A chilling and bleak mid-January winter brought the WedLuxe Show, an indulgent bridal shindig at The Carlu in Toronto, covering all the essential and superfluous desires of a bride-to-be. The bridal show hosted by WedLuxe spanned through the weekend and was split into two- an evening for the industry party and then a following day for the brides and grooms. Vendors from all industries connected to the bridal world pursued a keen interest in exhibiting their best, from custom floral arrangements and wedding gowns to late night wedding snacks and even hair extensions for the bride.
Saturday evening was the industry party, a VIP preview, or perhaps a rehearsal for all that is to come on Sunday. Each ticket came with an event map and a passport to the interactive experiences on offer.
What promised to be a luxury bridal experience showcasing the finest decor and couture gowns was a sophisticated, ultramodern soiree of industry professionals surrounded by the very inspiration we celebrate within our professional lives.
This year’s show, titled Modern Artisma, embodied weddings as a form of art. What promised to be a luxury bridal experience showcasing the finest decor and couture gowns was a sophisticated, ultramodern soiree of industry professionals surrounded by the very inspiration we celebrate within our professional lives- still inclusive of fine china and couture.
As soon as you stepped out of the elevator at the penthouse of The Carlu, a spring floral garden welcomed you, complete with country wooden swings twined in floral vines. A much desired change in atmosphere for our ice kissed cheekbones. A further walk in discovered a sea of bridal decorated in opulence. It’s the WedLuxe show, afterall.
The venue’s historic art deco building hosted at least a hundred different exhibits on the seventh floor. Our passports for the event included a complimentary welcome drink, a glass of bubbly, a gift bar experience and a ticket to the midnight snack bar. Booths were diverse in nature, each with their own gimmick to capture attention. Elegant as always, but the vendors understood the value in giving away a momento or a keepsake to guests. A portrait lounge by Banga Studios invited each bridal party for a professional shoot. Great concept, very Vegas. Catering services offered vegan options, another point for the modernist approach. Shout out to Lee Restaurant’s vegan Singapore slaw, and vegan ‘mac n cheese’ from Upbeet Foods that have been cravings since the show. Ladurée was also one of the sponsors with a booth offering each ticket holder a free macaron. Complimentary bubbly and a Parisian macaron, this really must be 7th Heaven. The one thing that held most potential and failed to appeal was the gift bar experience. A queue to attain our goodies stretched long and the fruit of our patience were a few beauty samples and a dressed up donut. Worse yet, the experience was more about having to choose between samples than having options.
Saving the best for last – – The WedLuxe runway show featuring couture gowns and bespoke menswear ran every hour or so on both days of the event. The runway room was strikingly different from the past years in that it was jauntier, more pop. LED lit “Inhale Fashion, Exhale Style” made for the perfect backdrop to the delicate details on extravagant bridal gowns. Fashion’s return of the 80s trickled into bridal without any resistance, making noise through organza puffed sleeves and loads of sparkle. I am forever grateful for keeping the volume off-the-shoulder this time around. Plunging necklines survived this year’s style overhaul and promise to return in the coming season with even more glamour. Once disco, always disco. Is that how it works? Glitter and sequenced fabrics on the catwalk definitely said so. Where the shimmer and glitz wow-ed us with sensory overload, soft feathers nodded to the early 90s and our favourite #styleinspo from the movie, Clueless. Valentino-esque bow straps on the gown from Sinder bridal was validated by my inner Cher. Each look from the runway was unique and evidently constructed with hours and days of work. A finale with gowns from ASHI Studio provided the final ingredient to transform this into surrealism.
Compared to the bridal shows I’ve experienced in New York and Milan, our Canada show was 10 grades more chic. Where Italian luxury is more about the flouff (ornate details and then some), Canadian luxury lies in clean lines and sophistication. Yet a detail oriented Middle Eastern designer like ASHI will always be celebrated in this cultural mosaic we call home.
*A special thank you to Asma Karimi for helping with media coverage.