As we anxiously wait for the return of Game of Thrones, Katherine Elena Photography and a team of vendors blessed us with an epic styled shoot to hold us over. Katie Lee, the owner of Katherine Elena, told us that she wanted to highlight two women of the show, Daenerys Targaryen and Sansa Stark, for their strength and beauty. "Both are very strong, powerful women in their own right while also having an ethereal air about them," she said.
Erin of RCB Fashion designed a white flowing dress for Daenerys based on one of her classic dresses in the show, while giving Sansa a long, blue velvet gown to evoke a "strong yet feminine warrior." Though the male lead of the shoot didn't take after a specific character, it didn't hurt that he slightly resembled Jon Snow.
The wedding shoot took place at the Smithmore Castle in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which couldn't have been any more fitting for the medieval theme. It made for an amazing set for both the dining room scene and the outdoor balcony look with a real dire wolf. Dire wolves represent the House of Stark, after all. Full Moon Fam Wolfdog Sanctuary, a non-profit that cares for abused wolfdogs, provided their majestic model for the day. "The House of Stark on the show has a dire wolf on the family crest and a large part of the show is the dire wolves that help to protect each of the Stark children, so I really wanted that to be the WOW element of the shoot," Katie said.
And to top everything off, Ella from Celestial Cakery created the perfect cake that would have made the Mother of Dragons herself proud. The first layer featured dragon scales, while the top two tiers emulated Daenerys's style, all complete with moss and pine details.
"Sometimes styled shoots can be really hectic and certain things don't work out the way you expected, but this was one of those rare times where everyone involved was just as excited as I was and we had such a good time putting it together!" Katie said. "We only had about a week and a half to literally put the entire thing together and it was all thanks to the people that were there."
See their amazing photos and the video that shows the process from start to finish!
Ah, the father-daughter and mother-son dances, a.k.a. time for the guests to Instagram their cocktail hour photos BenandHeatherForever. At best, these dances can provide a sweet moment of family connection; at worst they feel a little Oedipus complicated, if you catch my drift.
If you’ve read any other article in this column on the history of wedding traditions, you’re probably just as over dad’s role in transferring his little virgin to the next guy as I am. So you won’t be surprised to learn that originally the first dance was reserved for “the moment when the father led his daughter, the bride, onto the floor,” as wedding historian Susan Waggoner puts it in oddly romantic terms. Originally, the father/daughter dance came before the first dance as an extension of the “giving away” as well as the dowry—the father would demand a final dance before giving their daughters to their new man (often a stranger). Then the bride and groom would have their first dance. Today, however, the newly married couple typically shares the first dance, followed by father-daughter and mother-son dances.
I’ve seen couples begin with the father-daughter and mother-son pairings, but then break off halfway through the song to pick a new partner, making the dancing more inclusive. Jessica of Texas says that after the traditional dances, “We had a song where I danced with my father-in-law, he danced with my mom, and then we switched and danced with our own parents.” Kinzie of Missouri chose to approach these family dances in a unique fashion, as well. “We did one song that was both mother-son and father-daughter, and then the next song was mother-daughter.” This second song turned into a “snowball” dance: “My mom and I danced together for a while, and then our DJ shouted ‘snowball’ every so often. The couples dancing split apart and each picked a new person to dance with from the crowd. By the end of the song, we had the entire group of wedding guests dancing!”
Personally, I’d love to see more mother-daughter dances like Kinzie’s. Julie of Ohio says, “I’m not a big fan of the bouquet and garter toss hoopla, so when it came time for me to throw my flowers, I instead gave them to my mom and invited her to dance. It just felt like a better way to honor both of us.” Amanda Summerlin, a photographer in Georgia says, “One of my clients, who was named Stacy, did an epic dance with her mom to the song 'Stacy's Mom' a couple years ago, and it is one of my all time favorite wedding moments.” Amanda says mother-daughter dances are not unusual: “Over the years, I've had quite a few female clients dance with their moms, often because their fathers had passed. It's always a beautiful moment.”
Beth of Colorado lost her father two months prior to her wedding, so she elected to skip family dances altogether. She shares the story of how she and her dad created their own father-daughter dance moment prior to the wedding in the dressing room where she tried on her wedding gown for the first time: “He had limited mobility and my dress was still two feet too long, but my mom played Pachelbel’s Canon on her phone, and that was our 'dance.' ”
Wedding traditions are not one-size-fits all and should not be treated as such. Sometimes, it’s necessary to educate your wedding professionals if you are adjusting the usual wedding traditions to better fit your actual life and family relationships. Christina shares, “My friend grew up with her mom, not her dad, so she did the father-daughter dance, but then also a mother-daughter dance. Unfortunately, because of the stereotype of the father-daughter tradition, the photographer only captured pictures from the father-daughter dance (which my friend didn't really care about), so she doesn't have any photos that capture the dance with her mom, which was one of the most special moments of the day for her.”
Casey of Virginia shares, “When my wife and I married, I danced with my father, but hers refused to dance with her.” Now Casey is a wedding planner for queer couples, and she says, “I see this happen really frequently, and it causes others just as much pain as it caused my family.” I asked her if it is time to retire the father-daughter dance tradition, to which she responded, “No, because I see how meaningful the sense of continuity and family is for so many couples.” But she does think that “wedding traditions need to catch up to our society, and fast.” She acknowledges that families come in all shapes and sizes, and our closest family relationships may not be with an opposite-sex parent. “Like so many wedding traditions, I think we need greater flexibility in our collective imagination,” she says. “The ‘right’ wedding is totally subjective, and so are all the pieces that contribute to the day.”
Jourdanton Police Investigator Mari Magana and Atascosa County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Kaufman were blessed to be the winners in the fifth annual Badges & Bouquets Dream Wedding Give-Away Contest.
Mari has served with the Jourdanton Police Department for a year and a half and served with the Pleasanton Police Department for 2 1/2 years prior to that. January will mark five years that she has been in law enforcement.
The couple have been together for six years. Mari met Daniel when she lived in El Paso. He worked as a deputy in McMullen County before being hired with Atascosa County.
They wed Friday, Sept. 1 at Strawberry Pines in Poteet.
The contest is the brainchild of Tina Humphrey, wedding planner and owner of Diamonds & Dreams Event Consultants. The contest is open to San Antonio area first responders (police officers, fire fighters and emergency medical technicians) and their fiances. The winners receive a complete wedding package valued at approximately $50,000. The contest is Humphrey’s way of giving back to those who sacrifice so much.
Mari’s contest entry stood out because she and her husband are both in law enforcement. Daniel also served in the military.
“All the finalists were incredible. They always are,” said Humphrey. “Our vendors are giving so much. We have new ones this year and lots of repeaters.”
There are almost 40 vendors this year. Along with Woode and Darlene Henry of Strawberry Pines, other area sponsors this year are Susie Martinez of Creations Cake Shop in Pleasanton, Tammy Blalock of Ata-Girl Photography and Melissa Rodriguez of Party Rentals of Devine.
Strawberry Pines, said Humphrey, has been the most flexible venue she has ever worked with.
“Whatever we ask of them, they are in it,” said Humphrey. “They are the sweetest people. Whatever they can do, they go above and beyond. I apprecicate that.”
Darlene Henry had some very personal reasons that drove her desire to give back to the first responder community in this way. Right out of high school and newly married, she worked with the New Mexico State Police, part of a close-knit law enforcement family.
“Unfortunately, I knew the pain of losing one of ‘my guys’ in the line of duty,” said Henry.
She experienced that deep sense of loss 16 years later when her cousin, Atascosa County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Monse was killed in the line of duty.
“The sacrifices first responders make to ensure the safety and surety of the community are beyond what words can describe. For me to give back in this way, as part of such a joy-filled and gratitude-filled event was an honor. It was an honor to celebrate the lives of this beautiful couple and all they do. It was a way to give back in memory of my cousin and the other officers I knew first hand that had given their all,” said Darlene.
Mari found out about the contest from Jourdanton Police Chief Eric Kaiser, who knew Mari and Daniel were getting married. He gave her a card from Strawberry Pines with a link of Badges & Bouquets. Kaiser let her know about the contest and suggested she look into it. She researched it a little more, discussed it with Daniel and decided to give it a try.
Those entering the contest had to write a 500 word essay explaining who they were and why they deserved to win the contest. A phone interview with Tina followed. The three finalists had the opportunity to tour the venue separately, which is when they met the Strawberry Pines owners. Another interview followed with Tina and Darlene and then the winner was chosen. The winning couple was announced on Feb. 14, via Facebook.
“We were literally counting down the minutes, until she finally posted it,” said Mari. “I didn’t think we were going to win. It was pretty cool. I was excited. It took me a minute because I never win anything. So, it was really neat to know that we won. I know Daniel couldn’t sleep because he got out that morning and he stayed up until 10 a.m. waiting to see what the results were.”
The wedding package was more than they ever imagined. They are both extremely grateful for being chosen.
“I love Strawberry Pines. I had worked security a couple of times and so had Daniel, so we always thought it was such a pretty place for a wedding or any event.” Even though Hurricane Harvey struck Texas the week before, Mari was not thinking about the wedding. “We were just hoping to get through everything. We were going to go to the coast to help out, but the plans got rearranged, so we weren’t able to go. Even then, if Daniel wanted to go, we weren’t sure if he was going to be able to come back, because the Guadalupe River flooded. He could have been stuck out there, so we kind of decided to stay for a little bit. It is going to take a long time to rebuild, so I am sure we can help in some other ways.”
Growing up, she initially wanted to be a teacher for special education children. She began working in special ed since she was in fifth grade, because that was the youngest that you could start helping out. She would volunteer at summer school. During her senior year at Fillmore High School in California, she worked with severely disabled students. She began seeing life in a whole different light. However, while attending Fresno State University, something switched for her. She wanted to work for children, rather than with children. She chose law enforcement.
“My main focus is the crimes against children. That was my biggest thing. I wanted to help the kids because I saw a lot with my friends. I was very fortunate that I had a good family, a good upbringing and a great set of parents, but I know some of my friends didn’t get that. Now as I am older and doing this job and working these cases, I realize, oh, my gosh. Some of my friends were in these bad situations, and I didn’t realize it then. So being able to recognize that with other kids and being able to help with that is rewarding. Mari appreciates having Daniel to lean on and vice versa.
“It is hard to deal with what we see and what we do, especially because we see the evil stuff that people can do to each other. So sometimes you don’t want to come home and tell that to someone who is not exposed to that, because you don’t want to expose them to that. You know how they say, ‘ignorance is bliss,’ so you want to keep your families away from that horrible stuff as much as you can. Of course, you tell them enough for them to be safe, but you spare them the really bad details. With him, he sees it already so I am able to vent a little more and tell him a little more than I would probably do if he wasn’t in this field. So it’s always nice, but it’s hard though.”
She described it as a double-edged sword sometimes, because being in the same line of work can make it difficult to unplug. However, they appreciate having a spouse who understands.
“Everyone has been really great. We can’t put into words how thankful we are with everybody. Everybody’s generosity has been overwhelming. When we thought about getting married, we thought we’d have something really small. So to be able to do this, it’s really great. They really do go above and beyond- all of them. And Tina is amazing. She has pretty much done everything for me,” said Mari.
Vendors this year are: A Touch of Elegance- linens for all tables and napkins, Aly Am Paperie- invitations/response cards, Anne Marie’s Catering- full service wedding day meal, Ata-Girl Photography- rehearsal dinner coverage, Bartenders4you- beer/margaritas/champagne, Bella Bride- discount on bride’s gown, Blooms (H-E-B)- ceremony and personal flowers, Blume Haus Florals- reception flowers, Cakes By Cathy- groom’s cake, Cottonwood Prints- calligraphy and fallen solder letters, Creations Cakes- bride’s cake, Diamonds & Dreams Event Consultants-event coordination, Dos Kiwis Photography- boudoir and bridal portraits, Event Ignition- lighting for exterior and interior, Joshua Michael Photography- engagement session and wedding day coverage, Live Event Painting- painting for client, Luxe Decor- chargers, Mark Thomas Video- video, Marquee Rents- dining room chairs, Moon Struck Weddings- ceremony officiant, Party Rentals Etc.- all dining tables and chairs for ceremony, Photo Buzz Studios- photo booth, Rustic Romance Rentals- two lounge set-ups and peripheral decor, San Antonio’s Best DJs- DJ for cocktail hour and reception, Smoke in the Hills BBQ- rehearsal dinner and dessert, Stella Haus Films- engagement film, Strawberry Pines- venue and lodging, Stringmusic.Net- ceremony violinist, Superior Celebrations- lanterns for decor, Vanity Eiland- hair and make-up, Vision Lounge- chandeliers, Sharee Irwin- vocalist, Sybilla Irwin- unity wine box creation, Meda Nix- Lipsense lipstick, Lost Mission Wedding Venue- engagement session location and The Westin Riverwalk Hotel- bridal portrait session location.
Don’t Worry, Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour Merch Will Still Be Available
At the end of Justin Bieber’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad summer, finally some good Biebs news. Despite the tour’s cancellation, new Purpose tour merchandise will be available at H&M online and in stores, beginning September 7.
The 20-piece collection includes sweatshirts, bomber jackets, and lots of shirts with Bieber’s face on it. H&M also collaborated with Bieber for a previous Purpose tour collection. Bieber, master of merch, has also rolled out lines for the Purpose album with VFiles, Barneys, and Forever 21.
Bieber cancelled remaining dates of his Purpose tour to focus on his Christianity. He had previously apologized to fans in many words, but is following it up with extra clothes. Nothing says “I’m sorry” like a pair of bright yellow joggers.
Every season, the fashion press decide en masse, and with a touch of irony, that one unlikely profession is the archetype to which we should all aspire. In spring/summer 2016, the Gucci geek-chic look of Alessandro Michele was so often described as “librarian chic” by fashion journalists that librarians themselves started rolling their eyes. This season, all points of the fashion compass lead to geography teachers as the height of style. And specifically to their penchant for corduroy: the fusty, stiff fabric, often the colour of damp leaves.
For autumn/winter 2017, Prada sent a model down the catwalk wearing a corduroy blazer and trousers, their spaghetti-thin ridges the colour of butterscotch Angel Delight. The too-long trousers were rumpled at the bottom, asking to be caked in field-trip mud; a sign of someone who spends too long thinking about plate tectonics to have time to turn up their trews. The trend has spread like lava and can be spotted everywhere from Mulberry to Mango. It is a textile with a whiff of academia, crystallised by popular culture – from Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society to the thinking man’s Britpop star Jarvis Cocker. It also feels very now, much-loved by Jeremy Corbyn – surely the most geography-teacher-esque of all politicians?
But do real, ordnance survey-loving geography teachers actually wear it? Martyn Reah, of Eggar’s school in Hampshire, last wore corduroy in the late 80s. Why not since? Because “C&A closed,” he says. Ginny Light, who taught geography at St Paul’s school until she recently went on maternity leave, last wore cord in the 90s – a pair of much-loved white flares. Now, says Light, she is more likely to wear a silk blouse and a big necklace, while Reah is into woollen and tweed tailoring. This, presumably, when they are not wearing fieldtrip-ready waterproof trousers.
Reah is happy that the profession is “at last, bang on trend”. Light also loves being on the fashion agenda. Even more so, she says, because it gives geography one over on history teachers: “We have always had this light animosity; at some schools, children have to make a choice between the subjects.”
Will they go meta and try the geography teacher look? Reah says yes: “I will buy some today.” Its sturdiness: “will help combat the day-to-day challenges faced in the modern classroom”. He would also “happily try some Prada samples out”. Light wouldn’t go “the whole hog – I guess no one ever wears the whole catwalk look. I’m more of a fashion follower than an innovator but I can imagine wearing it, “in moderation”. And will any of their colleagues take offence when they learn that their profession has become an ironic source of fashion inspiration? Light doesn’t think so. “On the whole, geography teachers have a good sense of humour,” she says. “Given all the jokes they face about colouring in maps for a living, they have to.”
Demi Lovato Steps Out In Nude-Illusion Lace — Plus More Celebs at the MTV VMAs
Demi Lovato, Lil Yachty, Lorde and more have stepped out in statement-making looks today in Los Angeles for the 2017 MTV VMAs, which is hosted by Katy Perry.
Lovato — who performed the national anthem at last night’s Mayweather v. McGregory fight — opted for black sequined tapered harem pants with a sheer lacy top and black embroidered pumps.
The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer and face of Fabletics had on eye-catching pieces from head to toe. Lovato’s top incorporated nude-illusion panels with strategically placed lace around the bust. Her trousers sparkled with sequins, and her pumps had delicate, luxe-looking embroidered detail.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Lorde ditched her usual grunge style in favor of an ethereal, lavender feather-embellished gown for the VMAs.
Lil Yachty dressed down for the awards in a red v-neck sweater with khaki pants and retro white sneakers.
Kim Kardashian Channels Pamela Anderson In 1999-Themed Photo Shoot
Kim Kardashian, 36, is featured in the 11th issue of CR Fashion Book, which pays homage to some of the most iconic red carpet looks of the year 1999. One of those, of course, is the epic pink, fur and animal print hat, paired with a corset top, that Pamela Anderson wore to the MTV Video Music Awards that year, and Kim had the honor of recreating the look for the mag. For her shoot, the reality star donned a blonde wig and pink cowboy hat with cheetah-print trim. Her outfit wasn’t quite as outrageous as Pam’s — the model rocked sequined pants in ’99, while Kim wore much more simple sweats this time — but the similarities are definitely striking!
In another shot for the buzzed-about issue, the 36-year-old also imitated Lil Kim’s iconic look from that same awards show. The rapper’s pink crop top and shorts, paired with a long, fur coat and matching pink hair, still has people talking today. Although Kim, who was photographed by Petra Collins, covered up a bit more in her shoot than Kim did at the awards show, she was totally on point with the pink-hued hairstyle! Her makeup also wasn’t as dramatic as Kim’s but it’s pretty obvious where the inspiration came from.
“To me, 1999 was the last moment when fashion felt naive and innocent and free,” CR Fashion Book creator, Carine Roitfeld, explained. “1999 is about a spirit of independence and there are very few independent thinkers left today. I think right now a lot of people are looking back to this period of time. Not only to find references or get ideas, but to see who they were — how good they were — and hopefully see who they can be again.” Maybe this will inspire a whole new change in Kim’s style!
Olivier Rousteing's Balmain Army Grows for Diversity-Focused L'Oreal Campaign
Over the years, Olivier Rousteing has made a name for himself as the leader of the great Balmain army, stacking the ranks with Kardashians and Jenners and occasionally a Kanye. For his new campaign for the Balmain by L'Oreal makeup collab, first announced this spring, the 31-year-old creative director stacked the lineup with 12 supermodels, including Lara Stone, Soo Joo Park, Doutzen Kroes and Maria Borges.
The crew, of course, was decked out in the rock 'n' roll-inspired fall 2017 Balmain collection in the ads lensed by Nico Bustos. Each model wore one of the 12 matte shades, which run the gamut from nudes (a creamy taupe, a warm beige) to bold jewel tones (sapphire blue, royal violet). “Now we realize that we need a moment of flamboyance and maximalism, and to take risks," said Rousteing of the statement-making hues.
The diverse range of models, hailing from all over the world, was an intentional choice to not just show the play of color across various skin tones, but to champion diversity — an especially topical theme. "No matter your origin, no matter your tribe," reads a release from L'Oreal. "Come together, be seen, be heard. United, we are invincible. Because we are all worth it."
Following the release of the lipsticks, which will arrive in stores at Barneys and online on L'Oreal Paris' website on Sept. 20, Balmain is also releasing a collection of necklaces featuring a lipstick-style pendant embellished with gold tassles.
model Winnie Harlow joins summer's body positive movement
It's the height of August holiday season, and Instagram is full of bikini selfies- most of them showing 'perfect' tanned, toned bodies and taken in luxury Grecian hotels or on sparkling Mediterranean beaches. Winnie Harlow joined the trend last night, posting an image which shows her almost naked, save for a beige thong. But unlike many of the other swimwear portraits currently doing the rounds on social media, Harlow's came with a determinedly body positive message.
The model, who was diagnosed with the skin condition vitiligo aged four, wrote: "the real difference isn't my skin. It's the fact that I don't find my beauty in the opinions of others. I'm beautiful because I know it. Celebrate Your unique beauty today (& everyday)!"
The image is the latest example of Harlow's campaign to inspire women to feel good about themselves, no matter what obstacles they may face. "You are not just beautiful on the outside. Your attitude towards yourself is so inspiring ," wrote one follower in response to the image. "Keep shining that beautiful positive light." Another added: "So incredible to see @winnieharlow! Your skin is so beautiful and so are you for sharing to the world with such positivity. Love it!"
Harlow had her big break in modelling in 2014 when she appeared on America's Next Top Model. Since then, she has become one of the best-known names in the industry, walking in shows for Ashish, Coach and Marc Jacobs as well as becoming a front row and fashion party fixture and appearing in Beyonce's visual album, Lemonade.
"My modelling career is about hard work," Harlow told The Telegraph last year. "There are a lot of people that would say my skin is what made my career, but my skin condition is not something new. It’s not like I was the first person to have it, it’s not new, so to be able to break boundaries with something that for years people have said is ugly, or something that should hold you back, it’s mainly hard work that gets you to where you want to be regardless of the boundaries that you're faced with."
Harlow is part of a wider movement to counteract 'perfect' bikini shots with more realistic representations of women. Model Iskra Lawrence- who champions non-sample size figures- also posted a video yesterday which shows her dancing in a bikini, one of several she has shared recently. Her caption included the message: "maybe if we stopped picking each other's bodies apart we wouldn't have so many body image issues."
Trump Authorizes Investigation of Intellectual Property "Theft" by the Chinese
As expected, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum on Monday authorizing an investigation into China's alleged “theft” of American intellectual property. According to the memo, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is being tasked with determining whether or not to investigate any potential trade practices by China “that force U.S. companies operating in China to turn over intellectual property,” per Reuters.
"Ambassador Lighthizer, you are empowered to consider all available options at your disposal," Trump said before he signed the memo, according to Reuters. "This is just the beginning," Trump added. Under the Trade Act of 1974's Section 301, the president may unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions to protect U.S. industries. It is unclear whether the investigation will, in fact, result in trade sanctions against China, which Beijing would almost certainly challenge before the World Trade Organization.
The order comes on the heels of escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing, as Trump has pressed China to cut steel production to ease global oversupply and rein in North Korea's missile program. In terms of IP infringement, both Republican and Democrats have urged Trump to take action, and the European Union, Japan, Germany and Canada have all expressed concern over China's failure to act on its rampant intellectual property infringement.
While a spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce told reporters in Beijing earlier this month that China puts a strong emphasis on intellectual property rights and that all WTO members should respect the rules of the organization, China has repeatedly come under fire for its unwillingness to respect U.S. IP. China was, of course, singled out on the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s 2017 “Special 301” Report in May.
A first for the Trump administration, the report detailed how intellectual property is being protected – or better yet, not protected – on a worldwide basis. China – a routine "Priority Watch List" country – was highlighted in the report due to both “longstanding and new IP concerns [that] strongly merit attention.”
As set forth in the report, “China is home to widespread infringing activity, including trade secret theft, rampant online piracy and counterfeiting, and high levels of physical pirated and counterfeit exports to markets around the globe. China imposes requirements that U.S. firms develop their IP in China or transfer their IP to Chinese entities as a condition to accessing the Chinese market.”