Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Inspired.By.Harriet #5

1930s Silhouettes

This week I am looking at the 1930s silhouette. It was such an glamorous era, the golden age of Hollywood. I am particularly inspired by the the actress Ginger Rogers, whose long, flowing dresses elongated and streamlined her figure, creating a lovely, elegant silhouette. To recreate a 1930's look, choose luxurious silks and satins cut on the bias to highlight your waist and lengthen your figure. Metallic details such as silver shoes or beading add a touch of glamour. A really nice touch is to have your hair set in Marcel waves, and for some real Hollywood glamour - scarlet lips!

Image Credits:

Top Row: 1930s model via My Vintage Vogue, Great Gatsby Ballroom Wedding via Pet Dog Online, beaded shoulder via Love My Dress, dress patterns via Past A La Mode
Middle Row: 30s wedding dress via Credit Crunch Bride, bride and groom via Pet Dog Online, 30s evening shoes via Ye Olde Fashion, Ginger Rogers via It Had To Be You, dress with train via Antique Dress
Bottom Row: Gingers Rogers via The Musings of A Kitty Cat, Jenny Packham gown via Ritzy Bee, Floor length skirt BHLDN, Kate Bosworth via My Style.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Cake Parlour Turns 1!

A whole cabinet dedicated to ruffle cakes! J'adore! 

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting cake designer extraordinaire Zoe Clark's boutique The Cake Parlour on the eve of its 1st anniversary. Since its opening, Zoe literally hadn't the time to organise a launch as she'd been inundated with clients for weddings and parties (oh, and writing fabulous books too) so it was a treat to finally view her beautiful shop and have a good old catch up!

Guests were treated to a delicious and sweet selection of confections to try and goodie bags were on hand to stock up with (yes, I took home plenty of cupcakes, biscuits, meringues and fancies and can confirm that they were indeed exceptionally good). 

In between sipping on my sparkling wine and mouthfuls of cake I managed to take a few photos of my favourites just for you...

Simple, yet so chic...

Macarons that Zoe & her team make by hand.

Delicate sugar flowers

Mini cakes

Zoe's creations often take inspiration from bridal gowns as the fabrics and embellishments really spark her creativity. I love the idea of a couple's wedding cake reflecting elements of the bride's dress, it's a great way to tie everything into a cohesive design.

Exquisite piping.

If you're planning on surprising your guests with a dessert table Zoe's team can design and create everything for you which takes the inconvenience away from sourcing everything separately too. Perfect.

Thanks for a lovely evening Zoe and I'm very much looking forward to coming to play in the kitchen in the new year!

Grant-Riley Weddings

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Wedding News: Harriet Wilde Sample Sale

With all the gloom and drudgery about the Euro Zone and the current financial situation we're starting to think about tightening our belts again as Christmas approaches. But fear not! For there IS good in world and where there is good there are shoes...

My good friend and shoe designer Ruth of Harriet Wilde got in touch to ask if I could spread the word about a fabulous end-of-line sample sale she's holding next week...

Tube: Archway on the Northern line, 5 min walk
Overground: Upper Holloway, 5 min walk
Bus: 390, 124, 43, 271

There are brand new samples in sizes 5 and 7, and bridal end of line styles in all sizes, handbags and other little vintage bridal surprises for you from Elizabeth Avey.

Please note payment is cheque or cash only, grab yourself a bargain, with prices ranging from £30-£100.

This event only happens once a year, please come early to avoid disappointment.

What could be more perfect in time for Christmas ladies?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Inspired.By.Harriet #5

The images I have collected this week are inspired by the film 'Chocolat'. Like the film, I have tried to combine the 1950's silhouette with a bohemian French feel. There is a scene in the film where they have a party in a traditional french courtyard - a feast is spread out on a long table and everybody helps themselves. I love this idea for a wedding, the table filled with colourful flowers and lights strung up for when it starts to get dark. Bright colours work really well with a 1950s theme - if you want to wear white you can still add dashes of colour through your shoes, sash or flowers. 




Image Credits:

Top Row: 50s dress via Pinterest, Armande's party via Hooked On Houses, Juliet Binoche via Hooked On Houses, Dried roses via Female Version of a Hustla
Middle Row: Bride and bridesmaids via Vintage Indie,  VW Beetle via Flickr, Groom and groomsmen via Ruffled Blog
Bottom Row: Chocolat inspired table dressing via La Bella Vita Events, outdoor party via Honestly WTF, 50s dress via Flickr. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Tribute To A Beautiful Friend

Yesterday I lost a friend to cancer. She was brilliant and I mean that in every sense of the word. Despite the significant age gap we had so much in common and it was a friendship that was nurtured through our love of samba.

I first met Diane when I travelled all the way down to London from Ipswich one gloomy Sunday night for a work shop at the London School of Samba. I'd never danced samba before, let alone been to an escola and yet, being welcomed on the door by this lovely lady suddenly put my mind at rest. I knew I was in the right place and there I stayed for a few years thereafter. 

Diane was a real go-getter. She played 2nd surdo (those are the large, deep drums for those not in the know-much like Di, they are the heart of the samba). She took no nonsense and boy did she know how to have a good time. 

Stormin' Norm & Di in 2007 

A few years ago she decided, alongside her wonderful partner or "significant other"  (now husband) Norm to pack up and retire to Mallorca. It was like losing a member of the family for the school where she'd been such an integral part for the 25 years since it started, but she knew it was something they'd wanted to do. She started up her own blog to keep us all informed of their antics and escapades and called it 'Two Crumblies And A Cat'. If you get the chance to read some of it, it really is very good, her sense of humour really shines through. It was also on her blog that most of us found out that she'd been diagnosed with bowel cancer-that didn't stop her taking time out to be glammed up for a photo shoot though!

We followed her journey through her various treatments and experiences of Spanish hospitals before she was told in no uncertain terms that it was terminal. Within weeks she and Norm has sold their apartment and moved back to Suffolk to be closer to her children, they got married, found somewhere new to call home by the sea and were very happy despite it all. 

Earlier this year I did the Race For Life 10K speed walking with my best friend in Di's name and it felt really good to be raising money and helping to get one step closer to finding a cure.

The last time I saw her was a few months ago now with Norm. She met my son, we talked about antiques, drove past many an Art Deco house swooning on our travels down the coast and had a wonderful day full of laughter. Of course she seemed tired, but that wasn't going to stop her living. She'd even had a piano delivered up several flights of stairs the day before-her latest steal from a local auction that she was over the moon with and delighted to be able to start playing again.

Thank you for being my friend Diane. Thank you for welcoming me into a world that meant so much to me for many years. Thanks for the laughs. I promise to look in on Norm as much as I can.

And yes, I can already hear you telling me to "pull yourself together and get on with it", so here it is, my tribute to you, Beth Carvalho's Vou Festejar (I celebrate).

Rest In Peace my friend.


Image Credits

'A Celebration Of Women' calendar by Samantha Hemsley Photography

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Eye Candy #26: Papilio

It's extremely rare that I see a Russian bridal label and fall in love with it instantly. It might be snobbish of me but when I think of Eastern European wedding dresses I think of something out of date, tacky even. Sorry!

But anywhere, that was before I stumbled upon the delicately beautiful Papilio collection. Love, love love. Such a stunning selection of silhouettes, lace and detailing with some gorgeous vintage inspired designs. Seriously, check them out for yourself...

Unfortunately this collection isn't stocked anywhere in the UK, but you can find them in France, Germany, Poland and other European countries as well as the US.

Image Credits
© Marina Danilova for Papilio

Grant-Riley Weddings

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Inspired.By.Harriet #4

Recycled Rustic Wedding

This week I have been looking at unique ways to decorate a wedding that are both simple and effective. I have pulled together some images that have quite a neutral, rustic feel, that can be easily achieved by collecting interesting objects and recycling everyday materials. One of my favourite ideas is paper flowers, which can be made from recycling newspaper, old books or music sheets. They can be made into wreaths, strung into garlands, or used singularly on tables or on the backs of chairs.

To continue this theme, you could use the same paper to make bunting (perhaps in slightly different shades of neutral, some printed, some plain), tassles or place mats.

Another nice idea is collecting certain objects such as old keys, postcards, vintage labels or stamps (which can all be found at car boot sales, markets, or even on ebay), and using them for place names, or even as part of your wedding stationary. 

There are so many simple details that you can put together yourself that will transform your wedding, from hanging glass bottles on mass to create your own chandelier, to using old wooden clothes pegs to hang place names or photos. Have fun collecting!


Image Credits: 

Top: Paper flowers via Crush Cul De Sac, Entrance hall via Heike Weber, Chandelier via Nude Lumiere , keys place names via Wedding Concierge
2nd Row: DIY Mr&Mrs banner by Hailey Erickon Photography, organic grey and gold announcement cards via Oh So Beautiful Paper, vintage labels via Crush Cul De Sac
Middle: Decanter lights by Lee Broom,  Homemade cakes via Ruffled blog by Made You Look Photography
Bottom: Postcard escort cards via Ruffled, confetti backdrop by Confetti Systems, paper bunting by Toast 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Inspired.By.Harriet #3

The Ballet

Last week I went to see the Degas exhibition at the Royal Academy, and found his portrayals of dancers absolutely beautiful. Ballet is so graceful and elegant - exactly what you want to exude as a bride. I am not going to suggest a ballet themed wedding, but I think that there are elements of ballet that are really inspiring. Firstly the colour palette -  pale peach, soft greys, greens and blues. These colours could be worked into a wedding in a subtle way, perhaps through the flowers or small details such as a satin sash, or ballet pumps for young bridesmaids. I love the idea of multiple layers of soft tulle - maybe even incorporating a variation of really soft colours within the layers. Another lovely element of ballet is the traditional hairstyle, smoothed back into a big bun which makes your neck look longer and more graceful.

Kate Bosworth works the ballerina style
via Handbag.com
Hairstylist Severin Hubert champions the oversized bun for 2012
© Nobu Yamaguchi, styled by Tiffany Grant-Riley

Whatever elements you choose, whether it is certain colours or fabric, I believe ballet inspired ideas are subtle and feminine.


Image Credits:

Top: Papered Pom Set at BHLDN, ballerina by Edgar Degas, bride with clasped hands via Once Wed, Victoria's Reign Gown by BHLDN
Middle: Ballet shoes via Hearts In Sand, apricot tea roses via Reasons To Breathe, girl in dress via In The Name Of Fashion
Bottom: Reclining ballerina via Clare Andrews, lace tea dress and blossoms via Wedding Day Tree, soft green tulle dress via Barbietcholic, Carrie Bradshaw via In The Name Of Fashion