If you follow us on Instagram, chances are you caught LOHO Bride’s takeover back in April. But we couldn’t get enough of this super-chill bohemian bridal salon in San Francisco, so we sat down with owner Christy to chat about her wedding dress-shopping philosophy, what trends she can’t wait to see transition from the runway to the aisle, and what it means to be a bride who’s in a League Of Her Own.
What inspired you to create LOHO Bride?
5 years ago, I had a crazy wedding season (9 weddings in 8 months!), and became fascinated with the ritual. I’d never fantasized about getting married, but it made me wonder where someone like me would go for a chilled-out, non-traditional bridal experience.
Over a glass of wine, my previous partner (Brittany Castanos of Daughters of Simone) and I joked about the subject, did some research, and started reconstructing and modernizing vintage bridal gowns for women looking for something one-of-a-kind — that’s how Daughters of Simone was born! Brittany transformed the brand into a made-to-order line (that I’m thrilled to carry at LOHO Bride!), but I was still caught up on creating an experience for this niche group of women who often had to forfeit the salon experience in order to stay true to their aesthetic. So I opened LOHO Bride to create a place where the bride I was imagining, inspired by my friends, can come and find a gown and a comfortable experience that fits her personality.
What makes the LOHO Bride experience different from a traditional bridal salon?
Our focus is the personal experience, so the 1-hour private fittings in our studio are extremely tailored to our brides — it’s important that we know who they are before they step through our doors, because we want them to feel as comfortable as possible during what could be a very stressful process. The goal is to make dress shopping a fun, light-hearted part of wedding planning! As long as they leave feeling good and relaxed, we’ve done our job. That will likely involve champagne and a customized playlist, but only if that’s their preference, of course!
How have you combined a more fashion-forward boutique with the process of shopping for a wedding dress?
We’ve been able to combine the two by committing to who our bride is. We keep our selection edited and tightly curated with the new-age bride in mind, which means she doesn’t have to comb through traditional styles trying to find what she’s looking for. She has an appreciation for the right cuts, fashion-forward designs, rich materials, and something that makes her feel completely her own. She doesn’t let convention get in the way of the look she wants to exude on her wedding day. Authenticity means everything to her, so we keep that attitude while we’re curating our selection.
What can a bride expect when she visits your boutique?
Our brides can expect one-on-one attention, privacy for her group, personal touches, and honest styling expertise. Many brides say that they feel as if they’re playing dress up in their friend’s apartment, which is exactly what we’re going for! We aim to guide them in a supportive way — no pushiness, mindful feedback and the willingness to help them find the right gown for them, even if it means recommending another store who might have what they’re looking for.
What are three things a bride should keep in mind when she’s shopping for a wedding gown?
- Love your body and stay true to what flatters you the best. It’s easy to fall in love with a dress from a picture, but you have to ask yourself if the style of the dress highlights all of your most beautiful features. It’s a tough realization at times, but you’ll appreciate it when you see yourself in photos!
- Try to avoid bringing too many opinions with you. It breaks our heart when we see a group tear down a bride’s confidence, or kills the vision/vibe the bride is going for. Bring friends or family members who know your style and who respect that this is your day and your time to shine. Stand your ground!
- Don’t forget to enjoy the process! We get it — the wedding industry can be pushy. It’s easy to get pressured into making decisions and spending loads of money, and it can leave you feeling downright confused. We like to remind brides that they’re throwing a big, raging party with their all-time favorite people in the world. Relax and enjoy the ride! We hope that the LOHO experience we provide our brides can remind them of this and keep them centered.
What should a bride have with her while she’s shopping?
Good, positive energy ready to pour into the experience, an open mind, and nude undergarments. If you have these three things, we should be golden!
Which trends or details have been most popular? Is there a style that you’ve been surprised to see take off?
Forever and ever, I think the low, open back is going to be popular. Who doesn’t love a sexy back coming down the aisle? And off-the-shoulder styles have been glorious options for a bride who wants to show off her collar bones, but doesn’t want to wear strapless.
As for a surprising style — I think the reign of the two-piece has been shocking, but now that I’ve seen it on so many women, I get why it’s popular! High waisted skirts are insanely flattering and the separates look is super inventive and playful — it allows brides to create their own look through layering and mixing textures.
What are some new trends that you’re excited to have in the shop?
Thanks to Solange, the cape has been asked about and we’re excited to have one coming to the shop soon! Dramatic sleeves are also really catching our attention this season, so we’ve picked up some Stevie Nicks inspired sleeves. Last, we’re loving illusion gowns this season, and have recently thrown a few into the mix too!
Do you have a favorite gown or trend in your boutique right now? Why do you love it?
I can honestly say that I’ve only personally tried on one gown myself and it’s the “Gamila” gown by Houghton. It’s an off the shoulder style, 6-ply silk gown, with cape-like sleeves. I could envision Carolyn Bessette wearing it on the red carpet. I love that it makes a modern, edgy statement, but is still so elegant and timeless. On the dance floor, the sleeves would have such killer movement, which is a major bonus in my book! All in all, it has all the elements and personality that I love about a great dress. It’s especially cool to see the brides who have purchased it evoke a similar feeling once they have it on.
How can brides incorporate ready-to-wear and runway trends into their bridal look?
I think that the rehearsal dinner is a fun opportunity to shake things up with a favorite ready-to-wear look. Accessories and layering can be added to a more timeless gown to give the bride’s look a current feel. And so many runway trends make their way into bridal these days anyway, that I think they’re naturally intertwined.
Is there a venue or location where you’d love to be a wedding guest? What would you love to see a bride wear down the aisle there?
What’s a fact about you or LOHO Bride that your clients might not know?
Many clients might not know that I came from a tech background and was working in mobile advertising up until a month before we opened! I’m a big advocate of exploring being an entrepreneur while still having a day job; take the leap of faith when the time is right. I was fortunate enough to get a small business loan through the SBA, but it took years of juggling both my business idea for LOHO and having to pay my expensive San Francisco bills!