Soft. Feminine. Whimsical. Ethereal.
Elizabeth Fillmore’s autumn 2014 bridal collection had the critics and public alike waxing poetic over her wedding fashions that featured delicate beading, organza flowers, laces, and layering. Fillmore’s work is unique in that she infuses the magical moment weddings represent with a seductive, subtle glamour. It’s not surprising to learn that Fillmore started her career designing evening dresses and will still design exclusive evening wear for private clients.
Fillmore attended the Parsons School of Design, and her first collection after graduating in 1993 was romantic but sexy evening wear. She recalls, “After several years in the evening market, I was urged by the fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue to start a bridal collection. It was the best thing I ever did.” She considers her wedding gowns a natural extension of her evening gowns.
“I love the magical aspect of a wedding gown,” Fillmore says, “and the personal choice each bride makes. I design for the modern romantic. Individuality is so important to me and the look of each collection.” But most important is the meaning and emotion behind every dress. “It’s so wonderful knowing a bride has chosen one of my pieces to wear on one of the most important days of her life.”
Elizabeth Fillmore’s Willa
The designer describes her latest collection as featuring slender bias cuts with graceful draping accents, chic fitted hourglass gowns and ethereal empire silhouettes. Fillmore uses all-silk fabrics and linings, and she is partial to rich French and Italian couture fabrics. “My bride has an independent vision,” she adds, “and I hope to fill that vision for her through my designs.”
Elizabeth believes, “I really have defined my niche in the designer bridal market as being soft. There are so many full ball gowns in the market, but very few can do slinky, bias-cut dresses well. I design what I love and would want to wear. My focus is a slim, sophisticated silhouette.”
Fillmore’s 2014 collection includes the following wedding dresses:
- Shanghai: A cocktail-length fitted sheath dress with bracelet sleeve, a key-hole back, and flower embellishments.
- Willa: A French lace v-neck sheath gown with a jasmine flower motif over satin chiffon.
- Gisele: Sheath style with crepe back satin bias and sheer beaded back.
- Emanuelle: Silk crepe strapless sheath with Chantilly flower web lace bodice featuring a draped hip and train.
- Celeste: Satin chiffon cut-away sheath with organza spirals.
- Anya: A backless silk crepe bias sheath dress with beaded front bodice.
- Josephine: Empire style with powder blue, silk taffeta, and vine lace with beaded bodice and a bow in back.
- Ella: Strapless sheath with vine lace, covered with tiny organza and tulle leaves.
- Palace Garden: A-line with embroidered trellis tulle covered in antique gold flower blossoms.
When it comes to accessorizing her dresses, Fillmore suggests Jimmy Choo shoes and Tia Mazza veils or head pieces made exclusively for Fillmore by Ksenia Golub.
Elizabeth adds: “When it comes to jewelry, I like anything vintage – keepsake pieces, lockets on long chains. We also offer exclusive pieces by Meridith Griffin through our atelier. And finally, for lingerie, Commando has the best nude thongs for under my bias sheathes.”