Austin Scarlett Bridal Trunk Show

Charlotte residents can see the newest bridal designs from renowned bridal designer Austin Scarlett at a trunk show at Nitsa’s Charlotte location on Sept. 26-27.

Austin Scarlett is a New York designer whose work spans the realms of fashion, theatre, and pop culture. Recognized for his personally glamorous style almost as much as the breathtaking couture fashions he creates, the world of Austin Scarlett is an enchanted combination of grace and romance.

In the Fall of 2012, Austin launched his first complete gown collection under his own label, debuting his signature line at Neiman Marcus’ Flagship store in Dallas, Texas. His collection walked the runway that fall at his inaugural fashion show at New York’s historic Park Avenue Armory. Scarlett says, “A wedding dress is the expression of a woman’s unique beauty at her most treasured moment. I am overjoyed at last to be able to fulfill the dreams of all my beautiful brides!”

Austin Scarlett Bridal Gown

Image from AustinScarlett.com

Austin uses exquisite fabrics including supple satins, sculptural silk failles and mikados, crisp taffetas, flowing chiffons, floating organzas, and ethereal tulle illusions in his bridal designs. The sewing of Austin’s dresses begins only once every detail has been fine-tuned. Every gown is made to order, one by one. Strapless dresses each include a built in corset or bustier, where each and every curve of the wearer’s figure is molded to create a flattering, streamlined contour and feeling of embracing support that can only be achieved through a meticulously structured foundation.

Upon its foundation, the dress is arranged and stitched using a combination of techniques such as French seams, hand stitched drapings, applique, and steam molding.

Inside and out, Austin’s designs display the beauty and technical perfection that is the art of couture.

Five Ideas for the Modern Mother of the Bride

The mother of the bride no longer means frumpy dresses or modest suits. Today’s modern moms want to look up-to-date and elegant, and many retailers and high-fashion designers are now catering to the mother of the bride.

Here are five ideas for mothers of the bride to keep in mind when selecting their outfits for their daughter’s big day:

Consider the location and style of wedding

Is the bride getting married in a traditional church, a hotel, or outdoors? Will it be a formal or more casual affair? Also, think about the time of year—will it be hot or cold? A knee-length, sleeveless dress with a little jacket for a church wedding is appropriate, while it would be fine to wear sleeveless for an outdoor wedding in the spring or summer or a full-length gown for a more formal event.

Consider your color scheme

Avoid the obvious white or ivory, which is reserved for the bride. Choose a color that complements the wedding theme and wedding party attire but without matching the bridesmaids. You may also want to check to see what the mother of the groom will be wearing to avoid any clashes or worse, showing up in the same dress! Mother of the Bride Wedding Fashion

Focus on fit

Whatever style and color you choose, fit and comfort are the most important. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable in a shorter dress that rides up or in something that veers too far from your usual style. If you don’t normally wear sky-high heels, avoid them at all costs!

Look for length

Be sure to take the length of the dress into consideration.The style that flatters most figures sits mid-calf, unless you are petite, then a knee-length dress would be a good alternative.

Have fun with accessories

Think about jewelry, shoes, and handbags—all things that can help make your outfit unique. Use these as statement pieces. Add a pop of color with an accessory, especially if you choose a neutral or black dress.

Mark your calendars for two upcoming trunk shows in September at both Nitsa’s locations featuring Marisa Baratelli for mother of the bride and mother of the groom. Join us at our Charlotte location on Sept. 18-22 or at our Winston-Salem location on Sept. 24-27 to see the latest styles in Marisa Baratelli’s trademark luxurious Thai silk.

Game Day Style

In the South, game day is more celebrated than any other event, and dressing up for tailgate is a tradition. Tailgating in the South is very different than anywhere else in the country—nowhere else will you find women sporting their Sunday best and men in button-down shirts and bowties.

College football season is well underway, and whether you’re a collegiate rooting for your school or an alum headed back to your alma mater, here are a few game day style ideas to show your school spirit while still staying chic at the event:

Keep the forecast in mind. In the South, summer can extend far into the fall, so it’s best to pick lightweight fabrics for your game day outfit and rely on layers if the weather gets chillier. Think lightweight sweaters, cardigans, and scarves. You can choose these in team colors to show your team spirit.

Dress it up. Many women at Southern colleges treat football games and tailgating like a fashion show and enjoy dressing up for the occasion. One idea is to wear a pretty A-line dress in one of your team’s colors. Accessorize with a cardigan and belt or a statement necklace.

Show your spirit. Scarves come in all collegiate colors and are an easy and chic way to work some school spirit into your outfit.

Game Day Style

Kick it up a notch. When the weather gets cooler, a great pair of cowboy boots are a staple for women on game day in the South. One of the most common looks you’ll see at football games at Southern colleges are women in mini-dresses paired with cowboy boots. Plus, they are great for the long walks from the parking lots to the stadium over wet or muddy fields.

Mix it up. You can still make team jerseys look stylish. Pair a fitted football shirt with skinny jeans, a long open cardigan sweater, and cowboy boots.

Comfort is key. No matter whether you choose a dress or jeans, keep comfort in mind. You’ll be in this outfit all day from the tailgate party to the game (and maybe to after parties!), so wear something you will be comfortable in. Football games aren’t the time to test out your new stilettos!

Go team!

Let’s Talk: Interview with Charles Bunstine

An Interview with Charles Bunstine

Nitsa’s: What was your inspiration for your newest collection?

Charles: It is indeed rare for me that these collections developed over months of moments of inspiration ever emanating from a single point. This is our forty-first collection. Anna Maier trunk showWhile I appreciate all the work and ideas of the past, I can’t consider them without wanting them to be better and their point of view to be more fresh.

The reality of this work is that my inspiration comes from a constant stream of input. Depending upon the blend and timing, things become points of light that focus my attention, and I fold them into the volume of work that constitutes the brand.

Working with lace these past years, I have learned more and have better appreciated the art and craftsmanship that I discover in our mills. While their product possesses its own unique beauty, it is bound within its small frame and repeat. We deconstruct it to its beautiful elements and refabricate them to embolden line and drama. We give this dimensionally flat product additional dimensions and introduce air and movement. We mix it amongst the colors that we layer it upon or under. We highlight it; we drape it to give it life.

We have a history of use of rare lace in very individual ways; here, we hope to continue and improve.

With this work, my mind couldn’t escape the luxurious lines of forties Hollywood. Whether soft or hard, they were forever fluid and elegant. This sense is a constant through our work with duchess satin, four-ply silk, silk charmeuse, superfine wool crepe, garza, and lace.  Lengthening the line and making it more angular was a sincere effort in this work.

Nitsa’s: Do you have a gown that is your favorite or one you are absolutely in love with?

Charles: I never have favorite pieces of work. Some I believe I executed better than others, but they are all expressions of individual ideas or moods. They are designed and developed with a client in mind. Favorite might be best replaced with the idea of successful . . . successful is when my vision of the design marries perfectly to the client for whom we make it. I can design the garment, but only with the client can I experience this magic.

Anna Maier Gowns

Nitsa’s: Do you see a geographical distinction between bridal styles worn in the south versus in the north?

Charles: In the United States, for the most part, our population has lost its regional specificity. With so much relocation and population shifts, culture and character that was historically rooted in region has faded to a great degree. It is wonderful when a client enriches her view of fashion with this dimension of history and culture, but it is now more the exception than the rule.

Nitsa’s: What is the best part about designing bridal?

Charles: I don’t start off thinking of designing a wedding gown; I think of designing a beautiful gown that complements my client. The best part of how I am able to do it is afforded by our couture make. Whatever I dream up, we can make for every client as I dreamed it. As we make each gown for each client to her measurements, I can make sure that the design finds the lines of her body, and through that collaboration the design is a success.

Recognizing that I am designing a gown for a feeling imagined, not just such an important event, defines the discipline I must employ in defining the design and perfecting it.  Designing for such an event allows and requires a higher level of drama and execution.  Basically, eliminating color from design which is key to nearly all other design increases the challenge.

Finding success in this demanding environment is satisfying, and the best part is when I satisfy a client’s imagination.

Nitsa’s: When coming to trunk shows, what is your favorite part when meeting with a bride?

Charles: I am always nervous.

Brides show me consideration for being there, but I doubt most understand that I am simply there to show them my work and, should they like it, begin a relationship with them to satisfy their dream of how they would feel on their wedding day.

When someone selects my work, I then begin my work for them. While they buy my work through a retailer, I am dedicated to delivering to them their imagination to the absolute full extent of my company’s capability. For the majority of clients, they don’t get to experience the fit or finish of the gown in the sample they select the gown from.  My favorite part is knowing that we will far exceed the experience they have when they select our work.  I know we will surprise them with our dedication to design, quality, and fit, and most importantly, them.

Nitsa’s Cares: School Supply Drive

Nitsa's Apparel School Supply DriveIn just a few short weeks, the lazy days of summer will come to an end, and Triad children will be returning to school. Did you know that nearly 7,000 students in Winston-Salem cannot afford the proper school supplies to help them succeed in school? Nitsa’s Apparel wants to help with this crucial need.

Now through Aug. 30, 2014, if you bring in at least $10 worth of new school supplies, you can receive 20% off your purchase at Nitsa’s. With brands like Joe’s Jeans, Lilla P, Gerry Weber, Elliott Lauren, and other designers, you can look like a million bucks without breaking the bank. Nitsa’s also carries a full line of accessories and jewelry to complete your outfits, as well as cosmetics and skin care.

Listed below are some of the school supplies that are needed:

  • Paper
  • Pencils and pens
  • Crayons
  • Markers and highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Erasers
  • Folders, binders, spiral notebooks, tab dividers, and page protectors
  • Kleenex
  • Hand sanitizer

Nitsa’s will donate all school supplies received to Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools. Help these children fill their backpacks while you fill your closet with great deals on the latest styles!

Some restrictions may apply. Nitsa’s Apparel is located next to Five Points restaurant on South Stratford Road in Winston-Salem and is open Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Trunk Show Alert: Anna Maier ~ Ulla-Maija Aug. 15-16

anna maier ulla maija trunk showAnna Maier – Ulla-Maija Trunk Show in Charlotte on Aug. 15 & 16, 2014

Mark your calendar for an Anna Maier – Ulla-Maija Bridal Trunk Show at Nitsa’s Charlotte location on August 15th and 16th. Come and meet designer Charles Bunstine and see their fall 2014 collection. Appointments are suggested; call 704-940-1999 for more information.

About Anna Maier – Ulla-Maija Couture

One of the last true couture bridal houses, Anna Maier artfully crafts wedding gowns that are the ultimate in luxury. The hallmark feature of an Anna Maier gown is extravagance in all aspects of manufacture and design. The collection is recognized for its gorgeous hand draping, luxurious fabrics, and lines that flatter a woman’s body. Each gown is cut specifically to a bride’s measurements—meaning each gown, just like each bride, is truly special and unique.

Charles Bunstine Designer Anna Maier CoutoureMeet the Designer – Charles W. Bunstine II

Anna Maier Couture has been under the direction of Charles W. Bunstine II for more than a decade. The business is the expression and effort of many individuals who are  wholeheartedly committed to the founding premise of couture luxury. Mr. Bunstine has spent his lifetime directing, developing, and contributing to some of the fashion industry’s most notable companies. Mr. Bunstine’s great grandmother and her husband were master tailors who came to the U.S. in 1871 from eastern France. Her creative spirit has endured for more than a century and is now expressed in the collections of Anna Maier Couture.

Take a Sneak Peek at the Collection:

Anna Maier Couture Wedding Dress Collection

Anna Maier Coutour Wedding CollectionAnna Maier Couture Wedding Dress Collection

Let’s Talk: Interview with Austin Scarlett

Austin Scarlett InterviewMissed meeting Austin Scarlett at Nitsa’s? Never fear! This past weekend, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the one and only Austin Scarlett to talk about his new collection! Not only is he super nice, he is also super talented!

Nitsa’s: What was your inspiration for this collection?

Undine Dress by Austin Scarlett

Undine Dress in Austin’s New Collection

Austin: Well, the spring collection was inspired by waterfalls, mountain streams, and rushing water. You can see it definitely reflected in the Undine gown with its waterfall-like train. Undine is actually the name of an ancient water nymph, hence why this dress is named after her. The other dresses in this collection have a lot of soft, flowing fabrics like chiffon. All of the the fabrics sort of flow over the body like water flowing over a woman’s body. We used a lot of fabrics that are really light and fresher for the spring, and we give it some more biased cuts that have a more supple quality to them.

Nitsa’s: I actually noticed the dresses soft and flowing feel when we were taking pictures of the dresses. There is one that is gorgeous, and the fit is very flowing like you said. It reminds me of 1920s and 30s Hollywood, very elegant and sophisticated.

Genvieve Dress Austin Scarlett

Genvieve Dress from Austin Scarlett’s Collection

Austin: I love vintage in fashion. I am always inspired by history of all ages, from the 1800s and the palaces of Versailles to the glamor of the Golden Age of Hollywood. I definitely collect a lot of vintage clothing. I go to the flea market and collect these old pieces—even if they are falling apart because I can still get inspiration from an interesting cut or silhouette, and even from the details.

Nitsa’s: Oh that sounds like a fun thing to do! So, out of this collection, do you have a gown that you are absolutely in love with or a favorite one that you have designed?

Austin: You know, I really honestly believe that every dress comes to life in a different way on each individual woman. For me, it is really about finding the right dress for the bride as it suits her, and then when that is a good combination—then it looks beautiful.

Nitsa’s: That is so true. Do brides and debutantes tend to pick different gowns because of where they are geographically?

Austin: This is my first time in North Carolina with the collection. I am very excited to meet the Charlotte bride and see what her taste is and what she is looking for. There definitely is a difference from region to region. In New York City, there are definitely brides that range from ultra-sophisticated who want everything very simple to the very fashion-y brides who want something very fun and whimsical. I really love designing for all of them. I love the classic gowns, too, and we have a lot of the timeless ball gowns in this collection.

Nitsa’s: Do you like designing gowns for debutantes?

Austin: I love it! Debutantes are so much fun because they are young and excited about the whole experience, and it is not as much pressure as a wedding; it is just a ball.

Nitsa’s: It is a party with no commitment!

Austin: Yeah, exactly! I was actually an escort a couple of years ago, so I just love the whole experience and tradition of it. The dancing, the bow, the white gloves—all of it.

Nitsa’s: The whole event is so extraordinary!

Hyacinth Austin Scarlett

Hyacinth Dress in Austin Scarlett’s Collection

Austin: It is just so romantic and such a big tradition in America, but if you do have the opportunity to do it, I say go for it! It is so much fun!

Nitsa’s: Last question, is there a new style that brides are choosing more often today?

Austin: Lately, the most prominent trend that I have seen around is a lot of back interest, whether it be a low backless gown or even something with a very dramatic train with a simple front.We have a lot of backless dresses in this collection as well as those with a lot of detailing on the back!

For more information about Austin Scarlett’s gowns, please contact us at either the Winston or Charlotte location.

Jewelry Designer Spotlight: Shari Dixon

Shari Dixon Designer SpotlightShari Dixon is a firm believer that women want to feel beautiful, feminine, and strong all at the same time. With her strong graphic design background and her love for all things fashion, she has created a line of jewelry that people have described as both simple and timeless.

When you look up close at Shari Dixon’s jewelry, you might need a minute to take it all in. You can see all the hard work and dedication she has put into every piece through all of the small intricate detailing. That detailing is what really makes Dixon’s collection one-of-a-kind.

Her jewelry includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings. They are made from natural shell and bezel. She presses natural elements and other mixed media into her pieces. By pressing elements such as flowers, leaves, herbs, snakeskin, and feathers, Dixon’s collection becomes the beautiful, strong, and feminine piece she was hoping for. She also seals all of the elements with a poly resin. This preserves their form and adds a beautiful glazing effect that really makes the jewelry pop.

Her handmade designs are paired with daring color choices that make the pieces stand out while using a multitude of natural stones, freshwater pearls, and unique fibers.

Shari Dixon’s jewelry is handmade in the United States and is available at Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem!

Below are some pieces from her collection at the Winston-Salem store:

Shari Dixon JewlreyShari Dixon JewlreyShari Dixon Jewlrey

Austin Scarlett Trunk Show in Charlotte June 20-21

Nitsa’s is excited and honored to announce the special appearance of Austin Scarlett during our Charlotte trunk show on June 20-21. For appointments, please call 704-940-1999.Austin Scarlett

About Austin Scarlett

Austin Scarlett

Since 2005, Austin Scarlett has been living his dream, designing numerous wedding and evening gowns for women. His work is unique and creative and has been described as “magic” by the New York Times. While growing up, he dreamed of one day becoming a fashion designer. Once he was a teenager, he left his small town in Oregon to fulfill his dreams in New York City. After graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology, Scarlett competed on the first season of Project Runway. He showed off his talent on the first challenge, creating a dress made completely out of corn husks. After Project Runway, he became one of the youngest designers in history to be named Creative Director of the Kenneth Poole Bridal Collection.

While he is known for his bridal gowns, Scarlett’s collection is perfect for debutantes! He loves helping debutantes find their breathtaking outfits to make their special day a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This past fall, Scarlett launched his first gown collections under his own label. His collection is available at Neiman Marcus stores and other retailers, including Nitsa’s Apparel.

A Few Pieces From His Collection

First Kiss Dress by Austin ScarlettCora by Austin ScarlettMaris by Austin ScarlettPhoto Credit: NY Daily News, Austin Scarlett Website

This Summer’s Shoe Trends

Like the rest of your wardrobe, some items will last year after year, bucking trends with their classic designs and worn-in, well-loved fit. Still, every season makes old trends new again, and who doesn’t want their wardrobe to be as on-point as possible? As the saying goes: “Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver, the other is gold.” The same is true for shoes, and stocking up on any one of these summer trends will make you a shoe-in for best dressed this season.

Skater Chic

The past few seasons have been filled with comfort-foot staples like TOMs, Keds, and a plethora of their knock-off counterparts. This season, comfort is still in—just with a little more edge. Whether you’re a true-to-life skater chic, or a fashionista who just wants to look skater chic, this slip-on street shoe is perfect in any form. Keep it simple with a traditional colored canvas, or glam it up with some jewels or a metallic hue. Either way, this versatile shoe should find its way into your summer wardrobe.

Pack Mules

It’s true: Mules haven’t been cool since we were in grade school, and even then, with our limited knowledge of fashion, we questioned their style staying power. However, like most mules, these shoes are stubborn and won’t be left behind while all their other questionable counterparts—like jellies and … —are revitalized. This season’s mules receive a youthful make-over with varying heel heights and styles: From fabulous flats to chunky heels to oh-so-suave stilettos, these backless beauties are one-hit-wonders no longer. Two of our favorites? The Gianvito Rossi Open Toe Mule—have you ever seen a slingback so chic?—and the Jeffery Campbell Curie Mules. These metallic wonders nail two trends this season; wearing them you’ll be a shoe-in for best-dressed, wherever you go.

Photo Source: Elle.com