Shopping for a custom bridal dress? Look no further than "It"-girl designer Alessandra Mesquita, who designs gorgeous honeymoon and bridal looks from her New York City atelier. The only female Brazilian designer with a made-in-America brand, Mesquita tells us about the launch of her collection, the opening of her first store in Beverly Hills, and creating unique custom bridal looks.
1. This Brazilian was born to design — she started at age 15.
"I was born and raised in Sao Paolo, Brazil, a part of a family that always encouraged creativity and artistic expression," says the designer. "By the time I was 15, I was already drawing styles, tracing fabrics, cutting patterns and sewing clothes." Meskita launched in 2013 with resort and swimwear styles, as a lifestyle brand focused on confident, sexy glamour. "We started with swimwear, and expanded into ready-to-wear, and presented that collection during New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014."
2. Honeymoon on your mind? Her Fall/Winter collection is inspired by women who love to travel. Read: Meskita's tech-savvy fabrics travel well, too.
"The collection is designed for women who travel the world and it was inspired by the 100-year anniversary of Beverly Hills," she says. (Beverly Hills is also where the designer just opened her first boutique!) Mesquita notes that the Chinese Zodiac's year of the horse also inspired the designs, which are made from silk and neoprene — a fabric that "has such a sexy edge." Not to mention, it won't wrinkle in your carry-on.
3. She started designing sexy high-end swimwear (Alessandra Ambrosio is a fan), and that allure translates seamlessly to her dresses.
"With the expansion into ready-to-wear, my goal was to replicate the same sexiness and confidence of the Meskita woman at the beach, while giving her the chance to transcend that into her to every day life in the city."
4. From Meskita's prints to their fabric textures, the brand offers an entirely fresh take on bridal.
"All of the fabrics and prints are developed in house, which adds a unique character to the pieces. I love to add stretch into silk, chiffon and most of the fabrics I use, which adds comfort to each piece," explains the designer of the fabrics she sources from all over the world. "I also love the texture of neoprene, which allows us to tailor elegant dresses and jackets to have a functionality on their own, while keeping women warm without wearing too many layers."
Photo: Courtesy of Meskita
5. Her custom bridal business is booming.
"One of my favorite experiences was creating a bridal look for my client CoCo Smith, a polo player, who asked me to design one wedding look composed of four pieces — my version of a silk polo pant, a corset, a long-sleeved transparent wrap-maxi top to create the effect of a gown, and a jacket. The inspiration for the four individual pieces came from the idea that she could wear the pieces separately after her wedding, reminding her husband of that amazing day by saying, 'Look — I'm wearing part of my wedding dress!'"
The designer has quickly gained the support of editors in her native Brazil, chiefly Clarissa Wagner, editor for Harper's Bazaar Brazil and RG Magazine, who is also a bridal client. "I am currently designing for two other celebrities that I can't disclose yet," she reveals. "Each woman has a unique style — I love them all! Currently, in the collection we have more than 10 dresses that would be perfect for a wedding, from a more traditional and conservative long-sleeve silk wool to a relaxed chiffon beach wedding look."
Private appointments for bridal gowns are available through the brand's website.