Designer Julie Vino experienced two major spikes in attention last year, thanks to Nicole and Michael Phelps. The couple, who memorably celebrated their union with three separate weddings, enlisted Vino to design two of the bride’s eye-catching gowns–one for their formal ceremony in Cabo and the other for the pair’s blow-out reception held on New Year’s Eve.
Continuing the momentum from 2016, Vino kicked off the New Year by launching a lower-priced line of wedding dresses—and The Knot gets the exclusive first look! “I wanted to be able to offer brides a beautiful couture collection without the couture price tag,” Vino says. “The collection combines traditional bridal style with the latest trends from the runway. All the designs are made to flatter the body.”
Take for example, the figure-hugging, Brigitte Bardot-inspired, off-the-shoulder gown–the Penelope gown—which Vino says can be arranged in multiple ways to suit the bride. “[It] actually comes with a bolero option,” she says, “so brides can choose to wear it off-the-shoulder or with pearl-beaded spaghetti straps.”
The designer, however, doesn’t have a favorite. It’s hard to pick from the array of pieces she’s presenting. “I love them all,” she remarks. “They’re all unique in their own way.”
That same concept applies to her target audience. “Julie Vino brides love quality,” she tells The Knot. “And [she] wants more than the traditional dress. She is a confident woman and the world is her runway.”
“My dresses suit a large range of venues,” she continues. “Whether it’s a beach destination wedding, a traditional more formal wedding or a rustic backyard ceremony, brides can get a dress that will suit their personal style and venue.”
While Vino has been designing gowns for nearly a decade, the most profound moment in her career is relatively new. “Three years ago, I posted my collections on social media, and they became a huge hit!” she says. “Brides and stores around the world started to contact us, and it really exposed the Julie Vino brand to [everyone].”
Up next? The Queen of Pop. “I would love to dress Madonna,” Vino tells The Knot. “As well as have lunch with her. She has always been a strong woman I admire with amazing style.”
Vino’s new collection, which retails for under $5,500, is available this month.