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Big-Time Boutiques Hit the Catwalk

(from left) Monique Lhuillier through Maddison Row; Amsale through Bella Bridesmaid; and Jenny Packham through White on Daniel Island. Images courtesy of the designers.

March 12, 2012

Big-Time Boutiques Hit the Catwalk

Charleston’s top bridal shops get ready for the
Charleston Weddings Spring Bridal Show

INTERVIEW BY Melissa Bigner

Last week, we visited with one of the six designers—Callie Tein of Modern Trousseau—who are getting ready for our Spring Bridal Show this March 24. In addition to those dynamos who are sewing their fingers off to get gowns ready for their debut, a handful of amazing area bridal boutiques are meeting with models this week for fittings and the Charleston Fashion Week® (CFW) creative team for hair and makeup concepting. Plus, they’re working the phones hard, confirming with nationally known New York-based designers that their latest gowns will be flown in on time. We’re catching the excitement, and it’s hitting the bubbling over mark even though there are still about 10 days to go. Be sure to snag your tickets now as sales are hopping and all seats are reserved this year. (Click here to purchase.) To hear a little from and about the boutiques, read on. Oh, and speaking of deadlines, there’s less than a month to register for our grand giveaways! Click here for more info.

Maddison Row’s Lindsey Nowak has been crazy-busy since she last sent models down the Charleston Weddings Spring Bridal Show runway. While attending the New York bridal markets last year, she acted as a correspondent for area blogs, then teamed up with Bella Bridesmaid to host a fashion show to school local industry folk in pending trends. She also fashion directed her first e-glossy story and one of her shop’s gowns has landed on the cover of the current issue of Charleston Weddings, too. All the while, Lindsey has tended to bride after bride in questing to find their dream dress. No wonder Maddison Row—with their A-list selection of national designers—is heralded as one of the East Coast’s iconic bridal boutiques. Since Lindsey’s show shocked us last year with its custom-made black feathered gown from Carol Hannah Whitfield, we’re betting she’s got something amazing up her sleeve this go-’round, too. Bring it!
Maddison Row; 171 Spring Street; (843) 720-7979;

Lindsey Weighs In
My boutique is so Charleston because we have dresses for any venue, any time of
day, or any time of year.
The most flattering thing a bride can do is know her body and be realistic about what
looks good.
What’s going on backstage? We’re dancing to the music and cheering on our models.

Bella Bridesmaid made its Charleston debut in 2006 with a host of trunk shows. A year later, Allison Long opened the King Street boutique and has helped legions of bridesmaids into frocks that flatter beyond compare. Visitors to her shop delight in the span of designers she carries, including exclusives like Amsale for Bella Bridesmaid and Jim Hjelm/Alvina Valenta for Bella Bridesmaid. This year, she’s thrilled that color, longer gowns, and more formal silhouettes reign for attendants. Hooray to that and here’s to her rallying cry, “Let’s get fancy!”
Bella Bridesmaid; 341 C King Street; (843) 425-8079;

Allison Weighs In
I’m especially excited about showing new designers, like Dolly Pearl and Lynn Lugo.
The best trend in bridal wear right now is that styles are going back to more formal looks.
Since last year’s show I have added six new designers to our already large collection.
The coolest thing about putting together the show is working with designers to create custom pieces.
If I were to get married today I would wear a huge dress with lots of bling; that would be the total opposite of my gown from six years ago.
Backstage we are having a blast!

We have to admit White owner Jodi Moylan’s 2011 CW Spring Bridal Show blew us away. Yes, we’ve long known she’s got a top shop in town, that she sells high-end gowns from national design houses, and that she’s the sole proprietress to host a champagne bar in her boutique, but we were suitably rocked by the looks she debuted from her self-designed lines: White Couture and YoYo. The blend of sassy and sexy with supreme tailoring was a pure delight to take in. This year, she aims to shock and awe again, she says, and is particularly taken with the ’80s resurgence that she’s seen hither and yon. How that will manifest in the show overall only Jodi knows, but we’re ready to see whatever surprises she’s ready to spring on us, from her own lines and from those nationals she carries, like Jenny Packam, Anne Barge, Amsale, Reem Acra, and more.
White on Daniel Island; 259 Seven Farms Drive; (843) 471-2975;

Jodi Weighs In
Since our last show, I’ve been designing new gowns, selling those in the shop, and loving my job. I’ve also been traveling and checking out how the rest of the world is styling.

The best trend in bridal wear right now is not complying to a trend and instead wearing what feels right and beautiful for you.
I want to see more non-strapless gowns.
The best piece of advice for brides is: don’t settle for liking your dress; love it!
If I were to get married today I would wear something of my own design.
The most flattering thing a bride can do is smile—and mean it!
The one thing every bride should know before she shops for her gown is her budget.
Brides should consider a local designer for a gown to ensure it’s unique and special.
A bride will love my work if she loves Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, and Kate Middleton.

Mon, 03/12/2012