In A Purple Haze

This beautiful Purple Haze color palette features our Bowed Cutaway Bodice with Casey Long Skirt in Magenta Silk Dupioni, Bateau Bodice with Pencil Long Skirt in Deep Purple Satin, Strapless Bodice with Jamie Long Skirt in Purple Haze Silk Essence and Simple V Bodice with Audrey Long Skirt in Sapphire Silk Dupioni.

In A Purple Haze

Wear It Again – The Next Hot Trend!

As David Tutera recently noted about the classic lines of our Sweetheart bodice, on the Boris and Nicole Show,  is a “great silhouette on all bridesmaids”. And, I couldn’t agree more!

Nicole, the gracious host of the show, inserted a comment that tickled me particularly, suggesting that the girls could  “cut this (dress) later to have a great summer dress”, to which David added that this style, if shortened to 2-3 inches above the knee “is a look for beyond the aisle.”

“Wear it again IS the next hot trend.”

Think the direct opposite of the movie “27 Dresses.”  With the cost of participating in a wedding nothing to sneeze at, why choose and spend money on dresses that really can only be worn as part of the wedding party.

I mean, as lovely as they are, where are you going to wear a short (or long) flowy chiffon dress in blush or champagne again.  Now, choose that same color palette in a dress with classic lines and, voila’, there’s a dress you can wear again to someone’s bridal shower or even another wedding as a guest.  Money well spent.


With Anna Elyse’s concept of mix and match tops and bottoms, you can customize your look specifically to your body type and have a timeless style that is stylish, elegant and will outlast the 27 other dresses in your closet.

Weddings are expensive so make every dollar count AND look gorgeous at the same time.  Audrey Hepburn would applaud.

Check out our “Signature Classics” page on our website and see how you can transform your vision with classic elegance and style.  And, have the bonus of happy bridemaids too!

Trend Re-Set: The Return of Classic Style

For the last 5 or 6 years “long and flowy” bridesmaid dress styles have ruled.  Whether the setting is a Country Barn, the theme “Rustic Chic”, or the wedding itself a formal Black Tie affair, the look of full-length gowns in chiffon, tulle or net have become the staple.

While these designs are certainly beautiful, somewhere along the way gowns with classic style lines and more structured fabrics seem to have been overlooked, if not forgotten as gowns with a bohemian bent dominated the wedding fashion scene.

Enter Celebrity Wedding Planner David Tutera:  

You know David I’m sure from his long running series “My Fair Wedding” on WE tv.  (Anna Elyse was pleased to be showcased in 3 episodes of that hit series). In his current smash show “CELEBrations”, also on WE tv, David transforms Celebrity visions for their weddings and events into reality.

Recently David was a guest on the “The Boris and Nicole Show”, a hot new talk show on the Fox Network, shot here in Los Angeles and syndicated nationwide.  David was invited to chat about summer wedding trends and we were asked to contribute styles fitting that bill.

I was, of course, delighted to comply.  In choosing attendants attire, David’s suggestion was simple and clear: “Make your bridesmaids comfortable, keep the styles sophisticated and elegant.”  


The style that David and the producers chose to showcase was our Sweetheart bodice and with long Casey skirt in a lovely Salmon color.  In describing the dress David noted that the classic lines of the Sweetheart bodice is “great silhouette on all bridesmaids”.  Nicole, the gracious host of the show, inserted a comment that tickled me particularly, suggesting that the girls could  “cut this (dress) later to have a great summer dress”, to which David added that this style, if shortened to 2-3 inches above the knee “is a look for beyond the aisle.”


So there you have it trend setters.  Classic is back!   As we edge into Fall and Winter, David’s remarks still hold true and certainly apply to any season.  Classic silhouettes will never go out of style and will outlast any trend.  The old cliché of wanting to “wear it again” is more than just a cliché.  It is indeed possible and encouraged by those in the know.  Who knows?   “Wear it again” could become the next hot trend!

Check out our “Signature Classics” page on our website and see how you can transform your vision with classic elegance and style.  And, have the bonus of happy bridemaids too!

We were recently featured on Southern California Homes!

Anna Elyse was recently featured on Southern California Homes, one of the top sites for Pasadena real estate.

3862-ImageLarge-Anna-ElysePasadena is home to Anna Elyse Collections, a unique bridal shop that aims to provide customized designs for the bride and bridal party. Striving to obtain a graceful, beautiful look in the bridal party without the “cookie-cutter” style typical of many bridal parties, the one-of-a-kind Anna Elyse helps to bring a bride’s wedding fantasies to life.

The owner and designer of Anna Elyse, Annie Sokoloff, has always had a passion for fashion. By her own account, she started designing dresses for her Barbies as a child, and as she grew, so did her love of creating. However, as she furthered her education, Sokoloff decided to pursue finance for its practicality.

Many years later, however, her son became her inspiration. Sokoloff says, “When I saw my son pursue his passion for the film industry by getting his degree at NYU, I realized that I also could follow my own passion.” It was at this point that she enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles…Check out the full article here: Say “I Do” to Your Best Dress.

Sweet and Sophisticated

Our final runner-up for the “Dream Wedding Color Palette” Contest is by no means last on our list.  Kelley’s palette of pale blue and light peach sparkles in her outdoor dream wedding.  She added a fun feature of having traditional church pews lined up on the grass for an outdoor “Church” setting.

Baby’s Breath, pink roses and peonies and lace trimmed ball jars as vases all add up to a sweet sophistication.  The long tables with burlap runners complete the picture for the perfect dream wedding for Kelley.

Sweet and Sophisticated

I wish you every happiness!

Wood and Lace

Our second runner up board in the “Dream Wedding Color Palette” Contest took the concept of a Rustic wedding in the trees to new heights. Laura’s vision incorporates the use of wood and lace.

Lace stenciled invitations over a craft paper base are just beautiful.  Each detail from the use of rannunculas (my fav!) in soft blush pink and cream to the pink peony petals lining the grassy aisle to the hanging baskets of flowers in the trees, all in her accent colors of pink and cream was specially chosen and works together so well.

Wood and Lace

Kudos to you, Laura!
I hope all your dreams come true.

Peachy Lakeside Wedding

Our first runner up board from our “Dream Wedding Color Palette” contest introduced a combination that I had never thought of entitled “Peachy Lakeside Wedding”.  Using combinations of Peach and Lavender, Anna created a vision of a stylish outdoor wedding lakeside that makes me want to be invited.

The colors of lavender and wisteria with peaches and cream accents combine with lace to conjure up a mood of  sophistication in a relaxed alfresco setting.  Just gorgeous!  Any guest would love to be invited to sip Peaches and Cream floats while celebrating the bride and groom as they tie the knot dockside.

Peachy Lakeside Wedding

Congratulations Anna! Your wedding will be a sure success!

“Oh, To Be A Flapper In A Gatsby World “

A few weeks back I wrote a piece about posting on Pinterest and the Pinterest phenomenon.   We’ve since held our very first Pinterest contest inviting brides-to-be to design their “Dream Wedding Color Palette.”  The contest entries were judged by Carrie Goldberg, Senior Associate Fashion Editor of Martha Stewart Weddings and the girls of Anna Elyse Collections.

What fun!! I must say that we were so pleased with the response and the entries themselves.  To be honest, it was difficult to choose which board was the most inspirational.  Each reflected dreams and desires expressed in photos of the each bride-to-be.

So, drum roll please!  I am happy to announce that…

The Grand Prize winning board was designed by a young bride-to-be named Sheri featuring a 1920’s romantic Gatsby style board inspired by the Roaring 20’s. 

Her dream:   “Oh, to be a flapper girl in a Gatsby world!”  Her board incorporates slinky long gowns for the bridesmaids, sparkle and shimmer and an Art Deco style engagement ring.  All things Roaring 20s’s, right on down to the pink champagne and mirrored table number signs.  It is a fabulous, creative, and elegant collection of ideas and dreams.

1920 Dream Wedding Color Palette

 

Congratulations Sheri!  I look forward to working with you to bring your vision to life.

Here are some additional inspiration photos of
dresses from our website:

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(From left to right: Shimmery Knotted Yarn Clusters on Silk Organza with cap sleeves; Antionette – slim skirt with Sweetheart dip bodice in full length; Beaded Lace Bolero) Check out more of our Bridal Chic collection here!

We’ll be sharing some of the boards from our runner-ups, so check back soon!

 

6 Tips For Making Your Shopping Experience A Happy One

I don’t know about you but I LOVE shopping.  Seriously, I love it.  I don’t even have to buy anything and I’m happy.   Just ask my husband.  If I’m ever down in the dumps just a little bit, he takes me shopping.  Instant happy!  Of course, in full disclosure, I usually come home with some little treasure that I just “had to have.”  But, again, I’m happy.  Pharrell Williams is literally dancing and singing in my head!

So, can that same bliss be translated to the bridesmaid dress shopping experience?  Does it have to be THE most dreaded part of your wedding planning?  I offer a resounding “NO”.

Over the next 6 emails, I will share with you some simple tips to make your search and shopping a delightful breeze.

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First and foremost, make anAPPOINTMENT.  Seriously, call ahead!  I know we all like to just walk in a store and browse, but this is your wedding we’re talking about, not seeing what’s new at J. Crew or Zara, as exciting as that is.

87771079-547d-4347-a21c-5a643c8ac84eSalon owners and sales people really do want to help you.  By making an appointment and setting a time just for YOU and your ladies, you’ll receive specialized attention and the time you spend shopping will be more fruitful.

But, what if I’m just looking around you say?  I like to shop too!  That’s a valid point and it’s perfectly ok.  You have to start somewhere and any customer service-oriented store would be happy to have you browse and then offer to make an appointment at another time.  Just try to remember that if you do walk in unannounced, you may not get the best customer experience.  It’s not easy for the sales team to have to run interference by servicing more than one customer at a time, so have a little consideration if they can’t help you immediately.  They really don’t want to be rude and turn you away if they can’t help you.  (By the way, if they are rude or turn you away at the door, you should ask yourself  “Do I really want to shop there anyway?”)

Are you ready to set up an appointment? We’re here and ready to assist you when you’re ready!

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This next tip is second on my list because I believe it is almost as important as making an appointment. Tip #2 – Check REVIEWS! Reviews are extremely important. For bridesmaid dresses, we recommend two places: Wedding Wire and Yelp.

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Not all stores and their staff are created equal.  You want to visit and work with someone who wants to work with you AND who is happy to see you. Before scheduling an appointment or dropping in, taking the time to read reviews of other experiences will help prepare you on what to expect or where to avoid so that you can continue on with a happy shopping experience.

We’re very happy to share our Wedding Wire reviews with you – check them out!

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So, now that you’ve booked your appointment and read the customer reviews, you’re all set to go forth and shop on – right? Well, one fun tip that we are excited to share with you, but one that is still just as important…

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TIP #3 – YOUR VISION! Before you go on your shopping trip, try to have an idea of what best represents your VISION.   Long or short dresses, color palette, the “I want my girls to look like fairies” concept (okay I’m just kidding here).  Try to have some idea of what you are looking for, so the sales personnel can present their best options.

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We recently did a survey and it was amazing the feedback we received. One very important thing we learned – everyone’s vision really is completely different! Regardless of what seems to be in fashion or most popular, every bride is unique and that’s so much fun for us!

Is your wedding coming up? We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email and share your vision – info@annaelyse.com

I’m just going to get right to this next tip.

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Tip #4 – Consider BUDGET.   Ok, this is a delicate one ladies, but ask your girls what they can afford.  They love you and want to be part of your special day.   And, they’ll love you even more for being considerate of them and their wallets.
But a word of caution – don’t choose a dress solely based on price.  Buying cheaply made dresses just to save money up front often just adds another dress to the “bridesmaid dress” section of the back of the closet.  And, low-cost, tacky dresses, while wallet friendly, will not enhance the vision you have created even if they save a few bucks.

Consider instead a well-made dress that perhaps costs just a bit more but that can be worn again as a cocktail dress and that can stay in the front of the wardrobe.  It’s worth skipping Starbucks for a week to look great.

I hope you’ve been enjoying these tips – just a hint into tip #5 – think “outside the box”.

 

 

Alright, we’ve covered Making Appointments, Checking Reviews, Knowing Your Vision and Considering Your Bridesmaid’s Budgets. So, on to the next tip…

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Tip # 5 – Be willing to have an OPEN MIND about style by thinking “outside the box” design-wise.  All shapes are not created equal and the style you chose in the magazine or online may not look good on everyone.

If you have more than one type of body shape in your bridal party (most brides do), the right combination of styles in a coordinated look, rather than one style for everyone will make each of your bridal party members feels special and will also enhance the vision you are trying to create.

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Don’t live near our Flagship Salon or one of our retail partners and want to try on Anna Elyse styles? Now you can shop Anna Elyse dresses right from home! Check out our Shop At Home page.

It’s been so fun sharing these Bridesmaid Dress Shopping tips with you! I hope it has helped you as you being your journey. And now – last, but not least – my final tip.

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Tip #6 – Finally, and I know I sound like a “mom” saying this, but don’t forget to say THANK YOU to the store owner and sales persons after your appointment.  It’s the two little words that aren’t heard as often as you’d think.  It will not only make them feel good, but you’ll feel good too.

Let’s do a quick recap:
Tip#1 – Make an appointment
Tip #2 – Read shopping reviews
Tip #3 – Find your vision
Tip #4 – Consider budgets
Tip #5  – Be willing to have an open mind
Tip # 6 – Say Thank You!

So go ahead, sing the “Happy” song and go shopping for your bridesmaids’ dresses.  It should be and can be a fun experience for everyone.  If Pharrell were a girl, I’m sure he’d feel the same way.

xx