Bigger is often better in the bridal world, and we’re not just talking about bridezilla temper tantrums. Bella Bianca’s Gold Coast salon, a bridal salon known for its high-end gowns and a glamorous shopping environment, is expanding to take over the entire second floor of 12 West Maple Street. The new floor will be open by mid-March.
Sisters and owners Natalie Bauer and Melissa Russell say that part of the reason for the expansion was the fact that all brides shop very differently. You’ve got your brides who schedule an appointment with all fifteen of their sorority sister bridesmaids, your intimate mother-daughter gown-browsing moments, and even your brides who prefer to shop alone. Because of this, the salon will offer new shopping formats such as expanded viewing areas and spacious bridal suites. “We believe a large part of [the bridal shopping] experience stems from the layout and comfort of our salon. We wanted to be able to accommodate multiple types of groups, from an entire bridal party shopping for bridesmaid gowns to a bride who simply would prefer a more secluded viewing area,” says Natalie. The new space will also focus more on bridal party dresses.
Of course, the expansion also means more dresses, and some of the sisters’ favorite designers will be on glamorous display in the new space: Alon Livne’s gowns have been seen on celebrities like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, while Nurit Hen is an intricate Israeli designer. “Israeli designers have recently taken the bridal world by storm, becoming the most in-demand aesthetic,” says Natalie. Despite the fact that the sisters have very different tastes, they’re both obsessed with Ines Di Santo’s “ethereal” designs. At the moment, Natalie prefers the Sistine, a strapless dropped-waist dress with a sweetheart neckline and pearled skirt, while Melissa said if she could get married again, it would be in the mermaid silhouette of the Iva.
Brides shopping for dresses now should note spring 2015 trends: “Sleeves have seen a huge resurgence in the bridal industry, because they are flattering on many shapes and sizes,” says Natalie. “Dramatic necklines are also a popular feature, whether this means a deep V or beaded, illusion décolletage.” Melissa notes that bridesmaid attire is getting a bit more traditional. “A prominent 2015 trend for bridesmaids is the return to matching attire, a departure from the mix-and-match styles that we have seen over the past couple of years,” she says. Something old, something new.