The boutique is launched, our wedding specialists are at the ready, and brides-to-be have already started ordering their perfect gowns. With the Shopbop Wedding Boutique in full swing, we’re turning to a few bridal experts for their insight into making the big day a glowing success in this monthly wedding series.
Texas native Lela Rose launched her eponymous label with a vision to “create classic silhouettes with a whimsical twist.” The resulting collections have delivered with innovative techniques on wearable pieces. In 2006, eight years after launching her main line, the designer added Lela Rose Wedding to her range, creating wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses for the forward woman. We talked with Rose about the design process, what goes into finding the perfect dress, and the bride of the moment, Kate Middleton.
Shopbop: Let's start by talking about the most famous bride of the moment is, Kate Middleton. If you were designing a gown for her, what sorts of details would you use?
Lela Rose: Kate Middleton will need to be in a sleeved gown, which is very appropriate for the moment. A dress in our recent collection is the Archive, which has beautiful handcrafted embroidery on sheer tulle that creates an “impossible” neckline. I would have the embroidery extend further along a stovepipe sleeve. I love the column-like shape of this gown, but I would make the train longer, as this is a true cathedral wedding.
SB: What goes through your mind when designing a bridal gown?
LR: Designing a bridal gown is definitely a different approach than something for the ready-to-wear collection. I have to remember that this gown will most likely be her first major purchase—the gowns I design have to reflect that in a luxurious yet understated way. It is also important to offer beautiful and sophisticated gowns that are both fashion-forward and classic at the same time.
SB: We currently have a particularly exquisite gown from your collection, a strapless piece embroidered with crystals (pictured). What was the inspiration behind this dress?
LR: The flesh tone of this dress is what I think is so elegant, as it seems to cloak the figure as if it were skin, but with sparkle. I love how the crystals hit the light and shine as you walk.
SB: How would you describe the bride who wears this dress?
LR: The bride who would wear this gown is like most of our Lela Rose brides, someone independent, modern, likes fashion, and wants to turn heads in a sophisticated and elegant way.
SB: What sorts of things should a bride think about when selecting her dress?
LR: I believe the most important thing is for her to feel like herself, but the most glamorous version of herself. There are so many opinions during the wedding planning process that this is the time for the bride to show a true reflection of her style and personality. The shape of the dress needs to flatter her figure first and foremost, then she must consider what fabrics most lend themselves to that shape.
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A friend of mine is headed to southern Spain this spring, and though I can’t join her, I can bring a little bit of Sevilla to the States with these three picks.
(3) These Marc by Marc Jacobs sandals smolder in poppy red, and with a wedge heel sturdy enough to handle cobblestones, I may have to lend them to my friend. Marc by Marc Jacobs – Platform Wedge Sandals
After months of speculation, Kate Middleton walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey in a dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The silhouette was both elegant and demure with lace sleeves and, as expected, a cathedral-length train. The new princess’s sister and maid of honor, Pippa Middleton, also wore a design by Burton, in ivory satin.
Learn more about the dress here.
Before I found a pair of vintage Ferragamo spectator pumps on a lonely thrift store shelf, I had interacted with shoes in a purely functional way—I had utilitarian ballet flats, a handful of flat sandals, and a pair of Hunter boots for those days when nothing else would do.
Those gateway pumps changed the entire lay of the land, and now I’m in the grips of a shoe obsession. As luck would have it, one of spring’s most notable footwear trends, the raffia sandal, harkens back to my first great shoe love. Along with his other genius invention, the wedge heel, Ferragamo was the first to create high-fashion shoes from raffia during a leather shortage in World War II. While raffia had been used on utilitarian espadrilles, Ferragamo was the first to use the rough-and-ready material on delicate heels and feminine sandals.
I know you didn’t ask, but let’s pretend you did: which ones are my favorites? There’s a ravishing pair of Sam Edelman pumps with an oh-so vintage Navajo print that stole my heart, and, as always, all Diane von Furstenberg sandals and Jean-Michel Cazabat heels are to me as Kryptonite is to Superman.
I’m not a vintage clothes shopper. When it comes to digging through bins and working my way through miles of racks, I take a pass. But I love the styles of yesterday. What’s a girl to do? Take the next best thing: vintage inspired.
(1) A callback to the floral housedresses of my grandmother’s era, this Marc by Marc Jacobs dress will be a summer go-to with flat sandals and a slouchy DVF bag. Marc by Marc Jacobs - Colette Floral Dress
(3) A staple for bespectacled males in the 1950s, these browline sunglasses by Rodarte for Opening Ceremony are decidedly downtown modern. Rodarte for Opening Ceremony - Lost Boys Sunglasses
Who’s designing the dress? What will the Queen wear? How many outrageous hats will be in attendance? The world can’t help but buzz about Friday’s Royal Wedding (capital letters, please). But for all the pomp and English properness there’s a lot of camp surrounding the event, in the form of Royal Wedding souvenirs. Skip the coffee cups and commemorative plates, the throw pillows and the Will and Kate-themed kitchen (really). Instead focus on a more wearable way to celebrate the prince and princess’s I Do.
Wildfox clothing, the brand that does cheeky fashion better than any other, has launched a Royal Wedding collection, complete with playful prints and clever phrases that will memorialize the day without splashing the happy couple’s face on gilded China.
Browsing What’s New today, I realized that many of my obsessions can be grouped under the heading “Things that Wrap.” It makes sense if you think about it: customizable fit and a dramatic yet polished finish. What’s not to love?
Though white denim is a perennial summer favorite, it feels especially fresh this time around when used as a blank canvas for the season’s color trends.
For an easy take on bright separates, I’ll pair white skinny jeans with a punchy tank in turquoise, coral, or orange and balance the look with understated flat sandals in nude. Or I’ll take my cue from the Alexander Wang spring runway and play with white-on-white–a basic T by Alexander Wang tank and white Siwy shorts will feel unexpected while beating the summer heat. Though casual at first glance, white jeans can be dressed up. Pair flared white J Brand jeans with a tucked-in nude tank, a blush blazer, and wood-bottom shoes for a mixed-neutrals look that wouldn’t feel out of place on a lunch date.
I’m getting ahead of myself: it’s not even May, and I’m already thinking summer. My excuse? I’ll do anything to wish away the too-cold spring weather we’ve been having. An outfit I plan to put on at the first sign of summer sun: