Fashion and Dorit Kemsley of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame practically go hand-in-hand. Fans of the star know her glam is unmatched as she is typically dripping in Versace, Chanel, or Dior, unafraid to take risks and have fun with her looks. But now she's bringing her luxe taste (and long-standing fashion career) to another market: bridal.
Partnering with Australian bridal designer Nektaria, Kemsley designed a collection of wedding dresses and evening gowns, with the first six bridal looks finally available to brides now. She exclusively tells Brides, "There's something so romantic and so special about wedding gowns. I love weddings—it's a fabulous time of your life, it's happy, it's enjoyable, and immediately when the opportunity came my way I just thought, 'This is something that I'd really like to do.'"
The opportunity to collaborate with Nektaria arose just six months ago—as the world was (and still is) in the midst of a pandemic—so each look was created over Zoom (with Kemsley designing between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight to accommodate for the time difference between Los Angeles and Australia). But she, a seasoned fashion designer, and Nektaria, an expert in luxury bridalwear "got into [their] groove really quickly," which Kemsley claims, in turn, "speaks to how beautiful the collection is."
While creating the line, the Beverly Hills housewife operated with three characteristics in mind: Luxe, glamour, and elegance—all with a modern twist. And as any successful bridal collection requires, Kemsley ensured there was a look to please every kind of woman. Glamorous brides may gravitate towards "The Actress" with its beaded lace bodice and Swarovski pearls and crystals accents. The Old Hollywood-esque number immediately reminded Kemsley of Sofia Loren when she saw the final product, hence the name.
There's also "The Moment," a dramatic design offering two looks in one. She explains, "It's two wedding gowns. It's a big dramatic train and you can wear that to the altar, and then you can take that piece off and it's a straight dress with a slit for the party."
I want them to feel gorgeous. I want them to feel confident...that they are oozing luxury—that they look like a million dollars.
And while Kemsley doesn't have a favorite design—"It's just like my two children: I don't have a favorite, I love them all," she laughs—we are partial to "The Pearl," a halter-neck, low-back, sensual number adorned with 14,000 (!!!) pearls. "You want to feel like a million dollars on your wedding day and I want the brides to feel that in these wedding gowns," Kemsley shares. "I want them to feel gorgeous. I want them to feel confident. I want them to feel strong and beautiful. I want them to feel like they are wearing a bundle of cash, that they are oozing luxury—that they look like a million dollars."
Brides can finally get their hands on the gowns at a series of trunk shows, the first of which is happening at Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier in New York City from Feb. 16 to Feb. 22. (appointments can be made here). "The entire Mark Ingram Atelier staff is so excited to partner with Dorit and Australian designer Nektaria on the East Coast launch of the collection," Mark Ingram, CEO of the iconic atelier, told Brides. "When Dorit’s Instagram teaser reels, videos, and posts mentioned us as the retail partner, our phone lines literally blew up with inquiries and appointments." The luxury dresses start at $6,000.
And Kemsley's foray into the bridal space doesn't end with the six stunning looks you'll find ahead. Rather, more is to come from the housewife including more bridal gowns, ready-to-wear looks, accessories, and even flower girl dresses! She hints, "The wedding gowns and the dresses that will be coming out in the next couple of months are a little bit more outside the box—for the fashion bride."
But before we get ahead of ourselves, scroll to see your exclusive first look at the six gowns that mark the reality television star's bridal debut. Which one would you wear to the altar?
"The Actress" strapless Italian lace wedding dress with French beading and Swarovski pearls and crystals scattered throughout.
"The Angel" embroidered lace and soft sheer tulle wedding dress.
"The Moment" two-piece strapless wedding dress covered in sequins with a detachable train.
"The Pearl" halter-neck wedding dress covered in 14,000 handcrafted white pearls with a high slit, low back, and long train.
"The Princess" strapless wedding dress with beaded lace bodice and blush undertones.
"The Woman" long-sleeve wedding dress with an asymmetrical neckline, high slit and long train.