Monday, January 14, 2008

Weekend Update and The Start of Something New

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as much as I did. As promised, I attended the Hampton Roads Magazine bridal show on Sunday afternoon and I had a wonderful time. There were tons of great vendors in attendance and lots of great products to sample. Naturally, I was in full mogul mode and networked until my Chloe bag was overflowing with business cards and my little hand was worn out from shaking. The festivities were definitely worth the trip down. Now, on to the something new...

Conde Nast Traveller is one of my favorite magazines and after participating in their annual Gold List survey on the world's best hotels, I realized the idea of highlighting the best vendors and service providers in this industry would be perfect for this blog. While the magazine's focus is international, in the beginning I will bring to you local vendors who truly stand out from the rest of the marketplace. Most of these creative talents I have either worked with previously or attended private events they've been a part of.

Introducing uber-stylist, Celena Gill of Style DC. You definitely want to enlist Celena's expertise not only when deciding which dress to choose for your big day but how to present a strong, stylish image in all areas of your life. In between styling movie sets, fashion photoshoots and her private clients, Celena was gracious enough to give me a few moments of her time and share her thoughts with my readers.

Please tell us a bit about your services and how you got started in the industry.

As a professional image consultant, I style, develop, and coach my clients in
creating a visual image that aligns with their personal and professional goals.
Through my trademarked Phase to Style program, I guide my clients from start to finish in creating, transforming, or upgrading their image. I also provide wardrobe styling for special events, editorial photoshoots, and television/film productions. In addition, I provide corporate seminars about image, business etiquette, and social etiquette. I have always had an interest in fashion and style, but didn't pursue it until my second year of law school. At that point in my life, I decided that if I was going to spend a lifetime in a certain career, I might as well enjoy it to the fullest. I underwent training, reached to my contacts, developed a website and a blog, printed some business cards, and told anyone who would listen that I was an image consultant. Soon after, I was working with clients and my business is growing day by day! For more information, check out

What's the most important thing a bride-to-be should know about finding the right gown?
A bride to be needs to keep a few things in mind when looking for the perfect gown, but I rank these among my top 3:
A. The style of dress that suits her own personal style, body shape, and setting (of the wedding, i. e. beach vs. church vs. backyard)
B. Silhouette of the dress should be the most flattering to the bride's shape, i.e. A-line, ball gown, sheath, mermaid, empire waist
C. Fabric and color
The fabric of a bride's dress is usually determined by the season. Spring and
summer weddings dictate lighter, cooler fabrics (for example, silk, chiffon, satin, linens), while fall and winter weddings dictate heavier fabrics (think brocades,wools, even denim). Although a white gown is the traditional western custom (started by Queen Victoria when she choose to wear a white dress instead of a silver one; prior to this historical occasion, brides simply wore their best dresses), there is no mandate that brides must wear a white dress. Brides can wear any color of their choosing: red, yellow, lavender, pink, peach, green, etc. Many brides choose an off-white, ivory, or cream color because it is softer than white and easier to survive a dry cleaning disaster (imagine sending your white dress to the cleaners only to have it returned as an ivory one?)

What styles are best suited for mothers of the bride and groom?
Should they wear the same colors as the wedding party? What would you consider off limits?

Dresses for the mothers should be selected according to the theme, colors, and style of the wedding. Most mothers want to be elegant and beautiful on this special day. I suggest the bride go shopping with the mothers to ensure that the dress meets all of the requirements above AND is suited to the mothers' body types. Just like bridesmaids’ dresses, their dresses should fit properly and match the wedding's theme. Traditionally, the mothers' dresses usually match the colors of the wedding party, but if the bride and mother(s) agree to a different color, it is perfectly acceptable. I would consider experimental designs or dresses off limits. Also, overly revealing or ill fitting clothing should be completely avoided. Remember, the bride should always be the center of attention at her wedding. I would encourage brides to be in complete communication with the mothers to ensure no wardrobe malfunctions.

What are some of your favorite designer looks for the Spring/Summer 2008 season?

Vera Wang (a wedding mainstay), Reem Accra and J. Crew

What suggestions would you make for the groom who wants something different for his suit other than tie/cumber bund/vest option? How can he spice things up a bit?

I would suggest that if the groom doesn't opt for a tux, he could wear a 3 piece
suit as an alternative if he wants to remain in the traditional realm. He could
also do a linen shirt and pants set for an ultra casual look or go tieless suit look
if he doesn't want to be too bold.

If he wants to spice it up, do it with accessories: ornate cuff links, pendants,
pocket squares, bold ties, shoes (for some odd reason, snakeskin boots come to
mind!) and even hats (fedoras, news boy caps, top hats, etc.) If the bride and groom are having a destination wedding or a wedding with a special theme, the groom could be a little more experimental.

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