June is all about beautiful bridal and creating the perfect wedding day. If you're a one-of-a-kind bride looking to complete your look with unique finishes, then you're going to need the perfect accessories. Meet The Left Bank Jewelry & Bridal Finery, a Parisian inspired boutique specializing in wedding accessories and gifts, all with a French twist. In business for over 20 years, they've styled thousands of brides around the country and continue to offer "everything but the dress"!
Susan Metropoulos, owner of The Left Bank Jewelry & Bridal Finery, took a little time to talk about wedding day style and a few of her favorite items in store you need consider for your big day!
Garmental: Who is The Left Bank Bride?
SM: Our brides are definitely fashion forward but tend not to take style risks on their wedding day. They know exactly what they're looking for and are very particular. Wedding designers from around the country that come in for trunk shows always comment that Chicago has the pickiest brides. Personally, I like that they are so selective, they know what they want and they are on a mission to find it!
Garmental: You're known for stocking "Everything But The Dress" How did you decide that Bridal accessories were going to be your niche?
SM: I started importing jewelry from France 20 years ago. Brides would visit looking for a "non-department store" look instead of the usual mass produced costume jewelry. I saw this trend a long time ago and kept evolving our merchandise mix to cater to the bridal market with less "costume" jewelry and more pieces with a fashion edge. We have a lot of "core" designers that we've been working with for a long time, but constantly bring in new ones to keep the mix fresh.To this day, our clients visit us because they know they will find something unique and special.
Garmental: Are there a set of items The Left Bank bride is specifically looking for when she visits?
SM: We are known for our extensive collection of wedding jewelry. Most of our brides opt for earrings and a bracelet or cuff. It's amazing how many photos a bride will have showing her hands & arms so a little arm candy is always nice! For clients looking for something very specific, we offer a lot of customization capabilities and have an in house milliner and jeweler on site.
For so many years, we've received requests for fashionable yet comfy wedding shoes. 8 years ago, we began carrying Angela Nuran shoes. They're highly specialized wedding shoes and they draw clients in from across the country just to try on. They're based on a ballroom dance shoe but reengineered for the bridal market. They are super comfortable with pillow top padding and available in many heel heights, widths, embellishments and colors. Most of the shoe is completely hand made and only 10 pairs can be produced in one day. The Left Bank Jewelry & Bridal Finery is proud to be one of the two flagship boutiques in the country to carry this line.
Garmental: Are there any specific trends for 2015 brides that are new in style? Has the bridal style changed this year or is there a major movement you've seen change in style? For example, are less brides wearing veils and going for something new?
SM: Gosh, this is a big question! There are so many styles out there and so many unconventional weddings taking place at alternative venue spaces. The biggest change I've noticed is that our clients are really putting their personal thumbprint of style in all aspects of their wedding. Trending now is the "halo" hair adornment. Think boho chic floral crown sans les fleurs! It's fashionable, wearable and you won't cringe when you looking at your wedding photos years from now!
To veil or not? For brides getting married in a church or religious ceremony, "yes"! We love to say "the veil makes the bride". They photograph beautifully and it's really the only opportunity you'll ever get to wear one! So, if anyone out there is still on the fence about wearing a veil, start looking a some "real wedding" photos of brides wearing veils. Now, be sure to look at current photos since a while back, veils were super poofy and crazy in volume! The wedding veils that we offer are much more sheer and ethereal. There are so many gorgeous details on wedding dresses today and who would want to cover them up? Oh, and if your ceremony is outdoors and you are afraid of the veil blowing away, we carry these nifty veil weights, called "save the veil". They are small decorative magnets that are placed on the bottom of a veil.
Color trends; we've seen the color trends come and go. Currently it's been all about blush & gold, gold & blush. In general, gold tones have come a long way in bridal. Gold heavily trended in the regular fashion sector and has thus transcended into the wedding arena. I'm sure we will see more of this happening! I hope we will see more mixed metals done in a very elegant way.
We just created a headpiece that also transforms into a sash with mixed metals (silver & gold) with crystals. It's very soft & romantic.
Garmental: Do brides still go for "something old, new, borrowed and blue"? Do you have something unique to offer a bride for one of those check boxes?
SM: Oh yes, this age old Victorian tradition is still going strong even for our most laid back and untraditional brides. Even if some are not superstitious, your wedding day is not that one day to take a chance!
Something old? We carry some gorgeous vintage brooches that many women place on their bouquet handle or on a sash. We also love when our clients choose a family heirloom too, it's truly something special.
Something blue? We have new baby blue sparkling sequin hangers, great for that iconic shot of "getting ready time" when your dress is hanging. We also make personalized dress labels that are custom embroidered with the wedding date and the bride's new monogram. They're made to be sewn into the interior of your gown. For the practical bride, we have shoe cushion inserts by the brand "foot petals" shaped in blue hearts that say "I Do" on them. Then there's the usual "something blue"...garters, hankies...
Garmental: What's new in store at The Left Bank?
SM: We've recently collaborated with wedding shoe designer, Angela Nuran to create some exclusive designs for The Left Bank Jewelry & Bridal Finery. The concept for these is a "suite of shoes" or 2 pairs; one high heeled style to wear walking down the aisle and a lower heeled version to dance the night away in! Now brides certainly do not have to get two pairs, but you'd be surprised how many are! It's sort of like the "2-dress" concept. They are made with both French Chantilly lace and luxe Italian silk. We've been customizing them with crystal accents and some great designs. Our brides are choosing them not for "their designer logo or red sole" but for the quality, comfort and customization capabilities.
The Left Bank Jewelry & Bridal Finery is located at 1155 West Webster Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60614 and ships worldwide. For more information, visit their website http://www.leftbankjewelry.com/
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