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Jessica Williams: An inside look at Alvina Valenta

Jess w models (3)

It’s morning in bustling New York City and head designer for Alvina Valenta, Jessica Williams, is walking her daughter and son past the neighbourhood markets’ ombre of side-walk roses, hyacinths and daisies and the lifting aromas of the local baker’s bread to their respective preschool and daycare. She then hops on the subway taking her to Manhattan and the Alvina Valenta design studio.  With Florence and the Machine flowing through her ear buds, she takes her place amongst her fellow Brooklynites, enjoying casual observations of her fellow commuters’ outfits du jour, and relishing her “private” reading time. About twenty-five minutes later, she exits the subway and weaves through the crowds of New Yorkers intent on their exit to the daylight. Emerging from the depths of the subway station and suddenly surrounded by buildings towering to the sky, Jessica picks up her pace, ever energized by the city vitality that sparked her imagination from her first travels there years ago. She stops briefly for her morning coffee and then continues through the Garment District to theJLM Couture design headquarters, where she greets her team and starts playing with all of the gorgeous silks, laces and beaded embroideries that will transform into one of her new bridal gown developments.

Jessica grew up in a small town and enrolled at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) where she learned her trade, building on her foundation of sewing given to her by her mother and grandmother. After graduating in 2000, she landed a job at the prestigious St John Knits, in California. There, she was exposed to the glamorous and the luxurious world of special occasion clothing. Being surrounded by lush fabrics and detailed beading, it wasn’t long before it took root. She had found her calling. Following her time at St. John, she went to live in New York City where she came to work for the JLM Group at Alvina Valenta in 2009.

Unlike most large wedding gown makers who have their products made overseas, every gown from Alvina Valenta is constructed in New York City. Having the gowns so close at hand means that Jessica can personally work alongside the highly skilled team of pattern-makers and sample makers every day; draping, changing and evolving the original design until the final look is achieved. It can take up to 20 different artisans and craftsmen to complete one gown. From the pattern drafting to the hand crafted Alençon lace from France, each element is skilfully constructed and assembled.

Jessica believes in putting her passion and personal touch into every design. One of the ways she accomplishes this is by spending hours, hand designing every embroidery piece featured on her gowns. She believes the elements should have dimension and interest in the details. She works with French, Italian and Spanish lace-makers, incorporating traditional and modern designs and combining intricate fabrics, beadwork, crystals and pearls into her gowns. As Jessica looks back over the years, one thing she is very proud of is that you can see her signature on the custom embroidery and beading in her collections, leaving a little piece of her in every Alvina gown. She describes her touch to be vintage-inspired, intricate, romantic and luxurious. Her unique style creates distinction among wedding gowns and evolves with each new season.

Some of the challenges she faces with a new collection include deciding how to simplify both her creativity and the current fashion trends in order to blend effortlessly with the iconic, luxe romance that Alvina Valenta brides seek. For the coming collection, “Royalty of every sort” is a theme Jessica will be exploring. Light, airy, romantic silhouettes will be paired with soft colours and luxe details. They will feature exciting new lace techniques and unique fabric layering, elements fit for both princesses and queens!

Jessica believes in putting her passion and personal touch into every design. One of the ways she accomplishes this is by spending hours, hand designing every embroidery piece featured on her gowns. She believes the elements should have dimension and interest in the details.

See more of Jessica’s stunning creations at Alvina Valenta online.

Source: http://www.modaweddingprofessionals.com/

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Q&A With Cottonwood South!

Remember Heather Grimm? You can refresh your memory with our interview with her here! Not only did she (along with Catherine Guidry) photograph our #TKinNOLA shoot, but she styled it with these amazing calligraphy notes and custom drawings. Oh- and she modeled for us too (more on her and our beautiful #TKinNOLA ladies tomorrow!) But today we’re chatting about her new venture, Cottonwood South!

You can find them here on Facebook and here on Instagram!

View More: http://heathergrimm.pass.us/tara-keely-shoot  

JLM Couture: We are HUGE fans of your calligraphy work. How did you get started?

Heather: Thank y’all so much !! I have always been a doodler and into all things artsy, so I guess you could say I’ve been at it since I was a kid. However, as far as traditional calligraphy goes, I began playing around with a real calligraphy nib and ink sometime over the last year. A family friend hired me to address her daughter’s wedding envelopes and I’ve been in love ever since :)

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 JLM Couture: Do you do custom orders for couples getting married? (Fingers crossed!)

Heather: I do! As I am becoming increasingly busy, I am taking less custom orders. I will always try to keep the option open though :) There are few things more special about a wedding than incorporating customized elements, whether it be a Save the Date card design, guest table signage, or a cute signature cocktail menu . It’s your day, it should look and feel like you! 

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JLM Couture:What is your favorite piece from this shoot?

Heather: My favorite piece would have to be the plunging neckline sheath dress.That dress is a showstopper for sure! I love the thick lace texture on the top and the ridiculously smooth bottom. The fit is insane! It’s the perfect balance of sexy and elegant. There is just the right amount of intrigue to make you fall in love with the dress, yet the design and flow are simple enough to make the bride still stand out. 

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Photography:

Catherine Guidry (@CatherineGuidry)

Heather Grimm (@HeadyGrimm)

Florals: Poppy and Mint (@PoppyandMint)

Hair: Sara Marie Buteaux (@SaraMarie185)

Make Up: Ashley Sievert (@AshleySievertBeauty)

Accessories: MaeMe Bridal (@MaeMeBridal)

Models:

Heather Grimm (@HeadyGrimm)

Alexandra Chaisson (achaisson6)

Gabrielle Chaisson (@gabriellechaisson)

Lauren Melzer (@laurenmelzer)

 

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Q&A With Sara Marie Buteaux!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Today we are chatting with Make up Artist and our #TKinNOLA Hair Stylist,  Sara Marie Buteaux! 

Location: Lafayette, La ( on location only)

You can find her here on Facebook  and here on  Instagram!

 

JLM Couture: When did you get started in hair/make-up?

Sara Marie: I acquired my cosmetology license 9 years ago. I started doing makeup 12 years ago.

Tara Keely

JLM Couture: Who is a Tara Keely bride?

Sara Marie: A Tara Keely bride to me is a fashion forward girl with a classic quality to her vision of her wedding day. 

Tara Keely

JLM Couture: Do you have an tips and tricks to share with us for long lasting wedding day hair and make-up? 

Sara Marie: For your hair I would definitely say products will be your best friend! My number one advise when it comes to hair for a wedding day is to have trials with your stylist. This way she will help you to achieve your vision, know exactly what you want and will be able to advise you on the correct products for your hair. 

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JLM Couture: Which was your favorite dress from this shoot and why?

Sara Marie: Style 2450 is my absolute favorite! It is breathtakingly gorgeous! I love the cut of the dress. To me this is a perfect dress for so many different body types! I can’t say enough about it, I just love it! 

Tara Keely

Huge thank you to Sara Marie  and the rest of our #TKinNOLA team! Be sure to check back here tomorrow for more interviews with out team!

Photography:

Heather Grimm (@HeadyGrimm)

Catherine Guidry (@CatherineGuidry)

Florals: Poppy and Mint (@PoppyandMint)

Make Up: Ashley Sievert (@AshleySievertBeauty)

Accessories: MaeMe Bridal (@MaeMeBridal)

Calligraphy: Cottonwood South (@CottonwoodSouth)

Models (as pictured above):

Heather Grimm (@HeadyGrimm)

Lauren Melzer (@laurenmelzer)

Gabrielle Chaisson (@gabriellechaisson)

Alexandra Chaisson (achaisson6)

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Q&A With Catherine Guidry Photography!

We’re chatting with Catherine Guidry of Catherine Guidry Photography!

Location: New Orleans, LA

Find her here on Facebook and here on Instagram!

Tara Keely_Bridal Gown_Wedding Dresses

JLM Couture: When did you get started in photography? 

Catherine: Although I dabbled a bit in photography during my undergraduate years studying architecture, I photographed my first wedding during graduate school. When I finally finished my masters I decided to pursue photography full time with a focus on weddings!

New Orleans Weddings_Tara Keely_Bridal

JLM Couture: What made you want to get into wedding photography?

Catherine: I knew I enjoyed photography but more specifically, I loved photographing people: the emotions, the moments, the memories. I love that wedding photography combines all these aspects of shooting with an element of style and fashion.

Tara Keely

JLM Couture: What’s your favorite photo from this shoot and why?

Catherine: My favorite image would be the one of all the models together. It shows the diversity in style and options that Tara Keely offers! There’s truly something for everyone.

Wedding Dresses

JLM Couture: Who is a Tara Keely bride?

Catherine: A Tara Keely bride is one who exudes style, class, and elegance!

Wedding Photography_New Orleans_Tara Keely_Bridal Gowns

Huge thank you to Catherine and the rest of our #TKinNOLA team!

Florals: Poppy and Mint (@PoppyandMint)

Make Up: Ashley Sievert (@AshleySievertBeauty)

Hair: Sara Marie (@SaraMarie185)

Calligraphy: Cottonwood South (@cottonwoodsouth)

Accessories: MaeMe Bridal (@MaeMeBridal)

Models (as pictured above):

Lauren Melzer (@LaurenMelzer)

Gabrielle Chaisson (@GabrielleChaisson)

Heather Grimm (@HeadyGrimm)

Alexandra Chaisson (@achaisson6)

 

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Q&A With Poppy and Mint!

Destiny Pinson of Poppy & Mint Floral Company

Location: New Orleans, LA

poppyandmintfloral.com

Find her here on Facebook and here on Instagram

Bridal Gown_Wedding Dress

JLM Couture: So, we’re obsessed with all the gorgeous florals you pulled together for our #TKinNOLA shoot. Can you let us know what’s in each arrangement? 

Destiny: Thank you! The peach and pink bouquet included juliet garden roses, romantic antique garden roses, calcynia, pink calla lilies and ranunculus accented with silver dollar and seeded eucalyptus. The white bouquet included garden roses, ranunculus, scabiosa  and freesia accented with cherry laurel.

Tara Keely

JLM Couture: This floral crown is everything. Did you teach yourself how to make them? 

Destiny: Ha! I did teach myself how to make them! Starting off with a lot of flower tape and hot glue, they would take me hours and I would just hope and pray that they would stay together. Thank goodness I have become a bit more adept at making them! 

Tara Keely

JLM Couture: Which was your favorite piece from this shoot? 

DestinyI am really in love with whites and greens lately, so it would have to be the white bouquet. The contrast of the whites with the darker greens is just so pretty! 

JLM Couture: Describe the perfect bouquet for a Tara Keely bride. 

Destiny: The perfect bouquet for a Tara Keely bride is one that makes the bride feel special and beautiful on the most important day of her life. It has to depict the personality of both the bride and the dress.

Huge thank you to Destiny and the rest of our #TKinNOLA team!

Photography: Catherine Guidry (@CatherineGuidry)

Heather Grimm (@HeadyGrimm)

Make Up: Ashley Sievert (@AshleySievertBeauty)

Hair: Sara Marie (@SaraMarie185)

Accessories: MaeMe Bridal (@MaeMeBridal)

Models (as pictured above):

Heather Grimm

Alexandra Chaisson (achaisson6)

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Tara Keely Bridal Styled Shoot

Engaged? Or just a lover of all things bridal? Then you’ll just swoon over what’s to follow…

We’re so excited to share with you these beautiful images from our recent #TKinNOLA photo shoot (images taken by the lovely and incredibly talented Catherine Guidry– @CatherineGuidry and Heather Grimm). And don’t worry, there is plenty more where this came from. We’ll be sharing Q&A’s with the entire #TKinNOLA team this entire week with more exclusive photos to be seen here, and of course on our Instagram (follow as at @Tara_Keely) and Pinterest page.

Tara Keely

Tara Keely

Tara Keely

Tara Keely

Tara _Wedding Dresses_ Bridal Gowns_JLM Couture_Designed by Lazaro

Tara Keely

 These stunning bouquets are compliments of the highly talented Destiny Pinson of Poppy and Mint (@PoppyandMint)!

Tara Keely

 The accessories were absolutely stunning thanks to Mae Me (@maemebridal) Bridal in Metairie, LA!

Tara Keely_ Bridal Gowns_ Wedding Dresses

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Bridal Bouquet

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Lace Wedding Dresses

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 The South was the perfect place to hold our first Tara Keely inspiration shoot. These Louisiana sketches (by non other than Heather Grimm for Cottonwood South-@Cottonwoodsouth) were a beautiful added touch.

Boho Weddings_Tara Keely_JLM Couture_Wedding Dresses _Flower Crown

Tara Keely

Bridal

Bridal Gowns_Wedding Dresses

View More: http://heathergrimm.pass.us/tara-keely-shoot

Tara Keely Shoot-Tara Keely Shoot-0180

 Ashley Sievert (@AshleySievert) and Sara Marie did such an incredible job with hair and make up. Their interpretation of who a Tara Keely bride is and inspires to be on her wedding day was flawless.

Bridal_Tara Keely_Wedding Dresses

 Featured Tara Keely styles from left to right: 2210, 2450, 2410, and 2354.

Bridal Gowns_Designed by Lazaro_JLM Couture

Tara Keely

 How stunning are these girls? Huge thanks to:

Heather Grimm (@HeadyGrimm)

Gabrielle Chaisson (@GabrielleChaisson)

Alexandra Chaisson (@AChaisson6)

Lauren Melzer (@LaurenMelzer)

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Lazaro Spring 2015

Looking to the see more from the Lazaro Spring 2015 collection? Click here to sift through the pages of the latest Lazaro catalog.

Cov_Lazaro Spring 2015 Catalog 1

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Mix and Match Bridesmaids

Looking to take your bridesmaids wedding day fashion to the next level? We have some mixing and matching goodness from Jim Hjelm Occasions to suggest:

bridesmaids 1

Styles : 5511, 5513, 5515, 5514
bridesmaids 2

Styles: 5459, 5461, 5502, 5460

bridesmaids 3

Styles: 5379, 5417, 5350 bridesmaids 4

Styles : 5509, 5504, 5511, 5506. bridesmaids 5

Styles: 5506, 5516, 5507, 5508

For even more of our Mix and Match styles, visit us here on Pinterest!

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JLM Couture Flagship Salon Sample Sale!

JLM Couture Sample Sale

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Jim Hjelm Spring 2015

We are delighted to share with you some of our favorites from the new Spring 2015 Jim Hjelm ad campaign!

Wanting to see more from the collection? Visit our website here or be sure to follow us on Instagram @Jim_Hjelm.

jim-hjelm-bridal-embroidered-tulle-ball-gown-strapless-neckline-natural-waist-ribbon-sweep-train-8500_zm

Jim Hjelm style 8500

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Jim Hjelm style 8504

jim-hjelm-bridal-organza-ball-gown-strapless-sweetheart-neckline-draped-cascade-skirt-tulle-sweep-train-8506_zm

Jim Hjelm style 8506

jim-hjelm-bridal-tuileries-organza-gown-strapless-sweetheart-asymmetrical-draped-elongated-sweep-train-8509_zm

Jim Hjelm style 8509

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