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'Pure Michigan' is the new look for bridal gowns, veils

Michigan is stepping up to New York and California’s reputation for bridal designers

 Michigan may not seem like your typical oasis for wedding gown design, but several metro Detroit designers are making their names known worldwide for bridal dresses and accessories.  Wedding gown designer Katerina Bocci and veil designer Ariel Taub are among the top metro Detroit designers who have risen to fame in the last few years, according to The Detroit News. Their creations have been featured in bridal publications including The Knot, Bridal Guide, Inside Weddings and at New York Bridal Fashion Week.

Katerina Bocci  Bocci, 49, is among the few couture wedding gown designers in Michigan. Hers is truly a “rags to riches” story of an Albanian native who learned to sew at a school run by nuns in Italy.  She came to Michigan in 2001 and found a job as a seamstress. The idea of women buying a pre-made wedding dress and then looking for a seamstress to alter the dress was totally foreign to her. Soon, she started making custom dresses from her one-bedroom apartment, and her eveningwear caught the attention of several local media personalities.  As she gained more clients, Bocci bought a house and turned the basement into a studio, hiring other seamstresses, mostly older women from Europe, to help sew.  She began to focus exclusively on bridal gowns in 2009, with a specialty in customized dresses.  Her motto: “When God created us, he created us one person at a time and he gave us all different fingerprints. None in the world are the same fingerprint, so why should a bride be like every other bride and wear the same repetition of things on the most special day of her life?”  Her gowns start at $5,000, using lace that is priced at $500 per yard. And, of course, her precious time is spent on each dress, requiring from 25 to 400 hours, depending on the style and complexity of design. The gowns are sold in stores from New York to Florida to Texas, but Bocci has no plans to leave Michigan.

Jenna Huntley  At 28, Jenna Huntley is a young bridal gown designer who also owns her own bridal shop, Jenna in White, in metro Detroit area city of Berkley. She specializes in custom work and other one-of-a-kind delicate wedding dresses and accessories, including intricate finishes such as Swarovski crystals, lace, applique and seed pearls. All of her Michigan gowns are delicately handcrafted to the desires and specifications of each bride. Just as no two brides are alike, Jenna’s dresses are one-of-a-kind.  Why does she take such time doing custom work and finishing touches for brides? “Because it’s the bride’s most special day of her life.”  The wedding gown is the height of meaningful symbolism in marriages. The bride’s chosen gown is seen as an opportunity for happiness — a symbolism of the transition from single life into a married happily ever after.

Ariel Taub  Veil designer Ariel Taub, 32, of West Bloomfield is one of the few veil designers in Michigan and the only one who places Swarovski crystals on each veil by hand with a toothpick.  After working in a bridal shop when she returned to Michigan in 2009 after graduating from Parsons New School of Design in New York City, she realized that the “boring” wedding accessory of veils needed more glitz and glamor.  “Everyone always cares about the gown, and it’s what everyone pays attention to. But the veil is the thing that makes the bride a bride,” she said in a Detroit News article. “Once you put it on, it’s that thing that completes the look and you can only wear it on your wedding day.”  Taub’s company, Arield Jennifer Taub, officially launched in 2013 and produces up to 1,000 veils a year. They’re available at several metro Detroit area bridal shops, as well as in Grand Rapids, New York, Canada, Brazil and Australia.  In each veil, Taub hides her signature mark: a blue Swarovski crystal, to help bride’s find that “something blue,” she said. Her collection includes 75 designs ranging in price from $60 to $6,000, depending on the number of crystals used. SOURCE: The Detroit News,

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