Welcome Watters to COUTURE!

COUTURE is  thrilled to announce that after a 3 year absence Watters is returning to COUTURE to show their Spring /Summer 2014 collections. Twenty six years ago, Vatana Watters started a small design business that quickly grew into an international empire. Watters, Wtoo, Encore, C20, Seahorse all live under this powerhouse brand and reach women in all stages of the wedding market.   Whether you’re looking for an elegant bridal gown, reception dress or fabulous garments for your entire bridal party, Watters offers the latest trends with a fresh, innovative twist. We are so excited to see the new line and welcome them back to the COUTURE family! Retailers will be able to view the full range of Watters lines at their two showrooms in America Halls.

Watters – America Hall II, showroom 219

Wtoo – America Hall I, showroom 117


Welcome Lauren Gabrielson to COUTURE

This is Lauren Gabrielson’s second consecutive market with COUTURE and we are looking forward to viewing her flirty collection of bridesmaid dresses that can actually be worn again (NO REALLY!). Gabrielson is one of New York City’s hottest up-and-coming designers and her cool downtown location keeps this young entrepreneur in the midst of constant inspiration. Lauren just celebrated the 3 year anniversary of her trendy NYC boutique and our Fashion Editor Jennie Ma was one of the many guests who attended the event. Ma fell in love with the boutique and was impressed with Gabrielson’s youthful use of color and the versatility of her designs!  Looking forward to that fun pop of color this Spring 2014!

Welcome Moonlight to COUTURE

Since 1986 Moonlight Bridal has been delivering excellent craftsmanship, current trends and high quality fabrics under a reasonable price point. Their mission is simple and clear: “We strive to make every bride feel their best on their special day. We design and create gowns that embody the romance, love, and style of each unique bride.” The popular brand spans across multiple categories with unique lines that cater to a specific clientele. Whether you’re looking for  classic elegance, chic city style, or overall glamour, Moonlight has you covered.  Join us in October to view for yourself and help us welcome them to COUTURE!

Welcome Fabio Piccarreta to COUTURE

Fabio Piccarreta has been in bridal business for over a decade. Born in Italy, he understands the importance of fashion forward designs, high quality materials and the attention to detail that has become synonymous with Italian fashion.  He in turn brings these luxuries to the world of bridal with an umbrella of fabulous labels that live under his name: COTIN SPOSA, DOMO ADAMI, D.A. DOMO ADAMI STUDIO and KATRIN BRIDE & FASHION. Each label has its own appeal targeting everyone from the youthful bride with an edge to the classic glamor girl. Even though each brand has a specific vision they are all strung together by creative designs, fine detailing and chic Italian allure. Come see for yourself in October!

Welcome Jasmine to COUTURE!

 Jasmine has been a staple in the industry with a vast variety of gowns for brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the brides and even flower girls! Since 1985, Jasmine has made it their mission to bring fresh ideas to their clients and exceptional fit and service. The brand become so popular that they eventually sprouted several more popular lines such as Jasmine Couture, Jasmine Collection, Jasmine Maids, Belsoi, B2, Jade, Jade Couture, and Black Label. In the article, “What to Wear” in the current The Knot Fall Issue, our editors chose an airy strapless Jasmine gown as the perfect gown for a waterfront wedding. This just further proves that Jasmine has the ability to take brides from the ballroom to the beach with their extensive collection.

Welcome Paloma Blanca and Mikaella Bridal to COUTURE!

Paloma Blanca has become a COUTURE favorite due to their elegant collections, high quality craftsmanship and large demand from the market. This Canadian company, along with sister collection  Mikaella Bridal,  have remained family owned and operated for over 75 year and achieved international acclaim with stores in over 200 cities around the globe. They have mastered the craft of mixing tradition with modern trend at an affordable price point that is desirable to all. We can’t wait to see the Spring Collection!

Welcome Maggie Sottero to COUTURE!

Maggie Sottero is a must see destination for press and editorial alike with cutting edge desigins, fashion shows and a large footprint at COUTURE that draws constant traffic. April’s highly anticipated catwalk presentation attracted the “who’s who” in the industry.  Randy Fenoli was delightfully surprised by the high-fashion collection and described the presentation as “more fashion forward [with] influences from the 1920’s, Downtown Abby and The Great Gatsby.”  The deco beading, luxurious satin sheaths and plunging backlines were certainly a departure from Maggie Sottero’s more classic appeal but the popular line still kept true to their roots with dramatic princess ball gowns and classic mermaid silhouettes sprinkled in.  We can’t wait to see what surprises they have in store for us this Spring!

Where in the World is COUTURE?

Greetings friends! It was great seeing you all in April and we can’t wait until October (it’s closer than you think!).  Just because our show is twice a year doesn’t mean we aren’t constantly working towards improvement. The COUTURE team is always doing research, forming relationships and exploring ways to elevate the show.

Our summer journey started with Corin and Michelle visiting our favorite designers in the UK!  First up were Justin and Larry Warshaw at the Hilton Metropole where they were previewing their Justin Alexander, Sincerity and Sweetheart collections.  It was like déjà vu chatting with them while gazing at the gorgeous gowns. Believe it or not it they were more beautiful then we remembered!  White Gallery followed where we had fun mingling with more old friends. The expense Ocean Media Group put into the look of the show was evident and inspiring. The subtle pops of color were playful and complemented the luxe collections and otherwise clean layout.  We had fun chatting with Watters, Halo & Co, Cymbeline, Kisui Berlin, Augusta Jones and Jesus Piero while also making new friends along the way. London Bridal Show was next and was also filled with familiar faces like Jasmine Bridal, Demetrois, Lillian West and Sophia & Camilia. It was great to get feedback on the New York market and see the collections in another element.  We even had time to enjoy some tea and scones in the West Hall Café while talking notes!

The fashion shows at White Gallery were certainly a huge highlight!  Stewart Parvin’s crisp and clean collection was very chic and understated while still remaining glamorous! It is no wonder he is a favorite of the Queen herself!  Ian Stuart delivered drama and elegance at his runway presentation (as always!) with fabulous frills and ruffles that enchanted the onlookers. The grand finale was particularly memorable including stunningly bold designs and spectacular bursts of confetti rain! Elizabeth Stuart, Charlotte Balbier and Annasul Y are just some of our new favorites from the Designer Preview show. It was interesting to see that many of the trends we saw at COUTURE were also on the UK runways including delicate lace, dramatic backs and sleeves of all lengths.

Back in The States our editorial team attended Enzoani’s Seventh Annual Runway Show at its “top secret location.” Over 500 in-the-know bridal experts gathered at the Lyon Air Museum in Santa Ana, California to preview the new line. The Knot Fashion & Beauty Editor Jennie Ma reflects on the evening saying, “It was truly a theatrical performance! Enzoani consistently manages to design gorgeous gowns that are not only glamorous but also extremely elegant.” After a brief intermission, reality star Lindsay Yenter (aka “The Girl in The Wedding Dress” on The Bachelor season 17) shocked the crowd by introducing designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka to the stage! The grand finale was their 2014 Badgley Mischka Bridal and Bridesmaids collections filled with their signature beading and ornate embellishments. “What a great surprise to find out that Enzoani and Bagdley Mischka are collaborating with each other!” states Ma, “It seems like the perfect marriage since both brands design such timeless and elegant gowns.”

This past Wednesday, The Knot Wedding Network had a Market Mixer at the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles. Our business manager Michelle was lucky enough to join in on the fun! She enjoyed fabulous cocktails, delicious treats and live music while networking all night with West Coast retailers and vendors that came to get a sneak peak of what new at The Knot!

Where will COUTURE end up next? Stay tuned!

COUTURE CHAT: Fashion Illustrator Claire Thompson

Illustrations from Maggie Sottero Fashion Show at COUTURE

LIVE Illustrations from Maggie Sottero Fashion Show at COUTURE

Claire Thompson is the creator and founder of Hello Claire, a concierge illustrating service specializing in fashion art. Within moments, Claire has the ability to capture the essence of designs ranging from international retail chains like Desigual to high-fashion labels like Gucci and McQueen.  However it wasn’t always an easy path for Ms. Thompson. She recalls the life altering discussion she had with her doctor at just 20 years old, “I found out my retinas were almost entirely detaching and I had less than a week before I would be blind for the rest of my life if they didn’t do emergency surgery.”  Luckily the surgery was a success and shortly after regaining her eyesight her career took off.  Now she can be found sketching anywhere from her local coffee shop to the runways of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Naturally we were thrilled when Claire sketched at COUTURE and we were even able to squeeze in an interview between sketches and get an in depth look into her creative process.

COUTURE: What inspired you to start illustrating?
CLAIRE: Almost losing my eyesight made me reevaluate what I wanted to do with my life. Given how critical a role art had, it was an easy decision to pursue fashion illustration. I have been an artist for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until college that I started illustrating fashion. Fashion is the most intimate form of art, as it’s something that plays a daily role in our lives. We are always wearing something that reflects our identity in some way. As a fashion illustrator, it’s my job to bring out those elements that reflect our individuality.

COUTURE: What has drawn you to the beautiful world of weddings?
CLAIRE: . Shortly after my surgery, I got an internship as a graphic illustrator for a ski and snowboard company in a small town in the French Alps. While I was working, I was applying for scholarships to put myself through school and found out about a wedding dress competition with an American bridal magazine. I submitted a sketch of a wedding dress and soon after found out I made it to the semi-finals. I was only given 4 weeks to construct the dress I designed. I had a bit of a disadvantage during the competition, though. As i mentioned earlier, I was recovering from an intensive eye surgery and also didn’t have access to a sewing machine or a dress form, so I was forced to construct the gown on my own body. I ended up in the finals round and was flown to New York to present my dress on Good Morning America! I was very lucky I got a second chance at seeing and hand-sewing a wedding dress was the first thing I created since my operation. Bridal design will always have very special place in my heart.

COUTURE: Do you always work with designers or have you worked with real brides? Is there a different technique to each?
CLAIRE: I often work with both. Working with brides is very similar to working with designers. They both have a vision, and it’s my job to translate their ideas onto paper.

Claire Sketching at COUTURE

Claire Sketching at COUTURE

COUTURE: How do bridal sketches differ from ready to wear sketches?
CLAIRE: Bridal gowns take a lot more time to illustrate, as they have so much more detail than ready to wear sketches.  My end goal is always the same for both, though, it’s about conveying an emotion that photography cannot capture

COUTURE: During the Maggie Sottero Fashion Show you sketched the looks in real time as they came down the catwalk. How did you master this live sketching technique and how do you capture the garment’s details in such  short period of time?
CLAIRE: Live illustrating can be very difficult, and coordination is extremely important. Holding a paint set, water, paintbrushes, and a sketchbook can end up being a disaster if you’re not careful, especially sitting front row at a fashion show where everyone can see what you are doing. I only have a few seconds to look at a piece before I start illustrating it. I try to capture the emotional aspects of the piece, so the music also plays a big part in how I illustrate during a show.

COUTURE: Your figures have very unique characteristics and attitude. Do you develop their poses based on the designs you are illustrating?
CLAIRE: Absolutely. I try to take the personality of the designs and translate it into the figure’s body language. Conveying personality through my illustrations is very important to me, but I always try to leave a little bit to the viewers’ imagination, which is why I never draw faces. I’d rather the personality come through the designs, as opposed to a face.


LIVE Illustrations from Maggie Sottero Fashion Show at COUTURE


Thank you again to everyone who made COUTURE a smashing hit this April! In case you missed it, above is a highlight reel of all the fabulous details.  The collections this year were particularity well rounded with iconic anchors like  Rosa Clara, Justin Alexander, Maggie Sottero, Jasmine Bridal and Palmoa Blanca as well as fresh up and comers like Madeline Fig, Lauren Gabrielson, and Cocoe Voci!  The floor was packed with some of the biggest names in the bridal business and we even introduced the new COUTURE Salon filled with fabulous activities and treats just for them! Till October…