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Showing: bridal gowns
Details: 4128 Crosshaven Ln., Birmingham, AL
Facebook: Heidi Elnora
Heidi Elnora is one heck of a busy wedding belle. The Alabama native—whose eponymous line has been praised by Town & Country Weddings, Lucky Magazine, Daily Candy Atlanta, getmarried, and more—now has two exclusive gallery shops in Atlanta and Birmingham, and her gowns also appear in boutiques from New York to Missouri. Then there was that stint on season two of Project Runway. Get the point? The Savannah College of Art and Design grad’s Southern-meets-siren dresses resonate far and wide. As for us, we adore her current concept: pick a silhouette from her menu of “girls,” then add on details—sleeves, embellishments, and the like—á la carte. The end result is a custom, couture creation handmade by artisans in Georgia and Alabama. As for her Charleston debut? Bring the belle on!
In my 2011 collection, the thing I’m most excited about all the detail and craftsmanship and how it showcases a true Southern girl’s sense of style—charm and sophistication.
My inspiration wall is covered with images from the French countryside—white-washed barns, dilapidated buildings, Victorian chandeliers, silver spoons—and vintage buttons, ribbons, lace, and tulle.
My favorite material to work with is raw silk because it is simple and understated but completely elegant and flawless.
I describe my design aesthetic as prim + posh; I cater to brides who have a unique sense of style.
My craziest time in the fashion business has been January 2011, when I juggled two Heidi Elnora stores, 75 brides, 12 employees, and my three-month-old baby.
I think every bride should take a moment to reflect on the journey that got her to her special day.
Showing: bridal gowns
Details: 100 Church St., Charleston, SC
Last year Belle Couture Bridal owner Sarah Black reached a major milestone when she moved her shop over the bridge and South of Broad to a quaint Church Street storefront. The new address suits BCB to a letter, considering that neck of the woods is all about sublime style and updated classics. Brides craving stellar craftsmanship will be thrilled with the sumptuous looks from nationally heralded designers that Sarah’s picked for this year’s show—think Christos, Kenneth Pool, Melissa Sweet, and Romona Keveza—and we can’t wait to take in the copious beadwork she says she’s going to showcase.
My dream celebrity bride is Vanessa Minnillo.
The perfect gown fits great, has soft, feminine ruffles and a touch of sparkles.
The best first dance wedding song is something light and fun, like Chris Brown’s “Forever.”
My favorite thing to do is meet a new bride and help her find her dream gown.
My favorite gowns for spring 2011 are Christos’ “Kandace,” Kenneth Pool’s “Serafina,” and Melissa Sweet’s “Gigi.
Showing: bridal gowns, accessories, and “couture flowers”
100 Church St.,
(843) 754-5464 (studio); (843) 881-3449 (shop)
KIRA ELIZABETH DESIGNS
Kira Schlepp’s first fashion foray was as a crafty dressmaker to her dolls. Years later, she went to college and found she could fold her love of design—in art, costumes, and architecture, even—into her passion for clothing. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, she worked with several New York wedding designers and logged years at one of the country’s largest bridal shops before turning full-time designer. As for what she’s sending down the runway? Look for everything from romantic, billowing confections to architectural creations.
My mood board is covered with inspiring dresses, architectural and city photos, and sketches.
If I could tell brides anything, it would be don’t let others influence your decisions—it’s your wedding!
When I work, I always have Lifetime movies playing in the background—don’t laugh!
Showing: bridal gowns
58 Broad St., 3rd floor, Charleston, SC
Facebook:Alena Fede Fashion Design
Charleston Wedding Dress
By ALENA FEDE
Though Alena Fede is making her debut at Charleston Weddings Spring Bridal Show 2011, she’s no stranger to Charleston Fashion Week®, as the Russian-born designer was a finalist for the Emerging Designer Competition in 2009. Those familiar with her ready-to-wear style won’t be surprised by her transition to wedding apparel, as the same classic look—sensuous, textured fabrics draped in body-conscious fashion with frothy accents—have shifted to gown form. Expect to see “one-of-a-kind, handmade silk gowns that celebrate modern silhouettes,” says Alena. While we can’t wait to see how that plays out, Alena herself says she can’t wait for the audience reaction. Sounds like a marriage of great expectations founded on Old World talent.
My dream celebrity bride would be Demi Moore.
I get inspiration from everything vintage; the runways of Milano, Paris, New York; fashion designers like Melissa Sweet, Romona Keveza, Rosa Clara, Vera Wang; wedding magazines and online industry coverage from all over the world.
My proudest moment in the fashion business came six months after I moved to the U.S., when I became a finalist for the Emerging Designer Competition during CFW 2009. I showed my ready-to-wear collection, Victorian style with lots of ruffles and lace.
My craziest fashion moment has been designing for a runaway bride.
My favorite materials to work with are different kinds of silk—chiffon, charmeuse, dupioni, and taffeta,
plus tulle for decoration.
In addition to designing, I also paint, draw, and travel around the world.
My design process involves sketching, draping, making patterns, ordering fabric, cutting, and hand sewing and hand beading.
When I am working, I listen to house or lounge music.
Showing: bridal gowns, veils, and headpieces
171 Spring St., Charleston, SC
Monday-Saturday, by appointment
Certain shops boast traffic-stopping window displays. Maddison Row, at the corner of Spring and Presidents streets in Charleston’s Wedding Quarter, is one such place, and manager Lindsey Nowak says she knows her featured gowns are particularly spectacular when passersby honk in approval. It may not be what you’d expect from a high-end bridal boutique, but MR is not your run-of-the-mill store: think upper-tier chic with a down-to-earth delivery. Tune into their show for a mix of cutting-edge national designers and classics, plus “anything with layers of ruffled tiers and beaded blinged-out belts,” says Lindsey.
My dream celebrity bride is Kate Middleton.
At our runway show, expect to see classic couture gowns with an edge.
I’m most excited about our new gowns because they reflect the wide personality of Charleston and showcase quality designs and workmanship.
If I could tell brides anything it would be don’t sweat the small stuff!
Showing: cocktail and attendant dresses
Details: 341 King St., Ste. C, Charleston, SC
Every Bella Bridesmaid shop carries a host of different lines, and lucky for Charleston, we’ve scored some of the best, in part because several brands have local ties (like LulaKate and Carol Hannah, whose gowns debuted nationally at the Charleston Weddings Bridal Show in 2010), and in part because owner Allison Long knows Lowcountry brides adore high style. She’s most excited about showing fresh Amsale chiffons, Carol Hannah dresses, and Monique Lhuillier stunners as each will make their first Holy City appearance, and each is exclusive to Bella Bridesmaid.
My proudest moments in the fashion business have been receiving thank-you notes from brides.
My craziest moment in the business has been meeting Randy from Kleinfeld at the Martha Stewart Weddings party in New York last year.
The perfect bridesmaid gown has texture, texture, and more texture.
I think every bride should have 20 bridesmaids!
Showing: bridal gowns
Details: 418 King St.,
Facebook: Modern Trousseau Charleston
T his spring heralds two big-time bridal happenings for Charleston: Modern Trousseau’s store—second only to its flagship boutique—is opening on King, and the line’s nationally lauded designer—Callie Tein—is making her first appearance at the Charleston Weddings Magazine’s Spring Bridal Show. For those new to MT, it’s known for classic, elegant gowns where lace stars. But that’s not because Australia-native Callie goes overboard with the textile; rather, her deft combinations of textures, patterns, and fabrics create a sublime chorus that accents a gown rather than overpowers it. We’re excited to see her latest looks, and ecstatic that the shop will feature a handful of Charleston-exclusive gowns, too.
I’m most excited about the fabrics in my latest collection because we search the world to find the best silks and laces.
I get inspiration from all the brides I meet and the feedback they give me.
I think every bride should consider a silhouette that best fits her body type.
The craziest moments I have in the fashion business happen while preparing for New York Bridal Market
My favorite material to work with is French lace.
My design studio is in Connecticut; all of my gowns are designed and made with love in the U.S.
I cater to brides who appreciate fine fabric and great silhouettes.
My design process involves sketching out ideas, then draping silks and laces on dress forms to decide how to best incorporate them into a finished gown.
Showing: bridal and attendant gowns and dresses
Details: 259 Seven Farms Dr.
Daniel Island, SC
Massachusetts-born Jodi Moylan and Poland-born Jolanta (Yola) Majowicz make quite the dynamic duo as the designers behind YoYo Designs, carried exclusively at Jodi’s Daniel Island shop, White. Each gown—whether a bridesmaid frock or bridal dress—has ebullient verve that comes across in crisp collars, sweet pockets, or sexy halters, and flirtatious fabric choices with lengths that sweep the floor or skim the thigh. The perfect union of girlish elements and womanly refinement, this spring’s collection is “inspired by the ’70s, with color and fun,” says Jodi. And, she adds, it’s all about freedom—freedom of spirit, body, and fabric. Fun and freedom? Sounds like classic YoYo.
My dream celebrity bride would be Scarlett Johanssen or Halle Barry (Yola).
We’re most excited about the European sophistication and hints of blue, lemon, and pink in our latest collection because most wedding gowns are white or ivory (Yola).
And I can’t wait to show our easy, free-flowing designs that go against the constructed norm (Jodi).
If we could tell brides anything, it would be if there is only one custom-made garment in your life, make it your wedding gown (Yola). And don’t just like your gown—love it (Jodi)!
I think every bride should have a custom gown that is anything but run-of-the-mill (Yola).
I get inspiration from amazing textiles, world travel, and my imagination (Yola).
Every bride should make sure her gown enhances—not overpowers—her overall look (Yola).
Our proudest fashion moments were in Poland, when I had my own line and saw people wearing it and awaiting my new collections (Yola). When I opened my second store here (Jodi).
Our craziest fashion moments were when two brides fought over one of my dresses (Yola). And every Saturday in February (Jodi).
Our favorite fabrics to work with are luxurious, textured, and embroidered silk and lace because they make a piece dynamic, rich, and interesting (Yola). Mine is silk shantung because it is light, organic, and easy to sew (Jodi).
My inspiration board is filled with sketches and pieces of fabric (Yola).
My studio is the best place in my home. It’s like a playground full of toys and is my fantasy land where magic happens (Yola).
My design process involves understanding the customer’s personality (Yola).
Showing: bridal gowns
Details: 259 Seven Farms Dr.
Daniel Island, SC
Jodi Moylan stormed onto the Charleston bridal scene in 2001. Since then she’s opened shops in North Charleston and on Daniel Island, debuted two original lines (one her own solo effort, White Couture, the second a collaboration, see YoYo Designs), and brought several national designers to the area for the first time. Her clients love her spunk and sass (her DI shop has its own martini bar), how she celebrates copious styles, and that she stocks gowns to suit everyone from goddess gals to the country club set. She tells us she’s fired up about her 2011 gowns as they are all about dimension, flowers, and light pops of color. Yum!
My dream celebrity bride is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
The perfect gown is amazingly constructed with clean lines—and a little something special—from beautiful fabric.
If I could tell brides anything, it would be make the dress-shopping process fun by keeping an open mind.
My craziest fashion moment was right before the 2010 Charleston Weddings Bridal Show.
My favorite thing to do in the shop is trying on gowns.
Outside the shop, I like to run, golf, and play with my dog, Tico.
The three words that best describe my shop are experienced, fun, relaxed.
I get excited when new gowns come in!
The best first dance wedding song is “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison.
My proudest fashion moment was when I sold my first custom-designed gown.