What strikes you most about Rome is its scale. Every mammoth column, arch and ornate dome is enormous, inhumanly intricate and near impossible to take in. It’s nothing less than enchanting. What better source of inspiration, then, for Eleganza Sposa’s 2017 collection, La Grande Bellezza?
Launched at the Bothwell Bridge Hotel’s wedding exhibition in January, the new range made its first outing alongside gowns from bridal powerhouses Jesus Peiro, YolanCris and Martina Liana, and drew design influences from the city’s iconic architecture and abundant, lush gardens.
As the ethereal pieces swept past the audience, I noticed a few tweaks on current trends begin to emerge. Want to see floral appliqué taken to the next level? Head to the Bath Street boutique for dresses enveloped in 3D blossoms, decorating dainty spaghetti straps before tumbling down and pooling on trains.
Enjoy illusion necklines? Eleganza’s take was more trellis-like, with vines twisting around the bodice and disappearing into a dense lace grid. Lingerie references still abounded in visible boning, particularly with YolanCris’ daring, sheer offerings, as did separates (I was wowed by the combination of a long-sleeved crop top and voluminous, layered skirt) and exaggerated bows.
Stand-outs included a scarlet strapless ballgown from the eponymous in-house collection and a glittering, golden masterpiece with contrasting ivory embellishment from Jesus Peiro, which was, fittingly, the finale. At close range, the complexity of the shimmering beadwork was spectacular.
As for the rest of the wedding party, bridesmaids can take their pick from fluid numbers in blood red, black and midnight blue with sexy thigh splits, plunge and Bardot-style necklines – a jet black Tarik Ediz gown paired the latter with a see-through halterneck panel – and racy, lace sleeves, speckled with sequins. For flower girls, pure, angelic dresses came in floaty ivory organza and chiffon, with pearl-studded Peter Pan collars and flower-festooned tulle.
If you’re looking to bag a bridal bargain, don’t miss Eleganza’s annual sample sale on 26th February. It’s taking place in the Bath Street boutique from 12pm-5pm.