Bridal has its mainstays, and you’ve undoubtedly heard their names before–multiple times. That voluminous textured ball gown with a corseted bodice is most likely a bespoke Vera Wang creation; your dear friend’s silk faille A-line gown adorned with hand-cut lace, or another’s perfectly-tailored, sculptural mermaid silhouette was probably found after an appointment with Oscar de la Renta or Carolina Herrera. You also won’t be surprised upon hearing that the hand-embroidered tulle confection your college roommate wore to her Lake Como nuptials was by Monique Lhuillier or Marchesa–and the list goes on. But, in the past few seasons, bridal’s annual fashion seasons (which follow the ready-to-wear collections in October and April) have proved especially exciting for the bride seeking something unexpected–from a designer she’s never heard of. Graduates of these famed fashion houses, established household names with an eye on the bridal market and some new kids on the block have ushered in a more competitive, dynamic and diverse bridal fashion scene for those looking to stand out from the Chantilly-clad pack. No matter what your personal style, these new talents (who hail from the U.S. and the world over) are driving the of-the-moment bridal conversation, offering twists on the traditional staples we’ve grown accustomed to. Introducing: bridal’s new guard.

Christos Costarellos

Greek native Christos Costarellosmerges the ease of the Mediterranean with the construction, attention to detail and fabric quality of a Parisian house. Often utilizing multiple laces to create one single silhouette, this designer is never looking for the easy way out when it comes to designing for his beloved polished bohemian. Imagine discovering new details in each fitting and up until your wedding day–from hand cut fluttery appliqués used to create that much more texture and dimension to a softly frayed hem intended to make the wearer appear effortless to a soft puckering atop a single tier in your skirt. This is the brand for those who are torn between going barefoot on the beach or airing on the side of something more refined.

Yolan Cris

Family business Yolan Cris was launched by Barcelona-based sister duo Cristina and Yolanda, who manage the design and business behind the brand respectively. The sisters grew up in a bridal salon–their mother owned a gown shop in Spain–and so they understand as well as we do how over-saturated the wedding world has become. The sameness of bridal fashion can make anyone go ivory blind; and over time gowns seem to merge into one large meringue of tulle, lace, beading and pleats. That’s why this label seems to understand the importance of creating gowns with personality, intention and a point of view. Yolan Cris is packed with polarizing styles that pack a punch and instantly speak to an individual, an aesthetic and an individual style sensibility. If you’re after something regal, be it neo-Victorian, opulent and glamorous or a touch gothic, they get you. If you’re after something sexy and sultry, they have that too; and if you’re thinking you’re more of a free-spirited boho, you’re covered. You won’t be starved for options with this brand, both their bridal and evening collections are expansive, but minimalism is in no way part of their vocabulary. The one through line? Each gown is designed with unexpected fabrics, never-before-seen laces, brocades and silks and delivers a fresh point of view to the bridal mix.

Elie Saab

We’re well aware that this isn’t necessarily a new name to know–but their bridal collection is well worth noting. Let’s be real, this is one of the labels we’ve been dying to have design made-to-order bridal for ages. With two seasons of bridal under their belt, Elie Saab no longer caters to brides solely in a Couture capacity. Now, rather than hopping on a plane to Paris for private atelier appointments and fittings (which you can still do, and it’s fabulous), you can also visit boutiques in Miami, New York City, Beverly Hills and in 12 other countries to try on gowns from the brand’s bridal range. The gowns are as you’d expect from the runway vet and Haute Couturier–beautifully executed, undeniably romantic, lace-heavy and absolutely breathtaking. Unlike most bridal lines who focus solely on the gowns, Elie Saab launched with a full range of accessories and toppers for the bride, so brides with the budget to do so can style themselves from head-to-toe.

Odylyne The Ceremony

Designer Stephanie White’s Los Angeles home base and fashion background come together in Odylyne The Ceremony–a bridal and bridesmaids collection that is equal parts California cool and desert bohemienne. With an indie affinity for fabrics that are outside the bridal box, like laces with celestial motifs, White draws from her dreamy inspirations like theatre, art history, poetry and music to create equally romantic silhouettes complete with super long trains, statement sleeves and cool capes. Her most recent collection, Star Crossed Lovers, drew inspiration from Baz Luhrmann’s rendition of Romeo & Juliet–the gothic yet modern takes on Renaissance costuming resulted in pieces that were equal parts enchanting and daring.

Chana Marelus

Remember royal wedding mania? How could we forget when the Duchess of Cambridge’s Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton gown gave made it chic for brides to consider covering up once again (even if they weren’t dressing for the Abbey). Then, the rise of the super sexy bride emerged, with head-to-toe illusion gowns, open backs, plunging-V necklines and sheer skirts in tow. Gowns that leave little to the imagination are a feat of fashion engineering–but they can leave little room for actual design. Chana Marelus, based in Israel’s Bnei Brak, an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community just outside of Tel Aviv, answered the call of her conservative clientele: those with a religious, customary need to cover up–but wanting to do so with the style and taste level of the Paris runways. In her bridal and evening range, sleeves and high necklines are a given; so are jaw-dropping beadwork, stunning long trains and impressive texture plays. With the silhouette options slightly limited, Marelus experiments with color, beading, texture and detail–expect a perfect fit, dramatic capes and skirts and details that hearken to Haute Couture.

Suzanne Harward

Australian designer Suzanne Harward has been creating bridal looks in Melbourne since 1975, but has recently landed on American soil with stockists in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Dallas. Her collections offer something for every bride, and with a current point of view, she merges trend-driven concepts with a keen understanding of her diverse clientele. Her latest collections celebrated clean lines and a neo-Victorian vibe, offering a series of short, high-low, sheath, A-line, fit and flare and ball gown silhouettes with details like chic cut-outs, textural fabrications, 3D appliqués and micro-pleating that felt fresh, fashion-forward and sophisticated.

Caroline Hayden

Minnesota-based Caroline Haydenknows her clientele; she launched her first collection, Fall 2016, after years of designing bespoke ready-to-wear, evening and bridal in the midwest. Her hybrid bridal-meets-RTW debut focused on three color ways in three fabrications, all of which were designed to be wrinkle-free and withstand the test of time. Separates are key to this collection’s cool factor, where silhouettes gain visual interest, versatility and dimension with each added capelet, vest or pleated-collared blouse. Her smart fabrics are as intelligent as her multi-piece looks, which encourage brides to find ways to wear their special-day separates post-wedding.

Viktor & Rolf

The wedding industry (and bridal salon owners in particular) feel a certain type of deep-seated glee when the news of a heritage brand like Lanvin, a rule-defying label like Vivienne Westwood or a Haute Couturier like Viktor & Rolf(or Elie Saab) is designing a made-to-order collection for the aisle. For Spring 2017, the launch of Viktor & Rolf Mariage wowed us with a 20+ piece range so well-rounded that it seemed a V&R bride would have to look no further, even when on the market for multiple looks. The collection’s two jumpsuits were the perfect after-party or rehearsal dinner options and a convertible embroidered gown (a 2-in-1 style that could have fallen prey to looking overwrought and crafty) effortlessly transitioned from an A-line silhouette to a chic mini. Our favorite look? A sweet collared shift dress that would be the perfect mod nod to any civil ceremony.

Hermoine de Paula

Stints at Dior, Galliano, McQueen and Giles (and a degree from Central Saint Martins) prepared British designer Hermoine de Paula for her foray into bespoke bridal. Her flair for “romantic surrealism” in both her prints and her design motifs results in sheaths that surprise upon closer inspection. Think a scatter of fuschia fabric petals on a bride’s train, a wreath of pastel blossoms framing a keyhole back or a sentimental line of poetry or wedding date threaded into a waistline or cuff. Consistently inspired by the flora and fauna of English gardens and the countryside, expect motifs that look and feel equal parts luxe and organic. Looking to find this label stateside? LOHO Bride recently added them to their Los Angeles stock.


In case you missed the memo: Yes. Creative Director Josep Font of Delpozo designs bridal–stellar bridal at that. Fashion girls the world over have been coveting these gowns for seasons; but for those who didn’t know about the designers capsule for the aisle, your style prayers have been answered. Dramatic silhouettes, innovative appliqués and the softest of silk tulles are available through the brand’s Miami flagship boutique and through select online retailers like Lane Crawford.


Downtown NYC based designer Meredith Stoecklein is all about keeping things simple, easy-to-wear and inspired by the key women in her life. A conversation about LEIN’s six-piece capsule debut immediately turns the designer’s grandmother and her five sisters, whose elegance and singular personalities inspired the line. From the swiss dot A-line midi skirt and puff-sleeved cropped jacket to a sharp jumpsuit with a plunging ruffled neckline, each look speaks to a different bride and celebration, from a cosmopolitan’s loft party to a low-key vow exchange on the beach. Like some other key names on this list–we’re talking about the smart RTW-bridal hybrids like Houghton, Locke and Caroline Hayden, LEIN isn’t intended to speak only to the aisle–Stoecklein’s goal is to have her brides in her pieces long after the big day.

Mira Zwillinger

After proving themselves for the past six seasons in the U.S. (they were mainstays in Israel for years before landing stateside), Tel Aviv-based mother-daughter duo Mira and Lihi Zwillinger are well on their way to cementing their point of view on the American bridal market. Known for their incredibly delicate appliqués, second-skin illusion net necklines and weightless volume, this family-run atelier uses soft color (think barely-there nude and soft, cloudy greys) and the highest quality fabrics to create silhouettes for any occasion. If you are seeking a romantic style with a European sensibility, their website should be in your bookmarks.


Inspired by style icons Katharine Hepburn, Bianca Jagger and Patti Smith, this line is the epitome of laid-back luxury. Designer Katharine Polk’s bridal collection seamlessly transitions into her ready-to-wear offerings, creating pieces worth wearing more than once and bridal separates that allow for some styling freedom and post-nuptial mixing and matching. Houghton’s bridal outerwear like a satin bomber with “Not Your Baby” artfully emblazoned on the back and a wide range of fur toppers separate this line from the others offering separates. A variety of easy-to-wear silhouettes will attract the bride who is turned off by corsetry, ballgowns and sweetheart necklines. One visit to their New York City studio or one of their many nationwide retailers and brides in the know will get it: Polk designs clothes brides want to wear.

Kaviar Gauche

German design duo Alexandra Fischer-Roehler and Johanna Kühl launched Kaviar Gauche with a guerilla fashion show outside of Colette in Paris in 2004. And their bridal collection that followed in 2009 retains the brand’s young, fresh perspective and understanding of what modern women want. Case in point: their pret-a-porter bridal collection available for purchase online at accessible price points. If you’re looking for details that feel unexpected, feminine and undeniably wearable, Kaviar Gauche is worth adding to your online shopping cart.

One Day

Introducing: the Aussie downtown it-girl. One Day taps into the irreverent cool and effortlessness of Abbot Kinney, Paris and SoHo for easy, chic looks with a dose of glamour. Geared toward the bride who wants something “a little less bridal, a little more modern,” One Day seeks to break the rules–while remaining undeniably wedding-day appropriate.

Donatelle Godart

With a background styling for international fashion publications, designer Donatelle Godart knows what it takes for brides to have an inherent sense of style. Infusing her Parisian je ne sais quoi into each silhouette, Godart consistently channels 70’s vibes, turning to David Hamilton and Jane Birkin for inspiration. The fabrics are always luxe despite the brand’s accessible price point, and unlike lines that focus on slips and bias cuts–these actually flatter on a wide variety of body shapes and sizes.  Think “laissez faire, French girl vibes with a little bit of Ossie Clark thrown in,” says experienced bridal shopper, bride-to-be and editor Olivia Fleming.


If you’ve hit your local bridal salons and department stores and find that most gowns are far too stuffy, stiff or overwrought for your taste, this brand gets you. Fine fabrics are this Barcelona-based brand’s forte, spinning multi-ply charmeuse, chiffon and silk tulle into slim sheaths and fuller skirts that feel equal parts low-key and traditional. Delicate touches like a frayed edge or a wider weave in their fabrics feel special, not unfinished, and design details that amplify comfort (like ballgowns that are actually separates in disguise) are hidden throughout the brand’s range.

Sabrina Dahan

Years working in Monique Lhuillier’s bridal atelier gave Sabrina Dahan the street cred to launch her namesake collection last season, inspired by her own engagement. The L.A. based designer spent summers in Paris growing up, contributing to her effortlessly elegant aesthetic focused on light-as-air volume and intricate handwork. This designer released a capsule of five delicately embroidered pieces to start for Fall 2016, emphasizing quality over quantity, and continued that knack for fine-tuned editing when she launched a less-than-ten dress collection for Spring 2017.

Inbal Dror

Second-skin silhouettes are Inbal Dror’s specialty–and most of her curve-hugging gowns are designed to contour to all your assets using the finest meshes and French laces. Sheer elements are a common theme in this range, from illusion necklines and sleeves to subtly see-through skirts. While Inbal’s name is one to know for the bride whose confident in her own skin (and has worked for a figure worth showing off!), her latest collections have also featured jaw-dropping ball gowns, jumpsuits and eveningwear to suit those looking for something a little less body-con. If Beyoncécomes to mind when thinking of your bridal style inspiration, put this designer’s name on your short list.

Samuelle Couture

Ever dream of having a celebrity seamstress work her magic on the gown you’ll wear down the aisle? Asked and answered. Samuelle designer and founder Sam Walls has created a truly bespoke Brooklyn-based line where every order is handmade to the client’s most-detailed measurements, unlike most brands which are made-to-order but certainly not made-to-measure–despite what most salons will allow you to believe. Sam has experience tailoring in the ateliers of fashion’s bests, creating gowns worn on the red carpet and in some of history’s most memorable fashion photos. Her personal aesthetic is undeniably ethereal, with custom-dyed fabrics (don’t be surprised if your champagne tulle gown has an aubergine lining hidden beneath its layers for depth in tone), hand-cut appliqués and draping.

Lihi Hod

Shapewear is typically the plight of most brides leading up to a first fitting (along with shoes and overall anticipation), but what if it was already built into your gown and taken off your to-do list? Lihi Hod’s got some designer pedigree from her time in John Galliano’s atelier in Paris (circa Dior) and has taken that know-how to her cutting table. Each gown is lined in a fine stretch-mesh, and hidden separates are secretly bodysuits that smooth your curves and ensure expert fit. Body-shaping aside, Hod’s aesthetic is Euro-bohemian, easy-going yet elegant. This designer walks that fine line of cool girl with a Couture-feel, understanding each bride’s desire to find the balance between timeless and trendy.


Anya Fleet

Don’t be so quick to lump together designers from one part of the world–be it the French wave of downtown cool, Americans’ obsession with layering pieces or the Israeli fondness for second-skin illusion fabrics and sexy silhouettes. With that said, Anya Fleet would like you to acknowledge that these Israeli designers–all different in their own rights–appreciate some of the same things when it comes to design, like quality fabrics, top-notch construction and high style. Her designs range from the truest bohemian to prim and proper (think high collars and 50’s skirts), but her detail-oriented aesthetic and expert fit will likely keep fans coming back post-wedding for her super-luxe eveningwear.

Ashi Studio

The Middle East has long been known as an epicenter of glamour, and Beirut based Ashi Studiocaters to the area’s most opulent–with a keen eye for innovative, architectural silhouettes and intricate embroideries. The designer has been praised for his Couture bridal for seasons but in our opinion, his work hasn’t yet received the love it should stateside. With a rise in the brand’s celebrity fanbase–SJP has worn the label, Zendaya has shown them love on the red carpet, Lady Gaga donned a custom gown for the promo of her debut on American Horror Story and Whitney Port wore the brand down the aisle–and a capsule of Couture bridal available out of their Lebanon-based studio, we’re hoping more and more American brides with a flair for the dramatic take notice.

Elise Hameau

There’s a new wave of gamine, Parisian cool sweeping the bridal world and key names on this list like Rime Arodaky, Donatelle Godart, Laure de Sagazan and Elise Hameau are at its helm. Elise is probably most definitively festival-chic of this new wave of bridal Frenchie it-girls, with her effortless slips, kimono jackets and knits in tow. For those who may brand her as too boho, note that her line has elements of edge–the designer tends to pair all of her looks with bed-headed hair, a French fringe and stiletto lace booties.

Locke Bride

This line is for the bride who secretly wishes Raf Simons at Calvin Klein and/or Narciso Rodriguez would drop everything they’re working on and design wedding sheaths. To give you a better idea: the ‘INSPIRATION’ tab on Locke Bride’s homepage is chock full of black and white images of modern architecture and minimalist artwork. Each gown from this new New York City-based line is “equal parts artwork and blank canvas.” Intended to stand on their own or be a starting point for styling, these minimalist gowns will likely strike a chord for the metropolitan laid-back bride whose looking for something nowhere near fussy.

Ersa Atelier

A princess bride meets a modern day free spirit in all of Ersa Atelier’s designs. In their Bucharest-based atelier, the story of a gown “always begins with Once Upon A Time…but takes place in present tense.” The sister design duo, Gabriela and Cristina Antonescu, came up through the fashion ranks in Romania side by side, apprenticing for seven years before opening their atelier. Romantic details like sheer overskirts, mock necklines, sheer insets and subtle uses of color set this line apart from its counterparts.

Bo & Luca

Inspired by exotic cultures, nomadic travel and “the romance of bohemia” paired with a nostalgia for eras gone by, Bo & Luca should be your go-to for easy styles that don’t skimp on special details. Think sexy, effortless, slips with a thigh-high slit, beaded sheaths with sexy, open backs and an overall ease that perfectly suits a garden, beach or woodland affair. Based in Australia and with a flagship in Cape Town, it’s no wonder why this brand designs for the no-fuss bride with a dreamy sense of adventure.

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