Born in Russia to a family of seamstresses, veteran bridal designer Galia Lahav designs her successful line of wedding gowns from her home base in Tel Aviv, Israel. Lahav is known for delicate embroidery and sexy illusion details, dramatic trains and body-conscious silhouettes. We sat down with the designer to learn about her process, her top style tips for brides, and her favorite part of designing wedding dresses.
This season is all about the glamorous 1920's. Gatsby, anyone?
"Each season, I begin by focusing on my inspiration. Last season's collection and photo shoot campaign was inspired by the 1920's. We got really deep into the theme, listening only to jazz and Charleston music in the office, collecting art inspirations and digging deep into reference images of 1920's icons and their style," the designer explained. "We used fabrics that reflected the time period, like vintage laces and silks, and then developed sketches."
Lahav was inspired to launch a bridal collection by a romantic bridal staple: lace.
Lahav didn't begin her career as a designer, but rather, in the lace business. "I was inspired to begin designing for brides after I started my lace appliqué business. Thirty years ago I opened a business making custom lace appliqués, and soon after, this evolved into taking the business a bit further. I received a few requests from brides asking me to create a dress with my custom laces, and the requests continued to increase. Within two years I was designing bridal."
Naturally, Lahav loves designing for brides.
"My favorite part about designing for a bride is bringing her childhood fantasy of her wedding to life. Every girl I work with shares how she has dreamed about this day her entire life, and it's my absolute pleasure to make that dream come true," she said.
You won't find Galia Lahav off-the-rack.
When asked about her custom bridal business, the designer had a confident answer: "All of my designs are one-of-a-kind. Everything is made custom based on brides measurements in my studio, designed with her individual preferences in mind, it is rare that you will find two dresses exactly alike. I treat each one like a piece of art."
She loves when brides go for the drama.
"My favorite bridal trends at the moment are poofy gowns with a lot of personality; I am really into dreamy and romantic dresses. That said, I could do without the color pink in bridal. Though I do like it sometimes, I don't like to jump on the trend bandwagon."