Modern and fashion-forward brides are looking for the coolest wedding dress designers when it comes time to say "I do." And for those who are all about breaking with tradition and want something that screams fashion, that can mean donning a wedding dress by an emerging designer.
From of-the-moment creations that are at once dynamic to fresh and minimal designs, the new generation of bridalwear creatives are hitting the mark for what it means to be a "new-age" bride. Whether you tend to veer edgy or have a penchant for whimsy, you're in luck because we’ve pulled together a list of the top cool (and totally under-the-radar) bridal designers worth knowing about—each guaranteed to satisfy your desire for innovation.
Read on to acquaint yourself with each name and preview looks from their most recent collections. We even tapped the designers for a first-hand take on their design philosophy, inspirations, and the type of bride they design for. Go ahead and get inspired!
Established in 2017 in New York City, Danielle Frankel designed for Vera Wang and Marchesa before the launch of her debut bridal collection for fall 2018. With a precise vision that focuses on exquisite tailoring, her designs are both handsome and feminine in a range from modern suits to ethereal gowns, and unique separates like coordinating two-piece sets and jumpsuits.
The Danielle Frankel Bride:
“The label looks forward, stemming from an appreciation of beautifully crafted fashion and interpreting that into wedding-wear for the current bride,” says the designer. Though understated, her pristine details hardly go unnoticed. Every piece is fitting for a modern wedding day look, though the separates, suits, shorter dresses, and jumpsuits are just as perfect for a rehearsal dinner or second look at the reception. In addition to her current collections, Danielle Frankel offers custom wedding looks by appointment.
In his debut bridal collection for 2018, Alex Perry—known for crafting killer cocktail attire—perfected the modern ballgown and streamlined slip. Inspired by the traditional elegance of couture, he translates his designs through a sleek and contemporary lens. Sharp silhouettes and voluminous proportions with nipped waists are the Australian designer’s signature, whether it’s a sheer full skirt with corsetry and embellishments or a minimal satin trumpet gown.
The Alex Perry Bride:
According to Perry, “The timeless style of brides will never change, but I have designed this collection with my vision of the perfect modern bride; it’s a new streamlined way of thinking when purchasing your wedding gown.” It's also safe to say that no matter how streamlined or embellished a look, the Alex Perry bride loves drama.
Forward-thinking craftsmanship is the hallmark of the Isabelle Armstrong bridal collection, launched in 2013 by Remy Quinones. Delicate laces and custom embroideries are cut in bold and innovative silhouettes for a result that’s romantic, sophisticated, and modern. “Is it cool to admit that you're a shameless romantic? Maybe, maybe not. But romance with a modern edge is at the very heart of our collection. Lace, ball gowns, butterflies, flowers, tulle, bows, bring it all on,” reveals Remy Quinones, designer & CEO of the brand.
The Isabelle Armstrong Bride:
For the whimsical bride, fantasy-like details add moments of surprise whether it’s an A-line gown embellished with leaf and floral embroidery or a dramatic strapless ball gown with an all-over beaded floral motif. For the pared-back bride, a sleek Mikado ball gown with a dramatically draped bow or one-shoulder trumpet gown with a simplified floral appliqué would be fitting. The general mood: romance with a twist.
Minimal, architectural, and dynamic best describes Sophie et Voilà’s wedding collection. Hand-made in Bilbao and Madrid, founder and creative director Sofía Arribas delivers meticulously crafted wedding dresses that are at once simple and striking. Though ultra-modern, each design possesses a retro sensibility with dramatic flair—signature details include watteau trains, capes, and silhouettes with sculptural contours. You’ll notice a sprinkle of feminine accents throughout, too. This line is foolproof for eye-catching design with restrained elegance. In addition to her core collection, brides can commission a custom creation, working in close partnership with the designer.
The Sophie et Voilà Bride:
“Simple lines, pure, architectural, and very clean. We were trying to create a collection that was missing in the market. The target audience of Sophie et Voilà are women with a proper sense of fashion, women who like to be trendy but at the same time have a strong character," shares Sofía Arribas, founder and creative director of Sophie et Voilà. "They want to feel themselves in every piece of garment. A phrase of Le Corbusier identifies our inspiration very much, which says, ‘I prefer to draw to talking because drawing cannot lie. It is much more honest, what you see, what is drawn is what there is. A line is a line, a curve is a curve, and there you cannot fool anyone."
Alexandra Grecco’s foray into design began with the launch of her first ready-to-wear collection in the spring of 2010, and after her own wedding gown search in 2013, she teetered into bridal and debuted her first wedding collection in July of 2014. Offering a wide range of silhouettes that suit a variety of body types and style sensibilities, her bridal offerings feel as though they’re infused with a bit of magic.
The Alexandra Grecco Bride:
Intended for the less-traditional bride with an appreciation for whimsy, hand-crafted details are at the crux of Alexandra’s ethereal creations. “I love designing gowns that feel really special, whether it's an embroidered detail like our laser-cut flowers or a dramatic cut of a neckline on one of our solid crepe styles. With that said, I do still want the overall style to look effortless and for the bride to feel comfortable and like her best self," Grecco tells Brides.
The daring bride will love details like floral appliqué designed to resemble tattoos (made even bolder in unexpected lavender) while the fanciful bride will feel drawn to tiers of glittering ostrich feathers. The modern minimalist will adore a strapless sheath gown with a curved neckline and pockets—this look can go one step further with a sheer pearl-adorned tulle bodysuit layered underneath. As for the vintage bride, she’ll fawn over a silk wrap gown with ruffle detailing and elegant beadwork. Each gown is exemplary for a modern fairytale wedding.
Though not a new label, Elizabeth Fillmore’s bridal collection feels like an uncovered gem—its glamorous attire is designed for the new bride with a modern attitude. Based in New York, Elizabeth launched bridal in 1999 as a natural extension of her eveningwear line targeting a niche of women desiring sexy and romantic pieces. For her bridal offerings, pieces read a little bit bohemian, a little bit rock 'n' roll, catering to purists and eccentrics alike. Fanciful gowns with feminine flourishes and whimsical details will appeal to the latter, like romantic off-the-shoulder sleeves, puffed shoulders, delicate flower petal embroidery, 3D blossoms, tulle overlays, and jeweled necklines. Those with tempered taste will appreciate her bias slip dress with a draped charmeuse sash or her lace bodice and satin mermaid skirt set, intended to be worn with a satin crepe jacket with voluminous draped sleeves for total cool.
The Elizabeth Fillmore Bride:
The designer tells Brides, “Passion drives my designs. My bride has an independent vision and I hope to fill that vision for her through my pieces. My aesthetic is effortless elegance—dresses that glide over the silhouette and offer a clean femininity. When designing, I always think of the iconic image of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy in her bias-cut slip dress as my go-to style icon.”
Lebanese designer Georges Hobeika is an haute couture, ready-to-wear, and bridal designer with fantastical wit. Established in 1995, the label is rooted in exquisite craftsmanship, with dazzling and glamorous nuances as a signature. Delivering breathtaking looks one after the next, his fall 2018 bridal collection is ethereal as ever—a celestial sensation radiates through every gown, befitting the bride who seeks fantasy, romance, and grandeur. If features like delicate pearl and floral embroidery, translucent fabrics, and frothy overlays mixed with the femininity of bustier bodices, angelic puff or flutter sleeves, and bow waist belts, look no further.
The Georges Hobeika Bride:
"Our bride is in communication with nature and with her femininity. The day she wears her gown will be the most beautiful moment of her life. The dress will encompass all the energy of that moment," gushes Georges Hobeika, designer and founder. "Combining the precious craftsmanship of all the hands that work together to create the blooming embroideries and graceful silhouettes unique to Maison Georges Hobeika, we make the perfect dress for every bride. Whether she is romantically wrapped in a tulle cocoon or gracefully illuminated with modern lace and shiny beading, our bride will always feel like her authentic self, in harmony with all the passion and emotions that flow through her on her wedding day.”
Artful silhouettes define Maticevski's bridal collection, appearing sculpture-like—a masterful skill for which Toni Maticevski is lauded for—from a strapless dress with a fitted bodice and undulating raw-edge details to a diaphanous bubble hem gown made up of layers of tulle and three-dimensional crinkle fabric. The label has whims of old Hollywood glamour, too, but with a twist—a waist-cinching column is sophisticated as an off-kilter peplum and over-the-knee slit inject novelty. It’s minimalism with a bite.
The Maticevski Bride:
Sharp and directional, Maticevski is cut for the bride with an edge. “I think about a bride’s desires and needs. In part to feel beautiful and unique. To have that princess moment, but also in terms of practicality and modernity. How she wants to see herself and how she will look and feel about that moment in time," says Toni Maticevski, designer and founder.
Before the launch of his debut bridal collection in 2019, Guillermo Pharis’s passion for design was sparked years prior, back when he was in the 7th grade. His label brings glamour and exquisite dress construction to the forefront of bridalwear, featuring whimsical gowns with a romantic, ethereal, and modern vision. With timeless dressmaking techniques, Pharis is a new face masterfully crafting glamorous bridal gowns in a wide range of silhouettes and styles. The designer also offers custom-made creations, working closely with clients—either in person or remotely—with materials outsourced from all around the world.
The Guillermo Pharis Bride:
Designed for unforgettable, fairytale-loving brides, Guillermo Pharis's gowns are extremely well made with hand-crafted details. “I’m a romantic designer at heart. I love to design and make dresses that you, your family, and friends will never forget—and [dresses] that make you feel really special and attached to that powerful feeling that we call LOVE because it’s all about love," the designer tells Brides. "It’s really what inspires me. I love listening to Celine Dion or 90’s Roxette in the background while I’m sketching, and feeling the emotion that my brides are eventually looking for. My aesthetic is defined by the timeless glamour of women like Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rita Hayworth. I’m dedicated to bringing back elegance and reminding brides how memorable and dramatic bridal glamorous gowns can be in modern days."