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What Would They Know? Suzanne Harward of Suzanne Harward (Couture)

by | Fashion Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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Suzanne Harward What Would They Know? Suzanne Harward of Suzanne Harward (Couture)

The imagination and finesse of wedding vendors never ceases to amaze me, and the gowns from Suzanne Harward are a case in point. ‘Simple but beautiful’ is Suzanne’s philosophy behind her gown designs, and that is further enhanced by beautiful fabrics, intricate hand beading, and shapes to enhance each bride’s individual body shape. To ‘let the fabric speak’ are the words of a true artisan, and we are so lucky to have this Australian designer join us today.

How long has your wedding gown design business been in existence?

Suzanne Harward has been in business since 1975 and will celebrate 40 years in the Australian Fashion Industry in 2015.

What prompted you to start designing wedding gowns?

I was making evening dresses in the 70’s and people started asking for them in white and so the bridal collections began!

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You design haute couture and couture. Would you explain the difference between the two?

Couture is made to measure and or customised gowns.

Haute couture is high-end fashion that requires more skilful techniques like draping stand work. Haute couture garments are made from exclusive fabrics and have more detailed intricate handwork, embellishments etc. I create my gowns on the form (no patterns) and this requires a refined eye for detail and unique artistic skills especially when creating new unique muted colours. Haute couture gowns are usually one off’s or limited edition gowns.

You hold Trunk Shows. Please explain what these are, and the advantages to brides?

Our Trunk Shows are an exclusive luxury shopping experience for ladies who are searching for the gown of their dreams. We decided to close our stores in 2013 and offer our Trunk Shows from beautiful Penthouse suites, as we believe that purchasing a couture gown deserves more than a retail experience. Trunk Shows are where you come to view the entire range and try on gowns in a private one on one styling consultation where the complete focus is on the client.

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How do brides attend one of your Trunk Shows?

Brides can make an appointment to attend a Trunk Show by calling 03 8415 0688.

How would you describe your style?

Refined, Sculptural, Elegant, Feminine, Timeless.

What is your design philosophy?

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. I like to keep everything simple but beautiful. To be in the moment designing with passion and a heart felt feeling. I know what looks and feels right when I’m in that moment.

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What is the role of the Design Stylist?

The role of the Design Stylist is to guide the client through the selection process of customising her bespoke gown. During your personal consultation the Design Stylist will gather information to determine a client’s personal style and personality. Various factors such as wedding location and styling play a part in bringing the whole wedding vision together. Their goal is to find the perfect gown to make the bride feel like the most beautiful version of her self. They can also offer styling advice on hair and make up, veils, headpieces, jewellery, bridesmaid and flowers.

Briefly, what is involved in the process of designing a bespoke gown?

1) Selection of gown design, colour, fabrication.
2) Fitting schedule (customized to client’s needs)
3) Final collection includes a tutorial on getting dressed, buttoning the gown, bustling the train, how to dance, sit and general managing advice.

Clients can choose to collect their gown the week before or the week of their wedding in order to optimise the fit of the gown closest to the wedding day. This is why we encourage early bookings, so the client’s fittings can be scheduled as close as possible to the wedding date.

Suzanne Harward8 What Would They Know? Suzanne Harward of Suzanne Harward (Couture)

How long is the process from beginning to end to deliver a couture gown to the bride?

Typically 9 – 12 months however this depends on many factors such as choice of fabric. We use a lot of European fabrics many of them are exclusive to us and have to be produced specifically for the client. This process alone can take 12 weeks.

Are you able to guide brides to choose a gown design most suited to their body shape (even if they have their heart set on something that won’t suit them?)

Absolutely, this is the role of the Design Stylist and this is why we allow 90 minutes for design consultations. It’s best to keep an open mind, that’s often when the magic happens.

What influences you during the design process?

I’m strongly influenced by the fabrics and am very inspired by textures and colours. I also draw inspiration from nature and the female form. I design intuitively on the body form and let the fabric speak to me, sometimes they tell me what they will and will not do.

After your extensive time in the wedding business, are there some words of wisdom you could give to brides when shopping for/having the gown designed/choosing their wedding gown?

Trust that little voice inside, finding your wedding gown is a feeling and you will know when you have – much like finding your fiancé!

Suzanne Harward7 What Would They Know? Suzanne Harward of Suzanne Harward (Couture)

What importance do you place on gowns being designed and made locally?

This means everything to us. Handmade couture should be produced under the same roof that it is designed, that is what couture is to me. We believe in honouring the tradition of couture and in producing our garments ethically and sustainably. The only way we can assure this happens is to make them in-house. We are very proud of this and our clients appreciate the quality and reliability of having their gowns created locally. Our clients are very aware of their buying habits and it’s important to them to support local designers and Australian made.

Are your gowns available in stockists all over Australia?

We hold regular Trunk Shows in Melbourne and Sydney plus our gowns are available globally through our online e-boutique at www.suzanneharward.com

Thank you Suzanne for sharing your story. If you would like to find out more about Suzanne Harward visit the website.

Team shot courtesy of Suzanne Harward.

Images by Nick Rieve of The White Tree.
Model: Casey-Lee Lyons
Hair: Melissa Erskine
Make Up: Hayley Dutton
Flower Crown: Twig & Grace

Behind The Scenes: Summerblossom Bridal Accessories

by | Behind The Scenes, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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summerblossom day in the life011 Behind The Scenes: Summerblossom Bridal Accessories

I think pouring over behind the scenes shots is one of my favourite things. I love nothing more than taking a sneaky peek inside someone else’s working space and seeing all the beauty they surround themselves with. We’re lucky enough today to have the beautiful Summerblossom sharing the behind the scenes shots of her studio captured by Luisa Brimble!

I was lucky enough to come across Rochelle of Summerblossom a few years ago (see my original post on Summerblossom here and Summerblossom Fresh here) and quickly purchased a sweet floral crown that sits in my office (one can never have too much pretty!).

Today’s shoot delves into Rochelle’s studio- the space where she creates the whimsical floral and jeweled accessories that suit everything from a wedding, to a hens party or just a picnic in the park! Rochelle makes every piece by hand, lovingly choosing just the right silk blooms and adornments for your piece.

Each accessory is available through the Summerblossom online store or one of the many weekend markets Rochelle visits.

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summerblossom day in the life016 Behind The Scenes: Summerblossom Bridal AccessoriesImages by Luisa Brimble

Planning Your Wedding Car Hire

by | Transport Wisdom, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Triple R Luxury Car Hire
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory
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17 Planning Your Wedding Car Hire

Image by Tilly Clifford

The style or theme of your wedding will largely influence many of the decisions you make for your special day. Be it your ceremony, photography locations, reception venue and of course your wedding car hire, choose a theme or style that truly reflects your personality. Your theme can be built from a colour palette, the season or time of year, or the vision for your bridal gown.

Your wedding cars can be as elaborate or as understated as you wish. You may wish for your transport to feature in your photographs adding to the story of your special day, or you may wish for your transport to purely serve as your way of going from place ‘A’ to place ‘B’. Whatever your desires, always be true to yourselves as a couple. View as many photo galleries and albums as possible for inspiration – your Transport provider should have an endless array of Real Wedding galleries to compare car models, styles, and themes.

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Image by Tigs Macallan

The earlier you enquire and plan for your wedding day transport, the greater the chance of securing your desired vehicle to fit seamlessly into your wedding theme.

During peak wedding periods throughout Spring, Summer, and Autumn (October – late April), car availability may be limited due to greater client demand. The earlier in advance you can plan your transport, the greater the opportunity you will have a fulfilling your every desire.

To ensure that appropriate cars are arranged it is important to start to plan your bridal party and their needs on the day. Consider the following questions:

• Will both the bride and groom need transport to the ceremony?

• Do you require vehicles for the bridal party? If so, how many? Factors to consider are the size of your bridal party and number of occupants each vehicle can seat (see further information below).

• Do you require vehicles for the parents’ of the bride and groom? Traditionally the bride and her father will be transported to the ceremony in a separate car from the bridesmaids.

• Will all members of the bridal party require transport after the wedding Ceremony to photographic locations and/or the Reception?

• Do the bride and groom require transport after the Reception to hotel?

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Image by Artography

Additionally, depending on the type of vehicle you wish to travel in, the number of occupants per vehicle may be limited. For example, whilst multiple 4 passenger Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Jaguar sedans typically seat up to 4 passengers, factors to consider may include:

– Does the bride require additional room for her bridal gown? This may reduce the number of passengers in the Bride’s car to 3 rather than 4 (ie. Bride and the Bride’s parents, or Maid of Honour with the Bride and the Bride’s father). This will ensure the bride’s gown remains as radiant as the bride herself!

–  Is it likely to be a warm/hot day? No bride or bridesmaid enjoys the experience of melting makeup, whilst no groom or groomsman enjoys the backseat huddle in a 3-piece suit on a 35 degree day! Consider additional space with additional cars for ultimate comfort and luxury.

So, it’s time to get planning! Look out for our next post featuring tips and advice on choosing the perfect transport supplier for your big day!

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Ms Gingham says: There’s some really great tips here! Thanks to the team at Triple R for the article!

About Triple R Luxury Car Hire: The Triple R collection started with a consuming passion for classic motor vehicles over thirty years ago.While working as a professional photographer, owner Micky Jovanovic’s 1951 Bentley Dawn attracted as much demand as his wedding photography.

Micky drove his passion into a thriving business and revolutionized the wedding car hire industry. With his sophisticated style and photographer’s eye, Micky has selected each of his 40 cars for their aesthetic appeal, creating a beautiful backdrop to your wedding photographs you will cherish forever.

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