Angelys Balek Resort 2018

“There is no greater romance in life than an adventure with art,”, says Angelys Balek. There are many pathways to tranquility, and fashion designer Angelys Balek finds balance in glamour and confidence. Balek’s hybridization of nature, art and fashion helps women embrace individualism as they join the #ABWorld. And as Miami Swimweek 2018 has come to an end, Fashion Reverie felt an inclusion of Balek’s 2018 resort collection would be a delectable appetizer for our viewers.

Summer is a time for love and romance. Balek’s signature prints are inspired by nature, incorporating striking textures and geometric prints that are perfect, playful pieces for summer 2018. Her resort 2018 collection has a unique artistic approach to athleisure. Taking on a new adventure, Balek bridges her love of gowns for the red carpet and ready-to-wear pieces for street style in a resort collection that incorporates all of these first loves. Designed with the naturalistic woman in mind, Balek embraces microcosm, regarded as a world in miniature.

Balek gives reference to the late 60s era with her design aesthetic and silhouettes in this resort 2018 collection. Though the bikini was first introduced in the 1946, Brigitte Bardot made the two-piece swimwear popular in the late 50s and early 60s. This two-piece innovation quickly became popular in 1960s youth culture, The Mod Movement. The bikini than became the number one trend by all popular Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editions. And for Balek, the bikini is a main focus of her 2018 resort collection.

                                           Images courtesy of Angelys Balek

Balek’s spring/summer 2018 resort collection consists of a technicolor palette that relates back to the flora and fauna of summer. In her runway, red carpet and street wear Balek is known for her signature nature-inspired prints, and sculptural details. By pairing her signature looks with complex shapes and nature-inspired prints, Balek’s first-ever activewear line proves that the simplicity found in life will forever be her first love.—Courtney Wilkins

Naeem Khan Bridal Spring 2019

When Naeem Khan designs his bridal collections, traditional bridal wear takes a backseat to Naeem Khan’s design penchant for that carefree bridal client that wants a variety of choices and lends herself toward looks that mirror what Khan would design for his ready-to-wear clients. That said; there are always traditional bridal looks in Khan’s bridal collections, but even those bridal looks have an interesting twist.

For spring 2019, Naeem Khan held nothing back. Being keenly aware of who is bridal customer is, Khan gave his customer lots of choices and many of the bridal garments in this collection could double for red-carpet looks or downtown glam party clothes. And that is a very good thing!!There was a lot to, shall I say, worship in this collection. For those fashion bridal pundits who look at one white wedding after another during New York International bridal Week, Naeem Khan’s spring 2019 collection was a welcomed respite from sometimes all too similar bridal collections.

The star of this collection was Khan’s ‘rock-star bride.’ The ‘rock-star bride’ dominated the design aesthetic of this collection and was ubiquitous throughout Khan’s presentation. First, there were the punkish coifs displayed on most of the models. Second, as aforementioned, there were the bridal options from the bejeweled jumpsuits to detachable trains and skirts to a cool mini bridal dress with mirrored embroidery. Lastly, Khan’s modern bride is steeped in being cool, chic and on trend, looking different from any other bride. And a lot of modern brides want that. Add to that, Khan’s bride looks casual, yet expensively attired. (Think of pop or hip hop celebs Cardi B, Izzy Azalea, Selena Gomez and others who want to look edgy and have a rock n’ roll glam look at their nuptials.)

                             Images courtesy of Dan Lecca/

Standout looks for Naeem Khan’s spring bridal 2019 collection include the brand’s ostrich feather gown with white an silver floral detail, beaded fringe tulle jumpsuit with taffeta overskirt, gold beaded fringe top with metallic net skirt, and embroidered jumpsuit with crystal, pearl and sequin detail and tulle skirt. Rock on Naeem!!—William S. Gooch

Adam Zohar Bridal Spring 2019

What is so wonderful about New York International Week is that there is a growing a cadre of bridal designers that are finding innovative to present their bridal collections. In a very saturated market, it is almost necessary that a bridal brand that is not well known do something different to set themselves apart from more established bridal brands.

Adam Zohar did just that for his spring 2019 bridal collection. Zohar named his spring 2019 bridal collection, “I Woke Up Like This.” Accordingly, the bridal collection was aptly named in that models, attired beautifully in Zohar’s floral diaphanous bridal gowns, strutted down the industrial-like, garage runway in white combat boots and Doc Martens with some models donned in nose septums. This edgy approach to a bridal runway show didn’t diminish the beautiful and elegance of the gowns, though the models did look like they were quickly awakened from a deep sleep and rushed to model in a fashion show.Some might contend that this was a gimmick. However, in Zohar defense, perhaps, the designer was attempting to juxtapose the masculine against the feminine, the perfect against the disordered, the dystopian against cultured sophistication. If the latter was Zohar’s intention, the juxtaposition worked!! In fact, Zohar was aiming for a downtown cool girl aesthetic. “ We decided that even though the models would be wearing these incredible gowns, [I wanted the models to look like] cool girls getting married. Adam was adamant that he wanted the skin to have a slightly wet appearance,” detailed make-up artist T. Cooper.

This contrast also popped up in the model’s makeup. T. Cooper of Metro Look designed the makeup looks for the spring 2019 collection. T. Cooper prepped the models’ faces with Crow Catcher Serum around the eyes, and Spotted Leaving Lightening Serum all over the rest of the face.

“The combination of the serums and the moisturizer gave the models a fresh, healthy glow,” said Cooper. Whoopie Cream! Hydrating Lip Balm was also used to soften the lips. The artists then used light foundation and concealer to even out complexion and cover blemishes. Next, ECRU New York lipsticks were used as both lip color and blush. Cooper explains, “ECRU New York lipsticks come in an array of shades, and are a multi-use product.” Two coats of Runway Lash mascara were added to the top lash line only, and the look was finished by adding FarmHouse Fresh Honey-Magnolia Body Oil to the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin for sheen.

                                                       Images in

Still, this spring 2019 bridal collection was a very strong outing for Adam Zohar. And his bride, though edgy, was still beautiful, elegant, and current. What bride doesn’t love a girly, floral concoction? Viva La Difference.—William S. Gooch

Justin Alexander Bridal Spring 2019

There are tens of hundreds of bridal brands on the market. And with this over-saturation of the bridal market, stateside and abroad, how does a relatively new bridal brand set itself apart from the tried-and-true bridal brands?

Hard task, but Justin Alexander is finding his way. When Fashion Reverie was first introduced to this bridal collection a few years ago, Justin Alexander was building on his brand’s DNA for making garments for curvy women, presenting his bridal collection on larger models—sizes 8 to about size12. Justin Alexander has now moved beyond that.For his spring 2019 bridal collection, Justin Alexander focused his energies and creative mien of juxtaposing modernity and diversity of styles against minimalism and opulence. “Our inspiration for our collections always comes from the real brides that we work with. We always take a portion of the themes and popular trends and apply that to the female figure so that their look is very flattering. This season we were concentrating on geometric details and that comes from the silhouettes we are working with and the embroidery. This season we are also working on an asymmetrical drape applied to minimalist gowns, as well as transparent details on the gowns” explains Alexander.

This focus was made evident in the almost bare minimal gowns that had just a little something special added to them. This something special to be a detachable train or a simple A-line gown with shoulder pleats or a moto jacket over the bridal gown. “I use a lot of detachables in this collection because it allows the bride to accessorize her look as needs be. She can take off a moto jacket or add the detachable skirt as she is going from the wedding ceremony to the reception.”

In this outing, Alexander included optional looks for the modern bride beyond the lovely wedding gown. “ Second looks are really important, more and more brides want two looks on their wedding day, so we are trying to give them more options,” details Alexander. “We have a romper that has an architectural feel with crystal embroidery and embroidered cocktail look with the geometric aesthetic we are employing this season.”

                                                  Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Standout looks in this spring 2019 bridal collection include the geometric beaded short dress with jewel neckline, clean column gown paired with flowing cape, strapless crepe pantsuit and trench coat, and geometric lace jumpsuit with detachable train.—William S. Gooch

Reem Acra Bridal Spring 2019

“We are blessed by the angels.”—Khalil Gibran

Reem Acra always finds a way to infuse her collections—ready-to-wear or bridal—with garments that reflect her Middle Eastern heritage. For those that are unaware Reem Acra hails from Lebanon.

For her spring 2019 bridal collection Reem Acra took inspiration from Lebanese writer and poet Khalil Gibran, and specifically his best-selling book of 26 prose poetry fables, The Prophet. The Prophet deals with themes of love, marriage, children, work, joy, sorrow, freedom, clothing, reason, passion, friendship, beauty, pleasure, religion, death and a plethora of other issues and subjects. Khalil Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time behind Shakespeare and Laozi.Reem Acra’s spring 2019 bridal collection, entitled “The Prophet Collection,” was angelic, ethereal, and elegant with each gown having some sort of heavenly dispensation moniker—Divine Dream, Celestial Enchantment, Winds of Heaven, Flock of Angels, Dance of Heavens, Gate to Eternity, Essence of Joy. Each model was crowned with a floral wreath of baby’s breath, resembling angels descending from paradise.

This very strong bridal collection was stocked full of bridal ball gown silhouettes, similar to the main silhouette that Reem Acra used last season. And though this collection was quite classic in nature, conjuring images of Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina” or “Roman Holiday” and Grace Kelly, Reem Acra did inject a bit of modern sensuality and sexiness in this bridal outing. This sensuality was made evident by Reem Accra intricate embellishments and very sheer and diaphanous fabrics from silk chiffon and organza to tulle.

                                               Images courtesy of

This spring 2019 bridal collection is ideal for that bridal consumer that wants heavenly, ethereal nuptials on their very special day. And in the mood of writings from Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, you will be transported to the heavens and beyond.—William S. Gooch




Francesca Miranda Bridal Spring 2019

One could say this was the bridal season of the ballerina, well, sort of. Dancers inspired bridal designer Gracy Accad for her spring 2019 bridal collection, with Accad presenting her collection at Alvin Ailey Dance Center. And for the spring 2019 bridal season, dance and movement also inspired Francesca Miranda.

“This is my homage to the grace and movement of ballerinas, particularly one, Gloria Miranda, my mother. In the way I think of her most, dancing on the stages of New York City theaters,” said Francesca Miranda in show notes for her spring 2019 bridal collection.

Though this collection was quite small, ten bridal gowns, compared to Miranda’s collections during her other bridal collections, it was a very thoughtful, honest, effective collection. And Miranda named each bridal garment after famous ballerina and ballet dancers—Marianina represents former ABT principal dancer Marianna Tcherkassky; Agnes for Agnes DeMille; Natalia gives homage to Natalia Markarova; Noella for former Paris Opera Ballet prima ballerina Noella Pontois, and Ninette conjures up Royal Ballet founder Ninette de Valois.

Paying homage to the ballet world, Miranda created bridal gowns with very fitted bodices with wide, flowy, diaphanous skirts. This was made evident in removable soft pleated, ‘tutu’ tulle mini skirts, strapless, gowns with criss-crossed ribbons reminiscent of pointe shoe ribbons, pleated chiffon gown wrapped around in ribbons, and the basket-weaved Italian ball gown adorned with hand-embroidered bodice of silk-thread pieces and Swarovski crystals.

                                                Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Standout bridal gowns in this collection were the brand’s modern A-line silhouette with a deep v-neckline that is enhanced with lace lining and adorned with criss-crossed ribbons, high-low hand-embroidered tulle skirt over crepe skinny pants, and off-white and beige hand-dyed and painted organza ball-gown.—William S. Gooch


Mira Zwillinger Bridal Spring 2019

New York International Bridal Week is becoming one of the highlights of the fashion season. And there are many reasons for this phenomenon. First, many fashion editors, photographers and industry professionals that have become disillusioned with New York Fashion Week are opting to cover Bridal Week because of its support of fashion industry professionals over bloggers, social media influences, and sundry posers and odd personalities.

But, that is only one part of the shift. The primary shift is due to bridal designers continuing season after season to bring innovation and a refined beauty with a modern sensibility to their collections. Mira Zwillinger is one of those bridal designers that continues to evolve their bridal design aesthetic.Fashion Reverie has been reviewing Mira Zwillinger for about five seasons, and over that period of time Mira Zwillinger has continued to inject a modern sensibility married with beauty, elegance, and retail viability. The spring 2019 collection was no exception continuing on this trajectory.

Inspired by wintry and icy references, Zwillinger’s “Queen of Ice” bridal collection beautifully distilled the regal, sophisticated, yet modern, dreamy winter reference, for the modern bride that wants more than traditional bridal silhouettes, but doesn’t want to stray too far in the realm of the outré and avant garde. This wintry trajectory was beautifully realized in some of the embellishments, particularly the dégradé mirror paiete, silver leaf and beaded organza leaf appliqué, sparkle mesh, and vertical dégradé sequins.

Interestingly, Zwillinger chose a winter projection during the spring 2019 bridal collections. Perhaps, this winter in spring bridal collection is reflecting a growing trend in which many bridal designers are opting to only show once a year, something that Zwillinger used to do. The pressure to meet consumer demands for immediate access to collections due to the so-called democratization elements in the fashion industry is causing fashion designers from all sectors of the industry to reconsider the retail relevance of showing twice a year. Maybe, Mira Zwillinger is bending to the pressure. Hmm, time will tell!!

                                      Images courtesy of Dan Lecca/Atelier PR

That said; the standout looks in this collection were the brand’s strapless sweetheart gown with tulle over sparkle mesh and dégradé mirror paiete with Julient cap tulle, off-the-shoulder gown with full vertical sequins, jumpsuit with vertical degrade sequins, strapless lame Mikado ball gown with 3D floral appliqués lame Mikado cape, and strapless crepe sheath gown with lace waist inset.—William S. Gooch

THEIA Bridal Spring 2019

It became very obvious that during the New York International Bridal Week season that a lot of bridal brands where influenced by the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. THEIA did not stray far away from this almost ubiquitous trend by paying homage to the royal couple with a slight twist.True to form, THEIA always finds a way to incorporate a prevailing trend or a theme while maintaining its signature aesthetic. This season THEIA’s Creative Director Don O’Neill decided to veer away from the brand’s usual bridal bohemian aesthetic and embrace an aesthetic that was more regal and imperial. This regal direction was developed along the brand’s penchant for embellished bodices and soft ballgown skirts of silk chiffon and lace. With a background that was reminiscent of a Baroque opulent palace and all its gilded beauty, for spring 2019 THEIA created bridal gowns that fit quite nicely into this majestic environment.

For spring 2019, THEIA has created a bridal collection for that bride that wants imperial glory. This modern princess bride is confident, sexy, feminine and coolly aristocratic.Though this spring 2019 bridal collection projected regal modernity, there were several silhouettes in this collection that harkened back to looks that Aubrey Hepburn would have donned in the classic films “Sabrina and “Roman Holiday.” Bridal gowns that reflected those classic films of the 1950s include the champagne brocade ball gown, hand embroidered with baroque silver zardozi and crystal scrollwork and silk organza, and ivory re-embroidered lace triple-tiered halter gown. And the showpiece champagne brocade ball gown, hand embroidered with baroque silver zardozi and crystal scrollwork reflected the imperial theme and slightly harkened back to Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” would not be a gown that a lot of modern brides would choose, it was fantastic that Don O’Neill included this fantastic showpiece bridal gown in the collection.

Similar to last season, O’Neill included a curvy model in his lineup of models this season. And as in last season, the curvy model blended in seamlessly with the other models.

                                                   Images courtesy of THEIA

Standout looks in this spring 2019 collection includes the ivory sleeveless “V” neck mermaid gown festooned with hand-embroidered Swarovski crystal and glass beads, ivory crepe-fitted Halter gown worn under the “Riley” cape, and porcelain ball gown encrusted with lacquered sequin flowers, pearls and 3-D tulle leaves.—William S. Gooch

Gracy Accad Bridal Spring 2019

Gracy Accad has figured out a few things, and she has come to some solid conclusions in just two seasons showcasing her bridal collections during New York International Bridal Week. One of the things that she has figured out correctly is that the modern bride wants choices. And though those choices can be varied, the choices should stray too far away from what the modern bridal consumer will wear.

In her debut fall 2018 Gracy Accad was on her way to figuring this balance out. It was an auspicious start, but she wasn’t quite there just yet. For spring 2019, Accad demonstrated that she has not only arrived but they she is way ahead of the curve.Inspired by dance, Accad’s spring 2019 bridal collection had many things that the modern bride would want. The collection contained those cute, sexy, and very modern pre-nuptial party bridal garments that could also work for that bride that desires a non-traditional outfit for their bridal ceremony—case in point, the collection’s beaded romper with organza ballet wrap, short white moto dress in guipure lace with rose cloque pattern skirt, and lace bustier catsuit with organza peplum overlay.

Still, this collection was grounded in classic bridal silhouette, demonstrating that Accad has a solid handle on the fact that the modern bridal consumer is not abandoning classic silhouette, they just want some modern sensibilities with some whimsical twists and turns, which this collection has plenty of. And Accad’s ballet references, though subtle and faint at times, at a closer observation give this collection just the right balance of whimsy and aspiration.

                                                    Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Standout looks in the collection include the aforementioned three bridal party looks and the off-white corded lace gown with Victorian neckline, fitted ballet-inspired bodice with embroidered and beaded organza skirt, pale pink organza hand-painted floral ball skirt with guipure lace crop top, and strapless all-over floral with beaded embroidered ball gown.—William S. Gooch

Los Angeles Fashion Week Fall 2018 Recap 

                                         Image courtesy of

Los Angeles Fashion Week (LAFW) took place on March 16-March 18. And this season was simply an experience for the books. Leave it to LA designers to turn the runway into the red carpet. A symbolic adoption of how the runway quickly adapts to the meaning of ‘what is fashion week?’. This season’s schedule was full of unconventional, inspiring, organic talent that left a digital footprint on the women’s fall 2018 shows. This is LAFW—where realness is met on the runway in an unconventional performance. Could it be that the newest faces are the ones really stealing the show? One can assume this might be what the fashion industry craves?Here are three Los Angeles designers that had Fashion Reverie wanting more:

                                 Photos courtesy of Jordan Millington/LA Times

Maison the FauxOne of the more unconventional shows during LAFW, Maison the Faux showcased ‘The Premiere” at LAFW; located back-of-house at NeueHouse loading docks, turning those in attendance to a paparazzi takeover. Known as a creative studio, Maison the Faux aspires to liberate the narrow-minded world. Where the love of fashion translates a new outlook, human wear. “The Premiere” performance was a creative collaboration with Maavven and choreographer Nina McNeely where they challenged human wear, originality and the mayhem over red carpets.

Among Maison the Faux everyday models, this unfinished couture fashion house stood out. Maybe because of the eccentric fans and celebrities that paraded down the Faux red carpet. Or mainly because it consisted all the popular trends for 2018: leather, plaid, micro-sunnies, animal prints, stripes, and omg are tights having a moment?

                                  Photos courtesy of Beyond Beauty School

Pia Gladys PereyThis season, Pia Gladys Perey showcased diversity in style, race, and body image. PGP is a diverse label for the woman of today with a glamorous romantic flair, honoring femininity. The brand worked together to create pieces seconds before the show started. Thus capturing sensual shapes, and dramatic drapes within the collection. PGP continues to be a force to be reckoned with, dressing all the whos who of Hollywood.

                                       Photos courtesy of Michael Leyva

Michael LeyvaIn the Michael Leyva fall 2018, models not only walked the runway, they floated. A rising Filipino designer, Michael Leyva is known for his detailed designs, body-cinching bodices, high splits and volume on volume. His attention to detail and play on many fabrics—sequins, fringe, translucent, ostrich feathers—has set him apart in the industry. Leyva has reaped the rewards of his hard work and dedication with a standing ovation following his showcase.

—Courtney S. Wilkins




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