NK Bride at "Say I Do" LGBT Wedding Expo

I named the first collection I presented in New York, "The password is Love." It is my way to look at life. I believe you have to love who you are, love what you do, and love what you wear.

Love is the essence of marriage. It knows no boundaries and it is inclusive of all. To me, a wedding is the celebration of LOVE.

The Supreme Court’s decision last June to make same-sex marriage a right nationwide was a BIG win for the LGBT community and a BIG win for LOVE. I happened to be in LA working on a photo shoot when the announcement was made. That night we all went out to celebrate in West Hollywood – it was a big street party that lasted till the morning.

I was so excited for all my friends who finally had their right to spend the rest of their lives with the person they love.

I grew up in Washington, DC, and this past summer I had the chance take my parents to the "Say I Do!” LGBT Wedding Expo in Washington, DC. It was a such pleasure! I love going to bridal expos because it feels like a big wedding celebration. There is music, food, drinks, and always a beautiful display. It is really fun!

 

Photos by: CYork Photography

It was my first LGBT couples wedding event and I was so happy to be there. I loved to see that big companies, like Bloomingdales Bridal Salon, were there in support of LGBT, but my favorite new vendor was a wedding jewelry company from NYC. The line is called Rony Tennenbaum, named after the designer, and I absolutely fell in love with their esthetics and the whole feel of their company. It is modern and classic, and to make it even better, their work is 100% made in USA.

As a bridal designer I want to support, share the experience, and promote equality between local businesses and the LGBT community. What excites me is the possibility of creating custom wedding pieces that reflect each couple’s personality and individuality and celebrate their love!


NK Bride at Manus X Machina... The Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of the best things about living in New York is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has been an incredible source of inspiration and information for me since I first moved here. Every year they have a special fashion exhibit starting with the opening ceremony known as the MET Gala. I am always amazed by the spectacular presentations. 

 This year the exhibit is called Manus X Machina. It explores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. With more than 170 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present, the exhibition addresses the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production. It explores this ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and questions the relationship and distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear.”

Opening Piece- Karl Lagerfeld for House of Chanel -- Wedding Ensemble -- Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Haute Couture

I tried to pick only my favorites to share with you but it has been hard to choose just a few… From Karl Lagerfeld to original Coco Chanels, Valentino, Givenchy,  to one of my favorite dresses of all times- the Dior scalloped evening dress circa fall/winter 1949–1950.

“This extraordinary ball gown by Christian Dior, of gray silk tulle, arrayed with an overlay of scallop-shaped petals The bodice and shell forms of its skirt are embellished with nacreous paillettes and sequins, iridescent seed beads, aurora-borealis crystals, and pearls. Dior is best known for his revival of the wasp-waisted silhouette seen here. His celebrated first collection of 1947 was dubbed the "New Look" by the influential American editor Carmel Snow, because the corseted, full-bosomed, and hourglass shaping had not been seen for decades. In fact, the "New Look" was an old look revived. After the deprivations of World War II, Dior believed that the survival of the haute couture relied on its ability to restore fantasy and luxury to women's wardrobes. The fragile effects of this gown, which merges Second Empire romanticism with the classical iconography of ideal and eternal beauty, recall Dior's belief that "fashion comes from a dream."

NK Bride Manus X MachinaIMG_20160709_181832.jpg

House of Givenchy

3-D Printed Designs by Treeasfour andIrene Van Herpen

The Process: Coming Up With The Design

When creating a custom bridal dress, you have the opportunity to make anything you want – anything you can imagine. I know this is kind of self-explanatory, but when planning a wedding we often think about finding the perfect dress first, and then the rest of the wedding theme is dictated by its design. But what we often don't think of is that when you make a custom bridal gown it can be created to match your vision. The place of your wedding or the flowers you are going to have or any other details can be used as the inspiration for the dress.

I would like to share the story of one of my favorite dresses because it illustrates this part of the process so well. When I met Angela about five years ago, all she knew was that she wanted a gown. So I sat down with her and we went through a few of her favorite outfits so I could get to know her style. She also shared that she was planning to get married in the garden of the Science Museum in Richmond, VA. She related to me that when you walk through the grounds you are surrounded by butterflies.

I thought that was going to be such a magical setting for a summer wedding. I knew that it would have to play a part in my design. Angela also shared with me that the signature color she had picked for her wedding was the iconic Tiffany blue. At the end of our meeting Angela said she loved the clothes she had seen on my website and my style and gave me complete freedom to come up with anything I could imagine.

I knew I had incorporate both the garden and the fact that she was using Tiffany Blue. I wanted to create something that brought both of these ideas together…

When I presented my sketches a few weeks later, I told her to imagine the following:

The small Tiffany boxes walking down the aisle first. Cute little bridesmaids’ dresses made out Tiffany blue taffeta and wrapped-up and finished with the iconic white satin bow. One by one they would come down. And then, after you opened the box, the crown jewel comes – Angela sparkling in her beautiful wedding gown. The butterfly design flapping its wings as she moves forward. Sheer silk organza topped with tiny but immensely shiny small Swarovski hand-sewn crystals wrapped around her body over a very fluid, almost liquid silk satin…

 Later on Angela changed her wedding venue to Glen Garden, VA but nonetheless the inspiration for the dress was still the same....

The Re-Cut

Creating a custom wedding dress doesn’t always mean you have to start from scratch. When Liz came in for her first consultation she had already purchased a lovely gown. It was beautiful cotton lace overlaying a tan (nude) lining. It was stunning but it didn't fit her at all. The proportions were so far from her body that the lace design over the bust sat almost at her waistline, making her look “saggy,” for lack of a better word. It was not flattering, to say the least. I’ve altered many wedding dresses in the past but I knew this one was going to need more than alterations.

As we examined everything more closely we came to the conclusion that we would basically need to take the whole dress apart and start over. I had to re-cut the entire bodice, neckline, and sleeves, creating a whole new top, as well as reshape the skirt to fit with it. Working on lace has many challenges, as it is so fine and delicate that it can only be sewn once on a machine. Everything has to first be hand-basted for a final fitting. In the process a beautiful new design came to life, where the lace shaped her body and giving her a true waistline.

After we were done, I asked Liz if she wanted me to sew the original tag back on the dress. She replied, “Honestly, YOU are the one that made my dress, so no…” That was one of the sweetest and most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had in making a gown. Moments like that are the reason why I love doing this so much…

Liz and Simon got married last summer at the “Burlap and Beams” in the Adirondacks. Their pictures are so magnificent and special – I just had to share them with you. I also wanted to post the story behind this particular dress because it is different than the dresses I have made in the past.

NK Bride at Toasted Brooklyn

Recently, I had the honor to participate in a wonderful wedding event called “Toasted,” which is held at the historical event space – the Warsaw – here in Brooklyn. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon filled with joy and excitement.

I had a wonderful time preparing my booth, particularly since one of my brides – Hannah – was so nice and allowed me to showcase her dress. As fate would have it, the table I was assigned was right in front of a big wall mirror, which made the dress look especially magnificent!

The variety of vendors made the atmosphere so much fun for everyone present – it was incredible. In addition to cocktails, there were many local catering and cake companies offering tastings of their delicious creations to the sounds of the DJ. A hair stylist team was braiding hair on the spot; a make-up company was giving make-overs; and there was a super amusing Kodak photo booth where couples could pose with different artifacts and get instant Polaroids to take home as a souvenirs.

I was really inspired as I met so many brides and their fiancés. I really enjoyed talking to everyone and I strongly recommend this event for any couple in the future.

Here are some photos…