Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wedding Style: Diane von Furstenberg

Speaking of Diane von Furstenberg... how chic would it be to wear this, hat and all (the hat is a must!) for an intimate city hall ceremony or destination wedding in Paris?

above: You can purchase this beautiful one shoulder dress straight off her site.
above: your attendants can all don regatta-esque DVF (or purchase some for your honeymoon getaway). Love those Kors Dubois heels!

Diane Von Furstenberg for your Google page?

Before I put up today's post...have any of you personalized your Google home pages? I realized I might be one of the last people to have done this and clicked onto the Google icon today. I was reminded of all of the really cool artists and designers that you can choose to personalize your home page with and am digging the Oscar de la Renta, DVF and Cold Play designs! If you haven't turned yours into a chic little fashion or rocker plate, click here to start.

above: Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Phillipe Starck, Tory Burch, Cold Play

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ShopFriends: Paper Cup Design Part 2

And without further delay, here are Minhee's responses to Tien & David's questions. If you missed Tien & David's story and plight, scroll down or click here. I know the couple would love hearing any advice from readers as well so feel free to write in!

above: dinner & dancing at Minhee & Truman's reception
Q&A with Minhee Cho at Paper Cup Design

Tien & David: We want to add some childhood nostalgia to the overall feel of the hotel ceremony and reception, but don't want to be too "theme-y". What kinds of details--whether in flowers, cakes, favors, or invitations--would be great to highlight with this goal?

Minhee: Think by keeping elements simple and giving it a little twist is key to having it not look too ‘theme-y”.

above: (bottom left) Sprinkles retro cupcake. (bottom right) Chromatica photo envelopes.

Flowers:Daisies or Carnations look great when bunched together. Either left long in their stem or cut really short in vintage bottles or simple vases. We added some tulips and freesia to my bouquet for some color but I would’ve also loved a simple Daisy bouquet. Wheat grass also adds great color.

Cakes: Sheet cakes or cupcakes are very old school. Having a smaller cake + a treats table is fun and adds that school nostalgia. It can be anything from cookies, rice crispy treats, brownies, or vintage candies like old fashioned marsh mellows. Sprinkles makes very chic cupcakes with a slight retro look that is very modern looking. Sheet cakes would be fun for a grooms cake too. Whatever it is, think the key is how it’s presented.

Favors: Photocards can be a fun thing to give out. Have a polaroid station where people can take pictures, like we used to do at school dances. Ask them to take 2 so they can leave one for the couple and take one in the photocards for their keepsake. The card can be designed like the ones from school, whenever we ordered pictures from school, we’d get these cards with our picture inside. It was very tacky, white glossy with gold foil allover. But if designed well, that look can be fun. Some other ideas: mixed cd’s, glassine bag of sweets with a vintage label, huge lollipop with cute tag, candied apples, set of old school notecards, or journal and pencil.

above: (left) Love Knot by Cheree Berry. (right and bottom) Custom wedding invitations and mailing labels from Paper Cup Design.

Invitations: It would help to pick one element that becomes sort of an icon or theme of the event. Monograms are commonly used, how about twisting it by having a calligrapher draw a custom monogram that looks old school. It can be a heart/arrow with the couples initials inside (T+D). That can be used on napkins, table numbers, favor labels etc. By having it professionally drawn, it elevates the school like theme. It might be fun to have a classic invite layout but add a little graffiti throughout the pieces. As if a child has gone into his/her parents things and drawn all over it.

Tien & David: Can you suggest budget-friendly ways to decorate the children's tables, since there will certainly be kids at the wedding and, given how we met, they are going to receive extra attention?

above: (clockwise) Carvel "Whale" Cake. Whale motif cufflinks. Suitcase filled with kid crayons and treats. Chalkboard place cards. Paper whale trinket crayon holder. Handmade blackboard "kid" place cards.

We had little tables and chairs for the children. Our tables were covered with black paper to mimic the chalkboard look but for the kids, we painted chalkboard paint on 4x8 plywood and placed that on the tables with colored chalks for them to play. We also had small lunch boxes filled with toys and games found all at the 99cents store. The kids were kept busy so the parents were able to enjoy the party. Classroom table numbers are fun ( Room 5/Mrs. Cogans). Subject tables like Math, English, History table can be something fun like Playground. For a more elegant finish, use black or dark grey placecards (to mimic chalkboards) with names in white placed on wheat grass.

Some other ideas:
Custom designed Place mats with crayons
Coloring books
White butcher paper covered tables with crayons and stickers etc.
Finger foods just for them: mini hotdogs, pizza, veggie/dip, boxed drinks...on the tables already can keep them busy
Goodie bags: brown lunch bags, small kraft shopping bags with handle- stamp with stickers and kids names to easily identify
Labeled cups with names or tags
Sweet treats: bake sale idea is good here if not doing it for the adults. Mini bags of cotton candy or popcorn.

Tien & David: To explain our thing with "Whales"...I once made a card for David that said "I will love you forever" but screwed up on the "will" and had to turn it into Whale. I drew a whale to roll with it and after a while, it became our word to mean, "I will/whale do whatever it takes to love you."

Minhee: What a cute story--Whales would make a cute silhouette/monogram for a theme too. Maybe make David a hanker chief with a whale silhouette stitched on. Or have a Whale grooms cake!

Tien & David: What are your top three suggestions for interesting keepsakes when it comes to weddings? We don't really want to stuff a piece of cake in the freezer for years and my closet is crammed enough as it is...

* Photobooks: we made a book of polaroids of our guests and their messages.
* Notes: ask guests to leave you a note at the the reception to be read on your first anniversary. Or have some questions already on the notecards for fun marital advice. If you are patient, have some cards designated to be read at different anniversaries and events: 10 year, 25th year, 50th year...first baby, first home....etc.
* Save a petal from your bouquet and his, press it and include in letter to each other to be read later together or make a bookmark of it with your picture.

A big thank you to Minhee for sharing such creative ideas! Your thoughtful attention to details are absolutely inspirational to any couple who wants to incorporate their story into their wedding. Be sure to check out their beautiful invitations and stationery products here!

ShopFriend: Paper Cup Design

So who were the two that I contacted for advice on Tien & David's wedding?

My good friend Abby's "Dear Abby" column on Style Me Pretty is the gold standard on tips for the bride (and in this case, one with a SOS dilemma)! I knew no one could better ferret out a clear vision and choices for inspiration than her. Abby came to the rescue in a blink of an eye and you can read her tips and suggestions for Tien & David on her blog today!

It was also an absolute no brainer to contact Minhee over at Paper Cup Design for advice. The similarities between both their stories were so endearing that I knew Tien & David and all of us would benefit from hearing their creative ideas. As you may already know, Minhee and Truman Cho design a fabulous line of stationery in Brooklyn called Paper Cup Designs. Their wedding in 2006 was featured in Martha Stewart's "Weddings" and swept everyone away with how they conveyed the history of their friendship and courtship through a school themed wedding ceremony and reception.

above: Minhee and Truman knew each other all the way back in grade school. So it was only natural that their wedding be held at the Fuller Arboretum where they had attended a school field trip together!

above: It's all in the details. Shiny, polished apples. Mismatched socks for the groomsmen. Hand-bound "school" journals. I've said this before, but the weddings I remember the most are not the ones that have the most glitz and glamour, but the ones that tell a story and make me leave feeling that I have been privileged to be a part of something special.

I'll be posting Minhee's advice to Tien & David's questions right after this one on special details to incorporate their own "school" courtship into their newly moved ceremony location!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Paper Studio: Tien & David

We love our brides at our Paper Studio. I'm not afraid to say I'm biased here, but whether it's a destination wedding in Costa Rica or a ballroom affair at the Ritz, I happen to think they are all so amazingly chic and savvy about their vision of their big day. So when one of my most adorable couples, Tien & David came in one day to tell me of the sad news that their request to hold their ceremony at the courtyard of their old school was denied, I had to contact two of the very best in the industry who could help out with some advice.

(Above) Tien & David initially met when they were in the first grade. These are the Save the Dates they made from their grade school picture!

Before I jump too far ahead, let me first introduce you to this wonderful couple. I have to resist using the word "adorable" too many times whenever I see them. Tien is bubbly, charming and full of spirit. David is warm, steady and the one who keeps all of us (when discussion of fonts turns into fondant) focused on the task at hand. As my parents would say, they are each other's yin and absolute compliment to one another.

Tien was kind enough to share the details of their story with us and you will just melt after reading this!

David and I met in first grade (when I fell head over heels for him--must have been the short shorts and bowl cut) and gradually became better and better friends as we passed through elementary school, middle school (I still liked him, this time it must have been his excellent grades and his CD Diskman!) and high school. We never dated, though we were always the couple kids would push together at dances or make fun of should we be caught in the same hallway together. It was cute, I well as heart wrenching, since I actually did love the boy.

Fast forward a few years after college--he Stanford, me UCLA--and one day I get a voicemail from David Lau, who had heard through the grapevine that I had returned from a two year long adventure in Shanghai. Just like that, he had looked me up on our old elementary school directory (asking my dad for my cell number) and asked me to dinner. It was all easy as pie after that :) I remember listening to the voicemail over and over, thinking "oh my god, oh my god, oh my god...Wait, Tien, you're a grown up now. Stop it!" I'm glad I never did. A year later, he proposed the night before Thanksgiving, proving that someone out there was definitely listening to the little kid in me twenty years ago.

To celebrate our past together, we wanted to hold our ceremony right where it all began, in the little lunch courtyard of our old elementary school in Piedmont. We tried for months to reach the school principal, the superintendent, anyone who we thought could give us clearance, but in the end were told that the school was now condemned for earthquake safety and thus was off limits. Crushed, we decided that the only logical thing to do was to just move our special ceremony to the reception site, St Regis Hotel. Originally, the thought was to give our guests a look into our history by inviting them literally back to where we began as students and friends, then give everyone a real party at the St Regis. Now that we lost the nostalgia element of the wedding, we were faced with the not-so-appealing possibility of just a plain ol' hotel wedding. The place is beautiful and stylish, but we {are}in need something to make it more personal.

PS. By the way, to explain our thing with Whales...I once made a card for David that said "I will love you forever" but screwed up on the "will" and had to turn it into Whale. I drew a whale to roll with it and after a while, it became our word to mean, "I will/whale do whatever it takes to love you."

Their touching story and disappointment prompted me to do some SOS. That, and despite how savvy any bride is...incorporating a story into the details of the wedding can be daunting and overwhelming! So stay tuned as I post up two of the best individuals to go to for wedding advice!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Friday: Purple Barney Gown

The May/June weddings are just around the corner, so this is for all of my nervous brides out there who might need a good laugh.

above: I remember seeing this "special" wedding gown two years ago but never forgot about it because it reminded me of something Barney's wife would wear (and no, I'm not talking Barney's New York!). The best part of this: the gown is made of over 1250 purple condoms!

above: and you simply cannot forget the condom bridesmaid gowns to match.

Have a happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Femmina Style Vintage

above: I am loving the latest additions on Femmina Style Vintage! This online vintage boutique carries wonderfully edited '50-'80s finds. This "Just Peachy" gown is gathered and fluttered and seamed in all the right places.

above: (left) the print on that maxi dress is on my "drool-worthy" list!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

hi + lo : Amsterdam Hotels

Well, if any of you live in the Netherlands please pipe in! A customer of ours is accommodating her friend to Amsterdam to attend a small, intimate wedding at the famed, highly gorgeous Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam. She was beyond excited until she found out the cost of a hotel room there which is about $1000 a night (gulp!).

above: the Intercontinental is within a 19th century castle perched on the banks of the Amstel River and close by to the Anne Frank House (on her must-see list).

Where to stay for a gal on an extreme budget but is "hostile to hostels"? For about a tenth of the cost (you can snag last minute deals at around $100) you can stay at Qbic Hotel (Qbic Hotel Amsterdam WTC to be exact).
above: known for being "Cheap & Chic," guests stay in "Cubis" where the mod beds change color to your mood. Doorless bathrooms boast Phillipe Starck Amentities. Instead of a headboard, there's a bar counter with two stools where you can eat your breakfast. bottom left: and speaking of favorite part! Everything here is "self-serve": you can self-check yourself in through a computer and instead of breakfast in bed you hop on down to vending machines where you can purchase fresh foods from local bakeries and merchants.
Love that!

Beach Wedding: Modaspia

It's that time of year...weddings are in full bloom and if you're invited as a guest, hopefully you've got your eye out for the perfect ensemble to wear! I've received a few invitations for outdoor/beach style weddings and thought it'd be fun to post up some finds.

above: this wedding from was set on a beach in the Dominican Republic and conveys such warmth and joy. But if you don't give your ensemble a little tweak, you may find yourself at odds with the elements.

If you're going to an outdoor wedding here are some basic tips:

• To avoid staining, ripping and tripping...wear a dress that is no longer than tea length:
This Modaspia dress just arrived at our boutique and is perfect for a beach wedding. Made of silk and lined in organdy cotton, the ruching goes up the back and provides the most flattering shape while being ultra comfortable!

• Wear slides or sandals (like the Christian Loubutin top right) that you can easily slip on and off your feet in case you are traipsing in sand or brush

• Finish it off with dainty Anthropologie earrings for shimmer and a wrap (Aesop Wrap) when night falls and it gets windy

• A sandy white beach produces a lot of glare, so don't forget sunglasses (like the Dolce Gabbana above)

• And non-greasy sunblock is essential! I am loving that Peter Thomas Roth has a brush-on version that you can tuck into your clutch.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ankasa : Fashion and Home

The May issue of Elle Decor features the beautiful home accessories of Ankasa.
This husband/wife team began in the fashion world, supplying embroideries to designers like Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang.

above: they describe their aesthetic as in between modern and traditional with hand embroidery and absolutely stunning textures.

above: Oscar de la Renta used an Ankasa textile for one of his Spring '08 designs.

above: their flagship store in New York offers their full line

Friday, April 18, 2008

Judith Leiber does a cupcake right

above: Alarmed at the cost of $3 for a cupcake these days? How about $4300 for this limited edition "Strawberry Cupcake Clutch" from Judith Leiber? Now this is what I call a cupcake!

Cupcake Fridays

Happy Friday everyone! Between Jennifer's birthday and our own lack of self control, we had more of a Cupcake "Week" rather than Friday...

above: (top) I can be in the midst of a run and then come to a screeching halt in front of the windows of Kara's Cupcakes to count how many coconut cupcakes they have left. (bottom) Jennifer shows us the "Martha Stewart" way of serving cake by cutting out a circle in the center so they are not only squared, but you get more pieces.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carolina Herrera

I am such a huge admirer of Carolina Herrera. Be it her wedding gowns, her evening dresses or her wear a Herrera is to wear a timeless, exquisite silhouette polished to perfection with feminine details.

above: How does she turn out such gorgeous wedding dresses year after year? These gowns from her '08 collection continue to highlight Herrera's sense of sophisticated romance.

above: Herrera in '75 and a photo of her at 16. Not only are her gowns iconic, but so is Herrera herself. I saw these photos and just reveled in her glamour.

above: with her husband, Renaildo at their Caracas estate.

above: Mapplethorpe captures her mystery and allure. Kicking it in her signature white shirt on the dance floor in Santo Domingo, '01.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Unique Wedding Week at SMP

I just can't get enough of my good friend Abby's "Unique Wedding Week" over at Style Me Pretty! Her talented roster of wedding designers from her Little Black Book have submitted such refreshing, endearing and personal glimpses into unique just know that every guest had a ball attending them.

above: These are some of my favorite shots from Abby's Unique Wedding Week although I could have re-posted the entire week including one shot of the cutest "bumble bee" flower baby!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shop Friend: Violet Designs

Traci Terrick of Violet Designs stopped in the other day and I just had to share with all of you her beautiful floral designs. Her shop is located in Newburyport, Massachusetts and offers naturally elegant designs for weddings, parties and showers.

above: what makes Traci's work unique is her background in photo styling for companies like Restoration Hardware and Gumps. With her nuanced eye, I can only imagine the invaluable benefits of having floral arrangements that will photograph impeccably.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Studio Sketch: Darling Darjeeling

We just got these Darjeeling mugs and expresso cups into the boutique and I love the colorful patterns on them. They would make wonderful table decor for your Moroccan themed bridal showers and parties!

above: I salvaged an unfinished sketch I started during the overcast winter that seems to fit Springtime and our Darjeeling motifs to a tee!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Friday: Sock it to Me

It's Friday and I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a little bit like this! Can't wait to bust out into the weekend for some of that sunny forecast...

above: this adorable sock animal is from F.Pea. Her knitting blog is full of her whimsical creations and she even has "Free Pattern Fridays" where you can try your hand at hats, fingerless gloves and beer cozies!

above: make your own octopus from one of F.Pea's "Free Pattern Friday" patterns
Happy Friday everyone!


And since we're on the topic of sock animals...
Who can resist these four handmade sock critters from Sok-O ? Each are unique and adoptable and come with their own birth certificate.
above: my personal favorite is the chicken little creature with the bellybutton (top left). According to Sok-O, his name is "Hooligan" and he lives by the motto, "the fun starts here."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

San Francisco Torch Relay

I interrupt our normal "design" posts on Shop Friends to post up some photos of the Olympic Torch Relay that occurred in San Francisco yesterday. It's not every day the Torch gets rerouted one block away from the shop & studio!

In actuality I was sitting in my car in traffic when it passed near our shop, bemoaning the thought that I had missed the run and the protests all together. But as I listened to the radio reports that the route was being diverted westbound, I put the pedal to the metal and found myself in the Marina running after a squadron of police down to the water.

above: Because of the incidents that occurred in Paris, this new route was devised and took many by surprise. Unexpectedly, I got a front row seat as I ran with fellow residents and what seemed like a mile of police alongside the torchbearers towards the Golden Gate Bridge.

above: The torch was so close (torch is right above the cop's helmet)!

above: I appreciated the many creative and determined protesters.

above: Ok, so maybe I can tie this all into Shop Friends by saying this... I so regret not jumping into my running shoes (which were sitting right there in the backseat) before taking off with my fellow residents, but Onex makes some darn good "running" heels! They aren't the best looking shoes...but I was able to run 3 miles in 2.5 inch heels chasing the torch down to Crissy Field and then back with only one blister. Go Onex, I am now a devotee!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Paris Interiors and Whale Tails

My sis and brother in law just purchased their first place and are busy as bees painting their walls and decorating. Needless to say, I've been trying to keep my eye out for furniture finds and found myself poring over this new book: "New Paris Interiors" by Angelika Taschen.

above: the pages I loved most happened to be the ones where there were elements of surprise. From whale tails, to a gorgeous canoe tub, to a plaster crocodile sconce...they capture the personality of the owners and help bring a lightness to the sometimes oh-so-serious art of decorating!

above: I love how this modern dining room is able to incorporate an edited version of the owners' many collected flea market and antique house finds.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tux Ruffles by Phoebe Couture

I love an unstructured tux it a work shirt, or a party dress like this one by Phoebe Couture. And what's a girl with a tux ruffle dress without her lacquered root stool and Moroccan inspired accessories?

above: Phoebe Couture Dress. Lacquered root stool. Emmeline and Blue Pillow.
Bauble earrings. Enameled tile necklace.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Shop Friend: Kathleen Deery Design

Aside from the glowing couple and their guests, nothing lends more texture and life to an event than good florals, lighting and linens. And so it was wonderful to meet Janet Bamberger at Kathleen Deery Design and hear about their dazzling floral and event planning.

above: just look at the texture and richness that these floral cakes bring to the space!

above: I have such a penchant for designs that are both sophisticated and natural. I can hardly get over how special this organic green tray is for holding placecards.

And another amazing offering from them: if you are looking to host the best shower ever, then contact Kathleen Deery Design for their Fresh Cut Classes. Invite a group of eight or more guests to gather at the studio for a workshop on floral design trends and arrangement. Each of your guests will bring home an arrangement and all the tips and lessons they will need to create their own floral pieces!