Hasta La Vista, Sweet Sister

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Fashion Reverie arts and lifestyle editor Cameron Grey Rose. Cameron was an integral part of the Fashion Reverie team, bringing insightful and well-conceived arts and lifestyle articles to our online publication for five years. Cameron’s snarky, well-written “Rock It or Leave It” trend and style reports were always avidly followed by our readers who loved Cameron’s take of fashion trends.

Though she sometimes referred to herself as the funny, fat girl looking at the world of entertainment and fashion from the outside, at Fashion Reverie Cameron was always front and center. Her wit, charm, and ebullient spirit will be solely missed at Fashion Reverie and thoughout the fashion industry.

The race is not to the swift, but to the ones that endure to the end. And Cameron endured and triumphed until her very end. She finished her race!!

We love you, sweet sister!!



Fashion Reverie’s Fashion News Quiz

Image courtesy of quizly.com

We are just few weeks from the beginning of summer. And as summer approaches with students graduating and fashion looking forward to men’s fashion shows at the end of June, Fashion Reverie thought it would be a good time to look back at some interesting things that have happened in fashion, even though we are only halfway through 2022.

The best way to shine a light on all the changes in fashion is to bring back our Fashion Reverie Quiz. In this fourth installation, we look at fashion subjects we have discussed in our “Fashion News Alert.” If you have been paying attention, you show score a very high number.

Fashion Reverie Quiz Score Card

10-8 correct: Fashion Etoile (star)

8-6 correct: Stylish Go-Getter

6-5 correct: Burgeoning Fashionista

4 and below correct: Drab Wallflower

1. Which iconic French designer known for his padded shoulder suits, cinched waist, and hyper-sexual silhouettes passed away earlier this year?

a) Michael Goma

b) Thierry Mugler

c) Alber Elbaz

d) Virgil Abloh

2. Which legendary fashion editor died in the early part of 2022?

a) Andre Leon Talley

b) Grace Mirabella

c) Lynn Jaeger

d) Franca Sozzani

3. Who is the new creative director BCBGMAXAZRIA?

a) Ralph Rucci

b) Albino Riganello

c) Nanette Lepore

d) Sonia Rykiel

4. Nike has named a building at their headquarters after this legendary athlete. Who is that athlete?

a) Shaquille O’Neal

b) Tom Brady

c) Michael Jordan

d) Serena Williams

5. Which two iconic fashion houses have recently come together to form a unique collaboration?

a) Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger

b) Dior and Balenciaga

c) Fendi and Versace

d) Nina Ricci and Lanvin

6. Which fashion designer was recently cleared of homophobic allegations in New York State courts?

a. Tommy Hilfiger

b. Rachel Roy

c. Wes Gordon

d. Philipp Plein

7. Which well-known fashion photographer passed away earlier this year?

a) Patrick Demarchelier

b) Mario Testino

c) Bruce Weber

d) Bill Cunningham

8. Which well-known publishing giant is unionizing?

a) Hearst Publications

b) Fairchild Publications

c) Conde Nast

d) Johnson Publications

9. Which CFDA executive recently vacated their post?

a) Diane von Furstenberg

b) Steven Kolb

c) Tom Ford

d) Grace Coddington

10. Which iconic denim brand has employed Brooke Shields as the face of its new 2022 campaign?

a) Levi

b) Jordache

c) The Gap

d) Calvin Klein


Key: 1. b) Thierry Mugler 2. a) Andre Leon Talley 3. b) Albino Riganello 4. d) Serena Williams 5. c) Fendi and Versace 6. d. Philipp Plein 7. a) Patrick Demarchelier 8. c) Conde Nast 9. c) Tom Ford 10. b) Jordache


Feral Girls’ Summer 2022 Style

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Temperatures have warmed up and if you are feeling like you want to let it all hang out and just cut loose, you are not alone. This summer let your passion be your guide, leave no stone unturned and party like there is no tomorrow. In other words, summer 2022 will be a “Feral Girls’ Summer.”

Surprised? You may ask, “What is a feral girls’ summer?” This is a summer with very few COVID-19 restrictions. And with high cost of inflation, a raging war in Ukraine, and women’s reproductive rights under attack, why not use this summer to cut loose and paint the town red, green, magenta, or any color you want. In other words, Carpe Diem, seize the day because tomorrow is not promised.  That’s right, create a new wild girls’ summer, a feral girls’ summer.

Now, this feral (wild) girls’ summer is not going to work for you if you don’t have the right wardrobe. Remember feral girls’ summer is for the wild child that parties from Wednesday evening to late Sunday. She also doesn’t care about what folks say about her. And she also in not concerned if her clothing matches.

With all this information in mind, Fashion Reverie has a few tips about some garment choices that match the Feral Girl aesthetic.

Images courtesy of elle.com

Tees and Tanks

Wearing garments that can go with almost anything and that require very little maintenance is right on point with ‘Feral Girls’ Summer.’ Tanks and tee shirts really fit that bill. Nothing says summer freedom better than a summer tank top and/or tee shirt. And this summer you can bring a fashionable element to these very basic summer necessities.

Skims ($34) and WSLY Rivington ($68) has some great fitted tanks that are not only stylish and sophisticated but also produce a great fit. Add to that, Abercrombie & Fitch knotted tee shirt ($29), Beach Boys vintage-inspired tee ($175) and the affordable Reformation Alex Slim Tee ($24), and you are ready to party hardy at all the summer music festivals.

Images courtesy of cynthiarowley.com and cosmopolitan.com

Crop tops and bandeaus

What would a wild girls’ summer be without crop tops? Fashion Reverie has selected some great choices. From H&M’s sleeveless turtleneck crop top ($18) to Lulu’s green square-necked crop ($28) to Victor Glemaud’s Bustier crop ($195) ending with Cynthia Rowley’s black crystal-mesh bandeau top ($175), you cannot go wrong with these choices.

Images courtesy of popsugar.com

We love short shorts

With these incredible tops, some great shorts are a must have. Zara’s high-waisted shorts ($46) should definitely be in your wardrobe, as well as Farm Rio’s paper bag statement shorts ($120). Add to this mix, cut off vintage jean shorts from AGOLDE Parker and you all set for summer music festival season.

Images courtesy of cosmopolitan

Flirty Frocks

You not really consider a flirty dress as a must-have for feral girls of summer, but some those wild girls do like getting their summer bacchanal going in a flirty frock. Fashion Reverie’s choices for that feral girl that looks to be flirty and feminine is Berska’s reprint detail dress ($36), a surefire hit for summer music festivals. Another standout dress is Staud’s Edesia knit dress ($325). Bringing up the rear for those wild girls that want to add a bit of sophistication is Jonathan Simkai’s Christobel macrame dress ($795). Fringe rules the day in this summer wonder.

Images courtesy of nypost.com

The mini bag

Since you are traveling very light this summer, you may not need a big bag. That said, small doesn’t mean insignificant or inexpensive. You can still demonstrate your style with a small bag.

Consider Betsey Johnson’s bejeweled pizza slice crossbody handbag ($118) if you are not girl who wants to be noticed. Or if you want great summer style without the steep price, consider the Uerraum crossbody mini-stripped eco bag ($23). Lastly, Fashion Reverie chose the Ace limited edition mini handbag ($555) with a charming heart appliqué, pink and red color blocking and a cupid’s arrow.

William S. Gooch

“Gilded Glamor” Seen Through the Lens of American Fashion Designers

Everybody loves the Met Gala. And the exhibit at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum that inspire the red-carpet looks seen at the Met Gala is equally adored. Still, often the Costume Institute’s exhibit reflect fashion from earlier times being a reflection of where we have been in fashion.

Though these exhibits are expertly curated, customers may ponder how these exhibitions relate to their lives. And if they love the garments in the exhibitions, how they can incorporate some the design aesthetics into their wardrobe.

Fashion Reverie to the rescue!! Fashion Reverie has selected a few American designers whose spring 2022 collections reflect the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute’s “Gilded Glamor” design aesthetic.

Images courtesy of wwd.com and shopstyle.com

Since his debut collection in 1991, Byron Lars has regularly employed a Gilded Age design aesthetic. You will find this silhouette made evidence in Lars continued employ of the classic Gibson Girl aesthetic. Lars takes stripped bodices and his version of a modernized bustle to enhance his customers’ femininity and elegance.  And though, as in his current spring 2022 collection his corseted bodices are more relaxed, ensuing more movement quality and his stripped bodices are more in the form of a shirt dress, the Gilded Age aesthetic is still front and center.

Image courtesy of fashionreverie.com

For his spring 2017collection, Bibhu Mohapatra was inspired by the Belle Epoque era. “[in this Belle Epoque collection there] are a lot of fitted bodices and details from that era that I reimagine for today’s women. For instance, I might take inner garments and reverse them, making them the outer garments. I do incorporate some of the fitted elements from the Belle Epoque into this collection; however, for the modern woman I have given those elements more ease. There is a lot draping and combinations of sheer fabrics with heavier fabrics. I like to re-interpret these elements my way without having the garments look very period. That is a challenge I enjoy. I immerse myself in this world and I imagine how that woman lives her daily life and then I extract and make it all my own. My fabrics come from all over the world and the embroideries are still being developed for the collection.”

Though Mohapatra’s spring 2022 collection does not necessarily give a strong nod to a Gilded Age aesthetic, Mohapatra’s predilection for that aesthetic does pop up. Particularly, in Mohapatra’s use of exaggerated padded shoulders and cinched waists.

Images courtesy of Pinterest

No other American designers’ collections epitomize “Gilded Glamor” better than Pamella Roland. Known for her red-carpet looks, Roland has been employing classic silhouettes since the launch of her ready-to-wear brand 20 years ago. And her resort and fall 2022 collections are no exception.

Roland’s resort and spring 2022 collections do not source the Gilded Age specifically as its inspiration, the classic silhouettes of that era are in this collection and fit in quite nicely. And like many of Roland’s collections, this outing plays heavily on embellishments and whimsy.

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Though she hasn’t shown in New York City for quite some time, Monique Lhuillier’s spring 2022 collection also fits very nicely into that pantheon of American designers that regularly borrow heavily from the Gilded Age design aesthetic. That said, Lhuillier’s fall 2022 collection was inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood. And within that collection there were some looks that reflected a Gilded Age aesthetic.

With Lhuillier there is always a lot of beautiful embellishments on the evening gowns, gowns with trains, and some corset-like bodies—all elements reminiscent of classic silhouettes that evoke Gilded Glamor.

Images courtesy of fashionscene.nt

Christopher John Rogers is one of the youngest American fashion designers to incorporate a Gilded Age aesthetic into his collection. For his pre-fall 2022 collection, Rogers looks to his southern roots for inspiration married with classic American silhouettes. In this collection you will find some very structured bodices and well as gowns with trains, two silhouettes that evidence Gilded Age influences. All these influences are bedfellows to Rogers continued fascination with bold color.

Images courtesy of vogue.com

This roundup would not be complete without Christian Siriano. Since his burst on the fashion scene over a decade ago, Siriano has been one of the go-to designers that understands how to combine classic silhouettes with modern-day gilded glamor.

For his fall 2022 collection, Siriano looked to a ‘Matrix’ reality, where some days we are living in the Victorian Era and other days we are living in more recent times. This point of view is made evident in several garments that reflect a Victorian or Gilded Age design aesthetic.

There are looks in this collection that utilize Victorian corsetry, full skirts, and emboldened oversized sleeves. All these elements reflect looks you would find during the Gilded Age. Though Siriano’s collection was more gothic and darker than looks from the Gilded Age, there is a definite nod in this collection to a Victorian/Gilded Age point of view.

William S. Gooch

Gilded Glamor: Understanding 2022’s Met Gala Theme

Image courtesy of Instagram

For the first time, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will link two exhibitions for the Met Gala. The first exhibition, entitled In America: An Anthology of Fashion, was presented last September, while the second exhibition will be presented in May. The Met Gala will be held in New York City on May 2 and will be the hottest party of the year, bringing out lavishly dressed celebrities to the Met Gala showcasing this year’s theme, “Gilded Glamor.” The theme reflects New York City’s Gilded Age spanning 1870 to 1890.

Image courtesy of HBO

“Gilded Glamor” is a particularly exciting theme given the recent intense popularity of period dramas like “Bridgerton” and “The Gilded Age.” Entertainment media heavily influences American culture while fashion is symbolic of it (American culture), so this relationship is one to highlight. According to Andrew Bolton, Head Curator of the Met Costume Exhibit, “All of the rooms are connected by these curatorial threads, but they’re also connected through this cinematic lens. Every director has put their own imprimatur on each of them.”

The gala’s accompanying exhibit pairs nine film directors with period rooms that explore fashion’s role in shaping American identity. It is very likely that designers dressing celebrities for the Met Gala will also pull from cinema and television.

Image courtesy of HBO

HBO’s “The Gilded Age” is one example of popular media that designers might pull from, as it was highly revered for its designs by costume designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone. In the series, fashion reflected American cultural values relative to “new money” and “old money” in New York City. In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Walicka-Maimone explains distinctions between characters stating, “Russell’s costumes were a stark contrast to the central “old money” characters of Agnes and Ada, who both stick with monochromatic jewel tones, with the former regularly wearing shades of purple and blue while the latter wears gold, orange, and red.” The use of color is one of the most important elements of the Gilded Age, as the period marked the start of synthetic dye use. Walicka-Maimone also says that for all the characters, “The silhouette is the same—nobody would dare break the silhouette.” Walicka-Maimone also emphasizes the heavy adornments worn by women during the Gilded Age and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways women from different social classes differentiated themselves.  

Walicka-Maimone alludes to three essential elements of women’s Gilded Age fashion: synthetically dyed fabrics, a restrictive silhouette rule, and heavy ornamentation. If designers and celebrities have done their research, Fashion Reverie expects most fashion pieces to show a modern interpretation of these elements. According to Lydia Strickling in her article “Gilded Age Fashion,” for NPS (National Park Service), “Clothing was often vibrantly colored, thanks to the increased use of synthetic dyes, which were still a fairly new innovation. Women’s clothing featured multiple colors in the same outfit, something that was uncommon prior to this decade. It was fashionable to layer vibrant colors on top of dark ones. A popular combination was plum and navy blue.” Fashion Reverie expects celebrities to emphasize the Gilded Age’s rich color palette, with the best-dressed celebrities wearing multicolored pieces.

Image courtesy of The Antique Jewellery Company

Strickling also writes, “Around 1876, the “princess line” style became popular. This encompassed bodices and corsets with vertical seams rather than horizontal ones, which tightly hugged the body of the wearer. Long sleeves and high necklines were also features of this style, which was named for the Alexandra, the Princess of Wales.” For women, the silhouette during the Gilded Age was highly restrictive at the waist, voluminous at the back, and featured an excess of layers.

Men’s clothing, according to FIT’s 1880-1889 Fashion History Timeline “was marked by a long, slender frame. Suits were cut closer to the body, creating a tall, slim line. The frock coat, featuring a waist seam with a full skirt, remained the most formal daywear in town. Sportswear [also] played a special role in menswear. The blazer, a single-breasted lounge jacket, often made in brightly colored stripes, was usually paired with light-colored flannel trousers ….” At the Met Gala, Fashion Reverie expects gender fluidity to reign supreme, with some men wearing voluminous gowns and some women wearing bright sportswear. Either way, simple black dresses, and black ties should seldom grace the carpeted steps.

Images courtesy of Instagram

Fashion Reverie expects one of the most exciting elements of this year’s gala to be a plethora of intricate hairstyles and headpieces. FIT’s Fashion History Timeline notes, “hats were worn directly on top of the head, and they grew greatly in height becoming tall and narrow, eventually rising to such heights they were mocked as “Four Stories and a Basement.” We expect nothing less than four stories and a basement at the gala!

From head to toe, Fashion Reverie also expects extensive use of trims from ribbons, ruffles, bows, and lace. In terms of designers celebrities might wear, American designers might be most appropriate given the theme; however, fashion during the Gilded Age was heavily influenced by European fashion from designers like Charles Frederick Worth, so foreign designs are also expected.

Image courtesy of Christopher John Rogers

We predict many to wear Christopher John Rogers, an American designer, and Maison Valentino by Pierpaolo Piccioli due to both designers’ focus on highly saturated fabrics and intricate silhouettes. Both brands have featured large colorful feathered hats in recent collections, on theme with “Gilded Glamor.”

This year’s Met Gala has the potential to be the best one yet with its focus on decoration and excess, so it will undoubtedly be exciting to see how celebrities and designers interpret the theme on May 2, right before the exhibition opens on May 7! The Met Gala will be live-streamed courtesy of Vogue starting at 6 p.m. EST. Stay tuned!

—Tessa Swantek

Fashion Stylist Gemma Sheppard’s 2022 Coachella Diary

Image courtesy of Instagram/Calder Wilson

When you see the sight of the world’s largest transportable Ferris wheel, you know there’s only one festival that you could be at—Coachella, baby! Having not opened its doors since 2019 due to the pandemic, Coachella threw them open this year with gusto, and the twice-postponed festival came back with a bang. While Coachella is primarily a music festival (with every genre of music you could imagine), as a stylist, the incredible, eclectic fashion vibe that perpetually surrounds me at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, is undoubtedly a huge draw. From boho to designer, anything goes at Coachella. It’s the one festival where everyone feels at home in their skin, whether they’re sharing a love of dressing up or down.

Image courtesy of @sincerelyjules

Before any holiday or event, I plan my outfits meticulously to ensure I never forget anything. Preparing for Coachella is essential because temperatures during the day are hot, hot, hot, but at night they seriously dip, so you have to arrive prepared. As fabulous as swimsuits covered by a lace kimono look in the mid-afternoon sun, leather jackets and ponchos are a Coachella fashion essential to stave off the chill factor at night.

Footwear also needs serious consideration because of the amount of walking and dancing you do, mostly on grass. I took two pairs of cowboy boots—one worn-in pair in buttery-soft leather and another, which I feared would hurt after a few hours, so I stuck with my old faithfuls all weekend! The festival has a marvelous laid-back vibe—even security is always ready with a smile and hello, which is helped by the Californian desert climate and the welcoming atmosphere. The location is spotlessly clean, which means it’s a safe landscape for showing off the very best contents of your wardrobe.

Image courtesy of Gemma Sheppard

And boy, did I see some incredible style. I saw so many trends that are bound to roll over into other festivals this year. First, lace was so popular! Bikinis teamed with gorgeous lace kimonos and dresses created the ultimate boho-type feel and covered up modestly while letting the breeze in. Genius! Also, Gen Z is bringing the look of the 90s back hard! Cropped tops with baggy low-slung jeans or sweatpants were de rigueur and looked incredible. Think Spice Girls 90s-style, and you’re there! And neon—I spotted this other 90s trend everywhere. Tiny bright, cycle shorts were worn with jeweled bralettes to ensure it wasn’t just the sun that was shining!

Oversized fashion was also popular! Some predicted that Coachella, being run by Gen Z, would mimic fashion that we see in popular shows like “Euphoria,” and I saw a little bit of that with the popularity of oversized cargo pants, buffalo trainers, and parachute trousers with oversized parkas, cropped tees, and bucket hats. In contrast, many festival-goers also wore glamorous dresses. I love the combination of dressing high glam with high casual at Coachella. I witnessed some fabulous long chainmail maxi dresses dressed down with flip flops or cowboy boots, giving that effortless vibe to a very thought-out outfit.

Image courtesy of @nancytyrealestate/Instagram

It’s not just outfits that festival-goers put a lot of thought into; at Coachella, hair is taken to a different level with the help of stunning accessories. There are lots of stations where you can get your hair done, and along with the usual plaits and cutesy hippie styles, jewels are added with butterflies, flowers, and all sorts of other hair decorations to finish off any outfit. I felt the festival this year had a salute towards the fashions often seen at Burning Man; a little bit edgier than in previous years, a little bit more futuristic, but still wonderfully eclectic.

Another of my favorite pastimes at Coachella is celeb-spotting. You never know who you might pass while meandering between the stages. Paris Hilton always dresses to impress, and her looks almost had an avatar-type feel to them. Former Pussycat Doll star Ashley Roberts looked gorgeous (as always) wearing an incredible green, tasseled leather jacket I adored! Julie Sariñana, aka Sincerely Jules, looked stunning (and uber on-trend) in bright colors and prints.

Image courtesy of Gemma Sheppard

My time at Coachella was nothing short of fabulous! I went with girlfriends who I hadn’t caught up with in such a long time, and we tagged on a couple of days at the end to relax, which I highly recommend after seeing and doing so much at the festival. (FYI, the art displays which are dotted all around are incredible to look at.) Good music, good vibes, good food, good weather, and the most magical time spent with good friends. What more could anyone want?!

—Gemma Sheppard

Follow Gemma @sheppardstyle

ChocAllure: Fashionable Luxury Chocolates that Have Mass Market Appeal

Image courtesy of Adriana Kopinja

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has caused so many disruptions, there are some good things that have come out of this health pandemic. One of the many good things that has come out of this global disruptor is a re-examination of what is important.

With all the hustle and bustle of our daily lives it is so easy to push our dreams and aspirations to the bottom of our to-do list. COVID has caused us to pause and reconsider those dreams and desires. And this reflection has caused some folks to throw caution to the wind and embark on a new adventure and/or new career path.

Image courtesy of bostonglobe.com

Liron Pergament-Gal has taken on such an adventure. “Chocolate making has always been a passion on mine. When I finished my undergraduate degree, I needed to do something creative for my soul, so I attended pastry and chocolate school in France. While working in cyber security as an executive, my French pastry and dessert skills was always a hobby for me. When the COVID-19 crisis happened, I wasn’t traveling for work as much and with all the extra time at home I started making more chocolates for friends and family. I decided to start a business to cover the costs of making chocolates for family and friends,” explained Liron Pergament-Gal.

And so, the story goes, and ChocAllure was borne. “At the end of 2020, I was still working full time in cyber security; however, my chocolate business had grown substantially. I was working so many hours between both jobs,and did not any time for myself and was not spending enough time with my family. So, in 2021 I quit my job in cyber security and dedicated myself to growing ChocAllure, explains Pergament-Gal.

Image courtesy of Adriana Kopinja

Liron loves all things chocolate and luxury chocolates is a special passion of hers. It was only natural and felt so organic to Liron to create a luxury chocolate company. “Ever since I attended pastry school, I developed an intense love of luxury chocolate and I realized as I started to make chocolate bonbons that there was a real gap in the luxury chocolate business for bonbons that look as pretty as the bonbons taste. Most companies use the same old moldings for their bonbons. When I started selling my chocolates, people really appreciated the artistry of my bonbons as much as the delicious fillings I put in the bonbons.”

ChocAllure bonbons come in more than the typical bonbon shape. They are exquisitely designed with great craftmanship. In fact, some are even look like they are from another planet, in other words, futuristic. “As far as design, ChocAllure bonbons are as far away from typical French pastries as you can think of. I partnered with Louis Amado, who is very well known in the chocolate world for his artistry for pastry and chocolate making. He makes stunning chocolates and I trained with him. Eventually, we started working together, coming up with bonbon designs that are scalable and would appeal to a mass market … There are some funny tools that I use in my designs, for instance, I used four different kinds of Q-tips, and I spray though piping tools. I also have tools that come out of my kid’s craft boxes.”

Image courtesy of Adriana Kopinja

ChocAllure bonbons have multiple layers and textures. Some are even seasonal. “I use different seasonal ingredients and find different spices that match the seasons or special occasions. For winter I have a gingerbread spice bonbon and a raspberry mint bonbon. We also have created different bonbon collections that match various holidays. For Easter, we created bonbons that are painted as baby chicks and they are filled with hazelnut, a creamy ganache, and a crunchy cookie layer.”

ChocAllure’s top sellers are their chocolate cheesecake bonbon, jumbo bonbon tea and biscuit cups, and jumbo latte coffee bonbon cups. ChocAllure price points range for $9 individual bonbons to $48 Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea sets to $69 Chocolate-of-the-Month gift boxes.

William S. Gooch

McKenzi Taylor of Electric Sugar Elopements on Unconventional Bridal Fashion

New York International Bridal Fashion Week, from April 6-8, signaled a shift in the bridal fashion industry. It was difficult to find a single collection without at least one unconventional look, whether a non-white wedding dress, a pantsuit or jumpsuit, or a cocktail-length dress with a campy veil. While traditionalism is still very important in the bridal fashion industry, many recognize a growing market for those who want an unconventional wedding day in an off-beat location filled with dresses of every color from black and burgundy to peach and orange. The unconventional wedding is often hyper-personalized, so a couple can share their unique aesthetic that isn’t influenced by traditional wedding day rules or faux pas. In many ways, this wedding style puts less pressure on the couple and adds more fun to the wedding planning journey so the two can feel their happiest and most comfortable.

To gain more insight into unconventional bridal fashion, Fashion Reverie has teamed up with McKenzi Taylor, a renowned elopement and micro-weddings expert who founded Electric Sugar Elopements (ESE), an unconventional wedding planning business. Electric Sugar Elopements is for the alternative couple who “give tradition the ring finger.” After organizing her own Las Vegas elopement, McKenzi Taylor became passionate about alternative elopements and micro-weddings. Coupled with her experience as a wedding photographer, she turned her passion into a business for wedding couples who rebel against traditionalism. In this interview, she offers insight into the top trends in the unconventional wedding scene, which Fashion Reverie also detailed in our “Editor’s Picks: Unconventional Bridal Fashion Representative of the Changing Industry.” Please read below for the entire conversation with McKenzi Taylor!

Image courtesy of Cactus Collective

Fashion Reverie: First, can you tell us about your start as a professional wedding photographer and your decision to create Electric Sugar Elopements?

McKenzi Taylor: After seeing […] more and more couples […] seeking to express their identity through special touches they’d bring to their traditional wedding […], ESE was born as a safe space for contemporary and alternative couples to express their […] ideas a bit more loudly. Our staff and crew encourage off-beat venues and design elements, badass backdrops, and unconventional photoshoots on the wedding day.

FR: I’m sure you’ve witnessed quite a few black wedding dresses in your business, and there is a major trend that emphasizes non-white dresses. Is this something you’ve noticed, and why do you think people are straying from the traditional white dress?

McKenzi Taylor: In the age of better body awareness and less stringent social norms, we see a rising percentage of women less concerned with the classic white dress and more concerned with size inclusion, design functionality, and a flattering color for their skin tone. The goal these days is to feel amazing, and that can be in whatever style and colors a couple feels best represents them. We have had brides with black leotards paired with tulle skirts, silver sequined cocktail dresses, mint green mid-length dresses with poms-poms, black dresses, burgundy dresses, and even a vintage Hawaiian dress with orange and green florals. Just about anything goes!

FR: Along with the stray from white dresses, I think the awareness of gender identity and fluidity has changed wedding fashion. I’ve noticed many swapping dresses for pants and two-piece sets representing the wearer’s style. Have you noticed this? In your experience, have weddings and wedding fashion become more about personalization and unique identity?

McKenzi Taylor: Yes, we do have a lot of same-sex brides getting married […], and typically one will wear a pantsuit or jumpsuit, while the other bride will opt for a traditional wedding dress. [Recently] we [worked with] a bride with such a cool, unique style that not many could pull off. She wore a bodysuit with oversized ruffles and a mustard-colored skirt. Normally you wouldn’t choose that for a wedding look, but the fit, colors, design, and overall style fit her energy to a tee, and it just worked. More and more brides are opting to express their own unique style [instead of] following wedding attire “rules.”

FR: On a similar note, short wedding dresses are becoming popular. What wedding fashion silhouettes do you tend to notice among your clients?

McKenzi Taylor: We see our clients in a lot of body-hugging/fitted silhouettes […]. […] Because of the nature of our style of weddings, we are not going to see many mermaid, princess, or ball gown silhouettes. Most of our weddings are in outdoor natural locations or nonconventional indoor spaces, and the attire reflects that. An overwhelming [number] of our brides are […] opting for comfort over restrictive silhouettes. Bridal veils are also very common among our brides; at least 75% wear some type of veil. […]. Most of our brides are shunning tradition with their dresses but maintaining that elegant touch with their choice of veil. Some of the veils we are seeing are ironic and cheeky, some are chic, and some bring a softness to a bride’s total look.

Images courtesy of Electric Sugar Elopements

FR: In my opinion, weddings in some ways have become less formal in terms of being more playful and fun. Some are even campy occasionally. Have you experienced weddings like that?

McKenzi Taylor: [That’s] all we do [at] Electric Sugar Elopements! The David Bowie wedding, we just did, is the quintessential wedding for ESE couples. […] The bride wore a disco ball-themed silver sequined dress […] complete with the bride’s rock n’ roll-themed (yet subtle) makeup. It was the right amount of camp, edge, laughter, and silliness, but with notes of romance […]. It was a memorable day.

FR: As you mentioned, venues also really influence bridal fashion, and over the past few years, couples have been getting more creative with where they are having their wedding. What kinds of unconventional venues have you noticed when working with your clients?

McKenzi Taylor: Unconventional venues are [our] specialty, [which is] why couples seek us out. We’ve had couples get married in a transformed alley, an abandoned building, a mock BDSM themed room, a neon museum, private residences, [and] outdoor locations like canyons, hillsides, and nature preserves. Anything can be turned into a wedding venue with the [proper] lighting, décor, and accessories, and of course, in some cases, permits must be obtained.

—Tessa Swantek

New York International Bridal Fashion Week Spring 2023 Season: The Sketches

Image courtesy of brides.com

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the day-to-day business of fashion has been on pause. In many ways, we have watched the disruption in slow motion. As fashion industry professionals, we are timidly unearthing ourselves from the emotional rubble and uneasiness felt across the fashion world. It’s a process, and it takes time to reorient to a “new normal.” Things have changed. They are changing daily and from moment to moment! We are witnessing a paradigm shift towards something new for an industry steeped in traditions and old ways of creating and doing business. That is what makes 2022 unique! The feeling that something new and different is in the air.

From a creative standpoint, fashion designers have been the first to start tapping into what’s next. That is what makes the resurgence of New York Bridal Fashion Week special at a time when people feel more confident saying, “I do!” What’s more, after several seasons of viewing clothes virtually, designers are choosing to welcome their colleagues back for in-person shows and appointments.

The collections for 2023 represent a fresh perspective and a new outlook that designers have spent months digesting and interpreting to create something special for a bride’s special day. A mixture of contemporary and traditional silhouettes that make a statement to amplify the excitement around the moment. Brides still looking should expect to see fresh new ideas that they haven’t seen with shapes that range from voluminous to sleek full of unexpected and inviting details.

As part of our coverage of New York International Bridal Fashion Week (NYIBFW), Fashion Reverie has rounded up an exclusive peek into the thoughts and ideas of some of our favorite designers who are on the cusp of what’s new and what’s next in bridal fashion. Stay tuned for more coverage and exclusive access to NYIBFW.

Image courtesy of Mira Zwillinger

Mira Zwillinger

Unity enhances the potential of our strength, courage, and growth as individuals. Together we are better, and only together can we accomplish something with a lasting impact. 

Our spring 2023 “Wonders” couture collection explores the importance of staying united amidst a newfound disconnect. We understand more than ever how valuable our relationships are both for inspiration, harmonious balance, and freedom. Throughout the 13-gown collection, delicate and intricate handcrafted florals are designed both as the main component of the gowns as well as abstract extensions beyond the gowns themselves. The ultra-fine elements move freely and effortlessly symbolically expressing how unity can uplift through strength, while the unique array of silhouettes create a dynamic expression of how much power and resilience togetherness can help us achieve. With unity, we can create wonders. 

Image courtesy of Sheila Frank

Sheila Frank

This season I explored Victorian menswear from pre-Victorian 1830s to late 1890s. Each look is designed with a garment in mind from the frock coat, waist coat, shirt variations to the cravat. Fabrics include matte and shiny satin, crepe, tulle, and beaded mesh. Gowns are adorned with bronze and gold buttons and styled with pressed flower pendant necklaces and belts. I explored the idea of vintage meets modern with clean lines and pleated fabrics that flatter the female form.

Image courtesy of Sophie Et Voila

Sophie Et Voilà

This collection is not about drawing inspiration from his work, nor is it even about emulating his technique or his mastery. That would be, to say the least, an unforgivable boldness. I will not analyze his lines, patterns, or sketches. I am not trying to be someone I cannot. I do not want to frustrate myself by copying. To know myself as an impostor, incapable, a liar and, in other words, one more. But I want to think I learned. That I took from the master a way of thinking. This collection is about his philosophy, his way of believing in fashion. To know that each dress has a name. One and only one. To say no to what I do not believe in and to bet my life on what excites me. I represent a firm with values, with a way of doing, with principles. At Sophie Et Voilà we never wanted to be commercial. We never thought about being others. Being different was never our goal. Doing something different has been the consequence of opting for doing things our own way. In a world where adaptation is everything, being true to oneself is a luxury that very few can afford. 

Image courtesy of THEIA


Our spring 2023 Bridal collection for THEIA continues to push boundaries, balancing angular and organic elements to create signature looks for today’s modern bride. The season’s design inspiration intersects with that of another artist, local photographer Eva Grall. Grall, along with our designers, are drawn to the “Mother of American Modernism,” Georgia O’Keeffe’s series of Irises as a nascent source of inspiration. Grall’s emotive, modern lens, thoughtful range of texture and value, and air of sensuality coincide with the core values of THEIA’s aesthetic. The simplicity of magnified petals and the soft tactile nature of Grall’s works are evident in the tucks, cowls, and folds of our crepe and satin gowns. Easy slip dress silhouettes, plunging V-necks, jubilant floral beading, and cheeky asymmetry can be found within the collection.

Image courtesy of Nadia Manjarrez

Nadia Manjarrez Studio Bridal

“This season as I was planning my own wedding, I began to explore the significance and mystique surrounding wedding rituals. Mexican brides typically wear big ball gowns, which I gave a modern twist by adding removable puff sleeves and a detachable train. Dahlia, Mexico’s national flower, are also present in this collection as an ode to my own heritage,” Nadia explains.

In the Mexican tradition brides also wear a Mantilla Veil, a circular veil with a lace trim around the edge. Nadia integrated the drama of these conventional pieces into the collection, adding in tones of blue as a pop of color and a nod to the “something blue” tradition. While customs like having a bouquet or dawning a long cathedral veil inspired Nadia, she vowed to keep the collection versatile including these details as embroidery on recycled taffeta, 3D floral embroidered tulle and hand drawn crocheted laces. The brand’s ethos rests in modular pieces: Add-on capes, removable skirts, and detachable sleeves. Hand-made beading and threadwork features variations of the poppy flowers in last season’s collection, alongside new fabrications like flowing pleated tulle and double satin. This season is for the bride who wants the sentiment of heritage, but is a contemporary woman destined for progress.

Kristopher Hoyle



New York International Bridal Week Spring 2023 Season Pre-coverage

Image courtesy of brownsbrides.com

New York International Bridal Week is almost here. And this Bridal Week promises to be a comeback week of sorts.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bridal Week like other fashion weeks has been under tremendous pressure. Gone were the runway shows and presentations that are the bread and butter, so to speak of fashion week. In place of live presentations, Bridal Week had to settle for digital presentations. Although these digital presentations were the only option during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were a sad replacement for Bridal Week had come to be known for.

Unlike New York Fashion Week (NYFW), Bridal Week never succumbed to a massive media invasion of media outlets, celebrities, and social media influencers eager to garner as much press for themselves as possible. Bridal Week has always been about bridal collections, showcased for industry professionals minus the media circus that is so endemic to NYFW.

Because Bridal Week has been about the bridal product, digital fashion presentations harshly diminished the industry’s ability to conduct business as usual. Bridal editors and journalists, buyers, wedding planners, and bridal boutique owners need to witness the bridal collections up close and personal to satisfy the ever-changing palettes of bridal consumers. Unlike NYFW, which can create and entire media explosion about primping and posing for the camera, Bridal Week marches to a very different fashion drumbeat.

Image courtesy of brides.com

Though this season promises to be different than pre-COVID pandemic seasons, there will be a plethora of in-person appointments, presentations, and a few runway shows, thrown in for good measure, to go around. Bridal brands that are expected to present for the spring 2023 season—bridal collections are always shown a year in advance—include Reem Acra, THEIA, Ines di Santo, Sachin & Babi, Justin Alexander, Savannah Miller, Mark Ingram, Anne Barge, Amsale, Nadia Manjarrez, JLM Couture, and many others.

Fashion Reverie promises our readers that we will be front and center, bringing all the fashion news and dynamic bridal presentations of New York International Bridal Week spring 2023 season. Stay tuned!!


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