Archive for the ‘wedding gown’ Category

Royal wedding gown revealed

April 29th, 2011

Kate Middleton brought back the long-absent matrimonial veil and train.

The monthslong speculation over just what Kate Middleton’s wedding gown would look like ended last night, with the newly minted royal wearing a gown designed by Alexander McQueen successor Sarah Burton.

Fashion writer Robin Givhan reported in The Daily Beast: “The Alexander McQueen wedding dress that Kate Middleton wore to marry Prince William was a glorious sweep of ivory and white silk gazar with hand-embroidered English and French Chantilly lace and 58 organza-covered buttons snaking up the back. It had a discreet v-neck, long lace sleeves and a train that measured nearly nine feet long. Middleton’s slender waistline was emphasized by the gown’s narrow bodice and slight padding at the hips—a nod to Victorian style. It was a dignified acknowledgement of Arts and Crafts tradition but bore the streamlined, body-enhancing silhouette of contemporary fashion.”

Earlier in the week I had asked bridal boutique owners Gladys Agsalud of Casablanca Bridal, and Cecilia Domingo of The Bridal Boutique what they imagined her gown would look like, and they nailed it, with an eye on tradition, fine fabric and elegance that speaks to Kate’s personal style.

Grace Kelly’s 1956 gown.

They spoke of the return to tradition and the retro glamour of Grace Kelly’s marriage to Prince Ranier of Monaco in 1956. Her sense of style has long been evident, such that way back in December, when speculation began and designers started coming up with their own illustrations as to what they would design for Kate, I posted that I liked Monique Lhullier’s vision best: simple, streamlined, elegant, with a close fitting lace bodice.

Casablanca carries Lhullier’s gowns and I chose one for the styling in HI Luxury’s latest issue, in a session called “Happily Ever After,” paying homage to the royal wedding. Yet, I have to admit when I saw the gown, I was a bit disappointed, just because there was nothing beyond what fashion watchers were already expecting.

I think any fashion observer would have hoped for tradition combined with a bit of an edge, something a little more ground-breaking. Given all the speculation and excitement leading up to the event, I just wanted a little more dazzle worthy of the international stage. Givhan said as much when she wrote: “It was the most beautiful dress that was destined, doomed to be a disappointment—if only because so much was expected of it.”

But the morning after, the photos look beautiful, and true-to-form, Kate showed herself to be a sensible, tasteful, understated young woman, and that should suit her well as she makes her life in the public eye. Perhaps she’s sending a message that she doesn’t need to be a fashion icon if to be such detracts from William’s more important agendas. As an anti-Diana, she may be just what the troubled monarchy needs right now.

What was interesting is that the bridal owners said that a celebrity wedding always sends brides clamoring for the latest trend, and now, they’ll all want to look like Kate, reversing a seven-year trend in informal strapless gowns and toward traditional lace and veils. You would think that on her big day, a bride would want to be unique and true to her own personality and aesthetic on her day, but, like all most of fashion, trends and imitation rule. I always wanted a 1920s style flapper dress for my own wedding!

Passport to fashion and food

March 31st, 2011

Meg by Design photo

Models in Meg by Design beach bridal dresses.

It was a busy Friday night, March 25 at Ala Moana Center, where I  found out two hours is not a lot of time to cover the 19 stores taking part in “Passport to Luxury,” a shopping and dining tour of luxury boutiques that actually runs four hours, but I had to cut my time short to take in the Meg by Design fashion show at the Hawaii Fashion Incubator’s Pop-up Incubator.

A newcomer to Hawaii’s fashion scene, designer Michelle Douglas’s carefree visions in white were a hit at the Hifi boutique. You can read more about her in the paper today.

I was so tired though, after a week of shows, in which I took a break only on Wednesday to go eat for my column, that while I was videotaping the show, I got into the reverse record-stop record mode, so missed taping half the show! Thankfully, the missing garments are shown in the photo Michelle sent over, above.

Designer Michelle Douglas with one of her models in a beach bridal dress.


Escada store manager Jane Moon welcomed Kaimi Judd and Malika Dudley to the boutique during Passport to Luxury.

Prior to the Meg by Design fashion show, I made it to about six or seven of the boutiques participating in Passport to Luxury, which turns out to be as much about food as fashion.

Chef Mavro was at Tiffany serving up nairagi poisson cru; pistachio, grape and Big Island goat cheese balls; and Hawaiian espresso brownies. Foodie Alain Gayot of, the guide to restaurants and travel was there to enjoy the event, but said he wasn’t working, I somehow doubted that. Even when I’m not working, those involved in writing, food and fashion lifestyles are working in terms of observing, remembering and being inspired.

Meanwhile, those wandering into Dior enjoyed mini sandwiches from Alan Wong, at Jimmy Choo there was Big Island Kobe pastrami on herbed foccaccia from Tangö’s Goran Streng, and at Salvatore Ferragamo there were mini ahi pizzas with a bit of anchovy sauce. Yum!

Guests were also able to bid on silent auction items at the various boutiques, and have their “passports” stamped and entered into a prize drawing.

Wish I could have stayed longer, but had to move on.

At Jimmy Choo, Salon Chérie owner Anri Bui was offering nail polish application, with the help of Mariko Matui, left, and Maria Todo. Below is a closeup of Maria’s nail art.

At Chanel, there were makeup color consultations and applications.

At Dior, Teri Kamezawa shows one of the new purses that can be used as a shoulder bag, messenger or handled tote.

A limited edition Dior purse, at about $3,000, was made even more collectible with John Galliano’s sudden ouster from the company because the inside of the purse bears his signature.

Chef Mavro was at Tiffany serving up his nairagi poisson cru (below). With him are his wife Donna Jung and Alain Gayot of