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Australian wedding dress designer KAREN WILLIS HOLMES has been at the forefront of bridal fashion since being established in 2000, providing beautifully designed and handcrafted wedding gowns for the elegant, modern and timeless bride. Our team is based in both Australia and New York and every one of our staff is dedicated to our company’s mission and the brides we have the pleasure of working with. Our goal is to always create a one-of-a-kind, personal and genuine experience for brides when finding their perfect wedding dress.
Over the last 20 years, Karen has established herself as a top Australian wedding dress designer. Since starting KAREN WILLIS HOLMES bridal, Karen has received awards in the industry, been part of several prestigious projects and dressed notable people who have become friends of the brand.
• Karen’s been a part of One Fine day Bridal Fashion Week and One Fine Day Bridal Market since the very beginning, showcasing her uniquely beautiful designs for wholesalers and media across the globe.
• Karen has dressed many notable people such as the wife of Oren Katzeff (Entertainment Chief of Conde Nast) for the Oscars, and WAGs for the Brownlow Awards. Anna Torv, star of The Daughter alongside Geoffrey Rush, also wore a KWH gown.
• KWH has collaborated with Romance Was Born at the May 2011 Sydney fashion week.
• In April of 2011, Karen was invited to make a replica of Kate Middleton’s wedding gown with a two-day turnaround time! This gorgeous one-of-a-kind replica gown was then featured on live TV and radio, adding to her list of features on ABC, Chanel 7, Chanel 9, Chanel 10 and 2GB radio.
• Karen’s gowns have been featured in an editorial shoot for Vogue in the November 2019 print issue and on The Lane when our ELOPE collection was released.
• Real brides wearing a KWH gown have been featured in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar as well as The Lane and Hello May.
• KWH has received the award for “Best of Weddings” for 2018 and 2019 from The Knot.
• Karen was named one of Marie Claire’s top 13 Australian Wedding Dress Designers.
• Karen was also featured on ABC, speaking about the changing climate of weddings during the time of COVID-19.
• Hello May featured KAREN WILLIS HOLMES as one of their Top 30 Bridal Boutiques & Designers to Follow on Instagram in 2020.
So many of our brides find themselves seeking out the signature modern elegance of Australian wedding dress designers, and Karen’s gowns are made to the highest quality, upholding our reputation as a leading bridal fashion house in Australia for 20 years. A wedding dress by Karen Willis Holmes is sophisticated, contemporary, flattering and made so you can dance all night without a worry in the world. The incredible team in our Sydney, Australia workroom hand makes our wedding dresses with the utmost care and attention to detail to ensure every gown we produce is perfectly unique and up to the highest quality of standard.
Our brand’s philosophy focuses on artistry – the combination of handcrafted details, exquisite fabrics and laces so that every KAREN WILLIS HOLMES bride walks down the aisle in her dream gown. We strive to exceed expectations by offering unique pieces whilst delivering impeccable customer service to ensure that every bride feels valued, respected and cared for every step of the way.
A KWH bride is not afraid to express her individuality; she appreciates detailing, values the skills of our seamstresses and shows her style with confidence and poise.
Brides are given the luxury of five unique collections that cater to every aesthetic, style and personality.
Our ELOPE collection was created for the daring bride who’s not afraid to be herself. The gowns, separate suit pieces and jumpsuit in this line allow you to have your bridal moment without losing the true essence of who you are.
The LUXE collection exudes embellished luxury – a range of intricately hand-beaded sequin gowns that are ready-to-wear, perfect for spontaneous brides. This collection radiates glamour, sophistication and an exceptional fit that complements every figure.
Made for the modern romantics, our WILD HEARTS collection was designed with our signature stretch lace, creating flattering silhouettes gently skimming the body. Imagine wedding gowns that are soft, flowing, unique and highly comfortable – this collection is about romance and effortless style.
Our BESPOKE collection caters to brides looking to add a personal touch, creating a gown that is as individual as they are. Exquisitely designed pieces can be combined in a myriad of ways – perfect for brides who envision a gown with couture-like quality but with the ease and price of a ready-to-wear wedding dress.
Designed with shape in mind, the CURVE collection offers plus size wedding dresses which ensures that every bride can find her perfect gown. This line is a range of stretch lace gowns that softly contour the body without compromising on style or fashion.
Over the years, we’ve had so many beloved styles that our gorgeous brides have worn. Although they are no longer available, our archive gowns truly display the intricate work that Karen does when she creates such beautiful dresses.
With boutiques around Australia, in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, & Perth, as well as our New York flagship boutique in Soho, and in stockists globally, we are proud to provide the perfect wedding gown for every bride, wherever she may be.
Karen arrived in Sydney to open up her bridal couture business which she’d eventually grow into being one of the leading bridal fashion houses in Australia. At the time, Karen had no idea just how much her company would expand and grow and that she’d be known in years to come as one of the best Australian wedding dress designers.
Our first standalone store in Paddington, Sydney opened selling our BESPOKE collection. As a bridal designer, seeing her gowns in-store in a new location and be accessible to so many more brides was a huge achievement for Karen.
Our beloved Melbourne store opened its doors. Expanding the company beyond Sydney allowed us to work with so many more incredible brides and help them to find their perfect wedding dress.
Our first wholesale order in Australia. Wholesale has been a huge component for KAREN WILLIS HOLMES as it helps get our gowns in the hands of brides from all over. For brides that are on the hunt for Australian wedding dress designers but might not have access in their area, this was the beginning of them being able to find their dream gown. Since then, our wholesale market has expanded around the world.
We moved into our head office based in Sydney. As we’re still based in Sydney to this day we can truly say we love our location and being known for being one of the best Australian wedding dress designers. Our team at HQ is dedicated to ensuring all of our brides have an incredible experience at our boutiques, online, and with our wholesalers.
Our next grand opening; our Brisbane boutique. By this time Karen was building her name and reputation as one of the most known and best Australian wedding dress designers. Continuing to expand to new locations in Australia helped our company to become even more well know and allowed us to assist even more brides in finding their perfect wedding dress.
Our LUXE collection is one of the things Karen is known for. In March 2012 the very first of our hand-beaded LUXE dresses came to life and were able to be sold to our brides searching for not only an incredible Australian wedding dress but also something unique and never seen before.
Our very first tradeshow in New York which allowed us to become a part of a thriving US wholesale market. So many New York brides (and US brides as a whole) are on the hunt for that perfect Australian wedding dress and having our wholesale expand into the US market allowed them to get their hands on gowns by one of the best wedding dress designers in all of Australia.
After seeing our NYC (and US at large) market thriving, Karen opened our NYC boutique. KWH now had a permanent home in New York which, as a bridal designer, was truly a dream come true. It also meant that our company could have a presence in New York in addition to our gowns being there with our wholesalers; now we could work with our incredible NY brides, and the brides from all over that travel to our New York store, one-on-one.
From there, our wholesale market kept expanding and our first London tradeshow allowed us to tap into the UK market which is still a huge part of our company today.
Our Perth boutique opened and we were able to open our doors to all of our lovely Perth brides searching for ‘the one’. For many of our brides, their gown being made by an Australian wedding dress designer is of the utmost importance, especially when our brides come from Australia themselves. Supporting Australian-based businesses and carrying with them a representation of where they come from down the aisle is an irreplaceable thing.
Our new Sydney flagship boutique opened. Being a Sydney-based company, our flagship store in Sydney is so near-and-dear to Karen’s heart; it’s where she started her journey as a wedding dress designer so many years ago. Opening our beautiful new space to our brides was truly a joy.
In between opening our new Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth boutiques, Karen was also creating something incredible. Our WILD HEARTS collection launched in October 2017 at our NYC market. KWH brides have always been looking for something modern and unique and this allowed them to have that very feeling on their wedding day in addition to feeling romantic and carefree. For all of our boho or fun-loving brides, this collection has been the perfect line for them to choose their gown from right from the beginning.
Our E-Boutique launched! Karen has always had a presence online, but being a wedding dress designer in modern times means allowing brides from all walks of life to access your gowns. Launching our E-Boutique meant that so many more brides would have access to Karen’s wedding dresses and that they could be anywhere and still have their perfect gown without having to visit one of our locations if it wasn’t accessible to them.