Brooklyn Bridal. It’s a Thing. And a Place to Find Your Dress. – Smart Media Magazine

Brooklyn Bridal. It’s a Thing. And a Place to Find Your Dress.

New bridal boutiques and ateliers in Brooklyn, specifically Gowanus, Greenpoint, Boerum Hill and Bedford Stuyvesant, sell wedding dresses and accessories by young women designers who understand the needs of a bride seeking elegant, contemporary design with handmade embellishments, and, often a one-of-a-kind dress made just for her.

Most of the gowns and accessories are made in small workrooms in Brooklyn, rather than large factories in China and elsewhere. Some shops are so small and custom there is only one person sewing, often the designer. Service is by appointment and the boutiques take pride in the sustainability of their fabrics.

The Camellia, a lace and silk dress from VeKa Bridal in Brooklyn, designed by Tomomi Okubo; $3,850.

Atlantic Avenue used to be reserved for antique shops, but other retailers have moved in like VeKa Bridal, a small store in Boerum Hill owned by two women, Jana Vendeland and Ksenia Kaliaguina. It sells bridal dresses by one Brooklyn designer, Tomomi Okubo, and four others in Chicago, Belgium, Italy and Spain, all of whom have very small production companies and make every dress to measure, by hand. All alterations are done in-house at VeKa. The usual time for a garment to be made is four to five months. (Rush orders are $100 to $250 extra.) All sizes are available; dresses are $2,000 to $4,000.

Pantora Bridal, a store on Nostrand Avenue in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, is owned by Andrea Pitter Campbell who is also the designer of the bridal dresses and flower girl dresses. Ms. Pitter Campbell is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology. She sells two bridal gown lines. The Pantora Bridal collection is made in-house by a team of two to five people; the other collection, Andrea Campbell, is made by outside manufacturers. The Pantora Mini collection, includes dresses appropriate for flower girls; they are made on the premises. The flower girl dress sizes start at 9 months; prices begin at $150 and take six to 12 weeks to make. Bridal dresses are $1,800 to $8,000. Suggested lead time for a bridal dress is six to 14 months. By appointment only.

The Wedding Dresser has been based in Industry City on the edge of Gowanus for the last year and a half. It is owned by Susan Ruddie Spring, who started her career in theater costuming before entering the bridal industry. Everyone in her group has been trained in costume or bridal fashion, she said. The Wedding Dresser will customize a dress bought elsewhere, restyle a vintage gown, re-size or alter a recycled gown, do buildups of sleeves or necklines, reshape skirts, add beading or just alter a dress. The shop also sells a line of accessories like jackets and capes. Belts and gloves can be customized with laces and trims, and dresses can be restyled or painted after the wedding to be worn as a party dress. All work is done in Brooklyn and in-home fittings are available.

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