New year bridal shower
Designs … Steven Khalil. Photo: Supplied
S has discovered four celebrity weddings and one extra-busy designer this week, with the bustle at Paddington haute couture boutique Steven Khalil building fast. We hear the shy designer is whipping up frocks for no fewer than four star brides in one week next month. Talk about stressful.
The last-minute fittings are said to include WAG siren Zoe Balbi, who is marrying footballer Benji Marshall; beauty queen Rachael Finch, who is set to wed her dancing man, Michael Miziner, in a ''simple and fresh'' ceremony; and former Home and Away starlet Rebecca Breeds, who will tie the knot with Luke Mitchell on a farm in rural NSW. We're told Khalil has on his sketchbook the wedding of one other celebrity, whose details we have not managed to uncover.
Khalil has been described as the Elie Saab of Australia, or the new Alex Perry locally. His detailed European-style gowns have swept up many red carpets recently: a stunning navy number made Kate Ritchie sparkle at this year's Logies (he also did her wedding dress); Rebecca Gibney and Sophie Falkiner are ruby rug fans; Lizzy Lovette chose Khalil for her Hunter Valley wedding; and Tessa James wore not one but two to her nuptials.
About to tie the knot ... Zoe Balbi and Benji Marshall. Photo: Getty Images
Khalil spends six to eight months working closely with each of his brides, the one-off creations made with luxurious fabrics, hand-stitching and intricate detail worth tens of thousands of dollars. Balbi is believed to be designing two gowns, one for the church and another for the reception.
With magazine deals the norm these days, everyone has gone to ground over releasing any details. The designer stayed mum on the subject; stunning bride Finch said she was going for ''the opposite of extravagant'' but didn't get back to S, having her own mag deal; and Balbi emailed saying she had a mag deal so ''not sure how much help I can be''. Both wore Khalil to the races this year. Breeds's management was also tight-lipped: ''We can't make any comment at all as there is an exclusive magazine deal.''
It's little wonder these watertight exclusivity deals are so protected. Any details revealed hit the couple at the hip pocket. And that can mean megabucks.
Beauty queen ... Rachael Finch. Photo: Supplied
Only two weeks ago, TV presenter Tom Williams and designer Rachael Gilbert learnt this the hard way when they were snapped, looking rather glum, on their wedding day - the photo appeared in the Sunday newspapers before the magazine exclusive in OK Magazine.
The shot, we hear, cost them tens of thousands, ruining the mag deal. ''It did hurt them,'' said one insider. ''They definitely lost money, but they're loved up and in the Maldives … on their honeymoon.''