Amsale Bridal Trunk Show at Nitsa’s

Join Nitsa’s for a bridal trunk show featuring Amsale’s spring 2015 collection in our Winston-Salem location on December 19-29 or our Charlotte location on December 31-January 3, 2015.

Photo courtesy of Southern Bride and Groom

Ethiopian-born American bridal designer Amsale Aberra’s career as a couture bridal gown designer began in a very personal way. In 1985, while planning her wedding, Aberra scoured the stores to find a simple, refined wedding dress. She found little in the way of clean, sophisticated gowns and discovered an untapped niche in the bridal market. Aberra placed an advertisement for custom-made gowns and started her business out of her New York City loft apartment.

Today, Aberra is a leading designer in the world of luxury bridal gowns, and her design signatures are instantly recognizable. Her approach is to create stunning, simple gowns that fit the modern woman. Her design philosophy is to take a “forever” modern approach to sophisticated design. Her designs are seen as modern while still keeping in mind traditional designs, such as her use of “illusion” necklines.

Amsale wedding gowns have been featured in several television shows and movies including Grey’s Anatomy, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, 27 Dresses, American Wedding, When in Rome, and The Hangover.  In June 2011, WE television aired Amsale Girls, a reality show taking viewers behind the scenes of Amsale’s Madison Avenue flagship salon—featuring the highly skilled bridal consultants who work to help each unique bride find her perfect dress. Celebrity clients include Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Salma Hayek, Heather Graham, Lisa Kudrow, Katherine Heigl, and Heidi Klum.

Aberra also has a regular column, “Ask Amsale,” on The Huffington Post website where brides and brides-to-be can post questions for her or express their love of her gowns. Aberra expresses her love of finding the perfect gown for any bride and asks real brides to submit photos of themselves wearing her creations on their wedding days to her website.

Call 336-725-1999 in Winston-Salem or 704-940-1999 in Charlotte for an appointment to see Amsale’s spring 2015 collection.

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Trunk Show at Nitsa’s

Join Nitsa’s on December 19-20 at our Charlotte location or on Saturday, December 27 at our Winston-Salem location for a bridal trunk show featuring designer Monique Lhuillier.

Monique Lhuillier designs capture the essence of sophisticated luxury by provoking the femininity, allure, and glamour that have made her renowned in the world of design.

Monique Lhuillier’s love for fashion has been a lifelong passion. Growing up in the Philippines, Monique’s early experiences with fashion took place alongside her mother whose own sense of personal style and elegance were major influences on the designer. At a young age, she moved to L.A. to attend the Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and to foster her craft.

The delightful fantasy of special occasions, especially weddings, has always inspired Monique. While studying at the FIDM, her natural inclination towards bridal and evening gowns led her to her niche. It was also during this time that she met her husband, Tom Bugbee. In 1995, while searching for her own bridal gown, Monique was surprised by the lack of fashionable bridal options. This void in the market reignited her passion to create couture bridal gowns that transcended styles available to women in search of the perfect wedding dress.

In 1996, Monique debuted her first bridal collection to acclaim from retailers and magazine editors. The following year, Tom joined the company as CEO and turned Monique’s vision of a couture design house into a reality. Their partnership has grown the business into one of the most successful brands internationally—a brand which now includes a ready-to-wear collection and an array of licensed categories.

Monique has dressed celebrities and notable political figures including First Lady Michelle Obama, Kristen Steward, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, and Drew Barrymore.

Call 336-725-1999 in Winston-Salem or 704-940-1999 in Charlotte for an appointment to see Monique Lhuillier’s spring 2015 collection.

 

 

Something Borrowed

The wedding tradition, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” represents four items that are tokens of good luck and carry special significance for the bride and her new journey. Originating from a charming Victorian rhyme, these small personal treasures are typically unique to each bride.

The “something borrowed” part of the saying symbolizes borrowed happiness. It relates to a happily married friend or relative, in the hope that her good fortune will be passed on to you. It’s also been suggested that borrowing something means you can rely on your loved ones for support in your new life.

There are so many different things you can incorporate as your “something borrowed” on your wedding day, but often, this is the one that stumps a lot of brides. So get started by first looking to your mother, grandmother, or other female relatives.

The most popular way to incorporate something borrowed is with the bride’s wedding attire. It may be wearing the wedding gown, garter, or veil that your mother or grandmother wore, or a borrowed veil that you use to create something fresh and modern. Another idea is borrowing a piece of jewelry from your mom or grandmother that holds a special significance. For example, maybe she has the earrings or necklace that she wore at her wedding.

Something Borrowed- earrings

Borrowing something from your matron of honor is also a wonderful way to acknowledge your love and friendship for her. Nothing is more touching to a beloved friend than reusing a part of her special day in your very own wedding.

Don’t forget about your dad either. You could borrow one of his handkerchiefs or even one of his ties to wrap around your bouquet.

Get creative! “Something borrowed” doesn’t always have to be something the bride wears or even a tangible object. Using your grandmother’s china at the wedding reception or as wedding decor is another way to incorporate special family memories into your wedding. Or how about dancing to the same song for your first dance that your parents or another couple you admire did?

Whatever you chose for your “something borrowed,” make the most of the tradition by choosing something meaningful to you and your new journey.

Have a Spooktacular Halloween Wedding!

Would you dare get married on the scariest day of the year? October is a popular month for weddings, and many brides choose to have a Halloween wedding date. You can incorporate a Halloween theme without sacrificing elegance. Skip the costumes and go for elegant accents, fall-themed dishes, and scary cocktails.

Here are some ideas to incorporate just a little spooky into your wedding day:

  • Create invitations that convey the theme of your wedding using elegant or gothic script on black or orange and black backgrounds.
  • If you want guests to come in costume, formal attire with masquerade-style masks will keep it elegant and less kitschy. Halloween Wedding
  • Opt for a beautiful black wedding gown or if you still want to wear classic white, add a few touches of black, such as a sash or black veil.
  • Decorate with fresh pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns and lots and lots of candles in all sizes.
  • White gauzy fabric over tables and stair railings adds a spooky touch.
  • Choose fall-colored flowers for bouquets and floral arrangements or select black-dyed flowers for a more gothic look.
  • Dress up tables with black candles and china over black and white tablecloths.
  • Serve your guests dark, stormy cocktails, such as blood red sangria with a black licorice straw.
  • Give guests Halloween-themed treat bags with favorite candy treats.
  • Serve a few selections of pumpkin-flavored foods.
  • Have a trick-or-treat candy buffet with candy jars decorated in a spooky motif.
  • Have fun with a Halloween-themed cake topper, such as a bride and groom skeleton, vampires, or ghosts.
  • Many bakeries can also make a Halloween-themed cake. Red velvet cake is a popular choice for a Halloween wedding or traditional cake with dark chocolate accents.

The possibilities for a Halloween-themed wedding are endless; just be sure to decide how much of the theme you want incorporated into your big day—just a few touches or an all-out Halloween extravaganza!

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.

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.

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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