Buon Giorno Principessa!

Pull out all the stops, the bridal-gown hunt ends right here.
August 1, 2023

Prospect brides dream the fairy-tale wedding dream, or of that heroic day they get to be a heroine of Love and Love’s triumphant celebration. Months are spent in reverie (and stress) over this most momentous day she gets to outshine the rest. But her emergence as a breakout star begins much sooner. Yes. She transforms from lady to princess-in-waiting the day she comes face-to-face with her pièce de resistance: the wedding gown.

Indisputably, the bride is the culminating focal point throughout the entire wedding celebration. She is well aware beforehand that hundreds of eyes will be glued to her and the illustrious mastery of ceremonial regalia that adorns her. She might spend months on end in quest of that thing of glory, to perfectly match her persona, physique, and fairytale desires. She may journey across hemispheres to find her one true sartorial love. But let’s be honest, Ladies, this search can be a black hole of time, money and energy. Sure, it’s all in the name of Love and Aesthetics. But I hold a secret. I know where your fashion soulmate awaits you.

Wedding-bound women far and wide, it is with great pleasure that I present to you:

Penelope Sposa

At Penelope Sposa, located in Brescia, Italy, there is no room for stress or squandering time. Penelope Sposa’s team is so intuitive, tasteful and confident that you will drift into this dream bubble and leave a bonafide princess. The meticulously curated wedding looks kept within this boutique’s walls are the culmination of 25 years of “dedicated research dear to the heart of Roberta Valentini, its founder, from the very onset.”

Roberta, Rina and their seamstresses will lead you by the hand to unearth the vision that best suits you. This, not only thanks to a voluptuous billowing gown or an avant-guardian sartorial masterpiece, but thanks to their special care and attention to the details surrounding this unforgettable union. It is their pride and honor to be the match-makers of a match made in Heaven.

In my years as a women’s shoe designer, I had sold to Penelope, the sister multi-brand fashion boutique of Penelope Sposa. I had always kept in mind to one day visit their bridal store, and once betrothed, I jotted it down on my list of options. I began my search first in NY, visiting the bridal ateliers of Vera Wang, J. Mendel, Lanvin, Monique Lullier and Bergdorf’s. Disappointingly, no starry eyes. I didn’t fall in love with a single dressmate.

In my frustration—and having forgotten about Penelope Sposa—I turned to an atelier in Madrid to have a gown custom-made. At nearly one month from the wedding date, I was “jilted” by the two sisters that ran it and handed over a ludicrous excuse that they understood I’d not be moving forward with the gown. (One month later, they closed for bankruptcy). I stepped out from their door devastated, desperate, and luckily, immediately recalled and dialed up Penelope Sposa. Rina, who runs the boutique, assuaged my nerves over the phone and assured me not to worry. She promised to have just the dress for me and that (in her words) I would be a princess on my wedding day (“Sarai una principessa!”).

I arrived a few days later, and there behind a curtain was Vivienne Westwood’s only bridal gown ever designed (apart from the one worn by Carrie Bradshaw in the 2008 “Sex and the City” film). This was the dress worn by Alec Wec in 1991, off the runway. Roberta had personally retrieved this fantasy gown from her warehouse of archives—her choice, her idea. I was welcomed with such warmth and excitement by Rina and her team, and it was truly a dream-come-true experience. All was done in a single day: the fitting, the selection of a Gaultier look for the rehearsal dinner, and even lunch at La Sosta — Penelope’s recommendation, and a restaurant as idyllic in ambience, service and food as that very day. I was already living the fairytale dream.

Thank you Penelope Sposa🙏

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