A Different Approach to Wedding Wear
Designer Danielle Frankel Focuses on Classic Tailoring and Fit
By Taylor Smith
Danielle Frankel launched her eponymous wedding dress fashion label in New York City in 2017 after having worked at both Marchesa and Vera Wang. It was Frankel’s own nuptials that spurred her to create her wedding dress designs, which are produced exclusively in the United States, along with veils, bras, jackets, belts, and jewelry. She began by taking her own private clients on a hunch that modern women were looking for something that was less Cinderella-inspired and more modern and aesthetically unusual.
For example, Frankel’s own wedding dress included a silk-faille coat dress with an off-the-shoulder collar. The look was inspired by her husband’s white button-down shirts. For the reception, Frankel chose a 90s-era silk-duchesse coat that she purchased at the Brooklyn Flea Market. A similar wedding dress design is available in her current collection (the Lou for $10,995). This aesthetic of clean lines and menswear-inspired tailoring soon caught the attention of buyers at Bergdorf Goodman, and her wedding dress designs are now available at Bergdorf’s in New York City as well as Mark Ingram and Moda Operandi Madison. The designer also has a presence at exclusive retailers in Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Her looks are sold online at Net-A-Porter.com and ModaOperandi.com. Both online retailers are committed to bringing the most cutting-edge fashion to people around the world. As stated on its website, Moda Operandi in particular aims to “connect you directly to the world’s best designers.”
Perfect for the new bride, Moda Operandi highlights a full calendar of digital trunk shows in categories including jewelry, accessories, home design, and more. The company’s online trunk shows feature off-the-runway looks from London, New York City, and Milan, making them available for purchase to anyone, anywhere. Recent bridal trunk shows included Temperley London Bridal (the Duchess of Cambridge is a devoted fan), Carolina Herrera Bridal (think beautiful bows in duchesse satin and sophisticated brocade), newcomer Markian Bridal (signature feathers, utterly feminine silhouettes, and embellished straps), and Tel Aviv designer Mira Zwillinger (check out those princess-like gowns and mermaid skirts).
Frankel describes her current collection as “a handsome approach to a bridal wardrobe” and cites the emphasis on classic tailoring and fit. The Berthe in Collection I features a canvas-colored baroque look with an off-the-shoulder slouch and heavy puffed sleeves. The Emmy dress harkens back to the Hollywood darlings of the 1930s with easy draping that cascades down and around, revealing an open back, delicate buttons, and an extremely sheer (practically see-through) fabric. Another stunner is the Rena, which pairs well with a visible lace bra and white slacks. Frankel has styled the look with oyster pearl drop earrings that graze the collar bone and delicate glacial white pumps. Also guaranteed to stop your guests in their tracks is the Tilda. This strapless number is liquid smooth, tailored to perfection on top and contrasted by a glossy silk, pleated skirt the color of a painter’s raw canvas. Collection II includes the jaw-dropping Sloane, which would be perfectly suited to Shakespeare’s Juliet. The softly feminine number is highlighted by off-the-shoulder draping, long bell sleeves, a wide-open neck, and delicate hook buttons down the front. The skirt moves outward like the saucer on a teacup. To view all of Frankel’s current and past wedding dress designs, jewelry, jackets, accessories, and more, visit www.daniellefrankelstudio.com.
When asked about styling, Frankel suggests that it’s all in the brides look, personality, venue, and intention. Many brides want to change their fashion looks from the church ceremony to the reception. Frankel’s collections allow the bride to have her classic, statement-making moment followed by something a little more fun, easy, and suggestive. A high-slit dress combined with a single-breasted coat allows the bride “to have both moments.” Options like the Chantilly-lace and grosgrain strap bra ($550) underneath an open jacket or paired with a high-waisted skirt is one way to fashion the look. The styling flexibility of Frankel’s designs allows women to shop each collection and have many different outcomes.
As she suggested to Vogue, Frankel’s woman is “the right amount of yin and yang,” citing celebrity Zoe Kravitz as her ultimate definition of relaxed and cool. “If I’m really doing this, I have to make these pieces wearable outside of the collection,” she said. Frankel also has her own celebrity clientele; megawatt chef Katie Lee caught the attention of paparazzi when she wore one of Frankel’s dresses at her Amalfi Coast wedding.
The idea of a wedding dress that extends beyond the wedding day might be a novelty for some women. Frankel’s jackets, pearls, veils, skirts, and dresses can certainly be passed down (they have a timeless quality to them already), but they can also be styled and worn after the wedding with more down-to-earth wardrobe staples for a creative, artsy appearance.
Created In collaboration with fine jewelry artisans, Frankel’s latest jewelry line — featuring pearls harvested and handpicked in Southeast Asia — is strikingly architectural. Similar to her other wedding accessories, the heirloom quality jewelry is not just suitable for weddings or special occasions, the majority of the pieces can also be worn every day. The raw pearls and wire mesh designs and draping of the various earrings and necklaces truly read like objets d’art and are only available in limited quantities. Common metals include rose gold and silver, which complement almost any skin tone and generate a luminescent appearance.
Do you want a custom creation for your wedding day? Frankel can handle that, too. She accepts appointments for custom designs and styling on her website at www.daniellefrankelstudio.com. Details like wedding date, accompanying guests, and styling details can be submitted in the initial inquiry form. All of this information will help the designer to assess whether a custom look is achievable for that particular client. In general, women who have a clear and distinct vision of their wedding day look are best suited to a custom-design experience. Also, what’s more glamorous than a wedding dress fitting in Manhattan’s Garment District?