For the fashion-lover, the hunt for the perfect bridal gown can, at times, be void of romance. Navigating the ivory and lace-covered world of weddings can leave a discerning bride feeling discouraged, as she realizes the market simply wasn't meant for her. The fantasy of floating through a perfectly-designed atelier, boutique or showroom strewn with racks of artfully selected dresses from designers she knows and loves and landing on the perfect one (or three) is but a dream. Until now...
It seems the most forward-thinking bridal looks of the season do exist, and it was this fashion-girl struggle that inspired BAZAAR Bridal to take her along to one of the most enchanting places on Earth: Lake Como. The fashion fairy tale doesn't end there; we headed to one of the most spectacular, dreamy villas on the water, Villa Sola Cabiati, the simultaneously quaint yet opulent sister property to the glamorous Grand Hotel Tremezzo.
The 16th century villa overlooking the water in Tremezzo is as steeped in history as it is immediately breathtaking. One stroll through its iron, gilded gates and past a meticulously-pruned front courtyard, you can't help but be overwhelmed by its stature, and ushered in by the warmth of Italian hospitality. So hospitable, in fact, that a master suite was built on the villa's second floor for Napoleon Bonaparte, in anticipation of his reported visit to the lake.
Carolina Herrera bridal gown, price upon request, carolinaherrera.com; Doyle & Doyle Georgian earrings, similar items available at doyledoyle.com; McTeigue & McClelland Old European diamond and yellow gold engagement ring, price upon request, mc2jewels.com.
A bedroom was decorated to Bonaparte's specific preferences, with pieces from his wardrobe, along with Josephine's, securely stored for safe-keeping. The Sola Cabiati, an Italian noble family, inherited the villa in 1871, and a suite across the hall from Napoleon's was designed for its contessa. Napoleon never did make it to Como—but we did, and we took to the legendary gardens and courtyards of Villa Sola to showcase what brides who break the mold are after: the most groundbreaking bridal looks of the season, in a fantasy setting.