Kisses & Cake met with talented bridal gown designer Luom Ousby of LUOM.O at their opulent boutique in Sydney's fashion precinct, Paddington, to learn all about how to be a timeless yet fashionable bride. Here are their styling tips and pictures from our exclusive photoshoot with Dan O'Brien from Next We Meet photography.
In Luom's words, "A real modern bride should not be over-shadowed by her gown. It should compliment who she is." We can not agree more and Luom's tips will help a bride learn how to create a complete look for their wedding day.
TIP ONE: Less Is More
Look out for styles that are classic. These are always the minimalistic gowns, with clean lines. These will never go out of date. My golden rule is – LESS IS MORE. Understated styles will always work well with any accessories/jewellery. Whether it be a gorgeous bold chunky cuff to be a modern and fashionable bride, or a pair of elegant pearl drop earrings to be that classic chic bride.
TIP TWO: Accentuate Your Body Type
Choose styles that accentuate your body type. The designer should guide you in this area. Brides should be open-minded to take this advice. You will surprise yourself at how certain styles you initially thought would not be suitable, be in fact be very flattering.
Discuss with your designer areas of your body that you are confident in and look to highlight those areas. For example, your décolletage, choose an elegant ‘v’ neckline that is subtle and is not overly exposed. There is no need to show more than you need to, so don’t pick styles that are over the top or overly racy. Your wedding day is when you should show how feminine and sophisticated you can be. The right style will always be the key to looking very elegant.
TIP THREE: The Perfect Fit
A perfectly fitted gown should always look flawless. It is so important to choose gowns that fit your body shape correctly. This overall will make all the difference. So many brides make the mistake of wearing gowns that are ill –fitting. It is very important to have your gown custom fitted to your body. Even when purchasing off-the-rack.
TIP FOUR: Simple Detail
There should not be so many details to your gown. Keep it simple. Subtle detail to highlight your body shape is more than enough. For example, beautiful detail on the front of a gown, and a striking low back. This will make a statement. Or a high sophisticated neckline, and emphasis on your waistline.
Time and time again, I will have brides coming in and asking for designs that are in fact 12 gowns into the one dress. My best advice is always to simplify it down to about 2-3 details you love, for example, whether that be, a plunging low back, embellishments or lace fabrication. From there, any designer that understands your vision will be able to create a beautiful gown that will look modern and elegant without having to combine too many elements.
TIP FIVE: Fabric Choice
You should be able to “glide” in your gown, as I would say. Therefore nothing in excess, or heavy looking! For example, too many combinations of fabrics in the one design. Your silhouette should look effortless. No polyester please!
Do choose quality fabrics, and subtle textures. It could be luxury silk satin or silk faille crepe (which is very popular with the modern brides), as it gives a very clean and subtle appearance. There is no “shine’ and is very forgiving on the body as it does not catch light as much as the shiny fabrics. Hence not highlighting any flaws a bride may have in her eyes… The application of fabric has to compliment the design also. I love to add a soft contrast of texture such as French mesh to silk crepe. This works beautifully and gives any gown the look of ‘chic’.
TIP SIX: Classic Colours
Choose tones such as, Ivory, white, Lattes. Brighter colours tend to go out of date quicker. You can still be a fashion bride without having to follow the trend that is popular at the time.
When choosing lace designs. Look out for the modern prints in laces. There are plenty of the traditional bridal laces, but there are also some lovely abstract lace fabrication available and it is just a matter of looking out for designs that have this kind of fabric. These gowns are more fashion forward, but also have an element of being a bridal.
TIP SEVEN: Hair Styling
Styling is very important to how timeless and fashionable a bride can look. Choose modern hair styles that compliment with your gown. For example, that ethereal look that is soft, whispy up-do. Or gorgeous romantic waves. What I’m loving at the moment is the high fashion pony tail! It’s glamorous and very modern! And will look perfect with any slinky gown!
I see so many brides with that severe pulled back up style bun that is way too harsh. If you are going for the very traditional bridal look and have that typical strapless gown, than yes the tight up-style bun will be ideal. But very predictable.
TIP EIGHT: Shoes
Once you have found your gown of choice. Work with your designer to style it correctly! To be modern and chic, keep to sleek styles in shoes. For me that minimalist single strap and slim stiletto is the way to go. Or a pair of glamorous embellished stilettos will add a ‘wow’ factor. Avoid chunky styles, as it will look too heavy on the feet and make you look clumpy. A beautiful pair of shoes will make any bride feel glamorous and sexy!
TIP NINE: Make Up
Less is more!! Keep make up styles fresh, and dewy. There is no need to add that extra layer of make up on that adds age to you! A well-trained makeup artist can highlight your features in the correct way, without piling on the unnecessary layers. Keeping your make up flawless will be a winner. When you look back at your wedding photos in years to come, you do not want to see that heavy eye-shadow or over–applied blush, or that over-tanned colour foundation!
TIP TEN: Adornments
If you are going to pick gowns with any adornments, do look out for quality pieces. It will be very obvious when you compare these to the higher quality versus the cheaper ones. The beadwork and threading is one to look out for. Nothing worst than wanting to look the part of a modern elegant bride, when your embellishments on your gown look very cheap and tacky.
For fashion forward brides, choose adornments that are a little unusual. Not seen so often. For classic brides, I would be looking at Subtle minimal details in the adornments.
My final piece of advice is to remain true to your personality. If you are a modern girl, stay modern. If you are a fashionable bride, dare to experiment with style’s that has a slight edge. Always keep things understated. Everything comes together and you will be surprised at how each small detail becomes a lot. By doing this, you will have more of an impact, and the beauty in the smaller details shines through clearer, and will have a higher appreciation and impact.
Vietnam born and raised in New Zealand, designer behind the brand, Luom Ousby started designing bridal gowns and trading as her own brand in 2004 after she designed her own wedding gown. Falling in love with beautiful fabrics and laces, Luom always knew from a young age she wanted to have her own label and graduated in 1996 with a Diploma in Textile and Design, at the Wanganui Institute of Design, New Zealand. Prior to this she gained valuable experience working as a junior designer and pattern maker for various Australian labels.
Her inspiration comes from Art, Photography and Music but is especially inspired by Architecture and Photography. Locally, she respects and admires designer’s, Sass and Bide, for their incredible brand as well as Delta Goodrem’s effortless style. On an international scale she loves Victoria Beckham and how she has transformed herself into a stylish designer with her simplistic style.