to own it. Musing about the distinctive stories of brides in this way, combined with the practical questions of season, venue, ceremony and reception possibilities, also contribute to a gown’s inspiration.

 

 

Q: If you could dress anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Jessica: I would love to dress Mia Wasikowska; she seems lovely, grounded, thoughtful and unique, and possessing a true grace and presence.

Q: If you weren’t a JLM Couture wedding gown designer, what would you be?

Jessica: Before I studied fashion design, I earned a Bachelor’s degree studying political theory and Japanese language, including a semester abroad in Japan. Had I continued down a certain path from that time of my life, I might have sought entry to the foreign service and a life in diplomacy. However, if I were to choose another venture now, I would prefer not to stray too far from the creative- if not designing, than perhaps creating a ready-to-wear accessory and lifestyle retail store and having fun curating pieces and looks from around the world and from other designers (and maybe throwing a few of my own in, as well!)

Q: Words to live by:

Jessica: I think Yves Saint Laurent said it best:  ”Fashion fades, style is eternal.”