Something New: Meet 5 Fresh Talents in Bridal Design

Lace dresses by Lihi Hod Dvir Kahlon

Unlike the Young Turks of seasons past, today’s up-and-coming wedding designers understand that brides want to be brides. While every woman approaching the altar has a unique sense of style, each also wants to spend their special day looking and feeling extraordinary: the embodiment of grace (or sophistication…or romance). While their outlooks are modern, there’s no question that these talents create frocks that are meant to indulge enduring fantasies.

Now, meet the season’s most notable new faces.

Danielle Frankel

(Left) Reversed silk wool gown with exaggerated long sleeves and cuffs accented with bridal buttons, $6,690. (Right) Reversed silk wool draped top with pocket detail and elongated train, $3,390; matching pant with bridal button detail, $1,890. Tory Rust

For a bride squeezing in a wedding between film shootings, newcomer Danielle Frankel provides the ultimate in chic solutions. A 2012 graduate of Parsons, where she was a finalist for designer of the year, Frankel honed her craft at Marchesa and Vera Wang, and brings a West Coast sensibility to formal wear. Her Los Angeles upbringing shines through in the casualness of her draping combined with body-con structure and each look is dutifully punctuated with a show-stopping detail.


(Left) Wildflower pigment print silk organza jumpsuit, $2,640. (Right) Crepe cutout gown with silk organza tiered train and adjustable ruffle sleeves, $3,865. Honor

Giovanna Randall relaunched her Honor label, first introduced in 2010, with a collection inspired by wildflowers and her childhood. The confidence of her designs speaks of a peripatetic background unusual in fashion: opera singer, turned pre-med student, turned activist designer. The New York-born and bred 38-year-old has committed herself to producing her line exclusively in Manhattan’s historic Garment District, where artisans embellish modern silhouettes with flagrant ruffles and bohemian accents.


(Left) Bustier top with bow, $1,200; trumpet skirt, $2,300. (Right) Pure white Italian neoprene strapless gown with curved neckline, $3,200; chrome-embroidered capelet with rhombus crystals, $2,000. Dan Lecca

Lakum designer Sathya Balakumar cites a trio of icons as inspiration for her 2018 collection: architect Zaha Hadid, surrealist master Joan Miró and cubist painter Francis Picabia. And if you look closely, there is definitely an avant-garde swagger to her designs, from supple Italian neoprene fabric to crisp and structural details. Balakumar pairs a graduate degree from Parsons with work under such talents as Norwegian minimalist Andreas Melbostad; her bridal manifesto is to explore the “endless expanse of the white palette.”

Lihi Hod

(Left) Ivory silk crepe georgette, silk chiffon, and lace bodysuit-based dress with train, $8,779. (Right) Two-layer marshmallow/ivory dress of a Soltstiss lace bodysuit topped with a beaded tulle blouson, and a lace godet skirt, $10,099. Dvir Kahlon

After working for Christian Dior in Paris and Elie Tahari in New York, Israeli designer Lihi Hod founded a studio creating bespoke evening and bridal wear, earning a “best of” award during Israeli Fashion Week in 2014. Her 2018 wedding collection celebrates all-out femininity with impeccable fit and craftsmanship—each gown is sewn entirely by hand. Bareness meets traditional bridal details for a look of come-hither innocence.

Gracy Accad

(Left) Strapless silk A-line ball gown $6,000; detachable jeweled top, $3,400. (Right) Blush silk satin, strapless tea-length high-low dress with rose gold floral embellishment, $8,500. Dan Lecca

Young New York-designer Accad comes from a family with deep roots in the textile industry, and it shows in her appreciation for exquisite fabrics and ornamentation, which she acquired an eye for during childhood visits to European markets. After several years of bespoke work, she premiered her first bridal collection this fall. The 27-year-old casts a fond eye on classic silhouettes, conjuring bridal icon Grace Kelly (we also detect a dash of Barbie). The result is a little sexy, a little sparkly, and utterly beguiling.


Rachel Leonard was the Fashion Director of Brides Magazine for 18 yearsthe first employee at Condé Nast to make the jump from advertising to editorial. Rachel is currently the Editorial Director for The Bridal Council, and can be followed on Instagram @_rachelleonard

A marketing executive currently living in Arizona, Sally Kilbridge spent more than 20 years as an editor at Brides Magazine. She indulges her love of travel and romance on her website,, a definitive guide to destination weddings.

Something New: Meet 5 Fresh Talents in Bridal Design