Bridal Designer | An Interview With Riki Dalal

Bridal Designer Riki Dalal Bridal Designer Riki Dalal

As bridal designers and their brides become ‘braver’ when it comes to wedding day style we are seeing an increase in catwalk inspired looks. We’re talking fitted silhouettes, plunging necklines, sheer fabrics – basically an altogether ‘sexy’ wedding dress trend – and we love it! One designer really making a name for herself by specialising in this style is Israeli designer, Riki Dalal who began designing wedding and evening dresses at just 17 years old. ‘I learnt the secrets of design from my mother, she taught me almost everything I know today. It all started with making trial clothes of my own and my passion and excitement for design and clothing ignited.’ Riki Dalal made, ‘smaller things here and there’ but the first REAL item of clothing she ever made was her own wedding dress! I figured that if I had an exact vision for what I wanted I would have to go ahead and make it myself. It was perfect.’ And this wedding dress still holds a special place in her heart, ‘I have held onto it for all this time and it still makes me so proud that my own mother had a hand in its creation.’

Plunge back Riki Dalal
An example of the back detail on a Riki Dalal gown

Inspiration can strike Riki Dalal at any moment – even in her sleep! ‘If there is a style or aspect of a gown that I see in my dreams, I try everything to make it real’. And she means this, ‘As you can see, I’m known for my daring backs that highlight our brides femininity. After trial and error with my work technique, using fitting leotards allows me to create these deep extravagant back lines that are such a signature characteristic of our brand.’ And where else inspires her collections? ‘As cliché as it sounds – everywhere. All of the names of my collections are places that I have been inspired by, especially throughout Europe. Their cities, views, and landscapes are really that from my dreams. I envision all of my gowns strolling through the valleys, hillsides, and beaches as brides say their, “I do’s.” It’s just such a romantic inspiration that is fitting for bridal couture’. But what about influences she sees every day? The styles that people are wearing on the street, at parties and at weddings? ‘A lot of my inspiration also comes from “research” about what people actually want to be seen in. What is comfortable and realistic for them to wear to eat, drink, dance, mingle, and party in. I want them to feel sexy and beautiful and look their best, so I make sure to keep an eye out for what people look their happiest in.’ (We have to say this is a really important tip for all Brides – wear what makes you happiest!)

 And who is the Riki Dalal bride? ‘A Riki Dalal bride is a woman who is confident in her body and shows it. We LOVE to feature the feminine form and highlight all those curves we were given. As you can see in many of our dresses, we love to take daring chances while still maintaining a classic look. By combining high slits, low backs, deep v’s and flattering materials we can achieve something entirely new for a bride to really show off on her special day.’  For a designer famed for creations that accentuate the female form, it’s no wonder that if Riki Dalal had an opportunity to dress anyone, alive or dead, she’d pick Maryiln Monroe. ‘I think she would be an incredible Riki Dalal bride. She has so many features that we love in a woman – confidence, beauty, femininity, and sexiness. I think any of the gowns from our new collection, Valencia, would highlight everything everyone loves about her.’

Style 1501 from the Provence Collection Picture Credit: Riki Dalal
Style 1501 from the Provence Collection Picture Credit: Riki Dalal

So out of all the beautiful dresses, wedding dresses and costumes she has designed over the years (Riki Dalal has also created costumes for a number of the world’s best-known dance schools), is there a particular gown that really stands out to her? ‘Yes, and it is also one of our most popular styles. It is number 1501 in the Provence Collection. It is sexy and daring and still maintains so much simplicity and romance. I love the idea of a two-piece (or crop-top) gown and it really flatters any of our bride’s bodies. The intricate lace and pearl neckline along the edge of the top balance the simplicity of the skirt. It floats along the floor as you walk and the high slit makes it all the more edgy. ‘ We have to admit, this is one of our favourite designs too and if Pinterest is anything to go by (which it is!) it appears plenty of people are lusting after this creation too!

When looking ahead to 2016/2017, Riki Dalal believes that Brides are going to continue to get a lot of inspiration from the catwalks and red carpets looks, ‘It really seems like cutouts, crop tops, and florals are breaking out into bridal, all of which I am excited about. Cutouts play a lot in our designs as we are always working with deep v’s and low backs, but it seems like cutouts along the lower backs, and even along the ribs will play a big role in the next few years. Crop tops have always been a part of our signature style, and as I mentioned before, #1501 is still one of our best sellers.’ And it seems Riki Dalal shares our love of florals! ‘We are SO excited about a new dress we have in our newest collection, Valencia, that is totally covered in flowers creating a 3D aspect.’ (We LOVE this!)

3D Floral from the Valencia Collection
3D Floral from the Valencia Collection

Overseeing a global business, Riki Dalal is one very busy lady, but what does she do to relax? ‘It’s hard to have time to unwind, but unwinding is spending time with family. I already have grandchildren so the most important part of my day is being a grandmother’. For someone who travels for inspiration, where’s her favourite place in the world? ‘It took me a moment, but I realised how easy the answer to this question is: my studio. I live and breathe it. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but here. My husband agrees!’

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