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 TruLu Couture (43)

Friday
Oct142011

Premier Bride, Charlotte

Dudes. DUDES! I totally can’t talk to you today because guess what? Guess!! Give up? OK, I’ll tell you, but it’s gotta be fast because DUDES…Premier Bride magazine is coming to the studio TODAY to look at some TruLu Couture stuff for the next publication!!!

Yeah, they called me YESTERDAY. I have so much to attempt to do before they get here.

DUDES!

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Wish me luck! More details later y’all. I gots to gets me to some sewing!

Friday
Sep162011

{Product of the Week!} TruLu Couture at Night

In honor of my friend’s 30th birthday, I decided to make her a little sumpin’ sumpin’ instead of my standard gift certificate to Sephora. Is it totally wrong to say that I completely love this and don’t even want to give it to her? ‘Tis true. Me likey. check it:

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It’s a wide headband wrapped with black grosgrain ribbon. the ribbon has a black vintage cotton applique overlay that I added a few little black beads to.  I love the giant black flower! I accented that with a vintage rhinestone button (OH.MY.GOD. I got a ton of them for a steal!). Then I added in some rooster feathers here and there for fun. Of course, I finish the ends of the headband with little felt caps because the thing I hate about headband? Freakin’ headband headaches where the ends dig into your head. Soft felt = no more headband headaches and less headband slippage! Anyway, the top is accented with black and navy tulle. Don’t just LOVE black and navy together?

Don't for get to enter the Meliisa Seet Gown Giveaway!

Wednesday
Aug102011

{Vintage Fur Stole} Product of the Week!

I have a feeling I might get a little back lash for this post/product, but so be it. The item in question is a fur stole.

My 2 cents on fur:

I don’t think animals should be raised purely to slaughter for the sake of fashion. This kind of “manufacturing” simply doesn’t fit into our contemporary society. I wouldn’t want to wear fur in that way and I don’t support it. I do however, believe in recycling, up-cycling, refurbishing and reusing. And I am carnivorous. It is my hope that all parts of the animal end up in good use — including skin and fur. Vintage furs are out there in the world. I can’t help what has already been done. I can’t undo it. I can, however, redo it. 

For the record, the ASPCA does not believe in vintage fur. While I generally stand behind them on many issues, there are others I don’t. Vintage fur is one of them.  I like the idea of using second hand fur. The material lasts for generations if handled well and the use value of fur is really good in northern climates. Fur is WARM!

OK, now that that’s out of the way….on to the Product of the Week!

Vintage Fur Stole

OK, so I found this fur collar at a flea market along with some other collars and cuffs for a steal. The pelt was in relatively good condition: it was pliable, no cracks or tears. There was one little crinkly spot, but I bought it anyway.

I’m not sure what this fur is, and neither did the seller. We think it’s mink. Or rabbit. I don’t think it’s fox, but it could be. I have a vintage fox fur jacket and the furs are nothing alike, but I’m not a furrier. All I know is that it’s definitely animal (it wasn’t lined when I bought it) and it’s definitely pretty!

So I lightly oiled the inner pelt to make it as soft as possible. There are recipes online that include natural oils (olive, flaxseed, etc.) that you mix with a mild acid (like vinegar) to condition leather and skins. I’d never done this before so was super nervous. However, it totally worked! No weird smell afterwards and I got it as soft as possible, methinks. The one little wrinkle can still be felt, but I don’t think it deters from the overall piece.

Now this collar had clearly been ripped off of something else. It still had an odd sort of binding tape sewn to it that I was fearful of removing based on the delicate nature of the piece. I left it there.

I completely re-lined the fur with a super-soft felt batting, just to give it a little more dimension and softness. Then I lined it with a slub weave, satin-back matte gold silk that matches those darker areas of fur. 

The clasp is a vintage rhinestone brooch that I still have to clean before I add it on. You can see the little pin holding it on in the below photo. 

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I’ve got some hang-ups on this piece though. The edges were not trimmed well and I needed to preserve as much of the fur as possible. As a result, some of the outside edges  feel wonky if you run your hand across the underside of the stole. I don’t like how the lining isn’t laying completely flat either, because of those wonky edges. Honestly, there’s nothing I can do about it and it’s not noticeable when the piece is on. However, my highly critical self is wondering if it’s sellable.

To a regular consumer, I bet it’s just fine. Most people think my concerns are too hairsplitting anyway, so I’m trying to keep that in mind. And I can totally see this on a fall or winter bride – someone who has or wants a bit of vintage flair to their wedding ensemble. I like it because it’s not one of the big white puffballs you see everywhere on the interwebs.

I’m considering it for a give-away, but that vintage rhinestone piece is sooooo beautiful (and it wasn't cheap), so maybe not.

And did you notice my lovely model? That’s right, I got a dress form from The Candyman for my birthday! And this is a no shit, kick-ass dress form. I actually DIY’d my own body form out of duct tape (check out this tutorial from Thread Bangers) but it just stood in the corner and stared at me, mocking me in it’s inadequacy. The Candyman really came through with the most awesome and generous birthday gift. Here’s a full length shot:

Ooooh, and from this angle, I just noticed that wonky edge. See it just above her left boob? You can’t see it straight on or looking down on it though. Hm. I’m also noting that my bottom book shelves are actually sagging under the weight of all my books. And yes, those are my cake toppers poking out from one of my pattern drafting folders.

OK, so loving my dress form. I’m kind of loving the fur stole. I need feedback though, people. Should I sell it or consider it for a give-away since its not 100% perfect or what? Or am I over-analyzing, yet again?

Help.

Thursday
Jul282011

PRESS! It’s Sublime….

So back in April, I was contacted by a Charlotte make-up artist I did the shoot for CRAVE Charlotte with, Deedy Lazorko. It was a last minute request to join a fashion shoot the very next day, but I was totally game.

In hindsight, we can all laugh about the shoot now, but I’ll admit, it was weird. The photographer, Christine Szeredy, who is a constantly rolling ball of energy, was clearly stressed. At the time I thought perhaps it was the odd location and the difficult time all parties had finding it, myself included. At the time, I had no idea where I was going.  Getting around in the Charlotte area is no easy task and I’m still leery about heading out into parts unknown.

I was told that the shoot was at a castle, just over the border in Fort Mill, South Carolina. I arrived at the location and there certainly was castle, but it was all boarded up and strange looking.

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I thought it might actually be a cool, creepy sort of place to shoot, but I couldn’t find anyone around the castle. There was also another very scary looking building, also all boarded up and abandoned.

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Everything was all very ghost town-ish looking, yet there was another new-looking building that was quite large and very close by. The whole place sort of gave me the creeps because it was eerily quiet and I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. I called Deedy, Christine came and got me, took me to where I was supposed to be and the shoot got under way. The actual location was very castle looking, but not quite as cheesy as the creepy boarded up place.

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Turns out this is a church. It was quite pretty in the April afternoon sun, but again the whole vibe was really sort of surreal and a tad bit uncomfortable. I basically brushed it off, attributing it to the fact that I was in a new place with people I didn’t know. Why wouldn’t I feel slightly uncomfortable?

Well, it turns out I had PLENTY to be freaked out about. You know what this place is? It’s the now defunct Heritage USA (PTL television). It was a famous Christian Theme Park in Ft. Mill, South Carolina, operated by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. You remember those freaks, right? The park was 3rd in the nation behind Disneyland and Disney World with 6 million visitors. Who knew?
The convention center, hotel, mall, and restaurant were bought by Morningstar Ministries (the building that was fresh and new) and renovated for their church. All the other theme park relics are still on the grounds. Jim and Tammy Faye became a Christian laughingstock when Jim's affair with Jessica Hahn (once a secretary for Heritage, then Playboy model) was exposed, along with Jim's conviction of illegally diverted millions of dollars of donations for his own private use. Jim Bakker was convicted of mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy and sent to prison for 45 years (later reduced to 8 years). Tammy Faye divorced Bakker and married Messner, the designer and builder of the theme park. The park went balls up when they lost their tax free status from the IRS. Tammy Faye Bakker died of cancer in 2007, after her second husband was also jailed. Messner was listed as the single biggest creditor of PTL with an outstanding claim of $14 million. In court papers, the new operators accused Messner of $5.3 million in inflated or phony billings to PTL1. Christian behavior, indeed....
Anyway, on the property you can find the Water Park Site, Amphitheatre, TV Studio, Go Cart Tracks, Castle, Tram Stops, Train Station, Decaying 500 room Condo Tower, Upper Room, as well as other artifacts in the woods, all in varying forms of decay. The area is slowly being swallowed up by fancy-pants home subdivisions filled with McMansions.

OK, so back to the shoot. Christine had gotten permission from Morningstar Ministries to shoot at this location, and not without  her own odd experience. Long story short, she spent nearly three hours holding hands and praying with various strangers, being repeatedly asked is she could see and/or feel the presence of Jesus. I don’t care what religion you are, that’s just effing weird. Apparently Christine’s prayers were heard because she got permission to shoot at the church (which by the way, is not in operation).

Funny thing though. Morningstar Ministries no longer owns the church, yet they gave Christine the impression they did because they gave her the permission. Turns out it’s owned by some other religion sect and those folks showed up and were  none too happy at our presence. Christine did some fast talking and convinced them to let us shoot – and all of this was happening unbeknownst to most of us there. We shot for a few hours and were starting to wrap up the day when the owners came back. Apparently, they had been watching us and were upset over something. Now this place is on a back road, sort of in the woods in the depths of this defunct Heritage USA place. To find out that religious freaks were watching us all day?  Creeptastic. We packed up our gear and regrouped a bit down the street to decide our next steps (finish out the shoot that day or figure out a plan B). We were off the property, yet the freaks continued to drive up and down the road, watching us. We decided to get the hell out of Dodge. There is such a thing as too much religion, no?

So the good news and the point to this post? The concept shoot got picked up by London based magazine Sublime! I don’t have a hard copy of the magazine yet, but I am now finally allowed to share the photos from this shoot! TruLu Couture has press, baby! The whole theme of the shoot was a sort of fairy tale/princess/Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty/Little Red Riding Hood thing. Here are all the pictures!

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On the right, Sudanese model Ajang Majok is wearing my David’s Bridal wedding gown (!) and The Camilla Fascinator.

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In the right hand photo, though you can’t really see it as it’s tucked up under the headscarf is The Larissa Fascinator.

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On the left Ajang, perched precariously on that ledge (I’m actually behind the wall holding on to her for dear life because friends, that was like a 15 foot drop onto a stone landing there) is wearing The Charlotte Headband/Sash.

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Credits: Photography Christine Szeredy, Styling Brad Boultinghouse, Crystal DeRoche, Hair/Make-Up Deedy Lazorko, Christine McDonald using Laura Mercier, Nars, Beauty Control, MAC Retouching Maria Tranquillo Models Ajang Majok, Mikel Press, Hanna Shook.

So excited!

Wednesday
Jul272011

Product of the Week–FEATHERS!

So y’all know that feathers as a fashion trend on all over the freakin’ place, right? Everyone is wearing them in their hair all BoHo style à la Steven Tyler and Ke$ha (Who by the way, totally cracks me up. That bitch is from Brentwood, Tennessee, which is a suburb of Nashville and is so white, so suburban, and so Republican it hurts. I mean, my wedding/reception/guest hotel was in Brentwood! Her lil’ “I’m a gangsta!” thang? PUH-lease. Someone manufactured that chick and her persona.). Don’t believe me about the feathers? Here, check out these goodies! 

As hair extensions, via Beautylish. Psst….here’s a easy-peasy little DIY if you want to do these on your own.

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As earrings via Pinterest.

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As clutches via Le Blog de Betty:

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And of course, they are all over the wedding scene!

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Holy shit, I love this. Capelet via yennosaurus.

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Feathers on this killer crazy-ass cake via The Lela New York Wedding Blog.

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And of course they are all over gowns. I’m loving this shorty-pie from House of Mooshki.

So this finally brings us to today’s Product of the Week via TruLu Couture! I am absolutely loving my wedding-feather madness, The Felicity Fascinator!

OK, first up is a little backstory on the mannequin head. I despise them. I hate the crazy weird Etsy shops that use them (particularly the stylized ones like this). However, after creating my pieces and doing several different photo shoots? I realized I needed one. If I want to get stuff up and for sale sooner rather than later? Mannequin head it is. She is yet to be named, so any ideas would be much appreciated.  She looks French to me. I got Yet to Be Named and the wig at one of those strip mall beauty supply shops that is decidedly NOT for white girls like myself. I convinced the Lebanese owner to sell me the head, though he said ”Noh!”  when I asked him the first time. And the second time. And then with a “Pleeeeeeeeease!” he made a phone call and he finally sold it to me and nearly kicked me out of his shop! I promise to do my best to showcase the product and not the crazy mannequin head.  At least now I can show you the pretties I make with some sort of relevance as to how they should be worn. 

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The silver and rhinestone Art Deco style hardware isn’t vintage, but I still love it. The Felicity Fascinator is super comfortable too. The metal comb and the weight of the hardware really made it feel snug and secure. It has a padded wire center so you can mold it around any head shape and there’s a little thread loop at the end in case you want to bobby pin it down for extra safety, though I don’t think that will be needed. I haven’t listed it yet, but will have it for sale a little later today. I haven’t finished pricing it out , but I’m pretty sure it’ll go for 70 smackeroos! What do you think? Like? What about feathers in general? Loving them or no?

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