Ines Di Santo does not design for the faint of heart. The gowns she showcased at New York’s Bridal Fashion Week were corseted, crystal-adorned and full-skirted; to call them glamourous would be a definite understatement.
Steps from Central Park, the luxe Jumeirah Essex House was the perfect place for Di Santo’s spring/summer 2012 couture bridal collection, showcased in October. Complete with fresco-style ceilings and grand crystal chandeliers, it was easy to picture the gowns being pulled from royal weddings – though Di Santo steered clear of anything Middleton-esque. This was, indeed, couture bridal.
While each of Di Santo’s dresses was different, corseted bodices and tulle were staples of choice in many of her most dramatic pieces, to which her signature ruching and pleating were carefully added.
The designer presented dropped waistlines, mermaid ball gowns and even two mini-gowns, which added a certain classy sex-appeal to the hourglass figures.
Trending not only at Di Santo but all over New York Bridal Fashion Week, were varying necklines and sleeve styles. From the classic sweetheart to cap sleeves, from asymmetric to deep V-necklines, Di Santo had a style for every bride and every body type, rarely using the same one twice.
Perhaps the most dramatic aspect of the collection was the sparkle. Every piece was delicately adorned in crystal, translucent or silver beading, making the audience wonder with excitement whether those were real diamonds that were strutted down the runway. On the corseted bodice, around the neckline or quietly placed in floral patterns on the skirt, it was this that separated the couture from big, but simple, wedding fair.
Accessorizing each bridal look, Di Santo used sheer elongated corsages, shaped like a sleeve, often stretching from the model’s wrist to elbow. On these corsages was either delicate beading, adding a discreet shimmer, or heavier detail, giving the end of each sleeve a bracelet effect. For the bigger, more dramatic gowns, the designer went a step further, using a long satin ribbon at the end of the corsages, often the length of the full dress. No detail here was missed.
All models donned long diamond earrings, which elegantly peaked through their soft up-dos. Make-up was kept simple on the eyes and cheeks, with their lips made more prominent in cherry or velvet reds.
It was not surprising to see the high level of luxury in Di Santo’s collection. The designer says she was inspired by some of the most fashionable celebrities to hit the Red Carpet. In fact, she called her dresses “Posh,” “Gaga,” “Blair” and “Swan,” so her vision was clearly reflected in each piece.
Throughout her career, Di Santo has dressed actress Shay Mitchell, Disney star Raven Symone, Celebrity Apprentice model and actress Hope Dworaczyk, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards, and reality star Kendra Wilkinson, among many others, in luxurious evening gowns.
Several celebrities were also spotted at Di Santo’s show, including Randy Fenoli from Say Yes to the Dress.
Also present was celebrity bride-to-be Evelyn Lozada, who is engaged to the New England Patriots’ Chad Ochocinco. She has already said that she will wear a Di Santo gown, and it seemed like her main goal at the show was to search for style inspiration and selection.
Overall, Di Santo’s gowns were everything bridal couture is supposed to be: over-the-top glamourous, intricate with detail and attention-grabbing elegance. Shy and coy brides should look elsewhere, because these luxe wedding gowns are anything but discreet and humble. In true princess fashion, brides who choose Di Santo for their special day can expect to have jaws drop and pure admiration from everyone around them.