Living a self-dependent busy life in the big city especially in summer is very very hard. Sometimes it feels like we are just fast tracking through it all completely distracted of the daily life burden, not seeing any of the magic. I know we are all very busy with work but we don't always need time off to travel far. All we need is to go down the rabbit hole... One can fall down the rabbit hole of government bureaucracy, healthcare, tax law, the political economy, social media, streaming platforms or various subscriptions. But today I am giving you a peek at this beautiful anniversary celebration just as a reminder how short life really is. As a reminder not to wait for the Weekend, the Summer or the Prince to come so you can allow yourself to live a little...
Kristina is the epitome of a city girl, as busy as it gets with a fabulous career and a zest for life. One of her many passions is party planning and when she asked me to create the most special dress for her she showed me all these pictures of past celebrations around the world and gorgeous outfits she wore back then. I knew I have to give my best to top this up and show up fully this whole universe she is on the inside. As a great party lover of course she always pictured what her wedding might look like one day. But given she haven't had that chance yet, and may not ever, she decided to throw herself a grand celebration for her 40th birthday with the magnitude of a wedding - why? Because simply she ran out of reasons not to!!
The Event Planning
"I decided to throw myself a wedding type of celebration for my 40th birthday because why the hell not?! Best decision ever.
Talk about a labor of love! 8 months of planning from the big details to the tiny. Venue hunting, deliberating through props, coming up with ideas on how to include different references, and readjusting the budget... Again, and again. But I couldn't have enjoyed it more and couldn't have been happier with how it turned out!"
The time spend with Kristina I will never forget, we had so much fun. Going through every single fabric we can find and thinking what we can possibly do with each and every one. All the references that came to mind of other famous designers and styles - she knew all of them! It was the real design process where you start with a blank page and just your own personality. The real pure fashion experience, the ultimate journey through creativity that made me excited about designing and dressmaking when I was a little child. And now suddenly I was given this wonderful partner in crime to bounce back my madness.
As a bridal designer It doesn't happen very often that someone comes around with such inspiring opportunity to use colors. Or gives me the ultimate freedom to explore the wildest of dreams and re-create them in real life. In fact I didn't know if I will ever have such chance again so it was very hard to commit to just one thing. We ended up making two dresses perfectly complementing each other just like the two of us
The Dressmaking Experience
"Honestly what a highlight of this whole experience ! Margo was a dream from the first day when we met in West London to search for fabrics.
We had so many ideas. The only one we actually stuck with from beginning to end was a big purple tutu (and thank goodness for that as it was fabulous!) I knew I wanted a dress that was worthy of the stage, and I got more than I dreamed of! In our searches for fabrics we came up with so many different options, but eventually we decided on the 3D effect which seems pretty popular these days. Another trip to the store, and a bit of torturing the attendant :), we found the most perfect embroidery. Then came the fun part of cutting it out and playing with placement. From beginning to end, the process was collaborative and fun and I miss it!
Margo brings a great style, but also listens to what you are looking for, and the end result is just perfect."
The Party Theme
"I've always loved Alice in Wonderland, just so many fun references, lots of color, and lots of... 'nonsense'! References to old vintage books and clocks, mixed with talking playing cards, singing flowers, flamingo croquet, and mischief! What's not to love?!"
The theme of growing up. Lewis Carroll adored the unprejudiced and innocent way young children approach the world. He wanted to describe how a child sees our adult world, including all of the (in the eyes of a child silly and arbitrary) rules and social etiquette we created for ourselves, as well as the ego’s and bad habits we have developed during our lives. The child’s struggle to understand the confusing world of adults.
The Celebration Day
"It was a sunny 34 degrees, the tube wasn't running, and my coach never showed up so we had to search for Ubers in a pinch. But I made my somewhat fashionably late entrance, and what an entrance it was! Everyone was in awe of the venue already, but then the dress was the icing on the cake. Well, so was the cake!"
Yet Another Surprise
"And then - the outfit transformation! People were shocked and amazed again, and I could finally lift my arms to dance - super fun way to party the rest of the night"
During the journey through Wonderland, Alice learns to understand the adult world somewhat more. In fact, she is growing up. This is also represented by her physical changes during the story, the growing and shrinking. In the end Alice has adapted and lost most of her vivid imagination that comes with childhood. She realizes that the creatures in Wonderland really are ‘nothing but a pack of cards’. At this point, she has matured too much to stay in Wonderland, the world of the children, and wakes up into the ‘real’ world, the world of adults.
Word of Advice to Future Birthday Girls
"Take any chance to celebrate with those you love! All the people you haven't told you love lately, tell them, and live your days like you mean it..."
Happy Birthday Dear Kristina
Thank you for sharing your special day with us, your journey and all the inspirations and ideas. Most importantly - best wishes for the next big chapter in your life!
Venue: The Walled Garden at Stubbers, Upminster, England
Event Planning: Tiffany Thompson, Flourish Marketing Events
Birthday Cake: Talented Steven at Sweet Catering
Sound: DJ Ama via We Run the World Female Dj Agency
Hair : Vangelis
Makeup: Belén Mateo MUA
Dresses: Margo Stankova LONDON Bespoke Haute Couture
Steve Madden heels