Best indie bridal shops

Kleinfeld isn't the only game in town: These local purveyors have gorgeous gowns aplenty.

0

Comments

Add +

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Designer Loft

    Designer Loft

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Designer Loft

    Designer Loft

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Bling by Wilkening vintage-inspired drop earrings, $175, at Designer Loft

    Bling by Wilkening vintage-inspired drop earrings, $175, at Designer Loft

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Gabriella New York Bridal Salon

    Gabriella New York Bridal Salon

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Gabriella New York Bridal Salon

    Gabriella New York Bridal Salon

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Lovely Bridal Shop

    Lovely Bridal Shop

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Lovely Bridal Shop

    Lovely Bridal Shop

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Nelle ruched silk charmeuse clutch, $95, at Lovely Bridal Shop

    Nelle ruched silk charmeuse clutch, $95, at Lovely Bridal Shop

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier

    Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier

  • Photograph: Ilenia Martini

    Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier

    Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    RK Bridal

    RK Bridal

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    RK Bridal

    RK Bridal

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    La Sposa Sajonia gown, $1,848, at RK Bridal

    La Sposa Sajonia gown, $1,848, at RK Bridal

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    VeKa

    VeKa

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Wedding Atelier

    Wedding Atelier

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Wedding Atelier

    Wedding Atelier

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    The White Gown

    The White Gown

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    Amsale bridesmaid dresses, $297--$308, at The White Gown

    Amsale bridesmaid dresses, $297--$308, at The White Gown

Photograph: Krista Schlueter

Designer Loft

Designer Loft

Designer Loft
This second-floor shop is a quiet respite from some of the madhouse salons in the nearby Garment District. The small space is lined with nontraditional gowns organized into groups, like vintage-inspired sheaths, trumpet gowns with elaborately ruffled bottoms and a lace section. Gowns, which range from $1,400 to $10,000 (in-house alterations are $400--$600), are either from local designers (such as Matthew Christopher and Elen Paumere) or international names (England's Jenny Packham, Israeli Galit Levi and Carlos Haro from Spain). After you walk through the dress selection with a consultant, try on your picks in one of the five large but spare wood-floored dressing rooms, as friends and family wait for you on the main room's plush couches and chairs. Besides wedding dresses, Designer Loft also carries Bling by Wilkening tear drop earrings ($175), Halo Swarovski crystal headbands ($300--$600) and a selection of bridesmaid dresses, including Liz Fields floral-print frocks ($220). 226 W 37th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, second floor (212-944-9013, designerloftnyc.com)

Gabriella New York Bridal Salon
This lofty bridal salon has a distinctly downtown vibe: Upon entering the apartment-like space with white-painted brick walls and wood floors, you'll be greeted with classic rock music and a glass of coffee, wine or tea. Along with a consultant, brides are free to peruse the samples that hang on racks around the store's perimeter, while their entourage waits on simple linen furniture. Owner Gabriella Risatti worked in the buying office for brands like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein before opening her eponymous shop in 2008, and her high-end background translates to a well-edited selection of dresses from some of the most in-demand designers out there, including Marchesa, Ulla-Maija, Matthew Christopher and even a line by in-house seamstress Sarah Jassir. Risatti aims to bring in the best dresses ($2,000--$12,000) in a variety of styles, from boho embroidered sheaths and princess gowns with miles of tulle to glamorous '50s-style dresses and draped satin frocks (alterations range from $200 to $595). Complete your big-day look with the large selection of accessories, housed in a giant wooden cabinet at the center of the store, such as vintage earrings that Risatti sources from around the city ($50--$150), Aruna Seth satin wedges ($800) and Sara Gabriel French netting hair combs ($150--$350). 400 W 14th St at Ninth Ave, suite 2A (212-206-1915, gabriellanewyork.com)

Lovely Bridal Shop
After owner Lanie List got married in 2009, she noticed a hole in the bridal market for a relaxed, boutiquelike dress shop, and the idea for Lovely was born soon after. Housed in a quaint West Village brownstone, the store's chalkboard-painted walls, mason jar chandeliers and wall collages made from vintage journal pages create a homey vibe. The first floor houses the dresses ($700--$6,000), which brides are free to browse with a consultant. Although the quirky selection includes big-name labels like Badgley Mischka and Nicole Miller, Lovely specializes in gowns from lesser-known indie designers, like Ivy & Aster, Carol Hannah Whitfield of Project Runway fame and Elizabeth Dye, who was discovered on Etsy. Slip on your selections in one of the three upstairs fitting rooms, outfitted with linen furniture and a pair of blue pumps for trying on with your dresses. You'll have to get alterations done elsewhere—Lovely recommends Slate NYC (slatenyc.com) or Sew Elegant (sewelegantny.blogspot.com)—although you can get certain finishing touches here, including Nelle linen bow clutches ($85) and La Boheme feathered hair clips with jeweled centers ($110--$135). Mention TONY for 10 percent off all full-price dress purchases through June 30. 313 W 4th St between Bank and W 12th Sts (212-924-2050, lovelybride.com)

Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier
Brides in search of a designer wedding gown will appreciate the dresses ($4,500--$20,000) at this upscale atelier, inside the Park 55 commercial building, where you'll find samples from all of the biggest names in fashion (Oscar de la Renta! Carolina Herrera! Vera Wang!). Upon your arrival, the expert staff—most of whom boast more than ten years of experience—will pull gowns that fit your specifications, then help you try them on in one of the six spacious private fitting rooms, complete with plush chairs for family and friends. For those who don't find an option from the elegant and sophisticated available selections, the atelier hosts frequent trunk shows, allowing you to try on styles from the full collections of labels like Lela Rose, Kevan Hall and Rose Taft. An in-house seamstress will alter your gown for about 8 to 10 percent of its cost, and consultants can help you pick out complementary accessories from Debra Moreland, including antique-inspired Swarovski crystal brooches ($350--$650), faux-diamond drop earrings ($290) and bun covers decorated in enamel flowers ($445). 110 E 55th St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-319-6778, bridalatelier.com)

RK Bridal
If you're looking for a formal dress-shopping experience, complete with pampering, champagne and a bevy of consultants waiting on you, then this no-frills bridal shop is not for you. Appointments aren't accepted here—simply show up to the warehouse-like store and browse the thousands of dresses organized by designer (La Sposa, Allure Couture, Justin Alexander, Enzoani), pulling whichever ones strike your fancy until a consultant is available. Styles tend toward strapless and princess ball gowns, although the range is huge. When your turn is up, try on your selections in a back fitting room, then show them off at one of the eight mirrored stations, where family can watch from nearby booth seating. Gowns start at just $300, with most running between $800 and $2,000 (in-house alterations cost $100--$350). Budget brides looking for serious deals should beeline to the sale section, where you'll find last season's dresses at 60 percent markdowns year-round. Plus-size gowns are also plentiful here, with more than 120 styles to choose from. There's also bountiful bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride sections organized by manufacturer and color. 318 W 39th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-947-1155, rkbridal.com)

VeKa
Having run their Nolita bridal shop since 2001, owners Jana Vendeland and Ksenia Kaliaguina relocated their operation to a spare new space in Boerum Hill in April. Only one appointment is taken at a time, so you'll have free rein over the extra-large, curtained fitting room, whose windows open onto a tranquil garden. Vendeland and Kaliaguina limit the brands they carry to just four custom, small-batch designers, so they can bring in a large selection from each collection every season. Currently, they stock Old Hollywood--inspired, tailored dresses from Palazzo ($1,800--$4,500) and eco-friendly gowns made from organic hemp and silk by Adele Wechlser ($1,900--$3,200). But what VeKa does best is whimsy, and you'll find it in Suzanne Ermann's gowns ($2,500--$4,000) with fanciful wire-based twirl hems, and Manon Pascual's styles ($2,500--$3,500), featuring hand-painted flower and vintage lace details. Alterations start at $350 and are done in-house. 412 Atlantic Ave between Bond and Nevins Sts, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn (718-222-1178, vekabridal.com)

Wedding Atelier
Be prepared to remove your street shoes when you enter this lofty Flatiron atelier—even the staff plods around in stocking feet or slippers, to keep the floors clean enough for floor-sweeping dresses to glide over. When you arrive for your appointment, a consultant walks you through the large room, lined with mirrored walls that slide open to reveal dresses ($1,300--$10,000) organized by designer (including Suzanne Neville, Melissa Sweet, Nicole Miller and Alvina Valenta). The majority of the stock is strapless ball gowns, though there are a few lace sheaths and satin column gowns mixed in. Standard alterations are a flat $495, but if more complicated adjustments are needed, the team of in-house seamstresses will masterfully add lace straps ($700) or even turn a straight-across neckline into a sweetheart ($125--$175). In terms of accessories, look for Erin Kohl long veils with beaded trim ($1,500), and a set of pearl-and-rhinestone hair pins (three for $210) and silk jewel-encrusted belts ($325) from the atelier's private label. Mention TONY to receive 15 percent off all full-price gowns and 20 percent off all full-price accessories through June 30. 103 Fifth Ave between 17th and 18th Sts, second floor (646-638-3263, weddingatelier.com)

The White Gown
Brooklyn brides who are more classic-chic than hipster will love the relaxed but upscale vibe of this large, brick-walled shop. When you arrive for your hour-and-a-half-long appointment, a consultant will pull selections from designers like Lusan Mandongus, Alyne by Rivini and Blush by Jim Hjelm ($1,300--$5,000) for you to try on in one of the five fitting rooms, while your entourage waits on comfy couches outside. Those with midrange budgets and timeless tastes will be in heaven here, since many of the dresses fall between $1,800 and $3,000 (in-house alterations cost $400 to $600), and are largely embellishment-free, with classic lines and vintage touches such as cotton lace. Unadorned dresses can be dolled up with beaded ribbon belts by Enzoani ($300--$1,000), Sara Gabriel birdcage veils ($365) and pearl drop necklaces made exclusively for the store by jeweler John Sampieri ($450). Bridesmaids can also browse the colorful rack in the front for strapless metallic minidresses by Occasions ($264) and Amsale Grecian-style draped gowns ($297--$308). Mention TONY to receive a free veil or hair accessory (worth up to $300) with the purchase of a gown through July 15. 69 Jay St between Front and Water Sts, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-222-4696, thewhitegown.com)

See more in Shopping + Style

Users say

0 comments