This gorgeous concept by Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, and styled by Anna Fern Weddings is a celebration of soft and delicate and bold and beautiful, giving you the best of both words this afternoon. One things for sure though is that both are absolutely stunning and sure to have you swooning with delight. I have never seen so many mesmerising cakes and flowers in one place, it is literally a feast for the eyes. Plus the bridal designs by Jo Fleming are exquisite, perfectly complimenting each set up beautifully. Roberta Facchini Photography works her magic behind the lens, making full use of all the light flooding in the glasshouse at Horniman Museum and Gardens wedding venue, and captures every last detail. So get your pinning fingers at the ready and enjoy.
ConceptOne hundred and eight years ago, the world was gifted with the birth of Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón — most famously known as Frida Kahlo. The well-loved Mexican artist, a shining example of perseverance and creativity, known for her feminist stance, was the inspiration for this two part shoot, based on her most famous painting Las Dos Fridas (The Two Fridas). Created at a pivotal point in her life, the painting depicts an expressive double self-portrait that symbolises the artist's contrasting, yet very separate entities. In the painting, the two distinct Fridas are linked together not only by their hands, but also by the connecting cord that travels around them. Frida's bold fashion has been a key source of inspiration for modern day designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Riccardo Tisci, and style icons such as Beyoncé. The image of Joanne Fleming's vibrant Frida dress inspired Elizabeth Solaru of Elizabeth's Cake Emporium to create this two part concept and story. She worked with Anna from Anna Fern Weddings for the planning and styling of this unique high fashion bridal shoot, which also wants to celebrate the V&A's 2018 fashion exhibition of Frida Kahlo's personal belongings and clothing.
DressThe light and airy conservatory at The Horniman Museum and Gardens was the perfect setting for the shoot. Our chosen palette was white, cream, pink, peach and hints of gold and grey. Joanne Fleming, one of the UK's top wedding dress designers created a high necked Victorian style full sleeved over blouse, featuring handmade lace and pearl buttons. She paired this with a skirt and boned under-bodice in sumptuous translucent silk damask organza, which echoed the look of the white dress in the ‘Two Fridas' painting. The bold statement jewellery in white and gold with leather tassels was by Stella & Dot, kindly provided by Emma Riddell-Independent Stylist, while The Exquisite Collection supplied the most extremely beautiful and feminine emerald green ring in a unique presentation box.
BeautyThe hair and make up for this shoot was by the amazing duo of Kasia Fortuna and Sylwia Kunysz Bridal Make Up respectively, who expertly made up the model, Nicole Andrea Da Ros. They used a soft and natural palette of blush and rose pink on her face, with a nod to the strong eyebrows Frida was noted for. They also wove in a monochrome Rebozo style scarf into her hair to create the trademark hairstyle of two braids, which was then finished off with a halo of natural flowers, reminiscent of the sartorial icon's self-fashioning.
Decor & DetailsThe tablescape we created featured the most incredible floral design by Wild About. The outstanding overhanging tree canopy across the length of the table featured different hues of blush roses and ranunculi, white Phalaenopsis orchids, hydrangeas, roses, Icelandic poppies and lilacs. On the table were clever groupings of more flowers in a combination of geometrical and modern vases, with white ceramic cacti and crystal candlesticks, topped with handmade blush and grey ombre’ candlesticks. The ghost chairs, white wave pattern crockery, clear and coloured crystal glasses and gold cutlery were from Couvert, and the specially commissioned elegant stationery was created by Plume Design. Each place setting also had edible jewelled cupcakes of love birds and hearts, a nod to the symbolisms that can be found in a number of Frida's paintings.
CakeIn addition to the cupcakes, Elizabeth's Cake Emporium also created a trio of cakes for the shoot, including the watercolour and gold leafed statement cake, featuring a gold sacred heart and roses, ranunculi, hydrangeas, blossoms and gold leaves made from sugar. There was also a single tier all gold over painted cake topped with blush pink sugar flowers and a 3 tier watercolour and gold cake decorated with a single statement sugar flower.
PhotographyAll this was captured wonderfully by Roberta Facchini, one of the most sought after luxury fine art photographers in the UK. We can all agree that she has succeeded in capturing the mix of old world romance and modern luxury in this rather special shoot.
FridaIn recognition of her Mexican identity, Frida often mixed embroidered Tehuana dresses (originally worn by women from the Tehuantepec region of South Mexico) with Huipil blouses (Mayan in source: each pattern spinning its own, specific story), Rebozo scarves, and any number of fabrics from both China and Europe. Many of these garments had strong associations with powerful women or particular manifestations of femininity. Alongside the obvious aesthetic pleasure they provided, this was a highly charged, symbolic uniform, speaking to Kahlo’s heritage and gender, whilst also allowing for a certain amount of myth-making. They gave her room to tell stories about herself in fabric, as well as paint.
DressThe starting point for this shoot was the hand embroidered and rich 'Frida' dress expertly crafted by top UK bridal dress designer Joanne Fleming. Elizabeth Solaru of Elizabeth's Cake Emporium worked with Anna of Anna Fern Weddings for the planning and styling to create the very vibrant, colourful and luxurious shoot which took place in the ideal setting of the light and airy conservatory of The Horniman Museum and Gardens. Joanne is famous for her use of colour, texture and embroidery in bridal gowns and the dress she created in black with red embroidered flowers fitted the bill perfectly. She paired it with an authentic 1920s silk shawl which added a sense of drama.
BeautyThe hair and make up was by the amazing duo of Kasia Fortuna and Sylwia Kunysz Bridal Make Up respectively. They went for stronger colours on the model, with emphasis on the eyes and lips. The hair style featured a center parting and a scarlet scarf was woven into her hair and finished with flowers in the trademark Frida style.
AccessoriesThe bold statement jewellery was by Stella & Dot, kindly provided by Emma Riddell-Independent Stylist, while The Exquisite Collection supplied the most extremely beautiful and feminine emerald green ring in a unique presentation box.
FlowersVery bold colours were also used to create a dramatic tablescape by the renowned florists Wild About. An overhanging tree canopy made up of red and dark pink roses, yellow ranunculi, Icelandic poppies, dark pink hydrangeas, green berries and cerise Phalaenopsis orchids shaded the table wonderfully. On the table were beautiful groupings of block colours of flowers mixed with cacti and gold candlesticks topped with neon pink, green and black candles.
Decor & DetailsThe cross back chairs, wooden table, black china, coloured glasses and cutlery were from Couvert, whilst the specially created stationery was supplied by Plume Design. Each place setting also had a cupcake decorated with a realistic anatomical heart, in reference to those featured in a number of paintings by Frida.
CakesIn addition to the cupcakes, Elizabeth's Cake Emporium also created a trio of cakes in black. The main cake featured a hand painted bottom tier and it was adorned with a double cascade of hand made multicoloured sugar flowers, sugar butterflies and sugar green leaves and berries, to match the florals. The second two tier cake had a rose gold bottom tier and a black top tier with a hand painted parrot. The third cake, single tiered featured a crackle effect and was topped with a crown of sugar roses and sugar leaves.
PhotographyOne of the best luxury fine art wedding photographer, Roberta Facchini, was the natural choice to capture this shoot in all its glory and you will agree she did an excellent job!
Venue: Horniman Museum and Gardens | Original concept and concept development, cakes: Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium | Design, styling and coordination: Anna Fern Weddings | Ring & Ring Box: The Exquisite Collection | Dresses: Joanne Fleming Design | Hair Stylist: Kasia Fortuna | Makeup Artist: Sylwia Kunysz Bridal Make Up | Florist: Wild About | Furniture and table ware: Couvert | Bespoke Stationery: Plume Design | Model: Nicole Andrea Da Ros | Necklaces: Stella & Dot by Emma Riddell-Independent Stylist | Rings: The Exquisite Collection