RIVINI Bridal Fall 2021

OK, you are looking for that bridal gown. There is a toss up between something that is very modern or a bridal gown that is traditional. Ugh, you cannot make up your mind.

Consider a wedding gown that is both modern and traditional. These points of view don’t have to be diametrically opposed and are not necessarily dissimilar.

If you decide to have both bridal points of view in one wedding gown, RIVINI by Rita Vinieris bridal fall 2021 collection has several looks that will fit the bill. RIVINI by Rita Vinieris is perfect for the modern bride, while still maintaining the allure of more traditional bridal gowns with an edge. 

“Drawing from our DNA, fall 2021 is about reinventing heritage pieces and modernizing them through hybrid styling. This season is about walking the line between luxury and nonchalant 70’s confidence. Luxe silhouettes detailed in intricate embroideries, rich fabrications and sensual layers of textures allow for ease for self expression. A fusion of the past and future,” explains Rita Vinieris is a press release.

Images courtesy of CLD Style

And what is also great about this fall 2021 collection is that there is something for brides from a wide demographic. Where you are a plus size bride, or a more mature bride, Rita Vinieris in this collection has not left you out.

Stand out looks in this collection includes ‘NICO’ with its Victorian-inspired lace shrug over simple silk sphagetti-strapped, classic fit-and-flare gown, ‘TWIGGY’ with its side big bow attached of silk Mikado strapless gown, and ‘GOLDIE’ with its cascade of organza ruffles and dipping décolletage.

—William S. Gooch

 

VERDIN Bridal Fall 2021

For the modern bride who prefers classic beauty, there is VERDIN New York. Launched by Gustavo Nunez in 2017, VERDIN New York entered the eveningwear market with a mission to provide women with elegant evening silhouettes at an accessible price point.

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Nunez learned about fabric and garment construction by watching his mother design women’s sportswear. After moving to Los Angeles, and then New York, Gustavo honed his skills as a pattern maker and went on to become atelier manager and production director for couture bridal houses of Marchesa and Reem Acra.

When Nunez decided to create his own fashion house, he lovingly named it after his mother, Maria Verdin. Nunez infuses his collections with inspiration from his Mexican roots and the energy of Los Angeles and New York.

In October 2020, in conjunction with The Bridal Council, Gustavo introduced VERDIN New York Bridal for fall 2021. The collection displays his mastery of couture techniques, fabrication and craftsmanship. The aesthetic of the collection is to bring American sportswear to bridal—classic silhouettes, constructed bustiers, and fitted skirts—and add sexy touches drawn from Nunez’s Latin culture.

Staying true to the houses’ goal of accessibility, Gustavo designs so that the bride can be her own stylist. He creates style enhancements (over skirts, jackets, belts, etc.) that can be combined in different ways so that the bride may personalize her gown.

Images courtesy of VERDIN New York

VERDIN New York is completely made in New York. VERDIN’s vision is about living the American dream, bringing modern romance to a new generation of brides. Conscious of the current climate and sensibilities of our world, VERDIN New York Bridal is a wonderful option for price-conscious contemporary brides who appreciate classic elegance and beauty.

—Carl Ayers

Naeem Khan Bridal Fall 2021

Sometimes, you’re born with ‘It.’ If any designer has the It-factor embedded in their DNA, it is Naeem Khan. A third-generation designer, he grew up surrounded by culture, art, and design as he watched his grandfather and father create clothing worn by India’s royal families. At the age of 20, Naeem Khan brought his skills to the US, where he apprenticed under famed designer Halston. Under Halston’s tutelage, Khan mastered the art of construction and draping, which has served him well during his two decades as a designer.

In 1981, Naeem began his own fashion brand, Riazee, named after his mother, which sold in American store for about a decade. In 2003, Naeem Khan launched his eponymous ready-to-wear line and began showing at New York Fashion Week. An immediate hit with press and buyers, his collections were renowned for expert craftsmanship adorned with intricate beadwork.

A decade later, in 2013, Khan presented his first bridal collection. Staying true to his brand aesthetic, his bridal gowns are as beautiful, and as beaded, as his main line. It certainly helps that his creations are hand-embroidered in his family-owned factories in India and then manufactured in New York City.

His current bridal collection modernizes old Hollywood. From satin off-the-shoulder gowns and tie-sleeve dresses to classic sweetheart necklines and organza with hand-sewn floral details, these gowns are a hit for your walk down the aisle. Having dressed such stately women as First Lady Michelle Obama, Queen Noor of Jordan, and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, Khan knows exactly what elements to incorporate into creating the perfect, appropriate, show-stopping gown.

This collection also includes a number of modern elements. There are jumpsuits, beaded and fringed cocktail dresses, and ornate capes—all of which can be reimagined for the red carpet. Entertainers such as Beyonce, Penelope Cruz, and Kate Hudson have worn Khan’s designs, so he is well versed in creating stunning looks for high profile, paparazzi-fueled events.

Images courtesy of Naeem Khan

Whether your style is classic or modern, fun or reverent, the Naeem Khan fall 2021 bridal collection will make you feel like the world’s most beautiful bride on your special day.

—Carl Ayers

Lihi Hod Bridal Fall 2021

If there is any time that we need and deserve a whimsical romantic journey, that time is now!! Looking for that whimsical journey that includes romance and fantasy, then Lihi Hod has a great selection of romantics wedding gowns in her fall 2021 bridal collection.

Lihi Hod’s “White Blossom” is a creation of infinite love, innocence and powerful emotions. Hod’s new collection features magnificent pieces; stunning gowns with flowing, classic silhouettes and romantic details, as always reflecting Hod’s meticulous craftsmanship, the signature of all her creations. The gowns are made of silk organza, Mikado silk and beaded tulles, and ornamented with handmade, embroidered three-dimensional flowers.  The campaign was shot in a romantic, Tuscany-like, magical atmosphere of lavish flowers and greenery which enhance the gowns’ primary beauty, making brides blossom on their unforgettable day. 

The “White Blossom” collection is a part of Lihi Hod’s DREAMS collection. The DREAMS collection is an invitation to a romantic journey in our new and changing world. The collection includes 13 dresses named after inspiring places, a love letter to travel, to new discoveries and to beloved destinations we all have, especially these days. The collection highlights the use of new materials and handmade fabrics, unique accessories and beautiful details. The fabrics were especially developed for the brand, and sewing is done in the design studio with the utmost care and in accordance to each client’s wishes.

The DREAMS collection was designed this season with the modern bride in mind: a collection of light and romantic dresses—a contemporary interpretation of timeless dresses and lasting sense of style that suits our times. The collection uses tulles and delicate transparencies, soft layers, handmade fabrics, flowers and beads to enhance the story each garment tells. It also pays attention to the right movement of the gown, the ease of wearing it, and the freedom it enables.

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Attempting to define the right wedding dress, the collection focuses on the female body by using lightweight fabrics and meticulous details resonating French style and eternal romance. This is evident, in a dress with a neckline that reveals a layer of lace and beads underneath, a classic asymmetrical dress with pleats, gowns with different variations of transparencies and layers, delicate corset dresses and dresses that combine beads and flowers in three dimensions.

The new Dreams collection is all about a carefree, effortless look that suits the modern bride with its bohemian style, meticulous attention to detail, impeccable craftsmanship and design. The collection offers multiple options for a bride that seeks a modern, timeless and romantic gown for any occasion, anywhere and anytime.

—William S. Gooch

Ines di Santo Bridal Fall 2021

Ines di Santo’s bridal shows should not be missed. Her collections have everything—beauty, charm, luxury, and di Santo’s special brand of wit. Add to those ingredients, the best fashion models in the industry showing di Santo’s special concoction of lush luxury, fashion industry professionals are never disappointed by di Santo’s bridal collections.

Unfortunately, like most bridal brands this season, industry professionals were limited to viewing Ines di Santo’s bridal collections digitally, not up-close-and-personal which is a must-experience. That said; di Santo’s fall 2021 did contain the design aesthetic that we have come to expect from her.

Still in place was di Santo’s penchant for sexy silhouettes that properly show off winning physiques. There was di Santo’s love of fit-to-flare, mermaid, and column gowns, all silhouettes that beautifully show off a woman’s curves. There was also the expert craftmanship which is the hallmark of di Santo’s bridal collections.

For fall 2021, Ines di Santo was inspired by cherished memories of the past. Whether those memories were memories of her daughter’s hand-painted dresses or reflections on beautiful instances from her past that resonate, di Santo captured these important moments by using a blush palette and silk organza appliques on traditional bridal silhouettes.

Though this ‘Wrapped in Love’ collection was a bit pared down for di Santo, there was some interesting, innovative looks. Standout looks included the brand’s silk white column dress with geometric, peekaboo décolletage with organza grain, the ‘coeur’ bridal party dress with asymmetrical halter top with peekaboo sides, the simple white column cocktail dress, and white cocktail dress with floral bodice and floral statement sleeves.

Images courtesy o Ines di Santo

Despite no runway presentation—which is the best format for di Santo’s bridal collections—the video of this fall 2021 collection was youthful, fun, full of joy and frivolity. The video almost makes you want to be a bride!!

—William S. Gooch

Justin Alexander Signature Fall 2021

Is this a good time to be thinking about weddings? Some would argue that no serious considerations around nuptials should happen until after the presidential election or until there is a global vaccine for COVID-19. Others would contend that love transcends all situations and circumstances, and there is no perfect time to express love and commitment.

Whether you are waiting to have a serious conversation about your upcoming nuptials until happier days are here or you are braving the odds and putting your wedding plans in place now, there is no better bridal gown designer than Justin Alexander. And his fall 2021 collection demonstrates his unique perspective on what modern brides want to wear.

The Justin Alexander Signature fall 2021 collection is inspired by an imagined utopia, a world filled with hope and progression, represented through a series of bold, refreshing, contemporary bridal designs. The gowns have evolved from experimentations with unique textures, soft hues, uplifting new embroideries and invigorating embellishments. Not forgetting the attention given to timeless dramatic cuts synonymous with the Signature handwriting.

From the fluid feel of charmeuse to the more lavish foundation of Mikado every carefully considered fabric provides an infallible canvas on which more daring, contemporary details come to life. Distinctive bows, elegant drape, defiant sleeves and radiant beadworks represent just some of the glorious diversity showcased within the brand-new designs.

In previous bridal collections, Justin Alexander demonstrated that he had the skill and technique to combine classic silhouettes with a modern sensibility. However, this fall 2021 collection aptly shows that Justin Alexander has now become a master of the bridal artform of fusion, fusing classic bridal looks with a modern perspective on what modern brides want to wear.

Images courtesy of Justin Alexander

Whether those modern touches are more form-fitting silhouettes, more skin exposure or strategic placement of bows, embellishments or cascading falls, Justin Alexander gives voice to these modern distinctions. And modern brides are all the happier for his craftsmanship.

—William S. Gooch

 

Snow Xue Gao Spring 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the entire planet. Not just undermining the basic workings of the fashion industry but significantly altering people’s approach to fashion in general. With so many people working at home, many people are just staying in pajamas all day rather than creating more laundry.

Comfort is quickly becoming the name of the game in New York Fashion Week (NYFW) spring 2021 season. We’ve already seen many women’s collections featuring flat shoes and loose pants with pockets. Snow Xue Gao’s ready-to-wear spring 2021 knocks it out the ballpark with an easy elegance designed with the #WFH crowd in mind. In fact, with the encouragement of buyers, she’s added a whole new category to her offerings: pajamas.

Snow Xue Gae’s spring 2021 ready-to-wear collection is entitled “Love, Family, and Friends.”  Gao said in a statement, “It’s like a huge pause button, the pandemic slowed everything down, but it allowed people to spend more time with their families and communicate more frequently. Love, family, and friends have become a more intimate form in our lives. I really hope that my clothes can give people a feeling of happiness, relaxation and casualness.”

Gao is an extremely talented tailor who uses her tailoring skills combined with draping to create her dual fabric suits and chic separates.  The first outfits in her look book are two pastel-patterned blazers presented without pants.  Does Gao think trouser-less is the new black? No, it’s a separate that you pop on quickly just in time for your ZOOM call with your supervisors and can easily be incorporated into an existing wardrobe.

Next came Gao’s distinct signature asymmetric half and half looks that play softness against suiting. Many of the pieces are adjustable, offering the possibility of customization. These outfits are elegant and distinctive yet suitable for the office—if we ever go back.

Comfort is yet another important issue. Gao’s pajamas as outerwear may be a bit of stretch, especially at her price points, but a consumer could easily mix them with jeans or jackets. The entire collection was presented with flat comfortable menswear-styled shoes.

The shining stars of the collection are the patchwork dresses made to be slipped on over the head rather than deal with buttons and zippers for quick relaxed dressing.  The dresses themselves are a figure-flattering, eye-catching patchwork of colorful prints.

Images courtesy of Snow Xue Gao

Gao started her eponymous label in 2017, following her debut collection at Parson MFA show. Gao was nominated for LVMH prize and the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 list. She won the Swarovski and Vogue Talents New Generation Award V Files and Camera Buyer Italia Award.

Gao’s style is heavily influenced by the Art Movements and Costume culture between East and West, having grown up during the aughts in Bejing and being educated in New York City.  With an ability to adapt to consumer demand while retaining her signature aesthetic, expect to see more from this talented designer.

—Cameron Grey Rose

Christian Siriano Spring 2021

Christian Siriano’s spring 2021 collection has everything, well almost. And when I say everything, I mean everything. From pouf sleeves to feathers, to light spring tweeds to straw hats, to midriffs to va va voom, this spring 2021 collection has almost everything a stylish woman wants.

For a decade now, Christian Siriano has been giving ladies what they want, and sometimes what they want before they even know they want it. Hmm, didn’t Dian Vreeland say that? Anyway, Siriano always has his fingers on the pulse of what women want to wear. And even though the silhouettes and styles may change, one thing holds constant. Women want to be stylish and sexy. That does not change, and Christian Siriano gives that to his consumer, full frontal!!

In this time of a health pandemic lockdown, consumers need something to dream about and aspire to. Siriano gives us the dreams in this collection. That said; this spring 2021 collection was a throwback moment; a throwback vintage moment in homage to the 1980s and 90s. We are talking padded shoulders, midriffs, jazz pants, lingerie as outerwear, poufy sleeves and skirts, you name it, it is all thrown in—mostly tasteful—in this 80s and 90s hodgepodge. And for the most part it works.

Siriano’s fashion flashback was inspired by some of his favorite films— “Clueless,” “Wizard of Oz,” “Troop Beverly Hills,” and “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter Is Dead.” And is made evident in this collection. And this collection worked so beautiful on the grounds of Siriano’s new home in Westport, Connecticut.

Post-show Siriano explained his inspiration, as reported in vogue.com, “I like that, because [the films] reminded me of when I was growing up wanting to be a fashion designer—that’s kind of what inspired everything.” This collection demonstrates that Siriano has made his dreams come true!!

If there was one drawback to this spring 2021 collection, it was in the construction of some of the garments. There were several garments that looked a bit under-constructed. It is obvious that in some instances Siriano was going for a more minimalist aesthetic; however, the construction of some of the clothing was a bit off, and is some instances looked elementary, at best. Perhaps, that was due to the not having a much access to the garment factories due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever the reason, the construction of some of the garments needs to be bumped up.

Images courtesy of Dan Lecca/vogue.com

Standout looks in this collection include, but are not limited to, the red and white tweed midriff halter paired with red and white full ballgown skirt, black column gown with padded shoulders with the words vote imprinted throughout, diaphanous black organza gown with black floral embellishments.  And of course, you cannot leave out the matching masks.

—William S. Gooch

Thalé Blanc Spring 2021

As many fashion brands are hunkering down, retracting their fashion lines and collections, and only doing what is necessary to keep their fashion brands afloat, there are those few brave souls who see this new normal as an opportunity to test the waters. Thalé Blanc is one such fashion brand.

Known for their luxury handbags, for spring 2021 Thalé Blanc has decided to test the waters and dip their creative hands in the pool of women’s ready-to-wear. A bold move at any time, but especially during this retracting time in the market. And the courage to show your debut collection, Thalé Blanc Statements, during New York Fashion Week (NYFW) when so many brands opted out or simply went digital is indeed a gutsy endeavor.

“With Thalé Blanc Statements, I set out to give today’s modern woman, who is as likely to be a corporate executive or actor as she is to be a mother or philanthropist, a new version of what is quintessentially thought of as the ‘LA Look’,” says Deborah Sawaf, creative director of Thalé Blanc. “Think Hollywood meets music meets fashion … it’s a new LA-vibe … a basic with a serious twist that leaves people saying, ‘YOU look beautiful!’”

And from the looks of this collection that goes beyond seasons, not only will female consumers look and feel beautiful, female consumer will powerful, bold, and badass!! This collection is not for the shy of heart, of for those shrinking violets who want to hide in a corner and not be noticed. No sir, this spring 2021 collection is that warrior goddess is ready to her world by storm.

Sawaf’s couturier touches which are synonymous with her Thalé Blanc handbag collection were evident throughout the collection of dresses, coats, tops, skirts, pants, and vests.  Thoughtful detailing like quilted panels along with logo and verbiage printed taping provided sporty edginess that married flawlessly with higher end touches like the most luxurious fabrications in the market today and whimsical plays on proportion that are more commonly seen in the efforts of her avant-garde European counterparts.

Images courtesy of VERY New York

“Every woman is a statement by her very being and what better way to pay tribute to women than by having my collection be a part of my customers’ everyday personal statement,” explained Sawaf. Aptly said, and a perfect name for a collection for women who are unapologetically empowered with clothes that reflect that sense of purpose and confidence!!

William S. Gooch

 

 

 

Imitation of Christ Spring 2021

Imitation of Christ (IOC) was founded in 2000 by Tara Subkoff and Matt Damhave. The pair quickly scored Chloë Sevigny as its first creative director. The label made a huge splash beginning as an art collective and evolving into a fashion line, IOC was called the original upcycler creating pieces entirely from recycled pieces of clothing. Soon Mary-Kate Olsen, Scarlett Johansson, and Maya Rudolph counted among fans.

But the early aughts were a tumultuous time for many fashion houses. IOC’s output was sporadic at best, before ceasing production in 2013. Now two decades after being founded, IOC is rising again with Subkoff handing design reins over to three young designers she mentored.

“These are supercharged creative young artists who had something to say and needed a platform during an incredibly challenging time on the planet,” Subkoff said in a statement. IOC has a new business model and an iron-fist commitment to sustainability.  Upcycling or “resurrecting” existing pieces is the central tenet of Imitation of Christ, and it means that every piece is unique. With the theme of athleticism, Subkoff describes the clothes as “glamorous activewear,”. Subkoff said she was inspired by seeing young women practicing tricks at a skatepark after watching them fall, get back up, and try again until they nailed the trick.  Creative directors Lola Valenti Roberts, Tessa Crockett, and Violet Baudin Lackey created the line mixing glamour with wearability and sustainability.

Only eight looks were shown on a video that featured models skateboarding in the outfits. The clothes were hand sewn from upcycled items. This does lead to some unevenness in terms of color stories and textures, but the general theme of glamour and comfort remain. Some of the combinations were solid.

A stunning brown velvet dress combined with satin sport jersey is a glamorous easy to wear juxtaposition. However, a strapless-tiered prom dress not only looked hopelessly dated, but seemed to undermine the message of the video as the model seen in still shots skateboarding with ease but struggled to move in the voluminous dress. 

Still the patchwork color blocking—so on-trend right now—mixed with Asian touches was done with a deft touch making the separates fun, wearable, and easily incorporated into existing wardrobes. Presenting a video is becoming more common in the age of COVID-19, but another huge difference with IOC is marketing. Typically, most NYFW samples are never mass produced for market and die a slow death in the bottom of storage trunks—aside from a lucky few that are plucked directly from the runway by eagle-eyed stylists.

Images courtesy of Imitation of Christ

But with IOC’s focus on sustainability, they are trying something new. All eight outfits presented in the video will be for sale on The Real Real, a favorite website of Subkoff’s for finding sustainable designer items, with proceeds from the sales going to Black Lives Matter, COVID Relief, and Fridays For Future, Greta Thunberg’s organization.

It will be interesting to see how the public will respond. While the clothes themselves and online bidding will certainly appeal to the youthful consumers that IOC is aiming for, the price point establishes IOC as a luxury brand well beyond the means of most millennials. That said; with a limited amount of stock, even if only a few thousand people are regular buyers with a global reach, that could be more than enough to keep the brand afloat. 

—Cameron Grey Rose

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