Bonnae Gokson has never been one for modesty. And the former creative consultant for brands such as Armani, Prada and Chanel has been venturing into a new realm of creativity as of late, one that will make brides around the globe excited for inspiration: cakes.
Gokson, whose new book, Weddings, Butterflies & The Sweetest Dreams, will focus on wedding ceremonies around the globe, featuring exquisite imagery from each of the celebrations, with an emphasis on eye-popping cakes and decor. “[It’s] quite a unique coffee table book not only for couples planning for their wedding but for anybody who’s interested in design, and loves beautiful things,” Gokson tells The Knot. “It celebrates romance, creativity, individuality, artistry and love in all forms.”
The 320-page book definitely leans heavily toward the more couture end of weddings, but one of the biggest pieces of advice Gokson has for brides-to-be looking to make an impression with their wedding cakes, regardless of budget, is to keep things “unique and personal.”
“Consider the environment of your wedding first, what type of setting, choose your wedding gown and suggested guests attire to see how it all coordinates … and last but not least, [consider] the cake,” she says. “Everybody loves a good story. Share something personal and unique with your guests.”
Prior to diving into the cake industry, Gokson tried her hand at opening a restaurant—and succeeded wildly. Sevva, which sits on the top floor of a building in Hong Kong’s financial center (pronounced “Savor”), opened in 2008, and is now a popular celebrity hot spot. Ms. B’s Cakery, her high-end couture bakery, greets guests upon arrival, and it’s from there that she began her venture into couture cakes.
When Gokson works with clients, she usually asks them first for their “color schemes, style and venue of their celebration,” and also requests “tear sheets of what the couple likes” to make sure she satisfies their desires as best as possible.
And her clients over the years have indeed run the gamut, from those looking for more intimate get-togethers and others looking to throw over-the-top weddings held in ballrooms or even film studios. Once, she paired two of her cakes to two of her good friend Vera Wang’s couture gowns, just for the fun of it.
“Sometimes when the gowns are just simple but stupendous, I like to design something over the top to give it a contrast,” she says. “For example, the hand-painted macaroons cake with the white cotton candy on a bed of handcrafted sugar roses. The artistry of the cotton candy was a perfectly ‘coiffured’ like for a modern Marie-Antoinette.”
“We have clients from all walks of life,” she continues. “Our couture cakes are created for the couple and what they really fancy. Most of the time, the groom-to-be-would leave it up to his bride-to-be. Some may involve their moms deciding with them.”
The smaller, more intimate weddings usually require “bespoke cakes that are smaller in size,” about two or three tiers tall, while the larger celebrations call for “seriously ‘wow’ couture cakes” that can run as high as 8 or 9 feet high.
Gokson’s cakery specializes in a lighter chiffon sponge fresh cream cake, but due to the lightness of the cake itself, she often opts for butter cakes instead to construct wedding cakes. “We have made plenty of butter cakes with different flavors covered in sugar fondant and sugar art,” she says. “We have created a delicious cake with Dom Perignon Champagne jelly, white chocolate mousse, [and] vanilla chiffon sponge with raspberry on crispy wafer crust. We believe we will continue along these lines, but maybe a Rose Champagne jelly may be the popular next choice.”
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