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.

Marisa Baratelli Trunk Show for Mothers of the Event!

Trunk Show Featuring Mother-of-the-Bride and Mother-of-the-Groom Designs by Marisa Baratelli

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.

For a quarter century, Madeleine Cranfill, CEO and founder of Marisa Baratelli, has paid tribute to the ancient artisanal craft of Thai silk weaving by maintaining the purity of the traditional village methods in the design of timeless women’s fashion.

Marisa Baratelli- Mother of the

Photo Credit: www.marisabaratelli.com

Cranfill felt called upon to uphold the traditions of Thai silk production when she first visited the country three decades ago. She was inspired by the time and dedication each piece of silk required. With her intuitive sense of style combined with a talent for working with color, Cranfill designed her first line of evening separates for a private clientele in Southern California. In just a few years, Marisa Baratelli became one of the top Thai silk fashion companies globally, expanding with a successful line of custom-order blouses and jackets offered in a full range of colors, prints, and plaids, giving the customer a hand at their own color creative impulse and needs. Within each of the 50 collections, you will find luminescent colors that demand attention, create elegant drama, and define glamour.

Marisa Baratelli’s fall 2014 line features special occasion dresses, gowns, and separates in deep jewel tones, classic black, and vibrant prints. Several pieces feature their new hand-embroidered prism effect that adds a unique beauty and interest to each piece.

Don’t let your special occasion creep up on you; visit one of Nitsa’s Marisa Baratelli fall 2014 trunk shows for the perfect match!

 

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.

10 Ideas for Something Blue…

Something Borrowed, Something Blue…

It’s a tradition for brides to wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” as a good luck charm on their wedding day. But often the “something blue” is the trickiest part of this tradition.

Here are 10 creative and modern ideas of how you can incorporate something blue into your special wedding day attire:

 

  1. Nail polish — Choose a pretty shade of blue for your pre-wedding manicure or paint your toenails in a daring shade of sapphire.
  2. Undergarments — Choose blue lacy undies or opt for a pair with fun sayings on them, like “I Do” or “Mrs.” or chose a blue garter belt. Just make sure the blue hue does not show through your white dress!
  3. Shoes – Give new meaning to “blue suede shoes” and wear a blue pair under your gown.
  4. Flowers — An easy way to incorporate the color blue is to include a few blue flowers such as irises, delphinium, cornflower, hydrangea, grape hyacinth, tweedia or forget-me-nots in your bouquet.
  5. Ribbon — Wrap your bouquet, enhance your hairstyle, or bustle your wedding dress with blue satin ribbon.
  6. Jewelry — Choose sapphires or other blue gems for your wedding jewelry.
  7. Bedazzle your shoes — Add blue rhinestone appliques to the bottom of your shoes, spelling out “I Do” or your initials, or anything else you want. When you kneel down during the ceremony, everyone will see your fun accessory!
  8. Monogram — Have a blue monogram with your initials and wedding date sewn into the inside of your dress.
  9. Bridesmaids — Why not dress your bridesmaids in beautiful blues?
  10. Wedding dress — Be bold and wear a trendy blue wedding gown. From barely tinted to deep navy, it’s possible to find grand ball gowns in every shade blue.

 

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.

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

Designer Spotlight: Amsale

Ethiopian-born American designer, Amsale Aberra was born in 1954 and is known for her couture wedding gowns. Her entre into bridal fashion began in 1985 with her own wedding: when she couldn’t find a simple, yet refined gown to wear herself. So the FIT graduate began making custom bridal gowns in her NYC loft. According to her website, the gowns “fused pure, archetypal silhouettes with couture craftsmanship and sumptuous textiles.”

Today Amsale is one of the most recognizable names in the bridal business, and her gowns are still crafted and displayed in New York City. While you can purchase her gowns at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and other fine bridal boutiques across the nation, the Amsale flagship store makes its home on Madison Avenue. Her style, easily recognized, is marked by both “exquisite simplicity and luxurious restraint.”

Beyond her namesake brand, Amsale founded the Amsale Group with Neil Brown. The group is comprised of three distinct, yet complementary luxury bridal collections: Amsale, Christos, and Kenneth Pool. The group also includes the Amsale Bridesmaid Collection. Each of these impeccable collections can be found at the flagship store on Madison Avenue and other fine boutique retailers—including Nitsa’s Bridal—across this country and over 20 other countries.

Amsale gowns have been worn by numerous celebrities, including Halle Berry, Selma Hayak, and Julie Roberts, just to name a few. Celebrities that married in Amsale include Sara Rue, Lisa Loeb, and Bethany Frankel, among others. In 2011, WE TV did a reality series called “Amsale Girls” offering a behind-the-scenes peek at the Amsale boutique. The Amsale mission: “I want a bride to be thrilled with her wedding-day look for years to come because her dress has a timeless beauty that reflects her true essence,” Amsale says.

Photo Source: marthastewartweddings.com

What to Expect From Your First Wedding Dress Fitting

While you’ll likely go to several dress fittings over the course of your wedding dress alterations, none will be so important as the very first. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re prepared for your initial appointment with your seamstress, and how to navigate it with ease.

When and Where

The first fitting usually takes place at your seamstress’ shop, of course, and six to eight weeks before your wedding date. The average bride will have three fittings over the course of the dress alterations, while a bride that just needs a simple size adjustment may need fewer, and a bride looking to create her own look from the dress she already has will likely need several more. Use this timeline as a guideline, but also be aware of what it is you want your seamstress to accomplish, and give her enough time to make your dream dress happen.

What and Who to Bring

Even though it’s your first—especially because it’s your first—you should bring every accessory you plan on wearing on your big day with you to your initial fitting. Both your undergarments and your shoes will affect the way the dress fits and falls, so you want to be sure those factors are added in from the get-go, while your other accessories—jewelry, veils, or headpieces, belts or sashes —will all inform the overall look of your wedding dress and, therefore, should be present at the fitting to help you and the seamstress envision the final look. Also, don’t be afraid to bring along a second set of trusted eyes.This can be an overwhelming process, so having someone you trust, like your mom or maid of honor, along to help you navigate the first fitting is a great idea.

How and Why

Many boutiques, like Nitsa’s, offer alterations in-house to brides that purchase their dresses from their store—making finding a seamstress a no-brainer. However, if you order a dress online or buy from a discount or small boutique, you’re often on your own when it comes to finding a local seamstress. How can you find a reputable alterations place? Check online wedding websites and look up the reviews. See what other brides experience and make an informed decision from them, or ask friends who have married in your area who they trusted their dream dress to. Reviews and recommendations are crucial when it comes to picking just the right lady (or gent) for this job.

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Mother of the Groom Duties

What does the mother of the groom do?

Traditionally, mothers of brides shoulder most of the wedding-planning responsibilities. But these days, the bride and groom’s families are taking on more of a shared role in both paying and planning. This makes it a bit harder to know exactly where your place is, but despite the shift in responsibilities, there are still a few that will never go out of style for the mother of the groom. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Planning and hosting the rehearsal dinner with the groom’s dad.
  • Dancing with the groom for the mother/son dance at the reception.
  • Consulting with the bride’s mom on your ensemble to ensure you’re not wearing something similar.
  • Attending the bridal shower and buying a gift for the bride and groom.
  • Crafting a guest list for the reception after the couple shares how many people you’ll be able to invite.

In addition to these traditional responsibilities, mothers of grooms may be asked to become a little more involved in the planning process. A few things you may be asked to do, or you could offer to do if you’d like to be more involved, are the following:

  • Offer to serve as the main contact for wedding vendors. This is especially important if the bride doesn’t have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, and is a great way to make an impactful contribution to the wedding day, allowing both the bride and her mother to be blissfully unaware of all the questions and concerns and fully enjoy the day.
  • Offer to help scout ceremony and reception sites based on what the bride is looking for aesthetically. Compiling a list that includes the best of the best will really help the bride narrow down all her choices. Just be wary not to overstep; it’s a definite possibility that the bride may not love the same venue you do, and though you put in a lot of ground work, it’s ultimately her decision.
  • Offer to host a dinner to introduce the bride’s family to yours. This is a great way to get to know each other before the big day, and will make working together closely on a lot of these big decisions much easier in the long run.