Atelier Aimée designer Lucia Zanotti talks color, accessories and how her Italian background makes her different from other wedding dress designers. —Cari Wolfert
What type of bride do you design for?
My creations are meant for brides who "dream" about their wedding dress and who want to enhance their beauty. They want a dress that represents their personality and most importantly, that makes them feel beautiful.
Why has color has played a strong role in your past two collections?
Color gives us the ability to use silk shaded organza, to add a bunch of hand-painted roses and gives movement to the embroidery. Color gives each dress a touch of originality and glamour. It can be very strong, as we have done in the last two collections by using gold and red, or very soft and light by using lilac and pink. Every bride can personalize her dress by using color...
How does your background as a European designer reflect in your dreses?
Italy is synonymous with a strong heritage of haute couture, handcraftsmanship and quality designs. Many of the world's most famous fashion designers are from Italy and I have had the honor of working alongside several of them. This experience has given me the ability to be more daring, both in style and in the use of colors. I am inspired by the great Italian tailoring tradition, which is very evident in our customized couture dresses.
What can we expect for your next collection?
The next summer collection is inspired by sculptor Antonio Canova. The goddess-like gowns will be shown in very light fabrics, very delicate shades of ivory and lilac and blush colored hand-embroidery. Importance will be placed on beadings inspired by haute couture jewelry: with sapphires, emeralds and diamonds on the neckline, sleeves and back of the dresses.
What are some of your favorite new trends in bridal gowns?
I love plissé. It is great for soft fabrics like charmuese for slinky dresses, and on more structured fabrics like silk taffetas for haute couture gowns. I continue to be in love with hand-painted flowers, something I include in most of my collections. They give a very romantic and feminine touch both on the dress and to every bride.
BONUS: You always accent your dresses on the runway with accessories. What advice can you give to brides about accessorizing their wedding day look?
The most important accessory is the wedding veil. The veil should be trimmed with the same lace of the dress or the same beading. Recently brides have started to match their shoes with the same fabric, beads or lace of the dress.