Meet The Designers
Since the company's founding in January of 1999, Anne Barge wedding gowns have been renowned for combining timeless elegance with current trends for the discerning bride. The launch of Anne Barge established the perfect blend of contemporary and classic styles, with the use of the finest materials and detailed beading with modern interpretations of shapes and embellishments found in vintage couture designs throughout history. Anne Barge's trademark attention to detail is reflected in her three distinct collections—Anne Barge Couture, Black Label, and Blue Willow Bride.
"Anne Barge remains at the forefront of classic and timeless bridal gowns. Never one to stray from her identity as a designer, Anne has the ability to take classic silhouettes and re-interpret them into modern designs." -Jim Verraros
David Tutera is a leading wedding and entertaining expert known for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. Tutera is the author of seven popular books on the topic and is the host of the hit primetime show, "My Fair Wedding" on WE TV. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision. Awarded by Life & Style magazine as the "Best Celebrity Wedding Planner," David's impressive celebrity client list includes Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, the Official Post Grammy Parties in New York City, Elton John, Barbara Walters, the Rolling Stones, Vice President Gore at the White House, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Susan Lucci and The John F. Kennedy Center, as well as countless film premieres and celebrity parties for royalty, politicians and socialites.
"David has developed such a following that it was no surprise that he started to branch out into bridal design. Traditional gowns with great details and looks for so many brides are what will continue to make him well known." -Bill Brennan
Hayley Paige, head designer of the Jim Hjelm, Blush and Hayley Paige bridal collections, made a jump start in fashion by interning for Nina Garcia at Elle magazine while attending Cornell University. She went on to work in ready-to-wear for Jill Stuart after receiving honorary attention for her 10-piece bridal collection shown during her graduating year. Her dedication to all things creative led to designing and styling abroad where she developed an appreciation for European influences. Paige established herself as an integral designer for the Melissa Sweet bridal and bridesmaid collections and was the primary designer behind the first Marchesa Eterna bridal collection at Priscilla of Boston. Her designs capture a romantic and charming aesthetic that balances inner ingénue and sophistication. Her interpretation of worldly influences and desire to dress hopeful romantics, have provided a foundation for a fanciful and fresh take on bridal wear.
"Hayley is a force to be reckoned with and is most definitely one to watch. Her infusion of youthful, fresh takes on design and a playful aesthetic set her apart from everyone. Always true to who she is and always creating gowns with sparkle, shine and magic." -Jim Verraros
As a little girl growing up on a horse ranch in Oregon, few would have guessed that Jessica Williams would one day be designing bridal couture in New York City. She found herself sketching page after page of beautiful dresses and envisioning the kind of woman who would wear them. Years later, having just expanded her world view with a semester abroad in Japan and working toward a degree in Political Science, Jessica signed up for a costume design course and soon after decided to volunteer as a seamstress in her university theatre's costume shop. Through this unconventional path to the world of bridal couture, Jessica is now the head designer for Alvina Valenta Bridal, Alvina Valenta Bridesmaids, and Ti Adora at JLM Couture. She has infused the classic, feminine Alvina Valenta aesthetic with her own distinctive, refreshing and contemporary point of view, breathing modern romance into the collections.
"Jessica has taken the Alvina Valenta collection and brought it to a level that's truly spectacular. She takes risks and has incorporated trends that we see in ready-to-wear into her bridal." -Carol Tardi
Designer of the Lazaro and Tara Keely collections, is known for his impeccable fit and glamorous collections featuring exquisite beading and embroidery with dramatic silhouettes. With over twenty years of design experience, Lazaro is regarded as one of the industry's premier bridal designers. Upon graduating from the renowned Ray College of Design at the Illinois Institute of Art, Lazaro caught the attention of a premier bridal salon in Chicago when he was awarded "Best New Bridal Design" in all three categories of bridal, bridesmaid, and mother of the bride. His design talent led him to New York, where he worked for the then prominent bridal house of Galina-Bouquet. From there he moved on to become the uncredited designer of Richard Glasgow's Riccio collection. Soon after, in 1994 launched the Lazaro collection of bridal and bridesmaid gowns.
"Who doesn't love Lazaro? The man is a genius when it comes to beading, embellishments and silhouettes that have always appealed to brides for years. With a strong point-of-view, Lazaro always delivers brides with collections that are glamorous, sophisticated and strong." -Carol Tardi
For Carlos Ramirez, founder of Liancarlo, design is more than pouring heart and soul into his creations – it's in his DNA. But, Carlos's path to a life as a nationally renowned bridal and womenswear designer wasn't direct, nor was it easy. He attended law school, at the behest of his well-intentioned, Cuban immigrant mother. His future as a successful lawyer seemed inevitable – a full scholarship, mentions on the dean's list – but Carlos couldn't shake his insatiable need to create. Instead of interning at a law firm, he successfully sold a few sample dresses made in his mother's sewing studio. It was then design became more than a job; it became his life. From metallic threadwork to blossom-dotted bodices inspired by his paintings, every piece shows that Carlos is equal parts designer and artist. "My whole approach to art is how I approach fashion," he says. "I give myself the ability to play and experiment."
"Carlos is a true artist in every sense of the word. From his incredible talents in painting to his eye for embroideries and skilled techniques in hand-cutting laces like Chantilly, Lyon, Alencon, and Guipure, Carlos will always create gorgeous gowns that brides will always love." -Jim Verraros
Volle’s Bridal Boutique
For the bride who radiates confidence, global glamour and impeccable style, there's Martina Liana — the embodiment of exquisite couture bridal design.
The Martina Liana wedding gown collection has risen from the celebrated mind of Chief Creative Officer, Martine Harris, and our international design team to the heights of the world stage as a major international bridal fashion label.
Every cut, every embellishment, every consideration of a Martina Liana design is made with one idea in mind.
"A bridal gown is more than just something a bride will wear once. She will replay the memories of her day in her mind for years to come and pictures of her will be passed down for generations. A bride's love story inspires us and this is why we love creating magical and unforgettable gowns," said Martine.
"Martine is such a multi-faceted designer, having the ability to translate her vision into multiple collection under her umbrella. Not only are her bridal collections stunning, her bridesmaid collections have truly taken the world by storm by incorporating matte sequins and flattering silhouettes into her Modern Metallics line." -Bill Brennan
A seamstress since her early teens, Sophia grew up surrounded by fabrics, sewing machines and dress patterns. Her aunt, a talented dressmaker, handmade a majority of Sophia's wardrobe and allowed Sophia to select her own fabrics. Sophia considers this early exposure to dressmaking as the base of her informal education in fashion design. Sophia developed a strong foundation in made-to-measure design by crafting custom prom, bridesmaid's dresses and bridal gowns in her teens. During college, Sophia challenged traditional sewing techniques and explored alternative methods of dressmaking. Her award-winning expertise in fit and construction is the result of both her childhood experiences and college education.
"Sophia's use of fabric, combined with her vast experience in the industry is what makes her such a standout. Strong silhouettes, quality fabric and subtle hues of color are always present in her collections." -Bill Brennan
The history of Maria Elena Headpieces is not just the story of a business, but also the story of a family. Over a decade ago, Maria Elena created her very first headpiece as a mother's gift to her daughter Marile to wear on her wedding day. This headpiece was not just an accessory, but was and is a precious family heirloom that will be passed down through the generations of their family. Today, Maria Elena and Marile wish to share this gift with brides everywhere–to sell you headpieces that were created with the same love and commitment that Maria Elena had when she created Marile's bridal headpiece, and to provide you with the beautiful design, excellent quality and unsurpassed customer service that we are committed to at Maria Elena Headpieces.
"By far and away, Maria Elena's accessories are of the highest quality, craftsmanship and embody everything a bride should feel on her wedding day. I can't imagine any bride not wanting to feel and look her most beautiful, and these accessories lend themselves to that. Maria Elena Fuentes is one of the most talented, genuine and creative women in the industry and her collections are beloved around the world." -Jim Verraros
Boutique owner and designer Victoria Sdoukos works closely with brides to create a complete wedding day look. For more than a decade, Victoria has brought her experience to brides looking for a style that is sophisticated, glamorous, and truly incomparable. Gowns and accessories are made on site in her Chicago bridal boutique. A master craftswoman, Victoria also designs complementary bridal jewelry and veils for a unified, chic look. She opened Boutique Victoria in 2005 and launched her signature label, Victoria Sdoukos Couture in 2009. In 2011, she re-opened her West Loop location as Victoria Sdoukos Couture Bridal.
“Victoria’s aesthetic is all about clean lines and modern silhouettes for today’s savvy bride. Not only can she customize any gown to fit any bride’s personality, she complements them with her line of gorgeous swarovski jewelry that bring a glamorous finishing touch to her looks.” —Jim Verraros