By Hal Rubenstein
On the red carpet, under the bridal canopy, wherever ultimate glamour is desired and admired, designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka are there. That’s why Gabriel & Co has partnered with these talented arbiters of unmistakable beauty to inaugurate our new online Designer Flash series. In their exclusive interview, Mark and James generously offer their personal views on both bridal and accessible style, sharing passions, revealing secret tricks, even offering a few dreaded “don’ts.” In addition, Designer Flash will show you how to pair your gorgeous Gabriel engagement ring with the perfect Badgley Mischka bridal gown as well as which of the sparkling accessories Gabriel crafts like no other fine jeweler in the world to complete an ensemble beyond your daydreams.
But Designer Flash offers even more enlightenment, information and fun every month.
Mark Badgley and James Mischka are blessed with a gift- they are able to design dresses that make a woman feel like she is the only one worth looking at. So, it’s no wonder Kate Winslet, Taylor Swift, Helen Mirren and Carrie Underwood are photographed in their glorious gowns on the red carpet. And it’s also why celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith and Lauren Conrad as well as thousands of other discerning brides choose Badgley Mischka to dress them on their wedding day. These two soft-spoken and unfailingly gracious gentlemen possess an enviably keen insight as to how a modern bride can dazzle like a star yet still be her radiant self.
And luckily, we have them here to share their savvy with us.
Hal: Looking at runways you can’t help but get the feeling that fashion is all over the place, a non-stop parade of trends. How does a bride decide?
James: It’s funny and kind of sweet that while a bride-to-be can walk in playing it cool as a rock star, but when it comes to envisioning her wedding day, she softens up and wants to look beautiful. Even the girl who always dresses in black asks for Chantilly lace. On her big day, sincerity plays better than edginess.
Mark: The big change in weddings isn’t necessarily the gown. It is the level of competition that has developed in several notable ways.
James: Your wedding is now likely to be broadcast, livestreamed, posted, Tweeted, and on YouTube so couples want as many aspects of their wedding to be as individual and unique as possible.
Mark: They seek that extra layer of tulle that captures that has that “something blue” ribbon woven through it, or they pick a spectacular shoe and make sure it doesn’t remain hidden.
James: But maybe the biggest change is with her the ring. The bride’s - and for that matter the groom’s -knowledge of engagement and wedding rings has changed drastically. They know the difference between cushion and Asscher cuts, between side baguettes and haloes.
Mark: They want individualization and customization Ten years ago you rarely heard a woman say, “My fiancée designed this ring and I am the only one with this”. But now because the bride and groom are often working, older, and not relying on mom and dad to pay for the wedding, couples feel it wise and comfortable making a mutual investment, pooling their incomes to make that special ring a reality. Previous generations would talk about starter rings. This generation wants “that ring” now.
Hal: So can one wedding dress make a ring more of a standout than another?
James: Absolutely. Much as we are known for beading and embellishment in our evening gowns, our favorite gowns, the ones we believe are most beautiful are the understated ones that boast clean, structured silhouettes made from the most luxurious fabrics, 6 ply crepe instead of 2 play. Choose elegance over sizzle. The simplest gowns, the ones that doesn’t compete with the bride but shows her off and relies on her smile and her ring to provide the sparkles are the real deal and they are the ones, that years later, when you look in your album, people are most likely to say “Look how lovely you looked.” And then they will ask to see your ring again. Perfect.
GABRIEL JEWELRY FOR A SENSATIONAL WEDDING LOOK
On your once in a lifetime day, I’m sure you guys are going to be a great looking couple, but let’s be honest, milady. It’s still all about you, just you, only you. And oh yeah, THAT RING!
That’s why selecting additional pieces of jewelry to accessories your wedding day is a little different then when you’re putting it together for other big nights out.
With the rare exception like Elizabeth Taylor’s Krupp diamond, rings are rarely the standout element in an outfit. But your wedding day is an exception. So which are right pieces that will enhance your beauty without upstaging you, your dress, or your Gabriel ring.
Using with our gorgeous gowns from Badgley Mischka, - our DESIGNER FLASH guests this month – we are going to show you how to do just that.
CHOOSE DELICACY OVER FLASH
You are the day’s headliner but you’re not opening in Vegas, nor do you want to look at your wedding album a decade from now and cry out, “What was I thinking?”
Here’s what you don’t do: Statement necklaces are out.
Armfuls of bangles are out. Big chandelier earrings are fine for the honeymoon, or if you are going to change into a party dress after the ceremony. But for the veil and the vows think more Duchess of Cambridge than Sofia Vergara.
Gabriel offers are two wonderfully attractive ways to go.
We recommend either:
- Pavé drops that offer more shimmer than volume and act like twinkle lights on your cheekbones.
- Hoops that are open to movement and flow for a sense of lightness
- Think weightlessness and delicacy.
- Opt for the intricate detailing of Gabriel’s intricately crafted pendants, suspended on an ethereally airy chain, or our signature “waterfall’ of diamonds.
- Necklaces can either match the earrings since the pieces are about gorgeous understatement, or they can simply be harmonious.
- The loveliest place for a necklace to fall is right onto the clavicle. It’s the perfect length.
- You need your arms free to embrace, hug, waveand dance, so don’t choose anything heavy.
- Gabriel’s multiple lines of bracelets are justly for their openness, ease and fluidity.
- While a circlet that is graceful and formal always works, some of our most popular bracelets offer incredibly sensual curvature, with ‘effortlessly comfortable ergonomics.
- Bracelets are often a “something borrowed” item. But beware the heavy rattlers, noisy janglers and any whose workmanship might get caught against the more fragile fabrics of your gown.
- While only one ring makes it official, you still have nine other fingers that would mind some attention and adornment.
- No other ring should be worn on your left hand. On your right choose a ring with no defining solitaire, or large stone. Open and sculptural, rings with no height make uniquely lovely accessories to your ensemble.
• Whatever your mood, and whatever you decide, choose jewelry that you will love so much you are going to want to wear it again and again and again.
• Your wedding dress isn’t going to be making another appearance, and your wedding rings aren’t coming off, BUT what a wonderful rush to take out that pendant or those drops you wore on your wedding day and put them on again as a sparkling reminder or how beautiful you looked that night and how lucky you are to have found lasting love.
1. Your bouquet should never be multi-colored or be a mixed arrangement. All that color distracts from the ring. Tropical flowers are taboo.
2. White gardenias or magnolias with their brown stems and waxy green leaves are the most gorgeous options. If it’s the holidays, deep crimson is allowed.
3. Your tables should host a different flower but also be monochrome for greatest impact.
4. The groom should try to imitate Cary Grant in every way. Who? He was the Ryan Gosling of Hollywood's Golden Age. Watch one of his films (To Catch a Thief with Grace Kelly) check out his incredibly tailored wardrobe.
5. Best destination wedding? The Greek islands. Any of them.
6. Never, ever, let anyone try on your ring. Ever. Preserve the envy.