Designer Oleg Cassini made a name for himself dressing the who’s who in the golden age of Hollywood. Mega stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly all famously sported his designs, however it was his work for Jackie Kennedy that made him an icon. Over his longstanding fashion career, his collection came to include luxe wedding dresses, made with intricate beading and lace.
On October 5, the brand will launch a new collection of bridesmaid dresses at David’s Bridal. However, Brides readers can shop the line's trunk shows right now with this exclusive link just for you. “We look to our Oleg Cassini brand as a touchstone of timelessness and opulence within our collections; it only felt natural to create a carefully curated bridesmaids assortment to speak to those refined qualities,” says senior designer Patricia Keenan. “A reflection of the bridal gowns, we crafted these dresses with beautifully embroidered tulles, fuller silhouettes, and opulent touches of sparkle.”
Here, an exclusive first look at the collection as well as tips from Keenan on how to mix and match to create your dream bridal squad.
What were some elements from the Oleg Cassini bridal line that you translated into the bridesmaid dresses?
The Oleg Cassini bridesmaid collection was created with the same classic, elegant, and polished aesthetic as the bridal line. We translated similar luxe elements from the bridal line to maids, such as hand appliquéd lace, jewelry accents and exclusively designed embroidery.
What are some of your favorites in the collection?
There is a tea length Mikado dress with a plunging V-neck and jeweled belt that reflects the modern simplicity of Oleg Cassini, but also incorporates the current trend towards more structured silhouettes. There is also a gown in an exclusively designed metallic embroidery. Again, the silhouette is clean and modern, but adapting the relevant trend of all over embroidery into the collection.
The collection is reportedly inspired by “the polish of Uptown New York City;” what drew you to that vibe when designing the collection?
Oleg Cassini was a New York icon and had an affinity to the city throughout his career. We wanted to reflect that sophistication in the collection and create styles that are timeless but contemporary. We wanted it to reflect the modern style of a polished NYC bride and her maids.
How did you pick the colors for the color palette?
For our launch collection, we decided on a classic assortment of colors. We started with a rich dark palette of blues, greys, wine, jeweled-toned greens and purples, and added an accent of one of the top trending colors, Petal Pink, to round the collection out.
Brides are getting really creative with mixing and matching their bridesmaids dresses—how did that play into your design process when creating the collection?
Mix and match bridesmaids dresses are not a new trend, but we tried to add freshness to this assortment with textures in fabric, varied necklines and high-lo hems. This allows the bride to mix and match in other ways besides color.
Who do you see as the Oleg Cassini for David’s Bridal bride?
The Oleg bride embodies a return to the "modern princess" with timeless and classic tastes. She is looking for a gown that reflects a subtle opulence and luxury in a cleaner silhouette, one that will never go out of style.
Oleg Cassini has a long history in bridal wear—how did you honor the brand’s traditions while designing for a millennial audience?
Oleg Cassini’s archives of imagery, sketches, and celebrity photos played a huge part in our design process. We keep using the word "timeless" because many of Mr. Cassini’s designs from 50+ years ago still feel relevant today. You will see the essence of Oleg Cassini in the current collection with an updated interpretation from his past designs.
What’s a trend you’re seeing in bridal fashion that is exciting to you as a designer?
After seasons of soft, romantic gowns and silhouettes, it is exciting to see the bridal customer reacting to simple, cleaner, structured silhouettes, especially in novelty fabrics. Bridal is moving beyond white and ivory and offering so many more color options to the bride, which is also refreshing.
What’s a trend you’re seeing in bridesmaid fashion that is exciting to you as a designer?
As you mentioned earlier, brides are looking at ways to mix and match their bridesmaids. It is very exciting to see the creative ways they express their individuality and personalize their wedding by creating bridal parties that don't "match" but have elements that work together.
How do you plan to build on the collection for upcoming seasons?
For this first season, our goal was to establish a foundation of attributes for the collection that we could build upon in the future. There should always be a cohesiveness from collection to collection, but every season should feel fresh and new.