Michael Shettel is a veteran of the bridal fashion world: Before creating Gather & Gown, the new e-commerce bridal brand launching this month, he spent 15 years designing wedding dresses for Alfred Angelo. Gather & Gown is the innovation of Shettel and co-founder Vincent Piccione, a shopping site created to offer brides and bridesmaids an easy online shopping experience for bridal party dresses. With a range of dresses in lots of colors, fabrics, and silhouettes, Gather & Gown places a value on quick shipping and top-notch customer service. Plus, their digital tools (collaborative shopping and smart search tools to filter styles) make the experience easy and fun. We caught up with Shettel to learn about the site and more.
Gather & Gown was inspired by the Millennial bride.
"Over the last few years, Vincent [Piccione] and I noticed a change in the shopping habits of brides and wedding parties," Shettel explains. "Today's generation of tech-savvy shoppers don't want to purchase a dress, and wait several months for it to arrive. They want a fast, easy shopping experience; to try on the dress next week, not next year! Vincent and I recognized this need for exciting, yet stress-free online shopping model, focused on wedding parties and event dresses, in an interactive shopping method that prioritizes convenience for the customer."
Gather & Gown's collaborative shopping (gather drama-free feedback from your bridesmaids!), and super-charged search features, allows brides to narrow down the options to find their perfect style.
"The Gather & Gown website features interactive and inspirational smart tools for brides, bridesmaids and party-goers," says Shettel. "Dresses can be filtered by color, style, fabrics, and lengths to make it easy to find the perfect dress. The site also has a meeting space to save all of your favorites, connect with your bridesmaid community and talk about styles and options. Whether the bride and her party are sitting across the table or across the country — they can 'Gather & Gown' for a girls' night out and everyone can enjoy the same shopping experience on their own schedule."
Photo: Courtesy of Gather & Gown
The Spring 2015 collection features the designer's favorite fabrics.
With 15 years designing for Alfred Angelo behind him, Shettel continues to be deeply immersed in the design process at his latest venture. "I have always loved both soft and structured fabrics," says Shettel of his new designs. "Lace and chiffon flow and drape beautifully on the body and flatter so many body types. Satin and Dupioni are great fabrics for making a more sculptured and tailored look. I also love lace — it is so versatile and can translate well for any season and wedding theme."
The designer is a fan of higher hemlines.
"I love the look and ease of modern short dresses for brides and bridesmaids," explained the designer when asked about his favorite bridal fashion trends. "I think short dresses can be both casual and formal depending on the venue, location, and styling. That said, I also love the drama of a grand entrance making ballgown!" He continued, "I also appreciate when a bride chooses her bridesmaid color and allows the bridal party to select the style of dress that is most flattering to each of them."
Ready to find your bridesmaids' dresses? Head over to Gather & Gown to start shopping!