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Destination I Do
Monday, August 22, 2011

Destination Wedding Dresses: Top Designers Give Bridal Insight!

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Salzman, Claire Pettibone, Ines Di Santo & Anne Barge

Summer is winding down and fall is finally on the horizon. To prepare destination brides for the upcoming Fall Fashion scene, Destination I Do interviewed four of the wedding industry’s most talented designers - Jennifer Salzman, Claire Pettibone, Ines Di Santo and Anne Barge. Below you’ll find the inside scoop on the designers' upcoming collections, the dress to fit your body type and what trends to avoid.

Jennifer Salzman

Formerly of Prada and D&G, Jennifer now creates her own line of glamorous, elegant and Italian-inspired dresses. Her use of Swarovski crystals, French lace, ruffled skirts and bubbled tiers create a unique collection perfect for the modern bride. From dramatic tulle princess gowns to the perfect beaded mermaid dress, Jennifer Salzman’s keen eye for fit and proportion continue to set her apart.

DIDO: What are some new trends emerging in bridal? What trends are we going to see on the runway next year?

JS: Brides are definitely embracing sleeves mostly in tulle or lace, both long and short. I have noticed that my recent brides are going for a more demure look, at least down the aisle. But they are not foregoing fashion and individuality. For the upcoming runway shows, I hope to see trains because they haven't been a major trend in quite some time. I have always been a fan of the back of the gown, or what I like to call "the exit."

DIDO: What is your best-selling dress?

JS: Our best-selling gown is named "Gardenia." It just seems to fit every figure. I've sold it in size 2 and size 20. It has a subtle dropped waist with lots of boning to hold the figure in place. Then it flares out slightly making the waist look tiny. It comes with or without lace detail on each cascading layer.

The "Gardenia":

DIDO: What would be the ideal gown for a destination wedding?

JS: If the destination is a warm climate, I suggest something light and airy, such as chiffon, charmeuse or Chantilly lace. Chiffon does not tend to wrinkle like duchesse and taffeta. If I were having a destination wedding, I might also consider having fun with color such as style 408, "Mimosa", which is a subtle white to powder pink ombre chiffon, veiled in Chantilly lace.

I love "Mimosa" because it is so elegantly easy:

DIDO: Give us a little preview of what is to be expected from your newest collection!

JS: My new collection is based on more classic styles, but has heavier beading than any of my previous collections.

DIDO: What are trends which are on their way out and might be good for brides to avoid?

JS: What I love about bridal is that there are really no set rules. Every woman is different and has a different idea of what she wants to look like for that one night. She may want to look very dramatic and be enveloped in yards and yards of fabric, some want to feel like a princess, and others may opt for a simple dress she can dance in all night. The bride sets the stage of her wedding starting with the invitations and dress code. Then she is the star of the show and the guest of honor. I've been to many weddings and the brides all looked different, and their wedding gowns completely reflected their individual personalities. I think brides should have fun with what they wear.

DIDO: We get lots of questions about what type of gown fits a certain body type best. Is there any bridal cut that's the most flattering or always a good bet?

JS: In my experience, a slightly dropped waist is very flattering and a subtle sweetheart neckline seems to fit every figure

Claire Pettibone

Claire Pettibone specializes in ethereal dresses with a playful, vintage look; truly for a bohemian girl who wants to stand apart from the crowd. Claire’s romantic and ultra-feminine line incorporates jeweled eyelet lace, silk floral appliques and detailed European trimmings.

DIDO: What are some new trends emerging in bridal? What trends are we going to see on the runway next year?

CP: Soft, flowing, often evening wear silhouettes, with special details. With all the DIY inspired weddings, that “personal touch” is making its way to the gown as well. Next year, lace will be back in a big way, and of course sleeves! You will see lots of details that accent the waist and neckline.

DIDO: What is your best-selling dress?

CP: "Kristene" has Victorian inspired embroidery that has a very vintage look, and really sets the theme for many brides:

The "Kristene":

DIDO: What would be the ideal gown for a destination wedding?

CP: You want a light, easy gown with a relaxed silhouette to reflect the “vacation vibe” of a destination wedding. For example, "Queen Anne’s Lace", "Cloisonne" or "Willow."

"Queen Anne's Lace":

DIDO: Give us a little preview of what is to be expected from your newest collection!

CP: It’s all in the details! Antique gold will be featured in some of the fabrics and embellishments.

DIDO: What are trends which are on their way out and might be good for brides to avoid?

CP: I think the pick-up skirt has had its moment, and the colored sash may be about ready to retire.

DIDO: We get lots of questions about what type of gown fits a certain body type best. Is there any bridal cut that's the most flattering or always a good bet?

CP: Petite – A sheath or empire silhouette will make you look longer, and stay away from gowns that cut at the waist, since that divides you in half! Think long, vertical lines! For example, "Constance" or "Faye."

"Faye":

"Constance":

Curvy – accent your curves and bring the focus up to the neckline.

The "Orange Blossom":

Pear Shape - if you want to camouflage a full hip, a gown with a defined high waistline can be very flattering such as "Luna" or "Norah."

The "Luna":

The "Norah":

Ines Di Santo

The Ines Di Santo Collection is known for marrying sculpted, polished bodices with sumptuously layered skirts and romantic detailing. The effect has garnered the brand an eager client base of discerning and celebrity brides. Her well-recognized designs are carried at luxury retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.

DIDO: What are some new trends emerging in bridal? What trends are we going to see on the runway next year?

IDS: The best trend that I see emerging in bridal is the Kate Middleton fascinator. We are going to see more non-strapless gowns, with interesting necklines inspired by Kate Middleton’s dress.

DIDO: What is your best-selling dress?

IDS: Our best-selling dress is our "Turquoise" gown. The Turquoise gown is made of Italian Silk and features an elegant rouched sweetheart bodice and extreme dropped waist, mushroom hem and interesting bow detail at side knee. This gown is sold at retail stores such as Roma Sposa in Michigan and Bergdorf Goodman in New York.

Ines Di Santo’s "Turquoise" gown:

DIDO: What would be the ideal gown for a destination wedding?

IDS: A dress is a personality. The environment does not have to dictate the style. Where one bride would wear a soft chiffon dress and the other would wear a full tulle, airy gown.

Below is Ines Di Santo’s "Telula" gown, which would be classified as a soft chiffon gown brides might wear for their destination wedding.

"Telula" gown:

Below is Ines Di Santo’s "Venezia" gown, which would be classified as a full tulle, airy gown brides might also wear for their destination wedding.

"Venezia" gown:

DIDO: Give us a little preview of what is to be expected from your newest collection!

IDS: Well that’s top secret, but here are three words on what is expected to come: Tailored, Romantic and Classic.

DIDO: What are trends which are on their way out and might be good for brides to avoid?

IDS: Trends that are on their way out are gowns with pickups.

DIDO: We get lots of questions about what type of gown fits a certain body type best. Is there any bridal cut that's the most flattering or always a good bet?

IDS: The most flattering cut would be an A-line gown, as it suits various body types.

Ines Di Santo’s "Aurelie" gown, which is classified as an A-line gown:


Anne Barge


Anne Barge is known for having impeccable quality both in construction and fit. Anne’s use of pure silk couture fabrics paired with simple clean lines beautifully modernizes vintage couture. With careful attention given to every detail, many of her designs are accented with delicate embroidery and beading.

DIDO: What are some new trends emerging in bridal? What trends are we going to see on the runway next year?

AB: I think we’ll see refined beauty, a return of the classic ball gown, sleeves, and interesting necklines.

DIDO: What is your best-selling dress?

AB: The 612 dress is the best-selling. The asymmetrical layered tulle skirt with train creates a gorgeous silhouette.

The 612:


DIDO: What would be the ideal gown for a destination wedding?

AB: The 617 dress would be lovely for a destination wedding. It has a strapless neckline and Alencon lace over a silk Charmeuse skirt.

The 617:

DIDO: Give us a little preview of what is to be expected from your newest collection!

AB: Our newest collection is going to be a modernized twist on classic. It is ethereal ladylike beauty combined with understated elegance.

DIDO: What are trends which are on their way out and might be good for brides to avoid?

AB: I think the shredded texture skirt is on its way out.

DIDO: We get lots of questions about what type of gown fits a certain body type best. Is there any bridal cut that's the most flattering or always a good bet?

The "Peyton" is a popular gown for plus size brides. The dress features a lace bodice with pick-up ball gown skirt:

The "Raleigh" is great for girls with generous bust:

The "Piper" is flattering for a girl who has larger hips:

The "Harper" is an excellent option for a petite girl:

Hopefully this post has given future destination brides out there a helpful place to start when looking for your dream dress and some insight into what's up and coming in the wedding dress industry! Happy shopping!

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