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




Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2018

Bibhu Mohapatra is one of those go-to shows during New York Fashion: The Shows. Season after season, Bibhu Mohapatra has proven that he continuously has his finger on the pulse of what women want to wear.

This season was no exception; however, the rich embroideries and embellishments and the luxury design aesthetics that we have come to expect from Bibhu Mohapatra was not as front and center as seen in previous collections. And though this fall 2018 collection was lovely with more of an injection of youthful insouciance and retail viability, the ‘fashion as art’ aspect—something most fashion pundits love about Bibhu Mohapatra—of Mohapatra’s collection took a backseat to the brand’s projection toward a more youthful market.A few seasons back Mohapatra had to reorganize his company in order to move his brand forward and get rid of some obligations that was keeping the brand from evolving. One of the evolutions that were front and center this season is the brand’s introduction of Sashi by Bibhu, a more contemporary separates line at affordable prices. This price accessible line, though beautiful in its on right, pales in comparison to what most fashion insiders have come to expect from BIbhu Mohapatra.For his fall 2018 collection, the Dickensian characters found in Great Expectations—in particular, an adult Estella and Miss Havisham inspired Bibhu Mohapatra. For those familiar with Miss Havisham and Estella, both characters represent unrequited love. In Miss Havisham’s case, abandoned at the wedding altar, Miss Havisham lives her life wearing her wedding gown, reflecting on what could have been. While Estella, though raised to be an elegant and proper Englishwoman, uses her grace and many acquired charms to entice suitors without ever having an intention of manifesting true love for anyone. Like many noblewomen of her class and status, expressing emotion and affectation don’t come naturally.Mohapatra’s color palette of pale greys, orchid reds and magentas, shimmery silvers reflect colors and hues that relate to the characters in Dickens’ Great Expectations. The pale greys and shimmery silvers denote Miss Havisham’s faded glory and her never-used bridal gown, and orchid red and magenta reflects Estella’s youthful ardent vibrancy and bloom still on the rose. And Mohapatra’s jewel-encrusted coats and beaded turbans reflect the elegance and aristocratic brilliance of that time.

                              Images courtesy of Marcus Tondo/

That said; though this collection was fresh and beautiful, many fashion insiders miss Mohapatra’s fashion risk-taking of last season. And though Mohapatra’s ‘fashion as art’ garments from previous seasons may have only appealed to a niche market, it sure made fashionistas eyes sparkle.—William S. Gooch

Missoni Pre-Fall 2018

For pre-fall 2018 Missoni sought to re-establish its street cred. And that is a good thing. Understanding the Millenials and Generation X may not be as aware or attracted to the brand’s crazy quilt, zig-zag patterned knitwear aesthetic, Missoni is exploring a youthful, contemporary image to re-invigorate its image. (Remember, the brand reached its peak in the early 1970s after being heralded by Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland.)

With its kaleidoscope of color and zig-zag patterns, Missoni evokes the style and culture of the early 70s. This continued 70s vibe might work for fashionistas that love paying homage to the free-spirited style of the early 70s or in a season where designers are referencing the era of boho freedom, but for many younger consumers this style perspective is not appealing and beyond their fashion knowledge. Mainly due to the fact that Millenials and Generation Xers where born in the mid-80s and 90s.Missoni’s new, fresh approach does have an immediate appeal. And Fashion Reverie suspects that Millenials and Generation Xers will definitely come on board. With Missoni’s logo popping up on several of the pieces in this pre-fall 2018 collection—remember, brand logos are a big trend this season—and an injection of masculine silhouettes evidenced in oversized coats and androgynous looks that could be worn by either sexes, as well as a more youthful point of view, the brand is on its way to re-imagining its design aesthetic.This re-imagination does not signify a complete revamp. There are still the signature cornucopia of patterns and floral influences that Missoni is known for.

                                                  Images courtesy of C&M Media

Standout looks in the collection was the brand’s luxurious shearling coats and mink fur-stripped jackets. Also, the brand’s geometric patterns embossed on tight leather jeans, crochet maxi cardigans, and patchwork silk dresses embellished with fringe and floral patterns.—William S. Gooch

Ines di Santo Bridal Fall 2018

For the fall 2018 bridal season Ines di Santo was inspired by New York City and the vibrant women that make New York City a global cultural and creative international capital. This was all set against the panoramic background of Central Park and Columbus Circle as seen through the windows of Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

And the chamber orchestra also added to the allure and grandeur of spring 2018 outing. After all, what would a collection that used the Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center as a venue be without live music.Though this inspiration has used many times before by a huge coterie of designers from women’s ready-to-wear to menswear and bridal, Ines di Santo brought her own signature aesthetic of bridal couture with an injection of di Santo’s special blend of sensuality and modern sensibility, setting her a part from other designers that have used New York City as a reference point.

What worked best in this fall 2018 collection was that di Santo maintained her signature design aesthetic of beaded elegance and uniquely embroidered fabrics on classic mermaid silhouettes and ball gowns—which always evoke sophistication and charm—while still demonstrating that she is not stuck in the past, understanding that modern brides want classic elegance with an infusion of modern glamour.Ines di Santo continues to expand her design aesthetic to include looks that a huge range of brides can embrace. From this fall 2018 collection’s one shoulder illusion back sheath with textured detachable embellished train to the ruched sweetheart trumpet gown with embellished long cape to the dramatic, encrusted long cape over halter jumpsuit, di Santo has stayed in step with where bridal couture is heading.

That said; this bridal collection is for brides that have deep pockets. When you have bridal gowns with organza capes, gowns with heavily embroidered trains, and pearl encrusted gowns with handkerchief skirt—which means layers and layers of very expensive fabrics—expect to break the bank.

                                                   Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Standout looks in this collection include the collection’s one-shoulder dramatic sheath with organza bow cape, sweetheart ruched trumpet gown with Swarovski crystal brooch, off-the-shoulder sweetheart sheath with detachable bow and streamers, and dramatic encrusted long cape over halter jumpsuit.—William S. Gooch

Justin Alexander Bridal Fall 2018

Justin Alexander’s design team brings expertise and creativity to the brand’s fall 2018 collection, making the collection a great fit for any bride. While there was a particular dreaminess to the 2018 collection, there was also a remarkable simplicity to the clean and elegant silhouettes.

Last season, the brand injected some glam and flash; however, this season it was all about the classic silhouettes. That isn’t to say that this classic approach produced a mundane collection. “My inspiration for fall 2018 was drama by silhouette, simplicity and embellishment,” said Justin Warshaw, president of Justin Alexander. In that regard, they showed voluminous silhouettes, linear beadwork, 3-D floral embellishments, and floral lacework to compliment the collection’s modern, architectural projection.For the fall 2018 bridal season, Justin Alexander decided to give brides something new. The brand experimented with a new fabric called double crepe, which is very structural and stretchy, designed to beautifully layer on a wedding dress.  

In an era of athleisure and sportswear, in a surprising turn of events, classicism or preppy style is making a comeback. Like all things in fashion, the cycle was bound to come about again, and it is making its way through the bridal industry. Those types of young ladies who attended the Dwight School on the Upper West Side a decade ago are now mature young women, and have further cultivated their preppy tastes.           

Those same young ladies are also in their prime to marry the men of their dreams, and Justin Alexander is here to help make that dream come true. “Simplicity and sophistication with a modern edge is in high demand right now,” Warshaw said. “We’ve gone for a subtler look with embellishments this season. Customers don’t want that over-the-top look.”      

                                                       Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Where the nude aesthetic, tattooed sleeves, and illusion bodices were popular among the bridal sector for several seasons, today’s bride wants to look different. In Warshaw’s words, the quintessential Justin Alexander customer is “sophisticated, refined and glamorous.” Their customers might not be dreaming of the Princess Diana look, but they want sophisticated chicness, nonetheless.—Kristopher Fraser


BERTA Bridal Fall 2018

BERTA has set itself apart from other luxury bridal brands by being the go-to brand for embellishment, sparkle and a whole lot of shine, using the finest fabrics. That point of view continues for fall 2018 with BERTA using new technologies combined with its fine fabrics.

These masterful fabrications are all played against a background of vintage silhouettes that the bridal customer is very familiar with. And though the classic silhouettes are front and center in the collection, seen through of lens of late 1970s sensuality, the collection does not seem staid and a homage to the past.One of the unique qualities of the this fall 2018 collection is BERTA’s approach to the raw materials used in the collection’s fabrications and taking that raw material to the maximal level of artisanship and beauty. This combination of vintage bridal styles with new exciting fabrications elevates this fall 2018 bridal outing into the realm now and next fashion, which is the trajectory of a lot of bridal collection this season.Understanding that the modern bridal consumer has access to fashion shows during real time and the lots of social media content, many bridal brands must keep their collections fresh and fashion forward for the very well-informed consumer. Without this constant re-evaluation of their design aesthetic as it appeals to the modern bridal consumer, many bridal brands will lose market traction very quickly. BERTA with this fall 2018 is primed and prepped to stay ahead of the bridal curve, so to speak.

                                                    Images courtesy of Coded PR

Standout looks in this fall 2018 collection include the point d’esprit tulle-handcrafted dress with payettes, feathers and appliques, fully embellished lace on netting dress plunging neckline with strap sleeves and open back, handcrafted lace dress with distinct flower appliques with thin strap sleeves and plunging neckline, and handcrafted embellished dress with waistline and bottom illusion bodice and skirt in geometric patterns.—William S. Gooch

Kelly Faetanini Bridal Fall 2018

“Suddenly before my eyes
Hues of indigo arise
With them how my spirit sighs
Paint the sky with stars.”

For fall 2018, Kelly Faetanini was inspired by an autumn sky that is filled with a kaleidoscope of shades of blue, and gold, overcast with a spectrum of pink. These splashes of color suggest celestial beauty and serenity that is all reflected in the brand’s 2018 bridal collection.This is very elegant, yet youthful collection. Kelly Faetanini has prided herself over the past few seasons with creating collections that though classic, are still youthful and whimsical enough to appeal to young bridal consumers. And by including a range of colors—peach, sky blue, and blush—in this fall 2018 collection, Faetanini is staying on trend by offering brides another color other than the traditional shades of a white bridal standard.

                                     Images courtesy of Kelly Faetanini

Standout looks in this collection include, but are not limited to, the brand’s beaded embroidery stretch fit to flare with cap sleeve and plunging illusion back, silk Mikado piped bodice ball gown with off the shoulder neckline and pleated skirt, pearlescent embroidered V-Neck blue tulle ombre Ball gown with horsehair hem, and crepe V-Neck slim gown with plunging back and embroidered appliques.
—William S. Gooch

Reem Acra Bridal Fall 2018

There are many global traditions that extol the importance of having good or saintly spirits and energy forces bless the union of two people. In the Catholic tradition, Saint Joseph and Saint Priscilla are the patron saints of good marriages, as Saint Adelaide is the patron saint of second marriages. In the Hindu religion, the Lord Ganesha, who removes all obstacles, also blesses important religious events. And in Judaism, the archangel Raphael is the protector of marriage.

For her fall 2018 bridal collection, all the spirits and the saints who bless and protect marriage inspired Reem Acra. From that reference point, Reem Acra evolved a bridal collection that evokes feelings and moods of chastity, linear clarity, and otherworldly charm. This was particular true as some of the specter-like models slowly paraded down the runway with faces covered in long veils accompanied by very long bridal trains.This confluence of chastity, clarity and spectral glamour conjured up images of the Wilis from the ballet masterpiece Giselle. (In the ballet Giselle, the Wilis emerge from the graves in white bridal gowns floral headpieces of baby breath with long veils covering their ghostly faces.)Though this was a theatrical presentation of what Reem Acra does best—classic bridal silhouettes seen through a lens of beautiful embellishments, fine fabrics with a nod toward couture and fashion-forward sensibility—the brand’s signature aesthetic was not lost. And as always with Reem Acra, the production was of the highest quality with top models, and top production value.Three things stood out most in this fall 2018 bridal outing; Reem Acra’s continued love affair with quality fabrics and craftsmanship and her understanding that bridal shows should take the consumer and fashion industry professionals to a beautiful, exquisite place or set a mood. However, in this collection, Reem Acra successfully toyed with the idea that a bridal show can be cerebral exercise. Fashion pundits can banter whether the modern bride is stimulated by bridal collections that evoke purity and chastity or whether Reem Acra’s inspiration is lost on modern consumers who only cares about bridal gowns that appeals to their penchant for beauty and youthful whimsy. (Something to debate!!)

                                                     Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Standout looks in this collection include Reem Acra’s Guipure embroidered lace gown, plunging V-neck embroidered lace gown with Gazar skirt, lace embroidered bodice gown with organza skirt, lace embroidered gown with embroidered cape, and gold and silver metallic embroidered lace gown.—William S. Gooch

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