The wedding industry is my passion, it has been since I started working as a florist when I was young and opened Stella’s Bridal in Winnipeg in which I owned for over eighteen years. In 2002 I made the decision to sell it and explore my creativity through crystal bouquets, handbags and various other designs. While most of my current products are very much in line with the wedding industry, I am constantly creating and designing in a variety of mediums.
My studio on 703 Corydon Avenue is elegantly designed to be an inspiring workspace to meet with clients and think up ideas. Some of my greatest accomplishments are on display as well as various collections of bridal accessories. The studio, located near the Stella’s Bridal original location, is a very appropriate wedding space. However, plans are in the works to move toward a more artisan concept with other retailers of couture, jewellery and more.
You’ll notice a slow transition over the summer as the studio embraces a new image. I am so excited to updates with you as they unfold.
One of the reasons I am excited for this process is to unveil some of the other designs I have been working on other than my bridal collections. For example, I have been working late nights to put together a body jewellery collection for the Lennard Taylor store earlier this week.
When it comes to crafting accessories and artwork, my imagination is endless. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting new venture!
Because I wanted my purses to embody whimsy, elegance and timelessness, I thought that there was no better way to name my collection than with Shakespearian names. From Aemilia to Viola, some of Shakespeare’s great plays helped inspire the names in this collection.
Names aside, one of the stand-out features of this collection of handbags is the intricate detail work front and back. Wedding dresses are designed with beautiful corsets, v shaped backs, scooped backs and more so they look beautiful from behind as well as from the front. Wedding cakes are iced and decorated all the way around so that they look beautiful from any angle. Why should handbags be any different? Though I enjoy adding a focal point on my pieces to draw the eye in, I make certain that the detail work reaches the front, back, sides, and insides because a handbag deserves to be so much more than one dimensional.
You’ll also notice the detail put into the chains which enhance the design of each handbag including beautiful gems and pearls. Swarovski crystals and other gemstones are, of course, found on many of the bags as well as bridal appliques and rhinestone brooches. Each bag contains a different combination of elements that are carefully chosen to ornament the handbags, while still maintaining a clean and classy look.
What I really love about these handbags is their versatility. Though you may purchase a handcrafted handbag for your wedding day, these decorative pieces of art can certainly accompany you on future occasions. Anytime you head out on the town in a little black dress, your handbag will be your best accessory. These handbags are perfect to jazz up a winning outfit you’ve previously worn a few times, or to add a dazzling element to a plain, bright dress.
Check out all the handbags on my website, or go directly to them by clicking this link:
Over the years, I have spent many a late night and ruined many a manicure tirelessly crafting beautiful creations to match the visions in my head. When I look at a metal headband that I’ve hammered by hand, or a bouquet full of hand strung beaded flowers, I appreciate what it took to get there.
I am very proud to offer various collections of bouquets that showcase the art of French beading. These dazzling bouquets make such a statement at a wedding. Though I use elements of silk, the gems accents and French beading put these bouquets above and beyond a fresh floral bouquet.
French Beading done well is hard to find these days, and I think it’s important to know about the process and its history to fully appreciate its place in modern weddings.
A history of French beading
Beadwork has been around as long as ancient Romans, Egyptians and other cultures have been adorning themselves with costumes and formal wear. Throughout history, beads are known to have been made out of anything from glass and stone to bone and ivory.
French beading is a specific technique of beadwork that is classified by stringing beads on to a wire and forming shapes. It is not known exactly when this technique originated, but it is estimated that it happened sometime around the 16th century where the beadwork was found in Venice, throughout continental Europe and the British Isles.
Some of the earliest French beading was created to make use of imperfect beads that we made for other uses. Rather than embroider the beads onto to ball gowns and jackets of the rich, Italian and French peasants would string imperfect beads that didn’t fit over their needles on horsehair or human hair. Once strung, the strands of beads were shaped into flowers and shapes. They were used to decorate church altars and brides on their wedding days. They also become a staple decoration around Easter and Christmas—especially when fresh flowers were not available.
French beaded flowers become a decorative mainstay after World War II. Production of the flowers had advanced after the Industrial Revolution was able to make materials more accessible. Instructional Kits and patterns made their way on to the market and found their way into stores like Marshall Fields and Bloomingdales.
Through French beading today is not commonly sold to the masses, it is still alive and well. The beauty and elegance of French beading is timeless. It is an art form that has grown since its inception, but still stays true to its intricate beginnings.
Just as they did in the 1700s, I string and shape these delicate flowers with tiny beads one at a time. I may not use horse hair and imperfect beads, but I stay true to painstaking process of creating each work of art by hand because nothing else compares to what these finished products look like.
Once you take in the process and history that goes into this magical art form, you understand how special the finished product really is.
I am absolutely delighted to kick-start what will be a weekly blog about all things wedding.
For those of you who don’t know me, I am the Creative Designer and Founder of Stella Mazza Designs in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I can’t say what design medium I specialize in…I simply want to design anything and everything. Though I’m currently working on hammered metal headpieces, handbags and French beaded heirloom bouquets, my mind is constantly thinking up new creations from body jewelry for trendy brides to statement mirrors for my home.
I look forward to sharing with you my latest collections and products. When you get to know the detail and craftsmanship that goes into a piece, it adds another level of charm. Can you think of anything you cherish because of the thought that went into creating it? My mind often works that way, I see and appreciate beauty through details, like the shapes and lines of shells I collect with my daughter on the beach in Gimli, Manitoba to create new artforms. I love to explore techniques and crafting practices that date back centuries. That’s one of the reasons I’m excited to be blogging—some of them are just too interesting to not share!
I have been in the wedding industry since the age of 18 when I worked as a florist. I also spent over 18 years as the owner/operator of Winnipeg’s coveted “Stella’s Bridal Salon” before selling ownership and venturing into my current career as a accessory designer. The industry is near and dear to me and I keep up-to-date on trends religiously. It’s hard not to when the grandiose weddings we see on TV and read about are growing more accessible through new media. My interests and tastes reflect glamour and trends from around the world while still focusing on the Manitoba bride and Canadian culture.
Through Stell’s Wedding Bells I intend to engage and explore with you the what’s what of emerging bridal fashion and wedding trends. Even if you’re not a current bride-to-be, there is something magical about reliving that special day or dreaming of the day-to-come as we imagine ourselves in the strappy stilettos of each season’s modern brides.
Be sure to check in regularly, as next week we will explore the history and art form of French-beading.