Bella Charleston

Picking out a bridesmaids dress these days is not what it use to be.  Gone are the days of spending hundreds of dollars on a dress you’ll never wear again.  Now girls have so many great options from beaded and sequined dresses fit for a ball, to easy separates that you can mix and match with your everyday wardrobe for extra mileage.  Step into Bella Bridesmaids and it’s a dream come true for any bride who wants lots of options for her party.  You can shop a dizzying array of dresses and separates by Theia, Monique Lhuillier, Jenny Yoo, Amsale, and Adrianna Papell just to name a few.  

The owner of their Charleston location, Allison Long, opened up her shop over 10 years ago downtown on King Street and is currently on John Street in the Upper King Street area. She stocks 20+ designer collections with over 1,000 dresses sampled in store.  Her boutique has become a great resource not just for wedding parties but also prom, graduation dresses, and black tie affairs.  With over 50 Bella Bridesmaids nationwide it’s so easy to accommodate bridal parties.

Allison is always promoting her store with fun fashion shows, collaborations with other boutiques, and trunk shows.  They’re currently having a Bella pop up shop at Maddison Row’s new location on Friday and Saturday.  Pop by 189 C St. Phillip Street to browse their gorgeous selection.

Tomorrow’s my big Bridal segment on Lowcountry Live where I’ll be featuring bridal looks that are red carpet ready.  With the Oscars right around the corner I’ll be featuring dresses that are fit for a Hollywood A-lister, but also perfect for your wedding day and beyond. Tune in tomorrow at 10am to see designs by Emily Kotarski, Mason Hosker, and Hermosa Jewelry alongside dresses from Bridal House of Charleston and Bella Bridesmaids.

Headpiece by Emma Katzka at Emily Kotarski, Jewelry by Hermosa Jewelry, Bouquet by Frampton’s Flowers

Photography by Clay Austin, Model – Christina Zapolski at Directions USA, Styling by Andrea Serrano, Makeup and Hair by  Mac Does Hair, on location at The Gadsden House

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Garden Of Eden

The newest Charleston designer on the scene is Danielle Hosker of Mason Hosker.  She opened her flagship boutique on State Street in the French Quarter in December and has quickly made a name for herself.  Her dresses have been seen on the red carpet on Asher Paul with the director of LaLa Land at the Golden Globes and SAG award winner Uzo Aduba of Orange is the New Black.  Structured silhouettes in luxe fabrics that have a touch of vintage glamour is what you’ll find in her boutique.

Once you slip on one of her dresses you’ll know that fit is everything.  Danielle is a ballet-trained dancer who co-founded Dance FX, and has a natural sense of how fabric should fit and move with the female form.  Her past experience with interior design has beautifully translated in her collection with the textiles she uses.  The colorful and pattern friendly dresses create whimsical vignettes throughout her store.

The occasional dresses at Mason Hosker are perfect for galas, weddings, cocktail parties, and mother of the bride.  You’ll find couture quality, original designs, and classic styles that can live in your wardrobe forever.

Stay tuned for more of Mason Hosker on Lowcountry Live this Friday at 10am, a runway show on Friday March 17th at Charleston Fashion Week, and her grand opening party in March.

Headpiece byEmma Katzka, Necklace by Hermosa Jewelry

Photography by Clay Austin, Model – Christina Zapolski at Directions USA, Styling by Andrea Serrano, Makeup and Hair by  Mac Does Hair, on location at The Gadsden House

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House of Style

The Bridal House of Charleston is a bridal boutique veteran in the Lowcountry.  The locally owned business has been established for 30 years and the new owner Tierney Simpson is breathing new life into her bridal shop.  Her wide variety of dresses cover everything from classic silhouettes to beautiful beaded gowns in a wide variety of prices.  She focuses on a handful of designers representing a true collection from Robert Bullock, Truvell, Amy Kuschel, and Justin Alexendar who designed this dreamy dress.  

It’s trunk show season and they are gearing up their Justin Alexander trunk show this Friday through Sunday, so book your appointment so you can try on gorgeous dresses like this one.  Looking for a white dress for a special occasion but not necessarily tying the knot?  Their Robert Bullock Debutante Collection trunk show is happening now through March 6th and they’ll have plenty of dresses to try on and order.

These beautiful earrings and bracelet are made by local designer Haley Keisler of Hermosa Jewelry. She creates one of a kind jewelry from dainty to bold that always makes a statement.  She works closely with brides to create custom jewelry for them and their bridal party and has made jewelry for over 100 weddings!  Haley is always on the move with her jewels and will be setting up a pop up shop at the Style Lounge at Charleston Fashion Week on Thursday, March 16 and at Volvo Car Open April 1-9th.

These stunning shoes by Emmy London are just a teaser of what I’ll be featuring from Mason Hosker tomorrow on the blog.  Stay tuned for more bridal fashion on Lowcountry Live this Friday at 10am for my Fashion Friday segment!

Photography by Clay Austin, Model – Christina Zapolski at Directions USA, Styling by Andrea Serrano, Makeup and Hair by  Mac Does Hair, on location at The Gadsden House.

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Goddess Dressing

This week is Wedding Week on  Lowcountry Live, and I’m so excited to share a few local bridal designers and boutiques that carry beautiful dresses and jewelry that are perfect for the big day.  Tune in on Friday at 10am to see designs by Emily Kotarski, Mason Hosker, and Hermosa Jewelry alongside dresses from Bridal House of Charleston and Bella Bridesmaids.

The first one in the series is local bridal designer Emily Kotarski who opened up her design studio on King Street last year.  The independent designer has quickly made a name for herself by landing her stunning teal lace dress in an editorial spread for Charleston Wedding Magazine and a solo show during Charleston Wedding Week.

Designer Emily Kotarski sources materials from Europe and keeping up with the trends of fabric, laces, embroideries and beaded embellishments,  her gowns are one-of-a-kind and made with the finest materials.  All gowns are made by hand in her King Street studio, and you can work closely with the designer to make a custom gown of your dreams.  The intimate and one-on-one VIP experience is what you’ll get when you meet with Emily.  The Parsons graduate interned with Anna Sui and Fabiola Arias where she learned the manipulation of fabric treatments including beading, applique and couture hand sewing details.  This particular dress called Sterling, has a silk chiffon detachable cape that is hand painted by Emily herself.

Emily also carries local accessory designer Emma Katzka’s collection of bridal ready headpieces and jewelry like this crystal headband. The fairytale inspired accessories pair perfectly with Emily Kotarski’s goddess-like gowns.

Emily Kotarski is taking her show on the road, well actually just down the street at Fabulous Frocks 100 Church Street for a trunk show from March 10th-15th.

This beautiful locket necklace is by Haley Keisler of Hermosa Jewelry, and you’ll be seeing more of her designs this week on the blog!

Photography by Clay Austin, Model – Christina Zapolski at Directions USA, Styling by Andrea Serrano, Makeup and Hair by  Mac Does Hair, on location at The Gadsden House.

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Decked out at the Dewberry

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Im excited to share that next week we will be experiencing our 1st annual Charleston Wedding Week™ Presented by Diamonds Direct.  It will be an industry event celebrating all things weddings, since of course we’re one of the top destinations in the U.S. to get married. There will be plenty of opportunities to hob knob with industry leaders at daytime workshops, as well as book signings, brunches, dinners and night time fashion shows.  You can view the full schedule and purchase ticket here.   The week would not be complete without a couple of fabulous runway shows starting with “The Evening at The Gibbes”  next Tuesday which will showcase local bridal boutiques and designers including Betty Bridal AtelierLovelyMaddison RowBella BridesmaidsModern Trousseau Charleston, White on Daniel Island, and installation by Southern Protocol Bridal.

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Another outstanding event at Charleston Wedding Week will be the cocktail party with designer Lela Rose and her runway show at The Dewberry on Thursday, January 26th. Her red carpet ready looks have been seen on Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Chastain, Selena Gomez, Uma Thurman, and Jessica Alba just to name a few.

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At Southern Protocol each unique gown combines tradition with a contemporary twist.  They carry an exquisite selection of dresses from local designer Kate McDonald, Nicole Miller, Ivy & Aster, Heidi Elnora, and Carol Hannah.  The So Pro girls stock their boutique with a diverse variety of dresses – from the little white dress which is perfect for a rehearsal dinner or brunch, to ballgowns made for a fairytale wedding. They also carry the cutest accessories including Kate Spade clutches, stationary, bar ware, Candy Shop Vintage rice beads, and Taxidermy clutches.

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With 12 locations from New York to Miami, Lovely Bride recently opened up in Charleston last year on lower King.  They are known for their wide selection of dresses to cover every style from traditional, to boho, to retro inspired. Each rack showcases a designer and represents a healthy selection of dresses for both the classic and alternative bride including designers Rue De Seine, Leanne Marshall, Limor Rosen and Christos.

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Located on Upper King, Modern Trousseau is stocked with exclusive dresses and jewelry by designer Callie Tein.  You’ll find luxurious details like fine French laces, imported silks, delicate beadwork, and impeccable designs.  The Australian designer easily translates her style to the southern bride.  She’s known for her traditional gowns but has added her Muse line to her collection which has fashion forward details for the modern bride.  If you want to meet the designer Callie you can swing by their flagship boutique at 418 King Street for a sip and shop next Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m.

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 Tune into Lowcountry Live this Thursday at 10am for more gorgeous dresses from Southern ProtocolLovely BrideModern TrousseauBetty Bridal Atelier and more about Charleston Wedding Week.  The much anticipated Drybar will also be styling the hair on all of the models.  Stay tuned for their grand opening party at 518 King Street on February 10th.  They’ll be treating everyone to complimentary blowouts and goodie bags with their partner Servis1st bank.

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Photography by Clifford Pate, Makeup by Elina Mille at Bellelina, Hair by Mac Does Hair, Stylist – Andrea SerranoModels – Taylor Brobisky & Sarah Malia

Jewelry from Croghan’s Jewel Box and Gold Creations, On location – The Dewberry

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One Love

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True love is not bound by skin color, gender, beliefs, or background.  These two beauties, Abigail Marie (right) and Natalie Rodriguez (left,) are madly in love with each other and are proud to share it with the world. Both creative souls, these women share their passion for life and never take for granted the endearing love that they have found.

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They are the perfect symbols of love to represent this bridal story.  Wearing one of a kind gowns by One Love Design by Rachel Gordon, these ethereal goddesses happily posed in front of Southern Smoke Cigars super swanky airstream at Holy City Brewing Company.

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To learn more about Abigail and Natalie’s story and admiration for one another view more.

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Dresses by One Love Design by Rachel Gordon // Earrings and draped beaded chain by Birdsong // Floral crown by Anna Bella Florals

Host and Floral: The Event Cooperative, Photography: Nickie Cutrona, Fashion Stylist: Andrea Serrano,  Hairstylist: Mac Does Hair, Makeup: Bellelina Skincare and Makeup Studio, Location: Holy City Brewing Company, Airstream by Southern Smoke Cigars

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Scene at the CFW Bridal Show

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The Bridal show at Charleston Fashion Week is the sleeper hit of the whole week.  The tent is transformed into a romantic fantasy complete with fresh flowers, drinks flowing, yummy apps, and wedding vendors showing off their wares.

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The highlight this year was the surprise proposal of my friend and photographer Clifford Pate to his girlfriend Lauren Miller.  Their romance started last year at Fashion Week, and a runway proposal seemed like the perfect setting to commemorate their 1 year anniversary. The planning was in the works for the past few months and Melissa Bigner, the editor at Charleston Weddings Magazine, made sure the engagement went off without a hitch.  Clifford thought of every detail and had a custom python ring box made by Taxidermy.  You can say Clifford and Lauren were a match made in Charleston Fashion Week heaven.

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Photography by Clifford Pate

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About Charleston Shop Curator

Charleston Shop Curator serves as a fashion blog and shopping guide to showcase the incredible diversity of style in Charleston, South Carolina. We continually strive to expose local creative talents from designers to stores. Here you can find all of the treasures Charleston has to offer, and more.

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