Two french lace gowns by designer Galia Lahav Two french lace gowns by designer Galia Lahav French lace dresses in Galia Lahav's St-Tropez Cruise Collection. (Photos courtesy of Galia Lahav)

6 top wedding dress designers from around the world

An international look at the bridal gown reveals how unique each design truly is.

It's quite possibly the most important dress a woman will ever wear in her life. Down to the last detail, brides want their wedding dress to be perfect. Lace, tulle, beads, gems, silk, chiffon — there are many and more ingredients to create a bridal gown. And with bride appointments, fittings, alterations, and last-minute adjustments, creating the dress that makes a bride smile is no easy task. Amazingly, some designers have mastered the art and earned international acclaim. Here's a look at the best of the best, from here in the United States all the way to China.

Vera Wang

Vera Wang bridal gownsSpring 2014 designs from Vera Wang. (Photo: Vera Wang via Getty Images)

Simple, elegant, feminine. Vera Wang, an iconic American fashion designer, brings all of these concepts to mind with her classic gowns. As a former figure skater, Wang understands the value of a well-fitting garment. In 1990, she debuted her first bridal collection and opened a store in New York City. Since then, celebrities have donned her dresses for their big moments, starting with the Spice Girl Victoria Beckham herself for her wedding to David Beckham in 1999. The list goes on, including (but not limited to) Ivanka Trump, Chelsea Clinton, Alyssa Milano and Alicia Keys. Since she started her wedding design career, Wang has created ready-to-wear-lines and even partnered up with David's Bridal to make a more accessible and affordable line. Through it all, her gowns have stood out above the rest.


Galia Lahav

Back view of Galia Lahav's gownsGalia Lahav's styles have intricate lacework done on the backs of the gowns. (Photos courtesy of Galia Lahav)

The queen of intricate design, Galia Lahav makes her gowns "with love in Tel Aviv." And by "with love," she must really mean "with hours of dedication to every single detail," because her dresses continue to top the charts when it comes to elaborate lace and dramatic trains. Lahav has 30 years of experience in the bridal design business, and, having grown up in a family of seamstresses, even more years of fashion design under her belt. Years of adept skills at sewing coupled with a love for art have culminated into what is now one of the most recognizable bridal brands in the world. Her styles are available across the globe, and available in eight stores across five states in the U.S. 


Ines Di Santo

Ines di Santo bridal gownsThree styles from Ines di Santo's floral-inspired Spring/Summer 2015 collection. (Photos courtesy of Ines di Santo)

Toronto-based, Italian-born Ines Di Santo designs dresses that show off the female body. Matching wedding with couture, Di Santo's motto is "your wedding day is your chance to have your red carpet moment, and I'm here to make you look and feel amazing." Di Santo's designs are adorned with French lace, silk taffeta and even Swarovski crystals. Di Santo's daughter Veronica now works alongside her and brings her own visions to Ines Di Santo gowns.


Lan Yu

Lan Yu bridal gownA beautiful gown from Lan Yu's Spring 2014 collection. (Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Images)

One of China's top wedding designers, Lan Yu adds playful adventure into her designs. Though her line is less than 10 years old, Lan Yu has managed to climb to the top, and was named "China's Most Influential Designer" by MSN in 2013 and "The Stars' Favorite Designer" by Cosmo Bride in 2012. A blending of East and West, Yu's designs incorporate a traditional Chinese embroidery technique called "Su Xiu."


Inbal Dror

LA-inspired bridal gowns from Inbal DrorTwo designs from Inbal Dror's 2014 Los Angeles Collection. (Photos courtesy of Inbal Dror)

The essence of couture bridal design, Israeli fashion designer Inbal Dror meshes traditional form with modern details. With 15 stores in the U.S. in seven states as well as D.C., she is one of the most popular international designers in America. Her most recent collection was inspired by the evolution of the Los Angeles lifestyle over the decades.


Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham designs on the catwalkThree dresses from Jenny Packham's 2015 preview fashion show. (Photos courtesy of Jenny Packham)

Jenny Packham's latest designs are a blast from the past, and almost look to come right out of "Downton Abbey" — a reflection of her roots in the UK. Her 2015 bridal collection is actually inspired by Madame Yevonde's photographs of women of high society in the 1930s. The color photographs captured Packham's imagination and she transformed them into beautiful gowns that take "retro" to a whole new level.

Bridal design is an ever-evolving phenomenon. The white wedding gown wasn't made popular in Western culture until the Victorian Era — and since then, wedding guests have admired brides in long-sleeved, lace, bejeweled, strapless, short, slim, and even "mermaid" styles. Designers like Vera Wang, Galia Lahav, Ines Di Santo, Lan Yu, Inbal Dror and Jenny Packham are at the forefront of innovation in international bridal design, whether it's through acute attention to detail, sultry shapes, luxurious materials or a nod to the past. 

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