This lovely old lady

Certain objects from our history have a certain feeling around them, a sense of place and memory and for me my first sewing machine, this old beloved Singer that my Mum gave me on my 10th birthday is one such treasured objects. I fell in love with this wonderful gift when I first lifted the old wooden lid to encounter the etched silver filigree and gold leaf inlay detail of this elegant machine.

My Mum was a fabulous creative artist, there was nothing she could not sew, paint, cook or create. I'm not being modest when I say that I am lucky enough to have inherited a tenth of her creative ability.

This lovely old lady lives at our Solana Beach studio and she is a constant reminder of how parents can often see a skill or potential in their children and that we as children may not be aware of for many moons to come. 

 

Sewingmachine.jpg

The lass behind the love ... meet our lovely and talented Lead Design Justine M

Born in Southeast England, to a family of French and English lineage, Lead Designer of the Justine M Couture collections, Justine Louise Helena Murray, brings a sophisticated marriage of the romantic, feminine flair of French style and the tradition and regal elegance of English aristocracy, to all her jewelry and veil designs.

Traveling the world collecting ideas and inspiration, Justine made her home in Southern California and in 2002 created The Tiara Room, a charming and popular retail boutique offering her own designs to Southern California brides and event stylists. From this hands-on beginning with bridal clients, Justine evolved into designing solely for retail boutiques around the world and the Justine M Couture collection was born.

Hugely popular with the finest retailers in the world [like Kleinfeld New York, Kleinfeld Canada and BHLDN] Justine M Couture offers discerning brides a distinct alternative to traditional accessory styling. 

Justine believes Each piece I create is its own unique work of art that hails back to a time when elegance in fashion was more important than a passing trend” 

The 2016 Justine M Couture collection reflects both her English and French heritage.  Her pieces relate both a vintage appeal and a contemporary impact, with a timeless classical foundation that is the key to its appeal and success with bridal everywhere.

Life at trunk shows and why we love them

A few thoughts on our Designer present trunk shows...

Trunk Shows are very concentrated events for wedding gown and accessory designer. Designers travel cross country or internationally, stay in hotels, meets with dozens and dozens of brides, plus the store's concierges and style experts, tailors, managers, buyers and even a lot of the bride's family. It is, of course, an emotional time for the bride and her family, so being present and working face to face with these lovely girls is far more than just matching a veil to a dress or beautiful headpieces and jewelry to their overall style. Our Lead Designer Justine M loves life at trunk shows. Working with people to help them have the most incredible day of their lives is such a gift and Justine says "I'm so blessed to work with such beautiful families and brides it's truly an honor!" 

image.jpg

Designer Justine M met this beautiful bride [above] at a Kleinfeld Canada Justine M Couture trunk show. Justine says "Kim stole my heart with her picture of her mum (who sadly passed away six years ago) that she brought with her to her gown appointments so her mum could be there. Kim's mum was holding that little curious George when she passed so Kim has had George with her every night since. I was so touched be her devotion and her families' love."

image.jpg

Scenes from a trunk show at Kleinfeld New York where Lead Designer of Justine M Couture Justine M meets with many different brides over a few days to help them match their accessories to their dream gown. Interacting with real brides in real time is so valuable for a designer as inspiring brides with new and exciting looks is of course very important, but knowing what they want and how they feel is everything.  Justine M Couture strives to always help the bride feel the way she wants to feel on her wedding day; beautiful, classic, trendy, powerful and in love. We thank you for the honor. Please keep up with our schedule of trunk shows here.

Pretty pretty things for Brides from Perfect Details

Who doesn't love gorgeous, amazing shoes! 'Cacique', this gorgeous bridal shoe from Badgley Mischka Wedding Shoes marries vintage glamour with modern day bling, in ivory or blush. Shown with the Amalie Headpiece [by yours truly!] and the ever-classic Chanel Eau Vive Parfum.  Find all this bridal style and more at Perfect Details.

Rose Gold: the rich new color for 2016 adds a lovely blush to any ensemble

Rose Gold. You will be seeing a lot of this sweet vintage metal shade in the next 12 months since this, the year of Pantone's Rose Quartz, just calls for this blush gold color!

  Rose Petal Tea bracelets  in rose gold (and silver) are shown here with the  Basilica Multi Purpose piece  worn as a necklace.

Rose Petal Tea bracelets in rose gold (and silver) are shown here with the Basilica Multi Purpose piece worn as a necklace.

Rose Gold works with every skin tone from olive to pale and adds a hint of blush which is always extra flattering on a wedding day! 

 The bold and beautiful  Amalie Headpiece  in rose gold

The bold and beautiful Amalie Headpiece in rose gold

Ode to The White Flower Boutique in San Diego, California

Justine M our Lead Designer muses: “January is here and I am so looking forward to our first trunk show of the year at our San Diego flagship, The White Flower In San Diego...... the new year brings some exciting changes at The White Flower with the additional remodel of their accessory lounge a beautiful room dedicated to a beautiful and fabulous selection of exclusive Justine M Couture accessories and veils.  Our first show is going to be on a Wednesday this year [January 27 see events calendar here] and I will be present myself to help style and advise brides.  We have been working with The White Flower since Courtney opened her boutique back in almost a decade ago, and have watched Courtney and her fabulous team build the boutique into one of the top bridal boutiques in the USA... check out her yelp posts!! We are so grateful and happy that Justine M Couture is The White Flower’s exclusive accessory and veil designer.”

The White Flower carries sought after gown lines by Avina Valenta, Essense of Australia, Allure Couture [shown below], Hayley Paige, Martina Liana, Eve of Milady, Wtoo, Willowby by Watters, Lea-nn Belter and Astrid & Mercedes, Augusta Jones, Avina Valenta and Amy Kushel offering a wide range of styles and price points.  

Pantone announces their pick for the colors of 2016...welcome soft pinks and blues!

Now that Pantone has announced their pick for the colors of 2016 [Rose Quartz and Serenity] so we thought we'd show off a few pinks and blues of our own! 

Check out our pink vintage stone embellished Colette Hair Ornaments:

And did you know that Justine M Couture has quite a few pieces with the option of a little something blue added in? Yes pieces like our gorgeous Olive headpiece have the option of adding a special Blue Swarovski Crystal hidden on the back so only you know it's there. 

So if you love the latest bridal fashion trends, colors and fashions...we've got you covered!

Welcome Winter with beautiful, old fashioned Winter style...from Russia!

We can't think of a better way to celebrate the start of Winter than by giving you a peek at the inspiration for our Winter Palace Necklace named as an ode to the beautiful St. Petersburg Russia Winter Palace that was home to Catherine the Great, Czarina of Russia. We're pretty sure no one knows a great big beautiful snowy Winter like Russia! счастливы зимой or schastlivy zimoy! [Happy Winter!]

 

 The Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Winter Palace is filled with inspiring grandeur...

and we designed our Winter Palace Necklace, available in Gold or Silver Embroidery to be perfect for any Czarina!

Veil Terminology: the 4th in our series of expert Veil advice from Lead Designer Justine M

If you are veil shopping then you know a girl can become a tiny bit overwhelmed by all the various terms being thrown around: butterfly, waterfall, cascade, fingertip and more.

Veils have been around for a very long time with many centuries of style changes and additions so here's a little Veil 101 cheat sheet for you to help you along...

Butterfly: Oval-shaped and folded in half. Ribbon edging follows a crescent shape rather than a straight line.

Cage: A small veil that just wraps around the head, often ending at the chin and usually made from Russian tulle which has a very wide aperture

Cascade: Two or more layers of various lengths.Can do double duty as a blusher. Bottom layer(s) can act as "petticoat(s)", fluffing out top veil. The more layers the less translucent [or opaque] the effect.

Cathedral: Falls 3-1/2 yards from the headpiece (that's 11 1/2 dramatic feet of length!)

Chapel: A yard shorter than a cathedral veil. Often worn with a sweep train to give the illusion of a longer train.

Elbow: A blusher that goes to your elbows.

Fingertip: The veil touches the tips of your fingers, a length that often works with ball gowns.

Flyaway: Touches or just covers shoulders. 

Mantilla: A long, Spanish-style, circular piece of lace that frames the face. Can be attached to a high metal armature and is usually secured with a comb. The fabric is often lace or lace-edged tulle. 

For more beautiful veils take a look at our best selling Justine M Couture veils.  

2016 Bridal Trend Watch: plunging necklines

One of the most dramatic bridal fashion trends of 2016 has got to be the (pleasantly shocking for bridal) deep plunging neck line. 

 A daring and breathtakingly bold gown by Designer   Julie Vino

A daring and breathtakingly bold gown by Designer Julie Vino

   Vera Wang   shows off a dramatic low neckline in her 2016 collection  

Vera Wang shows off a dramatic low neckline in her 2016 collection  

This show stopping, cleavage-bearing trend, being shown by the hottest bridal designers, is the perfect setting for dramatic necklaces!

   Reem Acra   shows off a plunging neckline from their collection  

Reem Acra shows off a plunging neckline from their collection  

 Our own version of the deep neckline style, showing the Justine M Couture  Basilica Multipurpose Piece

Our own version of the deep neckline style, showing the Justine M Couture Basilica Multipurpose Piece

Are you daring enough to try this new trend? We'd love to know! 

Where do I fit in? The right veil for your body - the 3rd in a series on veil selection by Lead Designer Justine M

“A badly chosen accessory, however beautiful in its own right, will take the attention away from its wearers, and thus fail to do its job by becoming “the focus” rather than an complementing “accessory” which is it’s purpose. Most importantly; you should still feel like you!”

A properly selected veil should accentuate the positive aspects of your face, figure and coloring. Women with dramatic features can pull off a more dramatic detailed look, lighter complexions suit softer fabrics, embroidery and lighter laces. 

Face Shape and hair style is important…. correct placement of a veil is crucial to your overall look so consider how you are wearing your hair when selecting a veil.  If the veil feels overwhelming close to your face, try placing it further back towards your crown.  

Ask yourself when wearing your potential veil… does this veil compete with or add something to my gown and look?  How does the veil suit my personality?  Do you feel like you are wearing the veil or is it wearing you?  

One of the most important pieces of styling advice I give to brides is....

Let the stylist or designer help you.

We’ve all seen the reality shows and know that opinions of your family and friends matter, but most good quality bridal stores truly know how to style brides, and so take advantage of this skill and where possible attend a “designer present veil trunk show” – designers are qualified to select the perfect veil for brides based on all your needs and considerations:-  “it’s what we do best aside from design” so use this tool where possible and be honest about your likes and dislikes, it will help achieve your goal to find the perfect veil.

Matching your veil to your gown: The second in our series of expert veil advice from LEAD DESIGNER JUSTINE M

Gown meet Veil - Veil meet Gown…

Your gown is the best tool to use when selecting a veil and accessories.  This single item so intimately highlights the outline of your personality.  A simple gown with clean lines is a clean canvas to paint on it what you will …..add a lace veil for a romantic vintage touch, a heavily beaded or embroidered veil for classic elegance or keep it simple with a raw cut (no trim) for effortless sophistication. 

Make your veil work for you!

Other fun tips to consider is that most cathedral veils can we double up as a wrap for an evening reception by placing the veil over the shoulders, for a multi purpose look.  Long veils can also be bustled into the skirt of the gown so that you get to wear them for longer and highlight any embroidery or detail…… be sure to make the veil work for you!  

Length, Cut and Details

The veil’s length, cut, styling and details are easier to select if you consider the style of your bridal gown.  Consideration should always be given to the back of the gown to ensure that any particular pattern or cut, bow or waist band, bustle, belt or beading on the back of your gown isn’t compromised by adding a veil with competing trim or mainly in the wrong length.  Elaborate and flamboyant gowns can be enhanced by dramatic or simple veils, depending on the wearer’s personality. 

 The Catherine Veil from the Justine M Couture Avant Grade Collection

The Catherine Veil from the Justine M Couture Avant Grade Collection

Gown Shape and Width

When choosing a veil your bridal gown’s shape and width should be considered.

  • A gown with a lot of movement works well with a wavy or “waterfall” cut veil.
  • A full-skirted ball gown is the perfect gown to pair with a wide cut or “teardrop” shape veil to encompass the width of the full skirt. 
  • A gown with very straight or clean lines works well with any veil, as you can either mirror the line of the dress or create more volume with shape.

You can create a more dramatic silhouette with any veil by adding layers, thereby adding volume and character. Consider a circular cut veil where the comb is in the center of a circle or oval so that the trimmed edge sits around the base of the veil (i.e. away from the face) allowing you to wear a more elaborately trimmed veil.

Watch for our next article in the series..."Veil Terminology" coming soon!

 

The triumphant return of the [very] dramatic veil

One of the hottest bridal style trends for this year is heavily embroidered and embellish veils.

 The Armonde Veil from The Avant Garde Collection

The Armonde Veil from The Avant Garde Collection

 The Paisley Veil from Embellished Collection

The Paisley Veil from Embellished Collection

For a few decades the veil was nowhere to be seen at weddings and now it is back in full style and with no holds barred!

 The Amy Veil from the Lace Collection

The Amy Veil from the Lace Collection

Today's bride wears a veil for different reasons than her sister of centuries ago- no need to hide behind a wall of fabric before seeing your groom for the first time! Today's veil is a celebration of design and style for any wedding.

Want to see what's popular with brides right now? Check out the best selling Justine M Couture Veils section

Selecting your veil: Lead Designer Justine M brings you expert advice on Veils

In the modern world… women have a fresh approach when it comes to thinking about the wedding veil, now considered a bridal accessory, rather than a tool worn for modesty.

(above the Justine M Couture Kyoto Veil in the Avant Garde Collection)

A veil is not something we wear everyday, and selecting one that suits your own style [and that perfectly complements your bridal gown] can be a daunting task. Veils add an extra sense of tradition and flair for occasion. And your veil should enhance your style and personality.

(above the Justine M Couture Paisley Veil in the Embellished Collection)

Today we bring you the first in a weekly series of tried and tested “veil facts” to help any bride find the perfect veil! Designer Justine M says...

There are 6 key things to consider when selecting your veil style:

  1. Veil Length (short & flirty or long & dramatic) should complement your gown
  2. The cut of the Veil (refers to the Veil's shape) again be sure to pair with your gown
  3. The gather/thickness of the Veil (the way the veil is attached to the comb)
  4. The number of layers the Veil has (1 is translucent, 2 or more is bold and mysterious)
  5. The Veil's trim (lace along the edge?) or decorative beading (scattered beading?)
  6. The comb type (the way the Veil attaches to your head)

Some brides love a dreamy and bold “full poufy” look that multiple layers creates and some brides prefer a more simple “fine gather” look with a simple trim. Your veil matches your personality more than any other accessory!

Justine M Couture has the capacity to cut any veil in a variety of different thicknesses and lengths. Also comfort is a huge factor on your wedding day so be sure to pick a veil with a metal comb [the only type Justine M Couture uses] that will be comfortable and easy on your hair.

(above the Justine M Couture Pirouette Veil in the Lace and Mantilla Collection)

Stay tuned for the next installment....."Matching your Veil to your Gown" coming soon!

Fun Fact: Did you know that in Ancient Rome Brides appeared enveloped in a saffron-colored haze that symbolized the flame of Vesta, the goddess of home and the provider of life? Check out more fun facts on Veils on the "For Dummies" website!