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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