International bridal designers you may not know

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month we wanted to take a few minutes to recognize some incredible women who design some of the most stunning gowns in the weddings industry. Women are accomplishing wonderful things around the world every day and these ladies contribute to one of happiest moments in someone’s life by creating masterpieces for them to wear on the day they get married.

Alessandra Rinaudo- Italy

In the workshop in Saluzzo, Alessandra Rinaudo, watched the work of her grandmother and mother. There, she learned to appreciate the quality of a French lace, to identify the best Italian silk, to capture the value of embroidery to exalt the beauty and originality of a dress. In expanding the company she has been able to satisfy a variegated target creating six lines with a defined character: Nicole, Alessandra Rinaudo, Colet, Jolie, Romance, Aurora.

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Anna Campbell- Australia

From humble beginnings in Melbourne, Australia Anna Campbell‘s natural love for design, romance and all things that sparkle inspired the dream that is Anna Campbell. Inspired by the romantic decadence of times gone by, yet influenced by the relaxed, carefree elegance of modern weddings. From the beautiful collection of dresses that Anna designs each year, every incredible silk gown is completely customizable and unique to each bride.

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Celestina Agostino- Paris

At age 30, Celestina Agostina returned to her initial passion which was fashion, sewing and creating beautiful wedding dresses for women. Learning her skills from a costume designer, Celestina Agostino went onto open her own couture house in Paris in 1993. her intuitive approach to design, that starts with an interview so that Celestina can get to know her client inside-out and create a gown that matches her personality and her personal world. Grounded in design expertise, her instinctive methods have paid off with an international clientele whether they want to look like a Jane Austen heroine, a Hollywood icon or a natural, boho bride.

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Ersa Atlier- Romania

Two sisters, Gabriela and Cristina Antonescu graduate The National school of Fine Arts in Bucharest, Romania. They meet Doina Levința, the most famous Romanian designer and scenographer.  After spending more than 7 years in apprenticeship, they opened their own atelier in Bucharest, Romania. Soon after they start showcasing their craftsmanship and creativity internationally. In 2013, Ersa styles take America by storm, during the 4th Annual Bridal Show in Chicago.

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Celia Kritharioti- Greece

Designer Celia Kritharioti is a globally distinguished designer and owner of the oldest Greek fashion house, which was established in Athens in 1906. Her talent, vision and aesthetics reflect on all her creations. Her mission is to present the best image possible of every woman who chooses Celia Kritharioti creation.  Celia had the honor of designing the costumes for the Greek National Opera productions of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Swanlake” She presented her first ever show in Paris during Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture on January 25th 2017.

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Mona Lisa Bridal Gallery

While I was thinking about who I wanted to work with for my upcoming published shoot in Elegant Wedding Magazine it took seconds for me to know with a certainty that I wanted the dresses to be from Mona Lisa Bridal Gallery.

I had been trying for the better part of a year to go and visit Frances and her hubby over there and of course planning weddings and life in general got in the way so here was my chance!

Tucked away just north of Toronto in Woodbridge, this bridal studio is run by the one of the sweetest women in the industry. I value humility and a genuine caring spirit and Frances personifies all of it. When I arrived, she was finishing up with a client and I was more than happy to wait. I could overhear bits of the conversation and was able to hear the bride speaking with such confidence over her choice in dress.

Customer service is paramount in this industry rather than getting the sale and I have seen so many missed opportunities to bond with clients and create trusting relationships with them. It’s so much more than just the sale and at Mona Lisa Bridal, you are always going to get a very one on one, in-depth consultation- that isn’t rushed.

Once the studio was clear of brides, I went straight to the back happily anticipating the glitter, tulle, crystal embellishment and all things uber girly. They didn’t disappoint. Frances was at the tail end of her Naama & Anat trunk show. I had never heard of this designer, so she explained they were a Israeli mother daughter duo that custom designed bridal couture. Let me just start by saying wow! I was in awe of some of these gowns and my initial choice in gowns from a completely different designer quickly faded away.

She pulled out a few pieces (they were jaw dropping sort of gorgeous!) and we spent a good half hour going over the look I wanted.  Mona Lisa Bridal also has a stunning collection of designer gowns by Julie Vino, Alma Novia, A & J Designers, Liancarlo, Rosa Clara and Sareh Nouri.

Needless to say, I found the “dream dresses” for my shoot and I left a happy little planner! To my dear Frances and her amazing hubby, thank you both SO much for being a part of the shoot and I know we will be working together again sooner rather than later!

XO- Ash

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Designer Spotlight: Carolina Herrera

“I have a responsibility to the woman of today- to make her feel confident, modern and above all else beautiful”– Carolina Herrera

Before taking a quick sneak peak at her newest collection fresh off the runway, here are some interesting life facts about the incredible designer, Carolina Herrera:

  • She was born and raised Venezuela and traveled at a young age and was exposed to fashion very early.
  • 1987  she launched first bridal collection and year later her first fragrance
  • 1996 Carolina Herrera de Baez joins as creative director at Herrera’s House of Fragrances
  • 1999 She opened her first flagship boutique in NY on Madison Ave and 75th
  • 2004 she received the Council of Fashion Designers of America “Womenswear Designer of the year” and the Glamour “Woman of the Year award”
  • 2008 The Council of Fashion Designers of America honors Carolina Herrera with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2010 receives the distinguished “Mercedes-Benz Presents” title for her Spring collection
  • 2014 she received The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion

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To see the rest of her 2018 Spring bridal collection go to http://www.carolinaherrera.com/

Photography: Courtesy of Carolina Herrera