The poignance of a wedding day means the designer in question chosen to create the bride’s look should be one of utmost reliability and illustriousness.
And Sharon Sever has been ‘the chosen one’ for the likes of: Paris Hilton’s first dance her wedding to Carter Reum in 2021; Beyonce’s vow renewal ceremony to Jay-Z in 2019; Selling Sunsets star Christine Quinn’s iconic black cinderella gown and most recently, Nadia Ferriera’s two dresses for her wedding to Marc Anthony last month.
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Paris Hilton's custom Galia Lahav wedding dress
Sever is the creative director of Galia Lahav. He joined the eponymous designer’s label in 2013 as an assistant designer after apprenticing at Christian Lacroix, Balmain and Balenciaga, to name a few. Galia Lahav is a formidable label in the world of bespoke wedding dresses. From Paris Couture Week and New York Bridal Fashion Week shows to creating bridalwear and custom gowns attire for fashion’s crème de la crème the brand has created a phenomenal reputation for its luxury apparel, under Sever’s watchful eye.
Sharon Sever with Galia Lahav walking the runway post-Haute Couture show SS17
It’s clear to see why the couturier was entrusted to create not one, but 28 dresses in just one month for Jennifer Lopez’s latest movie Shotgun Wedding. “We began this incredible journey with an amazing team including Mitchel Travers and JLo herself during Covid,” Sever tells Hello! Fashion. “Our production completely shut down for a month, so all our seamstresses focused their hours and hard work on creating these 28 gowns. We were all so excited about the opportunity and just wanted to give it our all. It was certainly a mammoth task even for the seasoned designer, “It’s safe to say it was the biggest project we have worked on,” explains Sever, “It’s an exciting movie and our dress was going to be such a big part of the plot. It was an opportunity we couldn't miss out on.” Aside from being our noughties R&B hero, a certified fashion icon and an incredibly talented actress, it appears she’s a true professional outside of the spotlight, too.
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One of Sever's 28 designs from Shotgun Wedding
“She was incredibly sweet,” Sharon explains, “She even wrote Galia, myself and the whole team a handwritten note thanking us for the work we put it in, and for making her vision come to life. She had her own ideas on how she wanted to dress to look and the feel and the vibe it should give off,” Sharon said, “And we are so incredibly happy about the outcome”.
His ingenious eye has cemented his place in the world of couture, building a reputation for creating both classic and innovative designs that stand the test of time both on and off the altar. Coincidentally, Sever also worked on the nuptials of Jennifer Lopez’s ex-husband Marc Anthony who married Paraguayan model Nadia Ferreira last month. “Nadia was just a dream to work with,” Sever tells us, “She was so incredibly sweet and grateful - She came in knowing what she was looking for but also trusted me with my ideas to give the final touches. The custom Bolero we created for her ceremony gown was just a perfect addition to complete the look and just made it so much more special.”
Sever's sketch of Nadia Ferriera's first gown
Though many of us might not be as fortunate as JLo or Nadia to work with Galia Lahav on their dream wedding dress, we’ve got you covered. Hello! Fashion got the low down on Sharon Sever’s 2023 bridal trends and top tips for finding your personal wedding dress style.
The 'Blake' dress from Galia's FW23 collection
How do you feel about a bride having multiple dresses for their wedding?
It is a big trend we have noticed over the last two years specifically. Weddings have become bigger, gowns more exquisite and one dress just isn’t enough anymore. I think brides just want to transform throughout the night: The ceremony gown being a showpiece – extravagant and big, but then they want to change into something short or more fitted to party and dance the night away. We have recently launched our Wedding Weekend Wardrobe which tailors to every bride's needs and is the perfect Galia Lahav 360 experience for a bride.
What are the main wedding trends for 2023?
Short dresses are definitely on the rise. I think unconventional wedding looks are becoming more popular like two pieces and vintage gowns, but also sleek, minimal designs that speak for themselves. The new generations of brides want to be different - they want to start new trends and stand out. I also think accessories such as gloves, tights, capes are going to be BIG this year. And let’s not forget colour - more and more brides are daring to not stick to a traditional white gown. Whether it’s prints, veils or the entire gown - colour is definitely something to look out for.
Christine Quinn was ahead of the curve with her black wedding gown
What’s your advice for loving yourself in a wedding dress?
We really pride ourselves on the fact that every gown is handmade, handcrafted and meticulously constructed to make you feel your absolute best on your special day. This goes to brides everywhere; I want to take a moment to talk about one of the most important things on your wedding day: self-love. Your wedding day is a celebration of love, and that love should start with you.
Your wedding gown is more than just a dress. It's a reflection of your style & of who you are and what you love. That's why it's so important that you feel amazing and confident in your gown. When you're choosing your gown, don't be too critical of yourself: Everybody is unique and beautiful in its own way. Focus on your positive features and highlight those: If you love your shoulders - show them off in a strapless or off-the-shoulder gown. If you have curves - embrace them with a fitted gown. The right gown will enhance your body and natural beauty and make you feel like the best version of yourself.
Remember that your wedding day is about celebrating love, and the most important love is the love you have for yourself. So, walk down that aisle with confidence, radiating with love and happiness. Your beauty is more than skin deep, and it's what shines from within that makes you truly radiant.
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Top tips for finding your personal wedding dress style?
Be true to yourself: It's important to remember that your wedding dress is a reflection of your personal style and individuality. Don't feel pressured to conform to traditional bridal styles or trends that don't align with your personal taste. Instead, focus on what makes you feel confident and beautiful.
Start with research: Look for inspiration online, in magazines, and on social media. Save images of dresses that catch your eye and make a note of what you like about them. Pay attention to details like necklines, sleeves, fabrics, and overall silhouettes. This will help you narrow down your options & preferences.
Try on a variety of styles: Don't limit yourself to one specific style or silhouette. Trying on a variety of dresses will help you determine what looks and feels best on your body. You may be surprised by what you end up loving.
Take your time: Finding the perfect dress can take time, so don't rush the process. Start shopping for your dress early, ideally six months before your wedding day. This will give you plenty of time to find the right dress.
Finally, trust your instincts: When you find the right dress, you'll know it. Trust your instincts and choose the dress that makes you feel the most confident and beautiful and gives you that special feeling.
The 'Jae' dress from Galia Lahav's GALA FW23 collection
What is the best thing to do with wedding gowns after the wedding?
What to do with your wedding dress after your big day is such a personal and emotional decision. Preserve it if you want to keep your wedding gown as a sentimental keepsake, consider having it professionally cleaned and preserved. You can store it in a special box or display case, or even pass it down to your children or future generations as a family heirloom.
You may want to consider donating it. There are many charities that provide wedding dresses to brides in need. It is such a special & emotional thing to do in my opinion. Get it remade into something else if you're not sentimental about keeping the dress as is. For example, you could have it turned into a cocktail dress, maybe even a prom dress for your daughter.
What else can we expect to see from Galia Lahav in 2023?
We are so excited about Simone Biles joining our ‘GL’ family this summer - it is an absolute honour to be part of her big day and we cannot wait to see her in the gowns. We also have NYBFW coming up in April where we will be showcasing our new Spring 2024 Collection. And of course many more exciting movie projects we are excited to be part of… stay tuned.
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