Courtesy of Romona Keveza
Romona Keveza is a wedding dress designer who prides herself on being on trend. She has been using color in her gowns for years and included one-shoulder silhouettes in bridal long before Michelle Obama's Inauguration dress was revealed. Here she talks about the new trends she is seeing from real brides, and why she thinks color is becoming more mainstream in bridal. Also, read how she got into bridal and why everyone from Julia Roberts to your mom can wear her new eveningwear line. —Cari Wolfert
What new trends in bridal gowns are you seeing when you meet with real brides?
A lot of brides are shying away from big ball gowns and are looking for softer, slimmer silhouettes. Brides are also becoming more daring with color—choosing everything from a goddess mist to ice blue and coordinating it with the color scheme of their reception.
You have been using color in your wedding dresses for a while. Why do you think color is becoming more popular in bridal now?
It makes so much more sense to choose a dress for your wedding that you can wear again to another formal function...
It is hard for brides to spend money on a dress that is disposable. Plus, white is a color that isn't very flattering on many people. Blues and blushes are much more complimentary.
In the beginning of your career you were an eveningwear designer. What made you decide to go into bridal?
I was selling my designs to high end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf when a buyer called me and asked if I would make a one-of-a-kind gown for a VIP client. It was an off-the-shoulder black velvet dress that she wanted me to make her in white satin. I said no because satin is a difficult fabric to work with and there was no fashion in bridal that I was interested in. Then she told me that the client was willing to pay $10,000 so I said yes! But really, this client gave me a gift because she made me aware that they there was a market for couture designers in bridal. A year later I started my company.
Now you have started to go back to designing eveningwear. Why did you decide to start that line?
The idea for the eveningwear collection that we launched this year came from two places. First, I was receiving phone calls from celebrities asking me to design dresses for them for the red carpet. People like Julia Roberts, Queen Latifah and Angela Basset were asking for dresses to be worn everywhere from the Academy Awards to the Country Music Awards. But what really inspired me to do a full collection for the public were the mothers of the brides who were telling me, "well you dressed my daughter, but what about me."
How did you answer those mother's needs?
There are a lot of mothers that look like Sharon Stone, Madonna, or the Real Housewives of New York. These are the type of woman that you would never see in a doughty dress. They want something that is vivacious and sexy but appropriate. It's for the hot mamas and the sexy va-va-va-voom girls. I have even heard that my collection is perfect for divorced mothers of the bride because it makes a great revenge dress. They might be attending the party with their ex- spouse and his second wife who is two generations younger than her so it gives her a sense of confidence and beauty that a younger girl could never compete with.
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