Daring & Dreamy Designers
Nothing could be more personal— or more public— than your wedding. That’s why finding a dress that shows you in the best and truest light can be overwhelming— especially if one of your search criteria is uniqueness, but you’re determined to wear something flattering. As a bride who wants to find that dress, I’m overwhelmed by the number of gowns that look like all the rest— and the streak of wackiness in the ones that don’t. In my search, it dawned on me that the dresses I love mostly have one or more of three features: Color, Architecture, and Cutouts. Scouring the internet for hours in search of those features not only led me to an incredible assortment of gowns, but also a new collection of favorite designers. While a plethora of designers offer collections that emulate the traditional white wedding aesthetic, and a number offer designs that play with the boundaries of bridal design, it is rare and refreshing to find designers that maintain a balance between tradition and the cutting edge as perfectly as these three.
Ian Stuart: Color Couture
In my book, Ian Stuart is a double whammy. Not only does he experiment with colored bridal gowns more than any other designer I’ve run into in my search, but he also customizes his work extensively for his clients. Stuart has won myriad awards for his designs, yet remains willing to change the materials, embellishments, and fit of any gown of his that a bride chooses. Above is shown a dreamy dress in pale lilac— just one of the colors he includes in his palette. He also offers dresses in floral and striped prints, bolder solid colors, and rich metallic textiles.
Antonio Riva: Romantic Architecture
Maybe Italians are just inherently better at romance than the rest of us. So it would seem, judging by Antonio Riva’s gowns. Riva’s background in architecture certainly lends his gowns a uniquely sculptural quality, but his sense of romance keeps them soft and feminine. Even his choice of fabrics seems more sumptuous than structural, despite his gravity-defying designs.
Austin Scarlett: Captivating Cutouts
Austin Scarlett is the king of the minimalist wow factor. He achieves more with a single cutout than most designers do with layers of ruffles and rhinestones. His gowns are so stunning precisely because he avoids cheap tricks, opting instead to let his luxe textiles speak for themselves in daring silhouettes and through flawless construction.