Dress designer extraordinaire Cristiano Lucci creates some of the most dramatic, intricately detailed bridal gowns right now. We caught up with the ultra-cool designer to find out a little bit more about the inspiration behind the collection, and what his predictions are for wedding dresses in 2014…
How did you start designing wedding dresses?
I started designing wedding dresses at the request of a friend. I began designing as a hobby and pretty soon, word travelled fast and the next thing I am fortunate enough to show my collections around the world!
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from the past. I love the glamour of the 1920s, the chic aesthetic of the 1940s, the prim and proper ballgowns of the 1950s and the emerging bohemian influence of the 60s. I love to combine the periods, too.
Most important to me are the iconic women in film – Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Rita Hayworth, and all the women of those eras who knew how to resonate extraordinary and timeless beauty. They have sensuality and appeal, combined with the strength and femininity ALWAYS in the most classic and elegant way!
What are your main goals when designing a wedding dress?
My goal is to make sure the bride never looks back to say “What was I thinking?” Your wedding dress is such an important purchase, you should look back and love it for the rest of your life.
What’s your favorite style from the latest collection?
Oh, I love love love lace so I favour Penelope and Salma in this latest collection – both classically lace but with a chic and modern twist! My creative director and muse Yvonne loves satins and heavy embellishments with interesting backs, so the Vanessa design is her favorite. We have 17 new styles and each one has their own special feeling.
What are the hottest dress trends for 2014 in terms of fabrics, silhouettes and embellishments?
A broader variety of laces, many with subtle metallic embellishments are on trend. We’ll also see quality beadwork that looks like fine jewellery rather than appliqué. Tulle is also making a big comeback in wedding dresses for 2014.
What dress style works best on plus-size brides?
I love making clothes for plus-size women, in my culture and in much of the art world, curves have a tremendous appeal. I love draping and ruching across the waist not to hide but to highlight the bride’s best assets, whether it is a waist or a natural bust.
I hate when plus-size women feel the need to hide themselves under styleless shapeless garments! I encourage women of all sizes to choose their best feature and highlight it! Make that the focus on your wedding day. Accentuate the positive.
Can you adapt a Cristiano Lucci gown?
Reluctantly yes, but of course we can! We want the bride to be as happy as possible and we will always do what we can to create the dress of her dreams.
What are your three top tips for buying a wedding dress?
Don’t judge a dress by its hanger appeal, do not be influenced or confused by other people’s opinions of what represents you on your big day, and make a budget and find the best bang for it! I have a few more tips too… Keep it classic rather than trendy and you will forever be pleased with your decisions. Once you make a decision go for it, do not second guess yourself. And finally celebrate yourself and others will follow!
Need more top tips before you set off on your dress shopping experience? Take a look at our shopping advice here. Or if you have already found the one, come and tell us who made it on the Wedding Ideas Forum!