About Me

I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Accessories (65)

Tuesday
Jun142011

Wedding Day Nail Bling?

I think this is so cool.

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Sadly, I can't find the resource for this, or any other of the nail jewelry (not that tacky, dangled nonsense) for that matter.  I can find a bazillion photos of similar, but no one knows where they come from. Weird. So if ya know it, leave a comment, yo! There are people out there who want this thing. 

Like me.

Sunday
Jun122011

Product of the Week vol.2

As ya’ll mostly know, I rarely come up with an idea of my own. Honestly. I’m always inspired by something. I have to be. It’s just the way my creativity works. Nary is a time where I’m sitting, twiddling my thumbs and WHAMMO! the idea to Hodge Podge my way to a new DIY filing cabinet hits me in my right brain hemisphere and I’m suddenly off to Home Depot. Nay, my friends. Nay. What will happen is that I’ll think, “I need a new filing cabinet!” and I’ll spend at least a week looking through catalogs, Overstock.com, Ikea, West Elm and the like. I’ll harrumph and grumble over prices I deem as too high. I’ll start to look for cheapies on Craig’s List and see cabinets for cheap that are still ugly-ass gray, whether new or old. Then I’ll think about spray painting it. So I go online and look at metal spray paints. Then I wonder how to spray paint metal, then I’ll see a random picture somewhere of an actual cute filing cabinet and then I’ll be all, “Oh, I should Google DIY filing cabinets!” and lo and behold, the Mecca of the internet vomits forth it’s DIY filing cabinet abundance. And I’ll decide not to spray paint or Hodge Podge. Maybe wallpaper and wallpaper glue. Or contact paper, like how we used to do the insides of our lockers in high school. And that's how I arrive at "ideas." I feel I will soon have a 4-drawer filing cabinet that I can live with. Stay tuned.

Trulu Couture stuff happens the same way. I get inspired by something to make similar, yet different. There is never a map and certainly no compass. There is no definite way stuff happens, that’s fo’ sho’.  I'm simply find myself drawn repeatedly to a shape, a technique, a color. And then stuff starts to happen. 

I recently acquired a vintage stole that I’m rehabilitating into something wearable, though I ‘m concerned about the piece (more on that another time). However, I like the shape of said stole so much, I wanted to work on a new piece mimicking the shape. I wanted to work with ruffled tulle. Why? Because I was inspired by these gorgeous lovelies.

 

reddoll by Tatyana Merenyuk

I'd like one of these in black, puh-lease.

Elle Brazil May 2011 via  Dustjacket Attic.

And if you don't already stalk Dustjacket Attic, you should.


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This is a freakin' coat! Love.

Gorgeous, right? So I’ve started the wrap and it is quite the undertaking. I’ve only just begun, so there not too much to show, but it’s starting to take shape. It’s a simple crescent shape wrap that will lie just about the shoulders and tie in front. I will finish it eventually. Some day. Why? Because it’s going to be made with about a bajillion million little tulle petals, that’s why. And it will take me forever to cut out each. and. every. one. Smile  Check it out:

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The starting end. None of this is even sewed, just pining and arranging at this point.

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Teeny tiny petal clusters! And I can’t decide if I should line the entire wrap or keep it super airy and light. My gut says line it. Thoughts?

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Fear not, I have plenty of tulle.

In the end, the shape will be similar to this, but will not be fur-fuzzy, but tulle-fuzzy! And not quite as long.

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So excited.

So should I line it or not?

P.S. If you didn't read Friday's post, scroll down and check it out. Let me know if you want more styled shoots revealed, or if you'd rather just suffer the beauty.

Monday
May162011

It’s Like Calculus

I’ve been having an internal struggle recently regarding TruLu Couture. Of course, I want to encourage everyone to shop there. I want to get the word out, market myself like crazy (because it’s all about the marketing) and start cranking out the sales. Earlier this month, I hit up the local antique fair to look for TruLu Couture goodies and ended up talking with a woman who I discovered back in a corner in one of the smaller, but permanent stalls. She had a lot of weird, fantasy type stuff (she used to have a gift store that sold tons of fairy/dragon paraphernalia), but I stopped because I saw a vintage hat and thought I could poke around some. She was barely unpacked, yet when I told her what I was looking for, helped me dig through some boxes to find some yummy vintage Russian tulle and hat flowers. SCORE! But that’s not the interesting part, we started chatting and it turns out, this chick is a social media marketer and environmental activist. And that’s why I love striking up conversations with total strangers. You just never know what kind of cool people you’re going to meet. My point though (sorry, I’m rambling here) is that we talked about how if you did everything you are supposed to do in media marketing, you’d never get any work done because that’s ALL you’d be doing. And it’s true. It’s frustrating. And hard. But it’s fun too!

So having said all that, I will get back to my internal struggle. This blog and TruLu Couture did not follow the path that most designers and bloggers take. My blog came first, not my business. Usually, it’s the other way around. I have a certain level of guilt associated with promoting TruLu on my own blog. I mean, how stupid is that? My blog, my rules, my company – it should be simple math, right? But it’s not. It feels like that college Calculus class I took when I realized that my brain was not made to function beyond advanced algebra or high school trigonometry. I get all deer-in-headlights-dazed and paralyzed by equations and those goddamn graphs.

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But then again, I’m no fool. I design bridal accessories. I have a bridal audience. No brainer, right? But I also don’t want to bore y’all with shameless self-promotion, turning myself into a tacky Old Navy-esque marketing strategy of “Hit ‘em hard! Hit ‘em often!” Does this make any sense?

I was sharing this woe-is-me-what-do-I-do scenario with Tabitha and she reminded me what makes my blog successful – writing what I know. Writing from the heart. Writing with the heart. At this point in my life, I’m writing what I know and a good chunk of that is TruLu Couture. I get excited about new photography shoots and sojourns to antique shops and working with brides on custom pieces. I was talking with another friend this weekend who is helping her friend plan a wedding and how uninvolved the bride is and how little she knows about everything wedding-related. I reminded her of my status when I first was planning. We laughed over that because it seems that once I entered the wedding world, I um….never came out. Who knew?

So all that being said, know that I am a little self-conscious when it comes to promoting TruLu Couture. I’m putting my work out for display and I’m hyper-sensitive to criticism. I know, I need to buck-up, suck-up and get used to it because the world is filled with critics, mean people and SMP.  When I did this sort of thing in the home décor world, I had a bit of insulation from the direct critics, but then again, even that was outweighed by features in trade magazines and such. This TruLu stuff is different. It takes some getting used to, including the shameless self-promotion.

Soon there will be some contests around the Blogosphere where you can win TruLu stuff. More promotion. More effort to get my name out there. The best part is that there are folks who want to help. There are people who like my goodies and hair toys. Hooray! For this, I am so incredibly grateful! I spent this last weekend with my parents and my mom was all, “I need some more of your business cards.” And I’m all, “What?” Apparently, the woman has been handing them out like candy to whoever will listen to her brag on her daughter. She’s given them to bridal shop staff and SRL (Southern Retired Ladies) alike. Go Mom! Apparently, she doesn’t have the same sort of promotions issues as I do. Smile

So with all that being said, I’m ramping up for some giveaways. I’m struggling with what, exactly, to give away. What does the average wedding blog reader want to win? I think about what I would have wanted to win, but was I the average wedding blog reader? Am I average (pleasenopleasenopleasenopleaseno)? So I’m putting it to the masses for a little help. What do you want/need to win? A veil, birdcage or otherwise? A fascinator? A shrug? I’m reaching out for some assistance here. Last week I uploaded a bunch of new items to the TruLu Couture store. I’d love for you to go there, look around a bit and then come back here and tell me what you like. Tell me what you’d like to win. You never know, you just might get lucky and have the chance to win the very thing you love!  Here, I’ll go first. I think my favorite item that I’ve made so far is The Mavis Fascinator.

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Photography by Lindsay Hess

It’s something I stripped down to almost nothing and then rebuilt with a slew of vintage flowers, velvet leaves and vintage celluloid beads. While the piece itself is “new” it has so many historic stories behind it. That is what I love about the direction I’m going in…it’s a bit of fashion history coupled with making your own history. I just love that. 

So, your favorite? Do tell.

Tuesday
May102011

Get Your Tiara On (NOT a Royal Wedding post)

I feel like a bag full of assholes1 today and wasn’t planning on writing anything. The Cedar tree pollen is raping my face. The Candyman is suffering as well. New state, new spring allergies to fuck with us both. FAN-tastic! So I’m already a might bit surly, with nastiness running down the back of my throat, occasionally pit-stopping in my mouth. Nice, right? Y’all are lucky I’m not feeling more descriptive today.

I was tooling around the interwebs and happened across a planner’s blog. I’m not going to link the tool because I certainly don’t want to encourage traffic there. The mystery blog’s post was in regards to tiaras, Princess Kate’s borrowed Cartier (can you imagine that conversation? “Yo, HRH! Can I borrow some bling?” OK, maybe not…) and a description of “What’s Hot and What’s Not.” From the post…

…eschewing my earlier warning. Now that we’ll see trends pouring out of the UK and into mass retail for brides to consume with utter abandon, take heed and avoid the tiara . . . we advise against the fake-it-till-you-make-it adage here, girls. Your $32 Moissanite version ain’t. cutting. it.

OK, so in the less than 10 minutes I spent on this blog, I saw the word “eschew” no less than 3 times. OK, Mr. Fancy Pants. We get it. There were some pictures of tiaras that the author posted as lame. Were they lame? Yeah, kinda. But they also looked like they were circa 1998.

I definitely left a “shame on you” comment because what I think is LAME is the attitude. There ain’t a damn thing wrong with a fake-it-till-you-make-it approach to weddings. I mean, holychristonabike, that’s what my wedding was ALL ABOUT!  My favorite blogs are the ones that gave me inspiration that wasn’t Cartier or Stuart Weitzman or letterpress invitations or Lily of the Valley bouquets or Vera Wang. And to this very day, I look back at my wedding and think I did a damn fine job of faking it, thank you very much.

So in a retaliation post of sorts (here I go, starting a ruckus again), I’m going to feature TIARAS, mothereffers. Pretty ones. Ones that don’t suck. Ones that aren’t Cartier. That WIC planner can suck it.

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Rose and Leaf Tiara from Twigs and Honey, $195

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Jenny Packman via Studded Hearts

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Corbin Gurkin Photography

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BHLDN $145

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Helena Tiara from Tigerlily, $100

My advice to this planner (now that I’ve calmed down a bit) is this: how about constructive criticism versus leading brides away from a trend they really might want. How about, “avoiding dated ribbon curls or pointy buns or tiaras that don’t seem to fit?” How about helping the bride with her wedding day hair and talking about options? Ask how she really wants to look and feel on her wedding day. How about researching the look for affordable unique designs that don’t have to smack of tacky? Sheesh.

So there. Go ahead and get your princess on.

1Feeling coined by Marie, the day after my wedding. 

Wednesday
Apr202011

Stocking Up

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Back when I was first cutting my teeth as a buyer, I worked for Frederick’s of Hollywood. I worked in the home office, which used to be located smack-dab in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard. This was in the mid 90's before the place got cleaned up some. I’ll tell you, going to work at 7am and seeing the riff-raff still stumbling about from the night before was, uh…interesting. I have to admit though, it was all kinds of fun. We’d sneak away to go watch actors and musicians unveil their stars on the boulevard or down to Mann’s Chinese Theater to watch movie premier red carpet stuff. We’d hit up Musso and Frank’s after work for some Picon Punch and since the receptionist worked nights at The House of Blues VIP room, she’d always let us in to hob-nob with the stars. Good times.

At the time, I was a lowly assistant buyer, in charge of three categories: crotchless panties, hosiery and the plus size categories. Wanna know the best selling item in all of those categories combined? Get ready for it….the satin and lace, all-around zipper crotchless panty in size XXXL, red with black lace. Not something I can explain and not sure I ever wanted to know….at all. Anyway, since the assistant buyers were in charge of all the samples, we always got first dibs on things meant for the annual sample sale! I used to have a nice little cache of lingerie! I’ve since trashed a lot of the trashy lingerie and it hasn’t been replaced. I bought some cute thongs for the wedding, but they have been sitting in my drawers collecting panty-dust ever since. 

My favorite sexy lingerie item is stockings. I love the idea of the garter belt. Through my years as a hosiery buyer, I learned a lot about the quality and craftsmanship of stockings. I had manufacturers sending me real silk stocking samples from Germany, France and England. Simply gorgeous! I had a really cool pair that was nude, but had these cool black designs trailing up the side of one leg. When I wore them, people constantly stopped me to ask me about my leg tattoo! These remind me of those a little bit:

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Nude with black seam and “love” for $17.93 from ASOS.

For more “tattoo” style stockings, check out these on Etsy.

If you’re going to shop for quality stockings, you should know a little something about denier. Denier is unit of weight that measures the fineness of a textile, equal to the weight in grams of 9000 meters. Basically, it measures the thickness of something. Think of it like thread-count on your sheets, only the number goes down, instead of  up. The sheerest you can find these days is around 7.

You might be tempted to splurge on real silk stockings, but forewarned is forearmed: silk stretches and then doesn’t un-stretch. Lots of sitting and standing and your cool silk stockings will be bagging around you knees and ankles. No bueno.

And here’s a little factoid: do you know why they stopped making silk stockings? They had to because of World War II. The number one supplier of silk to the U.S. was Japan. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, that trade route was closed. The small supply of silk that we did have went towards making parachutes for soldiers. And then the Mack-daddy of all things vital to women was invented: nylon (followed closely by Spandex). Nylon was a ton less expensive to make than silk, so it opened up a whole new world of availability to lower-income women.

Dr. Wallace Hume Carothers invented nylon in the 1930s and DuPont introduced the stockings in 1938 and promoted them at the 1939 World’s Fair as a rival for silk stockings. In October 1939, according to Sodibas.com, the entire stock of four thousand pairs was sold out in Wilmington, Delaware within three hours.

Dupont then designated May 15, 1940 as "Nylon Day" nationwide and four million pair were sold within four days.*

Can you imagine? FOUR MILLION in FOUR days. Can you say shopping free-for-all?

Here are some of my favorite go-to recommendations for luxury legwear:

Wolford – Home for luxury legwear. Founded in 1949 Germany, they are the go-to for great hosiery. They have co-branded with the likes of Jean Paul Gautier, Philipp Starck, Vivienne Westwood, Karl Lagerfeld and Emilio Pucci.

Gerbe – French manufacturer since 1904. These folks know how to do it.

Girardi – Making them Italian style since 1933!

Most of these manufacturers do lots of private label stuff for Agent Provocateur, La Perla and Faire Frou Frou. If you’re looking for the luxury stuff, go to any of these places to shop.

Here are some more of my favorites from around the interwebs, both bridal and otherwise!

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$31.00 from SockBox via Etsy.

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16.56 € from Trasparenze.

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A little something blue in 15 denier? $49.99 from StockinGirl.

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85.00 € from Cazar.

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£ 54.95 from Lascivious.

More pretties:

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There are a million, jillion places to buy this stuff at all price levels and in all kinds of styles. If you want to try stockings or thigh highs, I suggest buying an inexpensive pair and giving them a test run before seriously investing. They aren’t for everyone, comfort being the biggest factor.

I have a request though, nay a demand. Regardless of what you see in fashion magazines, hosiery with open toed shoes is LAME, even those marked “sandal foot.”  I beg of you, do not do this.

So, what’s your take on legwear? Thigh highs? Stockings? Or are you simply going to rock some Spanx and call it day?