There was a time, not so long ago, when I believed all of the innovation and trend setting in bridal haute couture was coming from Europe. In fact, I would have probably thought you mad if you were to suggest otherwise.
In a country known as the start-up nation, the bridal industry has captured the world’s attention. There are super sexy designers such as Lihi Hod and Liz Martinez producing super stunning collections featuring both demure and daring cuts and styles, plus a unique sector of Haredi fashion designers. Serving the Ultra-Orthodox fashion world with designs specifically for secular women, designer Chana Marelus produces collections of modest designs that are no less spectacular! In fact they are pretty damn special!
The interesting take over of Israeli designers, including those in the Haredi sector is being attributed to several things. Firstly, times have changed. There is more acceptance of fashion and haute couture in Israeli culture nowadays. Religious fashionistas started opening their minds to international trends and incorporating them modestly to their style. More secular women have been inspired by the more recent return to modest trends on our catwalks and women in celebrity culture from Kate Moss to Michelle Obama.
This more modest trend can also be seen in the bridal gown field with closed cleavages and more demure silhouettes being seen on the runways of leading designers such as Ellie Saab, Oscar de la Renta, and Monique Lhuillier.
What I do find interesting, after researching the industry, is that Israeli women tend to rent their wedding dresses, often for considerably less than buying them. Which means they can afford a pricier haute couture gown for their big day.
This clearly affects the market giving the designers more permission to make design decisions that are not based on cost per unit. Does this mean the designers are often made of more expensive materials? More elaborate time intensive labour? I would assume so?
However in the rental space how does that affect the fit of the garment? Most brides here choose their dress and then spend the next 6 months trying to get it to fit just right. (Sometimes at the expense of a healthy diet!)
Whatever the reason, the one thing is for sure. There is a huge amount of talent coming from this nation and I definitely predict we will see more of these ladies collection’s appearing in our high-end boutiques over the next few years.