Style Sense: Carine Krawiec of Carine’s Bridal Atelier

The D.C area’s top bridal gown expert shares her tips for finding the perfect dress for your big day.

If you were one of the lucky ladies that scored the man — and ring — of your dreams this holiday season, you are probably still basking in the glow of the impending nuptials. And while nothing should dim your shine, the thought of planning a wedding, and most importantly finding the perfect dress, can be very overwhelming. Luckily we were able to get all of the bridal best bets from the area’s top expert Carine Krawiec of Carine’s Bridal Atelier. Read on for the top wedding dress trends of this year, the gown (almost) any woman can pull off and what you can expert from her upcoming sample sale.

Carine Krawiec Owner of Carine's Bridal Atelier; Photo Courtesy of Rodney Bailey

Q: What prompted you to start a bridal business? How are you able to set your boutique apart from major department stores and other bridal boutiques?

 My background combines design and retail. I studied costume design and began my retail career managing the bridal department at Saks Fifth Avenue. At times we would lose brides to the New York market who wanted more fashion forward designs. I wanted a chance to bring high fashion to brides in DC, so opening my own boutique was the best next step! 


 Q: What are some common concerns that all brides have when beginning the wedding dress search and how do you overcome them?

Once a bride selects her gown, having the best fit is the number one concern however it’s different for every bride’s body.  If she has a larger bust, the chest coverage is important.  Coverage throughout the gown is also important for brides seeking modesty.  Using a bit of creativity comes in to play to help ensure our brides have a great fit. If she likes an A-line style dress, but wants something more fitted we have a great team of seamstresses on-site that can make those custom changes.  And yes it does happen, if a bride becomes pregnant after selecting a dress we make accommodations for that as well. 


A take on the lace arm candy trend by Monique Lhuillier; photo courtesy of Whitney Stringer PR

Q: What is the most popular wedding dress trend of 2014?

Bridal trends this year are really mimicking trends from the Haute Couture Fall 2013 season. Some of those include:

  • Lacy Arm Candy– Designers are using re-embroidered lace, chantilly lace, basket weaving, feature stitching, and more to create unique patterns for impressive sleeves.
  • Higher hemlines– For the past few seasons brides have been requesting shorter hemlines and the designers have stepped up to the demand. For instance Carolina Herrera’s entire Fall 2014 line showcases cocktail and tea-length dresses. Additionally, you can find other great short dresses from designers like Marchesa and Jenny Lee. Monique Lhuillier‘s ready-to-wear line, BLISS has a lot of great options and is quite popular amongst our customers. 
  • Back Details– Every bride wants a great entrance, but this season designers creating impressive back details to also give the bride a great exit is really big. We feature the Toronto based designer Rivini and she uses beautiful lace details to decorate the curves of a woman’s back.   


Q: What are your thoughts on colored/non-traditional wedding attire?

A new take on the wedding dress. Zuhair Murad Flower Encrusted Nude; photo courtesy of Whitney Stringer PR

Color is definitely becoming an integral part of bridal fashion. We’re seeing everything from nudes to grays to rose gold. While bright colors are a bold choice, using soft tones is a great step beyond traditional whites and ivory but not too trendy where a bride must regret it in years to come. Blush and champagne are great soft tones that work on many skin colors. You will see a lot of that at our upcoming February 13-15th Monique Luhillier trunk show.

 As for the non-traditional route, we love it when brides want to show their fashion sense by going a bit beyond the traditional “rules” of bridal wear—it’s what really makes our store our store. We’re all about showcasing traditional style with a modern twist. 



Q: What is the most flattering dress style that most women can pull off?

Every woman’s body is different and our boutique specializes in listening to what the bride has in mind, but finding a style that really flatters her. One style that works on a lot of bodies is a modified A-line. It shows the figure of a woman’s waist and high hip and flows down so it works on a lot of different heights, shape and sizes. 


Q: Carine’s Bridal Atelier is having a sample sale on January 29& 30th? What can brides expect at the sample sale? Tips for finding the perfect gown at a sample sale? 

While we run our sample sale on a first come, first serve basis, brides can still expect our signature superior customer service, a lot of great energy and adrenaline all while finding gowns at prices that can exceed 75% off of the original price. 


Some tips to sample sale shopping:

-pay attention to the wear and tear- from lipstick stains to pen marks, to sweat you want to make sure you’re aware of any stains. In addition to looking at the dress while trying it on, also hang it up and inspect it piece by piece

-know what you love going in- the styles go fast, so having a clear idea of your desired shapes and designers is key

-bring your A-team- you don’t have a lot of time or room in most stores so only bring along those whose opinion you really want


Happy Shopping and Good Luck to All the Brides!


-Angela Bobo