It's not every day a girl gets to dress up in such fabulous creations, but on this day I was lucky enough to photograph at this beautiful venue of the Quay Project. This month's business showcase is on the very talented New Zealand millinery + accessories designer Claire Hahn.
Claire is a talented artist and craftswoman, she is also a very savvy kiwi business woman and we chat about what it's like being part of the New Zealand fashion scene here, in 20 Questions with Claire Hahn. I would highly recommend reading this to all my fellow Kiwi creatives and artists, and especially to other women who are striving for success in their creative field. Working with Claire on this project has been amazing, and her passion for what she does and warm personality is such a refreshing point of difference in this industry. It is with much excitement that I present to you some of my favourites from Claire Hahn's fabulous collection.
Of course we also needed a range of equally fabulous gowns to photograph together, and Katie from Hera Bridal kindly sourced me an exquisite selection of gowns for this showcase. These gowns are part of the bridesmaids collection, but could also be worn for any formal event or occasion. Katie's work is also very high quality, and the tailoring of her gowns is impeccable. The final result is a range of looks where the gowns and accessories tie in together beautifully.
Navy and gold is always a fine pairing. This navy one shoulder gown from Hera Bridal works in perfectly with the matching "Flower Bomb Statement Necklace" from Claire Hahn. I styled it with the "Molten Clutch" and Gold Headpiece from the "Bloom" Spring/Summer '16 Collection. Fabulous! You can take a look at more images with a range of Claire's pieces from another detailed outfit review post 'One Fine Day'.
The clutches featured above are the Molten Clutch and Kinetic Clutch; the black and white ones have curious tiny beads inside the casing of the clutch, that move and change as you walk. The bag itself is a beautiful solid construction, finished with a gold chain than you also choose to hide inside the bag for a simpler look with your finished outfit. The molten clutch doesn't have any moving parts but is reflective with the metallic flakes sealed inside the casing of the clutch, and providing that extra bit of sparkle to any outfit.
The headpiece is worn by sliding the elastic band around the back of your hair and securing with bobby pins, you could wear it for an up-do or with your hair down, but I prefer to have my hair out for such an extravagant look. Particularly for the races coming up this colour combination is particularly elegant and easy to style, finished with a classic red lip.
This next look I styled to similar shades of silver-white, this beautiful flowing gown from Hera Bridal comes in at the waist and flows out with a fuller skirt, perfect for dancing and swishing. The necklace is The Orchid Necklace, available from Claire Hahn. The headpiece is a white fascinator from the S/S '16 "Bloom" Collection. I love all white, it's such a feminine statement. The beauty of these pieces is they can create dramatically different looks depending on how you wish to style them.
The orchid necklace was one of my favourite pieces, it is all white apart from a delicate selection of diamantes embedded into the edges of the flower petals. The sections of the necklace move independently, attached by a chain so always sit flush around your neckline. I love how the design is loosely resembling a bouquet of flowers, tying in beautifully with the flower-inspired head pieces. I also have styled this necklace and others in every day outfits, so you could easily wear this piece as part of your casual and semi-casual looks too. Coming up to summer this necklace is definitely one of my favourite picks!
The silver headpiece from Claire Hahn's "Bloom" collection has the same fastening as the gold fascinator. A section of elastic that goes around the back can be secured with bobby pins to hold it in place. Because the headpieces are made of a unique foam, they are very light and easy to wear. They are also relatively durable and simple to style. Because of the unique nature of each head piece, they can be worn from different angles to make the style your own, and fit with the look of your outfit. The perfect accessory for the races!
This gown in blush was so beautifully fitted around my bust and waist it was divine! I couldn't have asked for a better fit. I didn't have to wear any bra with this dress, as the support from it was enough. This gown was fully boned and so essentially has shapewear fitted within it!
The necklace I am wearing is her "Signature Collar" necklace and you can pick one up for $249.00 from her website here. The detail of this necklace would ideally make it perfect for sweetheart necklines or strapless cocktail dresses, the delicate beading throughout makes it a totally extravagant but beautiful eye catching statement piece.
The Claire Hahn headpiece I paired with this dress was in contrast to the colour itself. As I do love black this headband fascinator from the "Bloom" S/S '16 collection was a lovely match. The headband design of it was also great for my hair type, so if you have finer or softer hair the headband is a great choice to preserve your hair style and ensure a secure fit no matter what the weather at the races! You can wear it either side, and personally I feel it looks best worn with your hair down and with lots of volume!
Below are an overview of the incredible gowns from the Hera Bridal range. If you have an hourglass figure and a bust you'd like more support for the first gown in blush on the left is amazing for both. The colour is also very elegant but not too loud, and works well with a number of other colours for accessories including cream, white, black, pink, and earthy tones.
The Silver gown in the middle is a more floaty number and is particularly good for petite girls and if you have narrow shoulders like me. The delicate straps draw attention to your décolletage. I particularly liked how full the skirt was and it would be fantastic with a range of accessories from red, to black, to deep jewel tones.
The final navy girl with the side shoulder section is very elegant but takes away the stress of finding a statement necklace as you can definitely wear this one without. Perhaps just earrings and a lovely clutch would serve as the perfect partners. I personally feel that this dress works best with copper or gold tones. If you haven't already taken a look at Hera Bridal, make sure you get in touch with designer, owner and magic maker Katie on her website at: www.herabridal.co.nz
Photographer. Creator. Dreamer ♥