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Bridal Designers 2013
In an industry full of luminary designers, Anne Barge shines among its brightest. As a girl, the Atlanta native made dresses for her dolls, and by college she had filled scores of sketchbooks with gown drawings. Years later, when Anne saw an ad for a nearby Priscilla of Boston trunk show, she rushed over with her portfolio to show it to the fashion house’s then-lead designer, Priscilla Kidder. That bold move netted the belle an apprenticeship under Jim Hjelm, after which she began her fashion career in earnest. Milestones have included opening her first boutique in Atlanta; being acquired by New York’s Kleinfeld; buying for Saks Fifth Avenue bridal salons; acting as managing director of London’s Virgin Bride for Sir Richard Branson; becoming the licensee for Badgley Mischka; and launching The Anne Barge Collection, which comprises four lines. Through the years her work has been lauded in The New York Times, Brides, Martha Stewart Weddings, Town & Country Weddings, and on TheKnot.com, The Today Show, and many more. Celebrities, too, have taken note, with everyone from Julia Ormond to Nicole Scherzinger donning her evening wear for the red carpet. So what draws all the attention? In a sea of classics, Anne creates truly timeless, feminine, standout gowns for the ages. A scholar of costumes and historical fashion, her silhouettes are built on iconic elements, and her frocks are accented with museum-quality beadwork, lace, and detailing. A name since the 1990s, Anne’s star power has only gotten brighter with her 2013 collections, earning more praise and coverage from national titles than ever. To say we are excited to have her at Charleston Weddings Magazine’s Spring Bridal Show is as big an understatement as a girl who whispers “Yes” to her bended knee beau.
What are you looking forward to about coming to Charleston? Charleston is one of my favorite cities in the world and certainly has the best restaurants in the world!
What should we expect to see in your show? Lace gowns, detachable overskirts, non-strapless gowns with unique necklines, color, and tulle
What will surprise them? Ombre lace gowns that go from ivory to blush
What are the must-haves for every bride on her wedding day? An embroidered handkerchief, a garter, and a sixpence
Brides and grooms seeing each other before the ceremony—yay or nay? Nay! There is nothing to equal the groom’s expression when he sees his bride coming down the aisle! That is a “moment.”
What celebrity would be at home in an Anne Barge gown? Anne Hathaway
Image courtesy of the designer
418 King St.
Callie Tein, MODERN TROUSSEAU
Callie Tein of Modern Trousseau has been a darling of the bridal fashion press—Martha Stewart
Weddings, Town & Country Weddings, Inside
Weddings, StyleMePretty.com, and many, many more—for ages. Certainly it’s because her gowns, each handmade “with love” in the label’s Connecticut headquarters, embody a flirty yet elegant and fresh femininity delivered in imported European lace and fine silk tulle. But we think it’s also because the Australia-born graduate of the Royal Melbourne School of Design is as charming as her creations. That mix of personality plus top-of-the-line looks and exquisite materials make Modern Trousseau a natural fit with the Holy City, so it’s little surprise one of the label’s three flagship stores sits a few steps from Marion Square on King Street. This year, we’re especially excited about the impeccably draped and classic tulle confections she’s dreamed up of late, as well as all the colors she’s offering. And if you’re looking for a shortie for all those wedding-related fêtes, check out her late 2012 launch: “Before Long.” The styles are fantastic (see page 131), and the price tags will blow your mind (in a good way).
Runway shows are different from trunk shows in that we debut and set new trends and are able to forecast new directions in couture fashion.
With our 2013 show, you’ll have a first view of styles exclusive to Charleston and new gowns from Spring 2014.
The craziest thing that has happened backstage
was when fashion editors started trying on the gowns on the spot—we had a blast.
Who should a bride bring to shop for gowns? A best friend or her mother or sister. However, keep it small; too many influences are often counterproductive.
The most flattering thing a bride can do is smile confidently…and wear Modern Trousseau!
Photograph courtesy of Modern Trousseau
259 Seven Farms Dr.
Daniel Island, SC
“Blaire” gown (featured above)
Jodi Moylan, White Couture & White on Daniel Island
While White on Daniel Island carries A-list national brands like Jenny Packham, Marchesa, Anne Barge, Amsale, and more, being on a first-name basis with those fashionistas doesn’t taint owner Jodi Moylan’s gal-pal-next-door self, nor does it tweak the relaxed vibe in her decidedly chichi shop. Rather, White’s champagne bar and the ever-barefoot Jodi give any dress appointment there the air of a perfect (and private) party. And surely that’s every bride’s dream come true—trying on the country’s finest gowns in a jewel-box setting with the kind of personalized and pampered attention celebrities usually enjoy? When the Jodi show takes to the runway, fabulously theatrical hair and makeup, rockin’ music, and high-end gowns rule. This year, as excited as she is to reveal the latest looks from her self-designed collection, White Couture, she’s just as fired up to introduce Marchesa to Charleston, as it’s the first time that the illustrious label has been represented in the city.
What have you been noticing lately in bridal fashion? We have seen a change from lace to updated vintage looks with beading and soft overlays.
My favorite trend in bridal wear right now is 1940s styles.
You’ll leave my show feeling energized for sure.
My boutique is “so Charleston” because I never wear shoes! That’s how comfortable the atmosphere is.
When a bride can’t decide on a gown she should drink more champagne! It brings out the decision making.
Photograph courtesy of the designer
Liz White LWD Couture
S ince founding LWD Couture seven years ago,
Liz White, an Asheville, North Carolina-based
designer, has made a name for herself as an expert tailor; champion of sustainable, eco-friendly fashion; and designer of va-va-voom meets elegant silhouettes. In 2011, she was recruited by the green-meets-glamour label Prophetik, and while acting as their lead designer, she created gowns that appeared on the red carpet (Livia Firth, Colin Firth’s wife, wore her gown at the 2011 Golden Globes), on the runway at London’s Fashion Week, and in the Smithsonian. These days, brides flock to Liz for gowns rendered from organic silk and hand-dyed laces, all cast in singularly feminine forms that call to mind screen sirens and goddesses aplenty. American born with a European aesthetic, Liz is known for both one-of-a-kind frocks and one-on-one, bespoke services.
At my show, expect to see luxurious silks in muted tones and a lot of vintage glamour, as if the models just stepped off the set of a classic film.
My inspiration can be a curling leaf or the way a song makes you feel. I translate what surrounds me through fabric.
Every piece I make is one-of-a-kind and sewn only
My work syncs with Charleston because the architecture is stunning and fits with my design aesthetic.
When a bride can’t decide on a gown she should think about what makes her the happiest—is it a specific color, silhouette, texture?
Photograph courtesy of LWD Couture
478 King St.
(contact other designers via their websites)
One Love by Rachel Gordon •
Suite 33 By Emily Papuga • The Fresh Stitch BY CORINNE CITROLO • Treats for Tresses • Birdsong Design
Sometimes it takes a village to pull off a mind-blowing collection. To achieve just that, bridal gown maven Rachel Gordon of One Love has partnered with four other local designers for a spectacle unlike any other that’s graced Charleston Weddings Magazine’s Spring Bridal Show to date. Rounding out the “fab five” are Suite 33 by Emily Papuga (bridesmaid apparel); The Fresh Stitch by Corinne Citrolo (flower girl frocks); Treats for Tresses (hair accessories and belts); and Birdsong Design (jewelry and gown accents). A sneak peek at the collaborative photos the dream team has shared tells us we’re all in for a trip into ethereal luxury, where flowy gowns and romantic dresses exude sexy femininity; little girl getups are nothing but frothy, fantastic affairs; and accessories polish off every look with a touch of glamorous elegance. The collaboration shows not only how rich with talent Charleston’s bridal fashion world has become, but also how graciously its participants can band together to create dynamic ensembles. For brides needing to piece together their wedding day style—and those of their wedding parties—this is good news indeed.
I’m excited about producing a show from handmade, creations entirely fashioned by local designers. —Rachel Gordon, One Love
After seeing our show, Suite 33 will be recognized not only for our custom dresses for any occasion but also for our wearable options for a unique bridal party. —Emily Papuga, Suite 33
People know me for my boldly printed, classic children’s clothes, but they’ll love my new line of irresistible flower girl dresses. —Corinne Citrolo, The Fresh Stitch
Since we first started three years ago, we have
made (and sold) more than 3,000 fascinators and
headbands. But for the show, there will be no
fascinators, very few feathers, and a softer, more
romantic look overall with longer veils. —Marilyn
Rickards, Treats for Tresses
I’m looking forward to seeing traditional looks with a twist, plus all the handcrafted lace gowns with my jewelry pieces mingled in. —Jen Bonoma, Birdsong Design
Photograph by Gregg Lambton-Carr
This year’s Emerging Designer Competition: East was overrun with entrants who’d fashioned bridal gowns, some of which pushed the envelope and others that beautifully reimagined classic styles. Given the onslaught of terrific looks and talent, a separate bridal category was created with its own panel of judges, including Modern Trousseau’s Callie Tein, Fashion Star alums Sarah Parrot (of Bow & Drape) and Nikki Poulus (who produces an eponymous line), Cator Sparks (freelance fashion and design writer for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, and W.com), and Charleston Weddings magazine editorial director, Melissa Bigner. Up for grabs? A turn on the catwalk at the always sold-out Charleston Weddings Magazine’s Spring Bridal Show during Baker Motor Company Charleston Fashion Week®, media coverage, and an internship at Modern Trousseau’s design and dress production headquarters in Connecticut. Across the board, the judges picked Brooke Ray, a Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) graduate from Marietta, Georgia, as the winner. Her fluid sketches impart a sophistication that far exceeds her 24 years, and sample shots of her real-life gowns reveal her deftness for layering deconstructed fabrics into corseted, full-skirted gowns that radiate femininity without fuss. A peek at her drawings and an idea of her prowess with the needle and thread made giving her a chance in the spotlight a near no-brainer. We’re not sure who is more excited about what she will fashion for her show—Brooke herself or those who recognize her as a budding and noteworthy talent.
Photograph by Michelle Russ