Written by Vivian Luk. When I returned to Hong Kong 2008, I wanted to combine all the wonderful experiences I’ve gathered in my training as a designer and create a playground where brides can enjoy all of that while capturing their every moment building up to the big day in a gown they can treasure forever.
It is combining all the good things you can find in a design house, without the restrictions in mass production and sales reports and all the good things you can find in an intimate art workshop with a handful of caring and passionate experienced seamstresses and tailors to support the designer. Instead of working with a sales representative, I don’t want to just sell you a gown, I want to get to know you and create one inspired by you.
As every designer would have their own style, besides sharing my philosophies with each bride, I also want her to be a part of making design decisions as the gown evolves, because ultimately the gown will speak my sensibility, but each bride is my muse.
What I took away from my corporate experience, is developing new fabrics, designing embroidery layouts from scratch, designing for stars and hosting fashion shows. I can still enjoy all of that directly with the end users, and I can do it without the pressure from short deadlines and putting quantity over quality.
I can sketch countless ideas, but I find that a lot of the designing happens when one is draping with the actual fabric. Therefore I do a lot of the draping myself. I appreciate both complicated engineered pattern-work, as well as spontaneous almost accidental draping which can only happen if it’s a one off piece. Therefore I try to have a bit of both in all my bespoke gowns.
My design training influences the way I operate my atelier, while my design philosophy comes from my art training. Since elementary, I attended a performance arts school, where I grew up with many other young teenagers who had big dreams to become actors, dancers, musicians and fine artists. I remember watching my fellow classmates dance, and the way they gestured the fabric on their bodies as they moved, to even hearing the rythmn of music can be found in the work I do today. Like pieces of artwork, my gowns’ compositions are balanced, yet it’s asymmetrical lines draw movement leading the viewer’s eyes continuously throughout the body, shaping and molding to give her the ideal silhouette.
And lastly, I am inspired by people and I am fascinated by each person’s individuality. We are all often balancing two opposite characteristics and everything is relative to one’s surroundings. That is why you will find the persona behind my gowns are both feminine and soft, yet structured and strong. They are artistic yet wearable. They are sophisticated and intellectual, yet sweet and youthful. A strong design chooses what it believes in and makes it bold. Drawing the attention to the focal point, in return making the gown easy to the eye. Something that is bold does not have to be loud. My gowns are pieces of organic, full of layers and textures and 3 dimensional forms.
It is not just a gown, we are creating art; we are telling a story.
I normally don't do write ups for my blog posts but this wedding needs just a little bit of explanation. My wonderful clients are expecting a little one and during the cake cutting they revealed the gender of the baby. It was such an emotional experience to watch such love explode right infront of me infront of their closest family and friends. On top of that the next day we went out to do portraits and snowed poured down and they stuck with it to get some of the best winter wedding photos I've ever had.
Every year we do a Valentine's day themed shoot and this year we are lucky to hire Nikki Ferrell, Kansas City's own Bachelorette to model for us. Mention that you saw this shoot and you get 25% off a boudoir session until March 1st. Flowers by Victorian Gardens and Make up by Molly McPheter . Shot at The Simpson House
Knit trumpet gown by Lazaro http://www.jlmcouture.com/Lazaro/Bridal Beaded gold gown by Lazaro http://www.jlmcouture.com/Lazaro/Bridal Diamond backless by Hayley Paige http://www.jlmcouture.com/Hayley-Paige Jewelry by Madison Avenue You can get these gowns from Gown Gallery http://www.gowngallery.com
Makeup by Molly McPheter Model Kate Williams
I adore this photo. We went to Paris to shoot a styled elopement session and ended up getting published in Destination I do Magazine with my first national cover. But this photo, though it had nothing to do with Paris, just really moved me - so much so it is the cover photo of my book ( coming out 2014) See more of the shoot Here
I had the opportunity to go to Hong Kong with year to work with the amazing designer Vivian Luk. We got to collaborate with all these great professionals to breing together this amazing shoot that later got featured in Pacific wedding magazine. It was meaningful to me , because none of these people really knew me , yet they trusted my vision and what we accomplished was truly beautiful. See more of the shoot here
This wedding brought me to tears. Being apart of this wedding day was an honor. It was my first wedding after a while shooting in mostly digital. I was so glad that I did because there was just so many priceless moments that happened through out the day. It's tough photographing another photographer ( pressure! ) but this photo was when Rusty - the groom asked if I would step over and grab this photo. He had a vision for it and I was happy to make that happen. See the full wedding here
My beautiful sister got married. I was in the wedding so I only had a chance to snag a couple of portrait shots. This photo was my favorite because of the itimacy and happiness you can feel in the photo even though the day was really fast paced and busy. It was some of their first moments alone ( with me there ofcourse).
This couple won our " Couple in Need" contest. I try to give away a free wedding once a year to a couple that shows they really need it. With her fiance being in the military and recent close family members passing away, my heart went out to them and I was glad to be there with them that day. See the full wedding here
This is my bestfriend pregnant with her first child. This girl might as well be my soulmate , I'm extremely lucky to have found such a friend. She looks extremely beautiful here. Which is a great seqway to my next favorite photo , their son at 7 months with their dog. I can barely handle all the cuteness. See their session here
It has always been a dream of mine to go to Spain, so being able to book a wedding there was liket he stars had aligned. This couple was extremely beautiful inside and out and their story just goes to show that there are no borders when it comes to love. With their amazing love and gorgeous backdrop, this wedding was definitely one for the books. See their full wedding here
There's really no explanation neccesary for this photo. It's purely a favorite because of the moment that is occuring. This grandpa had SO much SPUNK. IT was nice to witness this moment between him and the bride. See their full wedding here
Speaking of grandparents, it's really hard when you lose them. They usually play a large role in your life so at some weddings they do their best to remember them by honoring them in parts of their details. This moment when the bride's florist came to present her bouquet, and saw the photo of her recently passed grandparent along with their wedding rings, was an emotional one. See their full wedding here
This wedding has two photos I like for different reasons. The first one was the mom getting ready while watching her daughter get into her wedding gown , I just really like the compostion on this one. The second photo is one of my favorite group shots of all time. The wedding party was pretty awesome in helping us get a super cool photo. See their full wedding here
I love this photo because on this grooms wedding day his bestfriend couldn't make it , due to the the fact that he lives in Japan. So the bestfriend Skype calls the groom before the wedding dressed in a suit to get a picture with him on his wedding day. See their full wedding here
This couple is just too cute for words. They are so creative and SO in love. The way this groom looked at his bride just made all of us say "awwww". This couple was so endearing for their picture perfect wedding day. I loved working with them. see their full wedding here
This moment had tears running down my eyes. The groom seeing his bride for the first time and me witnessing their very long embrace , like time had just stood still for a moment as all the hard work they had taken to get their was finally realized. Simply beautiful. See their full wedding here
This was the first time I had seen a kiss that including falling petals. This wedding was extravagant and extremely love filled. So many great things that happened during this day that not only let me know how much these two loved each other - but how important family is to both of them. See their full wedding here
I love fashion - so much. I love doing styled and editorial shoots and this photo I wish so bad could be on the cover of a magazine or something. I'm still waiting on Vogue to call ;) See our full editorial here
I was never one for veil shots until this happened. There seems to be just so much passion in this kiss which is why its one of my faves.
This couple made the list for their extremely fun personalities. While there was more obvious favorites from this engagement session, These photos I feel something. See their esession here
This wedding had the biggest baddest party I had ever been to. The reception was like being in a Miami dance club ( I might have danced a little bit. ) it was so much fun and so cool that the bride changed into a more danceable dress and showed us all what it means to "get down" See their full wedding here
I got to go back to Hong Kong to shoot for Vivian Luk again , I was floored to be able to travel there twice in one year and shoot some amazing fashion.
Last but not least these moments I think are self explanatory on why they are some of my favorites. See their full Wedding here
There were SO MANY MORE but in order for this blog post not to be a full book I had to cut it down. Can't wait for 2014!!!
Had the pleasure of working with Vivian Luk Atelier Again and got a chance to be published internationally.
Check out more about Vivian here.
A video promo of our shoot in Hong Kong
Designer: Vivian Luk www.vivianluk.com
Photography: Alea Lovely Fine Art Photography www.alealovely.com
Videographer : Andrea Larson https://vimeo.com/user7614889
Video Editor : Alea Lovely www.alealovely.com
Make up : Alexa Bui http://www.cashmereandcandy.com
Hair : Kelly Mak http://kellymak.com.hk
Model : Zuzana T of Elite modeling http://www.elitemodel.hk/en/intown/z/zuzanat.html
Stylist : Lelian Chew http://www.theweddingatelier.co
MUSIC BY FEATHER AND BELLE , check out their music here ----> https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/feather-belle/id457058841
I've known these two for quite some time and love them dearly. Congrats "Adam's Family " ( da na na na *snap snap* )
I have had it in my mind for sometime that I wanted to switch things up a bit and create something much different than I normally do. My wonderful team and other vendors helped me bring my vision to life of quite a few different looks to make up something fashion for the season. It's quite different for my style but I've been wanting to try something different for a while. Hope you like it!
Thank you all the vendors that participated Venue The Buffalo Lodge Flowers by Victorian Gardens Cakes by Classic Cakes Hair and Makeup by Molly Mcpheter Necklace , pearl bracelets, and statement ring (on gold dress ) Jet Couture Jewels Red Dress by rRomona Keveza Gold low cut gown by maggiesoterro.com White striped dress by Hayley Paige Black Peplum gown by Alvina Valenta Gowns provided by Gown Gallery Signage by Announce this Design Antlers, Black feather caplet and white bolero by Emmy-Ray Shoes by BCBG