Monday, October 28, 2013

The Couture Collective #12 Karen Willis Holmes

Meet Karen Willis Holmes, Queensland wedding gown designer ...

Karen Willis Holmes
Label: Karen Willis Holmes
Bride: Venessa
Photography: Studio Impressions

Romantic details including a delicate lace cape, feminine fishtail silhouette and jewelled belt helped create a perfect match for bride Venessa in this Karen Willis Holmes gown. As a ‘couture client’ the bride-to-be was treated to a very collaborative one-on- one where Karen says “the bride can have anything she wants design wise as long as it works technically. 

After years of designing evening wear and working with designers in the UK and Australia, Karen established her brand in Sydney in 2000, launching a Demi Couture Collection in 2004, followed by a Melbourne store soon after and a Brisbane store in 2011 to the delight of local brides. Karen is currently committed to taking the label global, attending her first New York showing earlier this year and focusing on US and UK as secondary markets. 

How does this bride’s gown embody your label’s aesthetic?
Venessa’s gown is the embodiment of the brands aesthetic - it is a balanced combination of a fitted fishtail corset silhouette layered with soft and feminine fabrics such as lace and tulle. It is the brand’s ability to subtly mix these elements - those of the traditional and modern that has been its great success 

Are there any key trends which you have featured in the gown’s design?
In terms of silhouette the gown’s fishtail shape is very much on trend but also the fabric and of course the lace used is also key trend elements in bridal, not just currently but in general. 

What kind of wedding was it designed to suit?
An elegant wedding - one that was family and friends orientated, and a great celebration of Venessa and Matthew’s love.

This gown was inspired by ...
With the nature of a couture gown it is a very collaborative process so I draw a lot of inspiration from the bride. At the first meeting, the design consultation, this is my opportunity to get an understanding of the bride - who she is, her personality, her ideas and thoughts not only about the wedding gown but the wedding in general including the location and theme ... once I get an understanding of the bride I will draw on elements from my own collections and a silhouette I think will work for the bride. 

As a designer are you meticulously organised, a chaotic creative or a free-thinker?
I have to say I am a mix ... as the owner and creative director of Karen Willis Holmes  I wear many ‘hats’ so to speak. When I am designing I am a ‘chaotic creative’ and captivated in the design process. On the other hand when I am focused on the business side of the brand I take a more structured and organised approach as there is so much detail and work involved.

Your best advice to girls looking for their dream gown?
This may sound corny but is oh so true! – stay true to yourself, your personality and your tastes. This can be said for all areas of your wedding from the invitations, décor and the cake. Choose a gown that you not only love but is a perfect representation of who you are. 

Get to know Karen Willis Holmes
In person
Shop 5/2 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064
Phone 07 3368 2216

Over the web

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