It was a full house at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, on Oct. 15. The runway for the Evening Wear and Couture Bridal Collections of designer Romona Keveza was narrow, surrounded by warm beige walls and chocolate brown wood that framed the models, as they strutted beneath majestic chandeliers.
Evening Wear collection
This was a Brigitte Bardot-inspired line, based on Paris in the 1960s. Gracefully complementing the innocent with the sexy, every piece in the collection could easily belong on the red carpet (and subsequently the Best Dressed list), and any bride would feel no less than royalty in these gowns.
The first pieces to hit the runway were bell-shaped cocktail dresses – a Bardot classic. One particularly eye-catching piece was made of Chantilly lace and decorated with silk organza flowers that playfully bounced about with every step. A black-and-white number followed, made of intricately beaded floral silk net – a coquettish addition that turned heads. Presented after that were champagne, blush, lavender, fire red and Tiffany blue dresses, which embodied refined luxury in their powerful grace.
Light and airy detailing in beading, embroidering and feathering were the strong trends for next season. Point d’Esprit and French organza-embroidered ribbon in rosette motifs added an elegant touch. High but discreet slits, and illusion overskirts layered over narrow underskirts, gave long evening gowns a breezy feel, embracing the “sheer” trend, while giving the gowns a sensual glamour.
Couture Bridal collection
This line had many similar characteristics, with light and sheer fabrics. An especially lovely ivory gown, made of silk organza, featured a fitted draped bodice, with an off-the-shoulder neckline, spilling into a flowing circle skirt made of voulant organza ruffles. The skirts, flitting between A-line and bell-shaped, showed off the bride’s silhouette without being enveloped in the drama of a full bell shape. “I wanted it to whisper elegance rather than shout opulence,” Keveza said after the show.
A touching finale concluded the show, with Keveza walking down the runway and handing a bouquet to her mother, who stood up to hug her amidst the applause.
Shortly after the show, Keveza welcomed select media members and guests to showcase yet another collection. Legends was different from the couture collection in many ways. No longer in front of the long runway, guests were now in the bright and beautiful Dior Suite at the St. Regis, informally sitting with the designer who was chatting with attendees about each gown in this collection. She said that one piece, for example, was inspired by Lea Michele’s gown at the Grammys (silk chiffon with a one-shoulder illusion neckline, and draft waist flowing into a softly fluted skirt) and another nicknamed “The Pippa Dress” was, of course, named after Pippa Middleton’s crowd-pleasing maid of honour gown. Keveza also asked one model to tell the audience about the dress in her own words, since it was, in fact, the dress she wore to her own wedding.
Being much closer to the gowns, attendees were able to examine Keveza’s famed hand-scalloping around the neckline and hems, as well as the Chantilly lace in one of the veils. Both were absolutely breathtaking. “Hand-stitched,” Keveza reminded the audience.
Legends was inspired by real brides, and Keveza went above and beyond, creating dresses that suited different shapes, and were very wearable. Though the off-the-shoulder look is stunning, it can sometimes be uncomfortable. As a result, Kezeva put together an off-the-shoulder gown made of re-embroidered lace, with a flowing A-line chapel length skirt and scalloped hem that a bride could easily move around in. “I don’t design for one figure type, or for a specific age,” she added.
While Keveza is known for her stunning bridal gowns, she has also recently taken the red carpet by storm, dressing not one but five A-list celebrities at the 2011 Emmys, including Michelle Forbes, Angela Kinsey, Aimee Teegarden, Annie Ilonzeh and Kaley Cuoco.
Keveza’s designs have also been worn by Edie Falco, Brooke Burke, Paula Abdul, Julia Stiles, and Glee stars Lea Michele and Heather Morris. And, of course, no one can forget Mad Men’s Kristina Hendricks in the breathtaking red silk asymmetrical dress with a large ruffled shoulder that blew designers, stylists and attendees away at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards.
Romona Keveza was a star of the Bridal Market/New York Bridal Fashion Week. This show was especially successful in that she presented a large variety of styles, while maintaining her signature detailing, and on-trend themes. Whether walking down the red carpet or walking down the aisle, these gowns will stand out for their elegance and timelessness.
FAJO’s Best Dressed photo gallery