FLOWERS HAVE LONG BEEN a quintessential part of Texas weddings as the fresh bouquets and fragrant centerpieces, but today’s fashion designers are finding an even bolder way to incorporate blooms into the big day.
Houston fashion designer Natalie Harris, creative director of Damsel White Label, has followed the lead of fashion houses like Oscar De La Renta and Marchesa and infused bright florals into her beautiful wedding dresses—and her latest creation has deep Texas roots. One of Harris’s latest creations is a dress called the Wimberley, which features our favorite highway-side wildflower, the bluebonnet.
“There’s a huge trend toward the unconventional in [wedding dresses] that aligns with my design aesthetic. I think florals are both elegant and highly unexpected on a bridal gown, and that’s an appeal that will only become increasingly popular,” Harris says. “Not every bride is bold enough for a bluebonnet print, but all those years in bridal retail showed me that so many brides were very willing to push the envelope.”
Damsel White Label is known for its funky, free-spirited style, applying a slew of unexpected prints, textures, bright colors and intricate details to romantic, feminine shapes. “I like to describe it as Gwen Stefani meets Grace Kelly,” Harris says.
In designing the Wimberley dress, Harris says she initially tried to avoid the Texas cliché, but eventually decided to lean in and utilize the state flower. “Wimberley came to me while I was challenging myself to design for a Texas country wedding,” Harris says. “I was arrogant for years and said that it wasn’t really ‘me,’ but that provided me with a newfound confidence to infuse my aesthetic into any style.”
To create the gown, Harris studied Texas’ sprawling Hill Country landscapes and drew the native plant into Adobe Illustrator to create the bottom portion of the wedding dress. “I knew I wanted the bodice to be traditional and for all the color at the hem to fade away into it, so the tulle overlay came in mind,” she says. “I drafted a V-neck to create a flattering chevron with gathered tulle.”
In the months to come, Harris says she is working on ideas that include petticoats, Southwestern landscapes, sheer gowns and even more florals. “My goal is for wedding guests to say, ’Oh, that is so Jennifer, Stephanie, Heather, et cetera,’” she says. “This is the biggest fashion statement of a woman’s life, and women are way too diverse to be limited in their choices.”
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