As an over-40 bride, Vera Wang encountered a number of fashion frustrations preparing for her June 1989 wedding.
For one, she found there weren't a lot of dresses out there for mature brides such as she, and there was no such thing as one-stop shopping for all her bridal needs.Now there are both. Vera Wang Bridal House Ltd. opened in late summer at the Carlyle Hotel on upper Madison Avenue in Manhattan. The salon is on two levels reached via a sweeping carpeted staircase.
Upstairs, sample gowns are showcased on roomy racks against back-lit walls. From European and American designers, they range from $2,000 to $25,000 in styles appealing to all ages.
Designers include Carolina Herrera, Victor Edelstein, Pat Kerr, Arnold Scaasi, Guy Laroche and Catherine Puget. There are also gowns from Priscilla of Boston, Christian Dior Bridal, the Diamond Collection and Marriage.
"We will have about 150 to choose from at any one time," says Wang, "plus the ability to do dresses from scratch, custom-designed in our own workrooms."
Dressing rooms have full-length triple mirrors and telephones, and ample space for consultations and alterations for the bride and her attendants.
Tucked behind paneled doors are drawers of accessories and racks of shoes. On-premises seamstresses not only will alter gowns, they will stitch garters and ring pillows to order.
Wang, most recently design director for Ralph Lauren women's accessories and previously a senior fashion editor at Vogue magazine, says brides who live outside New York should be able to complete their shopping in two trips.
But you don't have to be a member of the wedding to visit the store. The first floor is devoted to the little black dress and other party confections with a top price of about $3,000. In addition, says Wang, some of the bridal gowns are suitable for proms and debutante parties.
And one customer ordered a copy of a bridal gown in the window in a color suitable for a ball.