Masako Formals at New York International Bridal Week

fashion week

It’s nearly that time again — New York International Bridal Week April 16-18, 2016. Follow Masako Formals on Da Bridal Blog, Facebook, and Instagram for images and updates on the world’s best bridal designers’ Fall 2016 collections.

Wedding Terms, Part 2: Common Bridal Alterations

At Masako Formals we have seamstresses with decades of experience specific to bridal alterations and customizations.

Here are the alterations common with wedding dresses that we do most often in our store:

Bustle – the answer to what to do with your wedding train when it’s time to party. The bustle is the button or pearl and loop alteration that allows you to hang up the train onto the back of your dress.

Bust support – generally, bra free is the way to be. Sewn-in cups give you invisible, easy-breezy lift and support.

Change back closure – change a zipper into a corset back or vice versa.

Add custom straps, sleeves, or a belt – make a dress that no one else has! We can add capped sleeves or straps to give you more coverage and support.

Adjust the dress silhouette – love an A-line dress but wish it were more form-fitting? You can have it altered into a fit and flare or mermaid style dress.

Below, our bride adds custom off-the-shoulder lace sleeves and makes her A-line dress into a trumpeted silhouette.


What’s it called? A quick and dirty bridal terms list, Part 1

sihlouettes 2

When you are looking for the dress it’s helpful for be able to describe what you like and what you don’t. Here’s a list of common wedding dress silhouettes.



A LINE – the most classic dress silhouette – fitted along the bust and then lets out at the natural waistline.


BALLGOWN – a version of the A Line, the ball gown lets out at the natural waistline or above the hips with a full-volume skirt, often created by layers of tulle.


EMPIRE – a dress fitted only at the bust, letting out into the skirt just below the bust.


SHEATH – a dress fitted through the hips and then lets out straight to the floor with little volume.

Mermaid sihlouette

MERMAID – a dress fitted through the bust, waist, hips, and thighs, letting out just above, at, or below the knee.


TRUMPET – similar to but slightly more relaxed than the mermaid, the trumpet is fitted through bust, waist, and hips, until the skirt flares out along the high or mid thigh.

 tea length

TEA LENGTH – a shortened ballgown dress that ends below the knee/ mid-calf.


HIGH-LOW – can refer to any silhouette dress where the front of the skirt is higher than the back.

Karen Willis Holmes, Australian designer makes wedding dresses fit for Hawaii

Karen Willis Holmes is a boutique wedding designer from Australia, with an appreciation for what the modern mermaid wants in a wedding dress. White beading and sequin details, and varied arrangements of simple shell dresses and lace overlays, make her dresses uniquely jaw-dropping. For more pics see our Brand New! page or visit Karen Willis Holmes online. KWH anya real bride

Jane White of Palazzo

Jane White, designer of Palazzo bridal, is a humble genius. When it comes to the two most important aspects of a wedding dress – look and feel – her gowns score 11 out of a possible 10 on both counts. Here’s a peak into the deceiving “simplicity” that requires the highest level of precision, which she can execute because all her gowns are hand crafted locally outside of her Chicago home. We see a lot of dresses, but these ones almost made us cry. (Update: see our Ko’olau Ballrooms Palazzo photo shoot.)

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Nicole Miller Bridal at NYC Bridal Week

New York designer Nicole Miller delivers all the grace and simplicity she’s famous for in her 2015 Bridal collections. What you’ll see from her Fall 2015 Bridal collection? – new plays on low back wedding dresses, some incredible work with illusion neck and backlines, and some fun short wedding dress styles.

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Masako Formals at New York International Bridal Week

Masako Formals at New York International Bridal Week April 18-20

Our bridal stylist Zoe Pili heads to New York City to check out the latest designer wedding dresses and pick new wedding dresses for our Honolulu shop. Join her on her trip!

nyfw-wedding-gowns Bridal Fashion Show - Claire Pettibone



Masako Formals Stylist and Models on KHON2

We were so stoked to film with Living808 and KHON2 today for our upcoming spot on bridal styling and trends that will air on Friday, April 10 at 8:30am. Our local stylist Zoe Pili gives a breakdown on 2015 bridal trends in Hawaii. Big thanks to Trini and the amazing crew at KHON2, to our fabulous models Mariko, Ana, Natasha, and Kandrie, and to our hair and makeup artist Hitomi.

Watch the video here. Wedding dress trends and tips of 2015

Masako Bride, Model, and Muse

Mariko will be getting married on the North Shore in January, but until then we’ve scooped her up as our newest model. Inspired by our vintage collection, Mariko modeled three dresses.