Art Deco With a Twist
Michelle Rahn's Designer Dishes on Her New Flagship and the Top Wedding Trends0
Bridal line Michelle Rahn offers simple, yet fashion-forward gowns for the bride with a modern edge. As the brand prepares to open a new flagship in Los Angeles, we spoke to designer Michelle Gertzman about her inspiration and the plans for the line.
The Stylish City: How did you get started?
Michelle: I studied couture at the Fashion Institute of Technology thirteen years ago, where, my senior project was to make a couture wedding gown. After I graduated, I worked as a buyer at Macy’s for a few years before moving to Chicago. When my sister got engaged. I did my sister’s dress, along with the dresses for my mother and all the bridesmaids.
The Stylish City: What was your sister’s dress like?
Michelle: It was soft and romantic, but with archictectural details: fit and flare, crystal belt, soft chiffon, huge pleated silk chiffon tulle. This was seven years ago, so it’s very on trend for today. I guess my sister was ahead of the curve. (Michelle laughs)
The Stylish City: What’s your inspiration for the line?
Michelle: It changes season by season, but there’s always an Art Deco element, whether it’s the accessories or a pleating detail. I’ll combine that vintage vibe with innovative uses of fabric. I work with a lot of European companies that do unusual netting or tulles. I shop a lot of estate jewelers to find looks that inspire me. Then I modernize that vintage inspiration. For me, everything goes back to silhouette and fit.
The Stylish City: What’s the price point?
Michelle: The average is $3500, but we do custom designs, so it goes all the way up!
The Stylish City: Who’s the Michelle Rahn bride?
Michelle: She’s confident and modern, yet a little bit traditional. Sexy but cool. She doesn’t want to look like everyone else and she wants to push the envelope, but she doesn’t want to be too trendy. She wants people to see her and ask “Where did you get that dress?”
The Stylish City: What are your future plans for the line?
Michelle: Our LA flagship opens at the Bridal Bar next week! We’re excited to offer Los Angeles women the same customizable experience we offer to brides in Chicago. For right now, we’re focusing on our semi-custom business, but eventually, I want to change the way women buy wedding dresses. I’m one of the few wedding dress designers to offer online purchasing. Right now, it’s very basic, but in the next few years we hope to really boost our online presence.
The Stylish City: What’s your biggest wedding trend prediction for the next few years?
Michelle: I’ve seen a lot of women lately who don’t want strapless, which I love because I make a lot of dresses with straps and sleeves. Women want organic, rough-cut fabrics without much beading. I’m going to start playing more with hemlines: tea length, shorter in the front. Brides are getting more adventurous. Their dresses can express who they are – they don’t have to wear the same kinds of dresses as twenty years ago.
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