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Planning A Dream Wedding? The Detail Is In The Deco

by | Styling Wisdom, Wisdom


Jacqui Moore of Greenhouse Interiors

6a0120a65f64b9970c01901c332b8c970b 550x836 Planning A Dream Wedding? The Detail Is In The Deco

Image by Andy Griffin Photography via Love My Dress

I find myself obsessing about weddings on a regular basis in spite of the fact I’ve been happily married for more than 20 years. I spend hours day-dreaming about how I would ‘do it’ now compared to the version I experienced as a twenty-something girl. Right now, my obsession is fixated on the Great Gatsby. Baz Luhrman’s film, set in 1922, is having an enormous impact on fashion and wedding style – such unadulterated glamour is decadent but not difficult to achieve.

Our collaboration with Life Instyle, Melbourne (1-4 August) has enabled us to take a sneak peek at the breathtaking vintage inspired pieces about to be launched in Australia which will no doubt influence wedding style worldwide. This event is set to showcase the latest in vintage glamour- and likely to be larger than the Gatsby itself!


  • Set the scene early on and ensure your invitations, rsvp reply cards, bridal registry information etc., communicate the theme with an elegant letter press art deco design on thick, creamy, high quality paper.  My go-to for couture stationery is Bespoke Letterpress who are showcasing their range at Life Instyle whose printing presses date back to 1893.

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Images via Bespoke Letterpress

  • Old-world charm: Imagine a room with a sweeping stone staircase and a carved vaulted ceiling, filled with perfectly round translucent balloons, fairy lights, flowers and guests who are dressed in black tie and jewel coloured cocktail dresses. I’m describing a scene straight from the film; it is breathtakingly beautiful and it would make the most perfect wedding.
  • Look for a historic location which has the glamour and scale of a Gatsby mansion – many prominent public buildings such as town halls, theatres and banks were built during the period and are available for weddings and special events.
  • Floral delight: Fill the room with audacious combinations of white Hydrangeas, Lilac and orchids mixed with pale pink, fragrant David Austin roses.
  • Inviting Deco detail:  For an authentic Deco touch dress the tables with crisp white damask linen and monogrammed napkins encircled by a mother of pearl napkin ring. Raid the markets Antique shops for vintage silver cutlery, blush pink and crystal candle holders of varying sizes and mirrored platters – and lots of flowers in a combination of large and small delicate 1920s vases.
  • Bubbles: A champagne tower and a chandelier or three are obligatory.

Hit list for the all-important details:

  • Flowers: Flowermee in Brighton can not only do the flowers but also hire a myriad of vintage containers and props. , 03 9592 1480

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Ms Gingham says: This high glamour, luxury art deco style is so sumptuous!! Love these tips!

Jacqui Moore and Julia Green from Greenhouse Interiors have teamed up with Life Instyle, Melbourne to bring some of the Great Gatsby to life via Style Lab at the Royal Exhibition Building (1-4 August).

What Would They Know? Ben Albrecht of Ben Albrecht Jewellery

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


Polka Dot Bride

 Ben Albrecht What Would They Know? Ben Albrecht of Ben Albrecht Jewellery

I never tire of seeing beautifully crafted jewellery. If someone is wearing a beautifully designed piece, my eye is drawn instantly to it, and I just have to enquire further! Ben’s family owned the famous Kozminsky – a Melbourne icon. Now Ben has branched out  with his own online jewellery business Ben Albrecht Jewellery  and is carrying on, albeit a little differently, in the family tradition of designing beautiful bespoke pieces that reflect the individual client’s tastes. So if you’re after a beautiful engagement ring that will stand the test of time, or some elegant cufflinks for the man in your life prepare to have a serious case of the ‘must haves’! The biggest problem will be choosing just one!

 Please tell us a little about yourself, your background, and how you came to be in the jewellery industry?

I have been surrounded by jewellery my whole life! My late Father Kurt Albrecht immigrated to Australia after the 2nd World War. Arriving in Melbourne in 1956, he began working for Proud’s and was in charge of the diamond department. In the 1960’s he purchased Kozminsky which remained with the Albrecht Family for the next 50 years. In 1989, I travelled to Tokyo, Japan and worked with one of the worlds largest wholesale pearl companies. Returning to Melbourne I was employed by Leonard Joel Auctioneers as an Auctioneer and valuer! After six years I joined the family business as Director/Proprietor until 2012, when I sold the business to the now current owners.

Who most inspires you – past or present?

My Father and Mother are a great inspiration! My mother was a very talented self-taught artist, very loving and was the major force behind my father’s success in the jewellery industry. One of the most important things my father taught me was to treat others the way you wanted to be treated……also one of the most important pieces of information when dealing with people…”Never segregate clients”. One of the nicest parts of my job is dealing with very different people from different walks of life with very different needs.

What inspired you to start your online business – Ben

I’ve always wanted to be in a business that is mine. I always felt that Kozminsky was my  father’s business, and I was in a way, “looking after it for him” after he passed away. Being online is probably the most important factor for any business, and yes….it does make pieces of jewellery more affordable – however, there are certain pieces of jewellery that will still command high prices regardless of where they are selling.

BA4213 010RS What Would They Know? Ben Albrecht of Ben Albrecht Jewellery 

What services does your business provide to clients my? Do you provide a design service?

My services encapsulates most aspects of what you can expect from a traditional jewellery store. Design plays a big part of my business, from finding certain diamonds and gems, to then designing a piece that suit my client’s taste.

When designing jewellery for brides the biggest thrill is lending the bride something beautiful for “The big day”.

BA81112 008RS What Would They Know? Ben Albrecht of Ben Albrecht Jewellery

Please describe the process of designing a piece for a client – for example an engagement ring?

Clients will contact me where I will ask what they want? What style…..the size and quality of stones they want to use, what the setting will be made of? Everyone has a budget and I will always try to maximize what my client can get for that.

The design and workmanship in the end will make the stones beautiful. I have seen thousands of times the best stones in very bad settings…and unfortunately that is what stands out in the end; the design and overall beauty of the setting is paramount. I have re-designed many rings that clients are not happy with….the majority of my work is handmade, which means you are acquiring a one-off bespoke piece of jewellery that is not mass produced.

On average how long should your client allow for this process?

Depending on how intricate the workmanship, and what stones are required the process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 4. I recently worked with a client that had a particular style in mind and stones that are incredibly hard to get in Australia. This took 4 months. I never rush my clients….I want the whole process to be enjoyable and for them to love what I do for them.

How can clients be assured of the quality of the gems they purchase from you?

You are firstly dealing with me. I have been a part of the industry for the past 20 years, and have built a reputation for dealing in only the best and most beautiful pieces of jewellery. Ben Albrecht Jewellery is a business that is built on trust, discretion and honesty.

The majority of all the stones I deal with will be certified. Because I deal with clients and their own personal needs, they will either request a certificate which I will provide, where in other instances it will not be needed. Diamonds will be GIA certified, as this is the most trusted global certification document for diamonds.

Some clients only look at the overall beauty, and don’t worry too much about the diamond quality.

 BA81112 017RS What Would They Know? Ben Albrecht of Ben Albrecht Jewellery

Do you have a particular ‘design style’?

Traditional. I admire modern aesthetics in art, furniture and architecture but with jewellery I lean to traditional. Art Deco being my most loved movement. An engagement ring will be worn for a long time, so it’s advisable to go with a design that transcends time and doesn’t date. I spend a lot of time re-designing rings that were bought in the 1980’s.

BA81112 009RS What Would They Know? Ben Albrecht of Ben Albrecht Jewellery

 My favourite gems to work with are……

London Topaz, Aquamarine, Sapphires, exceptional black opals……and diamonds.

Men are provided for with a variety of cufflink designs on your site. Are you able to design bespoke cufflinks for the groom?

Definitely…….but the antique or vintage cufflinks that I stock could never be replicated or made to the same standard. I tend to be quite adventurous with cufflinks and have a collection that could be considered very European. Australian men lean towards a cufflink that is more restrained.

If money were no object, I’d give a gift of…………..

The most beautiful Ceylonese natural blue sapphire.

 BA81112 018RS What Would They Know? Ben Albrecht of Ben Albrecht Jewellery

Thank you Ben for sharing your story. The world of jewellery is an endlessly fascinating one – even more so when you can now find these exquisite pieces online! To find out more about Ben Albrecht Jewellery please visit the website.

Images courtesy of Ben Albrecht


Behind The Seams Of A Couture Wedding Dress

by | Fashion Wisdom, Wisdom


Heather Harlowe

7 estelle 4 Behind The Seams Of A Couture Wedding Dress

I love to find out how things are made. From watching documentaries about marshmallow makers to car manufacturers—one of my favourite things to do is get behind the doors of a design studio and discover how a beautiful creation came to be. So when Brisbane-based bridal store, Paddington Weddings, released a video which allows us inside their workshop and behind the seams of one of their couture ‘Bertossi Brides’ gowns, I couldn’t help but watch it once, twice…..OK maybe three times!

Simply titled ‘The Dress’, the film follows the story of bride-to-be Peta and her dream wedding frock—from its initial design, right up to the reveal on the big day. Captured by photographer/filmmaker James Goss (of and Bonbon Photography), the video covers the almost 300-day-long process in six minutes, as designer Anne Bertossi and her team dream up, fit and handcraft Peta’s perfect gown in their Brisbane studio.

The result is a film that’s as fascinating as it is moving and to be honest, it brought tears to my eyes (but I’m the kind of gal who sobs hysterically in every romantic movie I see!). You can have a watch for yourself here—but keep the Kleenex handy, just in case.

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After wiping away my tears, I chatted with Gill Hulse of Paddington Weddings about the inspiration behind the film. “Our aim in producing the film was simply to invite brides into our world to experience the excitement and joy that comes with our very special gowns. We wanted the film to be all about the gown, as this is our passion, which is why we followed the story from design, to creation, to being loved and worn on a very special day.”

As for what the bride envisioned for her big day, a sophisticated ‘Modern Vintage’ style was key. “Peta wanted a timeless, classic, elegant wedding day so our ‘Grace’ gown was just perfect for her. She fell in love the moment she put it on. She was so patient during the filming process and was just as excited to see the final product as we were”.

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Documenting months of work may seem like a massive task, but as Gill informed me, it was a enjoyable one as well. “Our film maker James Goss was just fantastic, he kept coming back in to see us over the 3 months that it takes to create a couture gown and loved filming all the intricate work that goes into them.”

Still, it’s not always easy getting that perfect shot and sometimes James had to squeeze into the studio to capture it: “He was almost sitting on Ellen’s (our seamstress) knee while she was sewing at one point! Thankfully we got used to having him around and were able to just be natural and enjoy the process.”

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And in the end, all the hard work was worth it. “I think James managed to capture the essence of Paddington Weddings and how much detail and love goes into the creation of a Bertossi Brides gown.”

“What makes a Bertossi Brides gown so special is the experience that comes with it and the knowledge that this gown is crafted just for you by the designer herself to fit you perfectly. It also allows you to have a gown that is personalised to you, not just a photocopy of a gown that’s been made for hundreds of girls before you.”

So if a one of a kind creation sounds like just the thing for you, find out more at Paddington Weddings’ website. Or, you could always watch the video another three times like I did!

Images courtesy of Paddington Weddings

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