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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Andrea Wasserman, our National Bridal Director, is recapping the highlights of her most recent buying trip to designers’ showrooms. Here’s what she had to share:

We’re so lucky at Nordstrom Weddings. Yes, of course we shop the bridal market twice per year for the best from bridal designers, but we also get to attend dress markets throughout the year to make sure we have the latest fashion hitting our Wedding Suites each and every month. Last week was one such market trip! We headed to New York’s Garment District to visit the showrooms of 15 designers and see what they’re offering for the winter months. We’re still finalizing our selections, so check back soon to see exactly what we picked.

Showroom: Shoshanna
Current favorite: Shoshanna ‘Risa’ Cap Sleeve Chantilly Lace Dress. The cap sleeve is summery, the deep color is all about fall and the lace is simply trend-right.

Looking forward: This was the first of several visits where shades of peach and rich mint popped up. Summer 2012 may not be over, but spring 2013 is in the air! Get in the mood for these colors with this inspiration board from our friends at REVEL. Speaking of REVEL, we stopped for lunch at L’Artusi, with founder and chief reveler, Saukok. Over a roasted-peach salad (no coincidence!), she told us how much she loves this particular color palette.

I’m such a fan of the Shoshanna bridal items coming that I may just buy them for real life, too.

Showroom: Aidan Mattox
Current favorite: Aidan Mattox One Shoulder Petal Skirt Chiffon Dress
Aidan Mattox is the home of the LWD (little white dress, of course!), and we love this one for an engagement party, a bachelorette party, a rehearsal dinner or an after-party.

Looking forward: One word: LACE.

Showroom: Jill Stuart
Current favorite: Jill Stuart Strapless Ruched Silk Chiffon Dress
This line is new to the Wedding Suite this season, and our brides have loved Jill’s LWDs (see above for the lingo lesson). We can’t get enough of the peplum and we like how this bright number brings the color trend to bridesmaids in a figure-flattering way with light fabric and a vertical line.

Looking forward: Long, feminine bridesmaid dresses and short, flirty white dresses.

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