Interview

Hers is a name you should definitely know, because her gorgeous wedding dresses will sweep you off your feet! We are so excited to officially introduce Kelly Faetanini as a new designer in our Wedding Suites across the country. This month, we have four of her gowns debuting: Georgina, Reid, Becky and Felicity. (How cute are those names?!) Browse them all online in our new lookbook, and get a closer look (and try them on) in store.

Because we adore Kelly herself as much as her designs, we thought you should have a chance to get to know her too. Here’s our Q&A with the New York-based designer—and newlywed—on all things bridal!

The Wedding Suite: You were married in May last year. Tell us how you stayed cool under all the pressures of your big day.

Kelly: We were married on May 5th, 2012, and the launch of my collection was two weeks prior—needless to say, there was lots of pressure from both ends! The first thing I did to stay calm and collected on the big day was to delegate as many tasks as possible to my wedding coordinator and my bridesmaids. It was wonderful, because not once did I have anyone running to me with emergencies on my wedding day!

My second-best piece of advice is to let go of everything and savor the moments. When you allow yourself to melt into the moment, you can focus on the wonderful things surrounding your day, rather than focusing on how hectic it is. Of course, there were little things that went awry throughout the day, but I made sure to let go of anxiety so I could enjoy all the amazing memories!

How much time did you spend designing your wedding gown? What did you discover about yourself and your design signature during this process?

Kelly: Creating my wedding gown was the hardest design I’ve ever had to do. I typically design collections about a year ahead of their launch dates, so my mind is always swarming with new ideas. It took me about two weeks to design my gown, and once I did, I decided it had to be final. I didn’t want to drive myself crazy by changing the design over and over, so I stuck to my instinct, and the gown came out beautifully.

During this process, I discovered the true mentality of a bride. I wanted a style that would be unique yet classic, sophisticated but romantic. I’ve always heard brides use these terms, but I learned their true meaning when I was designing my gown. This really shaped the way I design now. I try to ensure that every gown has a timeless feel with a modern touch.

You’ve said that your mission is to create a magnificent luxury experience for each bride. How do you go about doing this?

Kelly: Finding your dream gown is an emotional experience. I’ve witnessed brides struggling to find the perfect dress, and I believe that every bride should have exactly what she wants in her wedding gown. My brides can customize their gowns to make them uniquely their own, which I believe embodies the luxury couture experience. Brides can choose different fabrics, opt for beading or no beading, and experiment with removable necklines and embellishments. All of these little details make the experience of finding the perfect dress a luxurious one.


When it comes to gown selection, which one thing do you see brides struggling with the most? How can they overcome it?

Kelly: One thing that I see so often is brides struggling to choose a gown that their friends and family like. Everyone has their own taste—and sometimes what friends and family want to see is different from what the bride envisions for herself. Ultimately, brides should remember that they need to follow their hearts and choose gowns that they truly love themselves. At the end of the day, a bride’s family and friends will think she looks beautiful no matter which gown she chooses.



Which unique elements set your spring/summer 2013 collection apart from others?

Kelly: We strive to have a fresh perspective on designs each season. There are many beautiful gowns available by other designers, but we always offer something that’s unique. One element that’s become my signature is detachable components: each season, we offer gowns with detachable necklines and skirts. This is such a fun feature, and it allows a bride to have two or more looks for her wedding day.

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The lovely Anne Barge is one of our favorite gown designers, and we couldn’t be happier to carry new gowns from her La Fleur and Anne Barge lines in our suites this spring! Anne’s new gowns have a cohesively modern but also vintage feeling—a classic, timeless look that she manages to reinvent each season.

For her 2013 collection, Anne was inspired by the news of the Ritz Paris closing for a two-year renovation. Built in 1898 by César Ritz, the hotel was an immediate success and at its pinnacle from opening day through the early 20th century, serving as home to the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel.

Anne describes more about her creative vision behind each uniquely designed dress: “My focus for this season was 1898 to the 1920s. I incorporated a silk organza hand-stamped lace motif gown into the collection and a number of watercolor pastel pieces in honey, oyster, blush and latte. It was all from a painter’s palette—think Monet and Renoir.”

We envisioned a palette and inspirations around the ‘Emmanuelle’ gown below. Ah, now we’re dreaming of a Parisian wedding! Ooh la la!

Renior painting | Paris rooftops | White peonies | Bouquet | Badgley Mischka ‘Cissy’ Sandal | Anne Barge ‘Emmanuelle’ Gown | Monet painting | Peony painting | Clutch similar to Sondra Roberts sequined pouch | Degas painting | Hôtel Ritz Paris

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Get to know model Codie Young. Since appearing in the Valentino spring 2013 campaign, her fiery red tresses and svelte physique have made her hard to go unnoticed. We chatted with the fresh-faced beauty, a London-based Aussie transplant, about everything from books to boys to her dream wedding, as she was primped and polished backstage at Tadashi Shoji.

Wedding Suite: What book are you holding in your hand?
Codie Young: At the moment I am reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s about this guy, who is a firefighter. The book takes place in the future, during a time when firefighters actually start fires to burn books because they are outlawed. I must say, I’m loving this book. Reading is a great way to pass the time while I’m getting made up from every direction.

Tadashi Shoji is known for his dresses and gowns. Some of the looks in the collection could be worn for a wedding, right?
Totally! The white and ivory dresses I would definitely wear.

Oh, we like the way you’re thinking. Can we ask if you’re in a relationship?
Well, I am VERY single, but what girl hasn’t thought about the perfect wedding dress? I would wear something simple and probably wouldn’t even wear heels. I couldn’t imagine myself having a big wedding either.

Stay tuned for more ready-to-wear meets wedding-inspired looks from the runways of New York Fashion Week.

Qianna Smith

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We asked designer Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss to take a minute to answer a few of our questions about her inspirations and give some advice to brides about choosing dresses for their bridesmaids.


Tell us about your design inspirations and philosophy.

I started my line out of my frustration with fashion. I felt there were no beautiful, elegant, youthful and flattering clothes that suited my body type. I knew there were a lot of women who felt the same.

I wanted my collection to be inclusive, something special that women would feel good in–no matter what the occasion was. I thought that I had a good point of view and something to say, and I still feel that way.

Who is the lady you design for?
The brand has grown as I have grown and has evolved as my life has changed. I was a young girl focused on designing cute, wearable, fun clothing to go out in, and as I’ve become a mom, a wife and a businesswoman, I have more needs in my life, and the product line and the customer base have grown.

So it has evolved from a young girl, to a working woman, to a mom, and to a woman in her 40s or 50s who is in good shape and needs dresses and swimsuits that are appropriate and make her feel good.

I focus on being celebratory of women and their bodies and making clothing that looks beautiful, celebrates the shape, and is appropriate for all.


What is your favorite dress trend for fall?

I am not necessarily a “trend” believer, but my favorite dress for fall is a fitted bodice with a full skirt. Variations of this shape include different fabrics, embellishment at the neckline, embroidery, sleeveless, three-quarter sleeves…the possibilities are endless.

Do you have any tips for a bride trying to choose dresses for her bridesmaids?
Think about how your choices will flatter the shapes and coloring of your bridesmaids. Options for bridal parties are so vast that there should be a nice compromise between what you want your party to wear and what they want to wear.

When designing, I take all shapes and sizes into consideration, so bridal parties have more than one option to choose from.

Check out our Shoshanna dresses available online—perfectly pretty for any bridesmaid!

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On the heels of announcing our newest collection of Nordstrom-exclusive wedding gowns—Roses by Reem Acra—we couldn’t think of anyone better to answer your bridal styling questions than the genius designer herself. Fans over at our Nordstrom Weddings Facebook page asked the questions, and Reem Acra has the answers!

What is the best fabric for a dress when it’s a beach wedding in tropical weather?
You have many options for a beach wedding or tropical weather: silk, chiffon and tulle are very good choices.

I feel like my gown’s bustier sits too high up (underarm level); how can I tell if the height is correct?
You will know if the gown is too high in the arm if it rubs on your arm when you move it. You should always feel comfortable.

Is a full-laced gown and a lace-lined veil too much?
It always depends on how it is worn and your own personality. If you can carry it off, you can look amazing. If you feel overwhelmed, it will show. Stick with what you feel is best for you.

Are veils even in style anymore?
Although veils seem to be traditional, you can have fun with your veil by being creative with how you style yourself. You can look at some of my veils—some cascade from the waist or the shoulder rather than the head.

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We’re so excited to announce the upcoming addition of a little southern sparkle to select Nordstrom Wedding Suites across the country—heidi elnora bridal gowns, arriving March 26. The sweet and charming Alabama native spent a few minutes chatting with us, sharing everything from her tips for finding THE dress to her advice for planning the perfect day.

Tell us about the woman you design for.
A heidi elnora bride is a romantic at heart. She loves clean lines and attention to detail. She isn’t afraid to step out of the box while maintaining a classic and timeless day.

Why did you go into the wedding industry?
That’s a long story. Just know that it has to do with falling in LOVE!

What is your design philosophy and what sets your gowns apart?
My design philosophy is “simple sophistication with a touch of whimsical flair that creates a vintage vibe”—that’s a whole lot of something, but it pretty much says it all.

A heidi elnora gown is different because it isn’t screaming, “I’m a bride.” Yet, you feel and look like one.

What is the biggest trend you’re seeing right now for weddings?
Trends come and go, but currently a big trend for bridal is simple dresses with some type of WOW—for instance a peplum, capelet or neck/sleeve adornment.

What are your tips for finding the perfect dress?
After working with hundreds of brides, I would suggest you get on Pinterest and start tagging things you like. This will help you to see what you are leaning toward. This is also an easy way to share your ideas with your friends and family. I love my Pinterest page. I often use it for inspiration for the upcoming collection.

You recently visited our San Francisco Wedding Suite. What did you think?
Brides in California are so lucky to have such talented and knowledgeable stylists at their Wedding Suite. These ladies really take their time to learn about their bride. It reminds me of being back in Alabama; it’s just comfortable.

What advice would you offer to our Nordstrom brides?
For all of the brides planning your big day, I would advise you to do your research and not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Remember that too many opinions can make you crazy, so only bring one or two super-supportive and positive people. It will make the experience that much more enjoyable.

Find heidi elnora wedding gowns at select Nordstrom Wedding Suites.* Visit our Wedding Suite online for more gowns, inspiration and information about creating your perfect wedding.

*Available at Brea Mall, California; Garden State Plaza, New Jersey; Houston Galleria, Texas; Michigan Avenue, Illinois; NorthPark Center, Texas; San Francisco Centre, California.

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