The wedding aisle is a woman’s ultimate red carpet, said famed designer Lazaro Perez, and she should wear whatever makes her feel like a star.
Known for his intricate embroidery – some of which is copyrighted – and his use of colour, Perez said he takes inspiration from his brides and the designs that walk the entertainment industry’s biggest award shows.
“The red carpet and the bridal industry intertwine quite a bit, I think young ladies nowadays are looking to what celebrities are wearing and they want to take a little bit of that and put it in their bridal wear,” Perez said.
Whether it’s Lupita Nyong’o’s use of colour at the Oscars, or Kate Middleton’s long-sleeved lace dress, brides are paying attention to what celebrities are wearing and they try to make it their own Perez said.
The wedding dress designer was at Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay in Toronto recently for a trunk show and helped fit six brides by the time he sat down with us late afternoon. One bride-to-be even said 'yes' to one of his dresses mid-interview.
“Even after 30 years I get emotional,” he said after greeting his bride and toasting with a glass of champagne.
“Every time a bride said yes I think ‘wow I’m going to be part of this young lady’s big day’ and that means so much to me.”
This season, expect a bit of a return to the traditional, Perez said. Lace is in and layering it with embroidery or different fabrics is also in demand.
“People are keeping an open mind on sleeves and a little bit more coverage,” he said.
“The strapless will always be very strong because it’s very comfortable, but we’re seeing a lot of straps and more styles on the shoulder.”
With so much experience in the bridal world, Perez said he’s seen it all, but what makes today’s bride different is how savvy they are. Thanks to shows like Say Yes to the Dress and of course, the access to information available at their finger-tips, brides are hands on. But, they can still use some traditional advice.
“Keep an open mind. I’ll have girls who come in with a certain picture that they’ve been holding for years or girls will say I don’t want to look like a fairy princess and they put on that tulle skirt and something clicks,” he said.
And for the groom? Make sure you’re not forgotten.
“I don’t like when they try to do the matchy-matchy. I like something clean and tailored,” Perez said.
“If your bride is going out there and spending $4-5,000 on a gown go ahead and get yourself a handmade suit or tuxedo, it’s sad when guys will go out and rent a $200 tux, and you’re wearing a $7,000 dress.”