The mass production of beautiful and affordable bridal gowns was started by one dynamic couple: Alfred Angelo Piccione and his wife Edythe Vincent. With their dreams and drive, the Picciones made beautiful and fashionable wedding gowns available to all sorts of brides today.

Model wearing Disney Fairy Tale bridal gown

Alfred Angelo gown from the Disney Fairy Tale Bridal Collection.
CLICK TO VIEW DISCOUNT BRIDAL GOWNS

Their story starts simply enough. Dissatisfied with the selection of affordable bridal gowns, Alfred and his wife Edythe began wholesaling bridal gowns in an attempt to provide inexpensive dresses that were affordable for the average bride. They opened their first shop on South Street in Philadelphia, PA in the early 1930s. Edythe began designing gowns in 1935 because the quality of the gowns they were selling didn’t measure up to the couple’s standards. However, custom gowns were often expensive, and most women could not afford them. Much like her husband, Edythe was talented and driven. Together they started creating their own line, choosing quality fabrics while still maintaining affordability and creating a mass production bridal gown manufacturing business in the process.

Their gowns were made out of quality material, and were offered in a wide range of sizes and styles (which they still are today). The dresses were made exquisite by adding beading, embroideries and embellishments. The Picciones entrepreneurial spirit brought them wide recognition when they were chosen to provide the wedding dress for a very young Elizabeth Taylor in the movie “Father of the Bride.” They both worked together to come up with clever giveaway campaigns that would continue to keep their burgeoning name in the spot light, although Alfred said his wife deserved the credit for the publicity campaigns.

In the 1960s, the couple’s children Vincent and Michele Piccione took over designing the gowns, adding more embellishments and intricate details to the gowns and offering more color choices to brides other than the standard ivory and white. The torch was officially passed off to Vincent and Michele in 1984, with Vincent as CEO and Michele as CCO. Since 1999, the head designer has been Michael Shettel. Shettel has introduced to the Alfred Angelo line the Dream Color collection, which allows a bride to choose between 55 different colors to add to a panel train, trim on a neckline, or sash to customize her gown to the color scheme for her wedding. In 2010, Alfred Angelo began collaboration with Disney to create princess-inspired wedding dresses based on the popular Disney princesses such as Snow White, Cinderella, and the Little Mermaid.

Through them, the company has achieved worldwide recognition. No longer solely focusing on bridal, they now design for bridesmaids, pageants, and prom. Alfred Angelo gowns are designed to make a woman feel beautiful for her most important day, whatever that day may be.

A return to classic beauty, Amsale Spring 2014 is brave and bold in how little has changed.

Amsale Wedding Gown

Amsale bridal gown from her 2014 spring collection.
CLICK TO SHOP DISCOUNT AMSALE GOWNS

Amsale Aberra started her eponymous line with the idea of classic, refined beauty and even in ages and times of glamorous excess and abandon she bravely endures knowing that her dresses are the ones that will be around for generations to come. For Aberra it is a risk that has paid off time and time again but this year’s bridal spring fashion shows found other designers going hard on the themes of femininity and sexiness. The catwalks were filled with power walking models in dresses with flirtatious cutouts and sheer fabrics. The suspense was building over what Aberra would reveal as hemlines got shorter and necklines plunged deeper on neighboring runways but she resisted the pressure once more, as she always may, and hopefully this collection will stand as a testament to her principles.

There’s something about the Amsale Spring 2014 collection that just says to us: Princess Kate. Not in the showy, delicate, McQueen that she was married in but maybe the dress the English royal would have chosen had she not a grand ceremony and all the eyes of the world. The dresses are satin finished with much attention paid to shape and structure and like the Princess’s signature style each dress is girly but without being juvenile. Modesty would not be an issue with these gowns and with their tank styles or strap additions they keep things demure but also womanly. Most necklines are scoop, bateau or if there is the occasional sweetheart or v-neck it is offset by thick straps or much structure and support. While that can sound unappealing, Amsale pulls off the gesture with grace so the dresses do not look frumpy but rather coy instead.

The details to pay attention to in this collection are not in excessive beadwork or showy embroidery but rather in the luxurious fabrics and expert cuts. Most dresses will flatter an hourglass figure as they subtly cinch at the waist, follow the curve of the hip and flare slightly just above the knee. It feels like the most natural progression for any article of clothing and the tiniest of accents, such as a sash or a bow, is just the icing on this perfectly made cake. Some of the standouts of the collection are the ones who definitely play into this image of the grown-up girl but also do have some element of modernity to them. The addition of a shimmery skirt or sheer panel makes many of these dresses fashion forward but eternally timeless–and that’s a combination only Amsale can achieve.

Amsale is the eponymous bridal couture line started by Amsale Aberra. Welcome to her world.

Amsale Wedding Gowns

Collection of wedding dresses from Amsale.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO VEW GOWNS

Amsale Aberra, the Ethiopian born fashion designer behind the bridal line named after herself, is as beautiful as her gowns. She is a couture bridal wear and evening wear designer meaning her gowns can be seen everywhere from on royalty around the world to on the red carpet at the Country Music Awards. She is as versatile as her creations but she has a few guiding principles that she has always stuck to and will always set her designs apart from the rest.

Perhaps the best way to start telling Aberra’s story is to begin where she did: in New York. As is the case with many enlightened visionaries Aberra was more than disappointed by the choices available to her for her own wedding gown. She was looking for something simple, timeless and elegant which won’t be a surprise to any bride who has been wowed by an Amsale gown. She found that most of the gowns she saw were over adorned or overwrought. She knew the best fashionistas would not let themselves be worn by the gown and so she turned her tiny New York City loft into an atelier and began to churn out the elegant dresses that she has since become known for. Aberra knew then the importance of having a bride that would love her wedding dress for years to come and since then she has fused couture craftsmanship with refined archetypal silhouettes to create a bridal line that is the envy of every new york city bride and beyond. Together with Neil Brown, Aberra has taken those bridal gowns one step further by founding the Amsale group. After having worked on wedding gowns for many years she found that her tastes were not exactly changing as much as she was itching to experiment. In order to make those dreams a reality, three independent and exclusive bridal lines were launched under the heading of the Amsale group that are as different from each other as they are similar in their exceptional quality. While many brides are familiar with Christos and Kenneth Pool they might not know that both of these luxurious bridal lines can also boast of having the much sought after Aberra touch. This group also includes a bridesmaids collection which has the unique feature of allowing the bride or bridesmaid to select the fabric or texture of a gown to create one of a kind luxury bridesmaids dresses.

With so many options and such a rich history it’s hard to find a reason to leave the Amsale group out of your wedding planning!

The gorgeous collection of dresses designed by Jessica Williams for the line known as Alvina Valenta are wedding dress legends.

Jessica Williams Designer

Jessica Williams, creator of JLM Couture’s Alvina Valenta line of wedding gowns.
Source: jlmcouture.com

Alvina Valenta is a line of wedding dresses that are legendarily known for their otherworldly beauty. One of the key features of this collection is that it is somehow classic and couture at the same time. Designed by young upstart, Jessica Williams, these dresses all seem one of a kind and yet they are also reminiscent of classic bridal shapes and structures. Williams is known for deftly traversing that line and is often looked up to for that reason. Alvina Valenta dresses are still new to the bridal world but they sell like hotcakes. While we do not receive many Alvina Valenta dresses in store, when we do it’s hard to keep them on the racks for more than a day or two! Always in demand, you know you can trust Jessica Williams to bring you comfort, luxury and style.

A good way to describe the Alvina Valenta dresses designed by Jessica Williams would be to use the words, “timeless elegance”. Every girl has a vague picture in her mind of what she wants her wedding dress to look like and she forms that picture before she even really knows what a wedding is about or what dresses even are. Williams taps into that childlike dream about the perfect dress and she makes them a reality. These gowns are over the top when it comes to luxury, the way that a child might imagine a princess to look or feel like but they also scale back to include all the things the child has learned growing up especially about how to dress for public and what will last a lifetime. Any girl would feel like a princess in an Alvina Valenta gown, yet she is less likely to feel like a Disney princess and more like a real life princess. Subdued and sophisticated, Alvina Valenta designs are the ones that will withstand the test of time. The way that Williams waves dreams into reality is probably through her attention to detail. The silhouettes are still reminiscent of those childhood dreams of that perfect dress but they are imbued with clever embroidery and draping which transform them into a reality that you could have never dreamed of. Williams really thinks of everything from the quality of each bead on each dress to the color of the thread used to put them on the dress and like a master puppeteer she knows just how to make all of these elements come together to create something fresh yet timeless.

Keep an eye on our recent arrivals so you never have to miss an Alvina Valenta dress!

The King of Fashion, Alfred Sung, takes on a new edge in his latest bridal collection.

Alfred Sung 2014 Wedding Gown

Alfred Sung features an array of stunning wedding gowns to go with his 2014 bridal collection.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO SHOP DISCOUNTED ALFRED SUNG GOWNS

For the bride wearing the latest Alfred Sung bridal collection all we have to say is watch out! Her bark is worse than her bite! While we love all the pretty dresses that floated down the runway at this year’s bridal fashion week it’s true that we do sometimes tire of the sweet ballgowns or the glitzy A-Lines. Bridal fashion is quick to become overtired because the kind of traditional bridal gown that fits a wedding: white and long, creates an enduring constraint and limitation for designers who have been in the industry for a long time. Of course playing with radical changes in the color and in hemlines is always experimental and becoming more and more widely accepted but what about the bride who wants to look very “married”? There’s nothing wrong in wanting to wear a long, white dress! After all many brides have been looking forward to this day for a very long time indeed and they want to dress the part as best as possible. Alfred Sung’s newest collection is for the bride that is nontraditionally traditional – the ballerina who listens to punk rock on the weekends.

We love this sweet edginess as it encompasses a wide range of people and budgets. The collection contained long and demure A-Lines as well as sassy and sweet ball gowns. Asymmetrically ruched bodices looked a little hard and edgy as their boning extended a little too far or was a little fashion forward but then they melted into large tulle skirts that looked like cotton candy at the most delicious fair. If the gown had a sassy element it was always balanced by a sweetness, reminiscent of some of our favorite sour coated sweet gummy candies so everything came off with a sense of nostalgia and childhood without being overly saccharine or self-referential. The hair and makeup followed suite. The hair was definitely not to mess as large curls were teased and blown out as though the bride had her hair perfectly done in the most princessy fashion but was then rushed to the wedding in a convertible with its top down and full speed. The undone-done look was equal parts sexy and modest and Alfred Sung once again prevailed at not only showing that he knew where the line was but that he also knew exactly how to toe it. This blown out disheveled sexiness was always tamed and held back by some kind of very sweet and delicate accessory. Large bows and jeweled clips swung the rat’s nest of hair into a purposeful over the shoulder come hither look or swung into an updo that looked as though the bride of frankenstein was the chief guest at the Met Gala.

Image license: AlfredSungBridals.com (view source)

Allure sets the stage for many brides and we are gaga for every gown that comes our way. Learn how this universal crowdpleaser came to be.

Allure Bridals Gown

Click on the image to shop Allure Bridals’ gowns.

Allure Bridals is such a bestseller here at VOWS as many brides frequently ask for this designer by name. We have orderable as well as sample dresses and whenever we go on buys we have a hard time passing on an Allure gown. The name kind of says it all as every Allure gown somehow has such a unique wow factor. A focus on construction and a devotion to style makes these gowns a go to for us but their history and their range makes them a bridal fashion staple.

Allure representatives are known for saying that when it comes to reasons for buying an Allure gown it’s all about achieving a certain “look”. An Allure bride has a trademarked look of Allure and while it might seem like one of those, “you either have it or you don’t” kind of characteristics Allure begs to differ. What makes their gowns one of a kind is that they know how a gown can transform your image and the way you feel about yourself. Allure hopes that their gowns can help you achieve this signature look of Allure so that you feel like a million bucks on your wedding day, and at the same time they certainly don’t want you paying that much! Allure understands how important a wedding dress can be. It’s not just about what the dresses have come to symbolize: love and commitment but also just the fact that when you are wearing a wedding dress all eyes are on you! A bride is the center of attention and for a lot of people that can be a lot of pressure. In some ways the walk down the aisle is very similar to the walk down the runway and Allure wants to make sure you are dressed to impress. An Allure gown isn’t just about exceptional design and luxurious fabrics. They’re about making you feel confident and beautiful so you want all eyes on you (or at least the thought of that much attention doesn’t send you over the edge). Allure brides are every bride that is interested in having a little boost on her wedding day–bringing some extra va-va-voom that she may not have or can’t get enough of. Allure also believes that every bride deserves to have the chance to feel that way and so they do their best to price their dresses reasonably and retail worldwide.

For the bride who wants more, Allure is the place to go.

Image license: AllureBridals.com (view source)

One of the most famous bridal collections is Alfred Angelo’s Disney Fairy Tale Bridal. This year’s collection was not one to let you down.

Alfred Angelo Snow White Wedding Gown

This is the “Snow White” wedding gown from Alfred Angelo’s Disney Princess collection.

Some of the most sought after gowns are the ones in Alfred Angelo’s Disney Fairy Tale Bridal collection. These gowns are inspired by some of our favorite silver screen heroines and each year the brilliant designer brainstorms new revisions and updates to this collection. Without being tacky he really captures the essence of not only the Disney princesses but what it means to be a bride. These dresses are not just an homage to the late great creator but they stay current because they really understand what brides are looking for. The dresses are romantic and flirty, modern but timeless and most of all the occupy that space between whimsical and seriously dramatic. Whether or not you’re a fan of Disney or have a favorite Disney princess, you’re sure to find what you are looking for in this collection and this year was no different.

Shop Alfred Angelo designs out of curiosity, and shop them for their exceptional photography and runway show. The models do a good job of giving a nod to the head of the princess they are supposed to be portraying but without being exact replicas or looking too cheesy. Take the new Snow White gown from this year’s collection for example. The model is dark of hair and eye much like her gown’s namesake but she has a coy expression and she casually wields an apple in her right hand. She acknowledges the roots of the dress but she is looking to a more modern version of the fairy tale where perhaps the princess is not so helpless. This gown could stand on its own in any bridal collection. Made of the softest tulle it has a draped bodice with understated sweetheart neckline and a subtle ball gown feel as layers and layers of fabric lazily pile atop each other. The most stunning feature of this gown is a toss up between the gorgeous peach sash emblazoned with a bouquet of flowers or the cape-like feature at the back of the gown which drapes sensually behnd the runway model as she glides down the catwalk. The gowns come in white and ivory for the most discerning brides and a wide range of sizes so everybody can achieve their dream of becoming a princess.

This is one of the most talked about collections in bridal history so whether you feel yourself to be a princess or a queen, you owe it to yourself to take a look at what Alfred Angelo has to offer.

Image license: AlfredAngelo.com (view source)

The woman, the legend, and the icon: Reem Acra offers a global perspective on bridal fashion.

Reem Acra Bridal Gown Designer

Reem Acra is highly regarded as one of the world’s leading fashion designers, not just in bridal attire.

Reem Acra has become one of the biggest designers in the bridal and eveningwear industry. The eponymous fashion company named after its creator is known not only for formal and luxe creations but is also now expanding into ready to wear, accessories and haute couture. Celebrities walk red carpets in Reem Acra designs and brides get married wearing veils, gowns and even jewelry designed by Reem Acra. Her name has become synonymous with her creations and that is about the highest praise anyone could give.

Imbuing all of her designs with a sense of “global glamour” is Reem Acra’s motivation. She has and always had an innate fashion sense which she unselfishly shares with the world through all of her designs. She, herself, has an intractable European sense of style and she uses her understanding of not only what looks beautiful but also what feels beautiful to create flowing masterpieces in the very best silks and chiffons. Although all of her designs come from a place of magisterial luxury, Reem Acra is not behind the time. She uses her expertise in fashion to keep the clothes modern, light and fresh so that they are perfect for any and every occasion. The democracy of Reem Acra’s bridal line is astounding as everyone from royalty to celebrities to just the average style seeking women can not only afford the ethereal looks but would feel right at home in them. Relatively new Reem Acra launched her fashion business in 1997 and she started with a bang. Concentrating her efforts on a bridal collection, Reem Acra was a breakout success. Her line was praised for its elegance and impeccable design with an unheard of attention to detail. After six years of improving upon her bridal line and making a name for herself Reem Acra made headway in the ready to wear industry and it received similar praise. Though ready to wear was a different market with different needs Reem Acra found the public was very receptive to her concepts of understated and ornate elegance.

Reem Acra bridal designs are easy to spot–they’re the ones that will make you feel like a member of royalty when you wear them.

Image license: Creative Commons (view source)

Inspiration can be found in the most unlikely places, especially for designer Rita Vinieris in her Fall 2013 collection of Rivini bridal.

Rita Vinieris - Wedding Gown Designer

Rita Vinieris is a wedding gown designer that is providing the entire industry with a wealth of inspiration.

Rita Vinieris starts by telling us that the inspiration for her stunning Fall 2013 collection came from an ice castle in Sweden and we don’t know what to think. Having never been to or seen an ice castle we imagine it’s stark and cold, but the Rivini collection is inspired and pretty. After watching all the gorgeous models walking down the runway in New York City during bridal fashion week we are happy to report that wherever this Swedish ice castle is that inspired Vinieris, well, that’s one place we would absolutely love to go to!

Regarding the overall theme of the show, Vinieris uses the word whimsy but the gowns weren’t cute or flirty as much as they were reminiscent of some fantastical world or time. The snow queen or the goddess of winter would have been the ideal audience for these gowns and so they seem perfect for glamorous winter weddings. That kind of aesthetic and those kinds of gowns are hard to come by so in a way Vinieris is really pushing the envelope. The fabrics were all very light in weight but solid in appearance. Lots of use of satin and chiffon. Less sturdy fabrics like lace and tulle were never left on their own but rather used to lighten the load of taffeta ball gowns or satin sheaths. This balancing act achieved the effect of creating a stable base for the construction of the wedding gowns which was truly breathtaking. Although the gowns were mostly sheath and A-Line there were a few trumpets and ball gowns. The gems of this collection were simple and elegant sheath dresses with a touch of sparkle and unique layers and splits. If you are a bride who considers herself to be poised, confident and just a little icy in the best kind of way then this Rivini collection is one you’re going to have a hard time picking just one dress from!

Image license: Facebook (view source)

Proclaimed Canada’s “King of Fashion”, don’t let the fact that Alfred Sung designs everything from home goods to sunglasses scare you away. His bridal line is impeccable every season and he’s so multi-talented that you will get every accessory to match!

Alfred Sung Fashion Designer

Alfred Sung Wedding Fashion Designer

Born in Shanghai, China to a famous Chinese actress: it looks as though Alfred Sung was destined for greatness. Although, this designer had a rocky beginning. He had promised his parents that he would go into a more traditional career but the allure of fashion was too strong and pretty soon after graduation from a school in Hong Kong he moved to Paris to study couture. After a successful course of study there he completed his design training at the famous fashion school in New York, Parsons, and has since then created a big name for himself in his Canadian home and all over the globe.

Alfred Sung now designs men’s and women’s apparel, has several lines of fragrance, lots of different kinds of accessories, homegoods and of course his eponymous bridesmaids and bridal lines. If you are obsessed with all things Sung then you may have also shopped at the international chain of stores he co-founded named Club Monaco. Known for their stark palettes and exceptional design, they offer high-end casual clothing mostly aimed towards working men and women. When asked why Sung got into the bridal game he responded that he loves beauty and asked, “What could be more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day?” In an Alfred Sung gown, the answer is absolutely nothing. Although every collection has its own theme and style the overarching idea behind Alfred Sung bridal is understated elegance. Like many of his other licensed products, Alfred Sung beauty is all about subtle touches and a romantic feel rather than overt glamour or ostentatious glitz. Sung also enjoys designing bridal wear because he has more creative freedom. He can be a little bit more allowing or make room for grandeur as this is a special occasion dress and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for his customers.

Applying care and consideration to all of his products, Sung is not stretched thin. He is a poised and perfect overachiever. You can always expect excellence from his bridal gowns.

Image license: AlfredSung.com (view source)