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Looking for vintage wedding dresses? Moda Operandi's new collection is a stylish bride's dream

When Alexis Novak was looking for her wedding dress this year, there weren’t all that many haute couture archive gowns to choose from: which one, well, Exactly what she wanted. As the founder of Tab Vintage (whose clients include Dua Lipa and Kourtney Kardashian), Novak was looking for a bridal look that expressed unique style but also had a sense of history. After extensive sourcing using her industry contacts, Nowak finally found something that fit — and just three weeks after her Los Angeles elopement, she now wants to help other brides do the same.

Today, Novak presents a vintage bridal curation at Moda Operandi. For fans of fashion history, it’s simply remarkable: there’s a Yves Saint Laurent evening gown for Christian Dior from the year, a 1950 An embellished floral dress by Bob Mackie and a 1951 Balenciaga gown by Nicolas Ghesquière, which is part of the brand’s Reprinted designs of “Puffball”, to name a few. “I picked as many different styles, eras and designers as I could,” Novak said of her choices. Y2K fashion fanatics will be thrilled with Gianni Versace’s couture looks, while Phoebe Philo fanatics will be enamored with the designer’s Celine-era white suits.

Novak’s work was cut for her project: Since white fabrics are difficult to keep clean, a lot of repair work was required to get these fabrics ready for sale. For example, for the Dior gown — which she describes as “a career highlight” — Novak worked with a restoration specialist to update the gown without removing any of the original tulle, boning or structural elements . “Throughout the process, I would find myself stopping to take a deep breath and be in awe of the beauty and power of the piece,” she says. “It was an impeccably designed couture piece that was expected to be presented at the Dior fashion house, but it had a subtle playfulness, a youthful update on the classic Dior gown.”

Novak’s curation of Moda Operandi comes at a time when vintage wedding dresses are burgeoning in popularity. Eager to stand out and avoid the cookie-cutter gowns seen by countless others, brides are seeking unique looks that test the boundaries of traditional wedding style. “As we get to know our customers and review our sales data, we see a tremendous level of interest from brides looking for a unique look for their wedding that they wouldn’t see in a typical bridal showroom. To: ‘White dress’ was actually our number one search term,” Moda Operandi co-founder Lauren Santo Domingo told Vogue. “Brides are looking for something truly one-of-a-kind, and what better suits the ‘fashionable bride’ requirements than vintage fashion?” Then there’s the sustainability angle: Buying a vintage wedding dress is certainly a more eco-conscious choice.

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