Our beloved southern sweetheart, Lauren Leonard of Leona Bridesmaids, has won us over with her modern and impressive bridesmaid collection. Fitting for any bride looking to dress her lovely maids in stylish, flattering and adorable frocks, Leona dresses are just the ticket! Combining her Nashville roots with her knowledge of fashion, which she developed after working in the Big Apple, Lauren’s designs are perfect for the modern gal. Taking a break from the bustling holiday season, Lauren shared some of the inspirations and secrets to her fab collection…
Leona office in Nashville, TN
BB: What do you think has been the most important factor in the success of your business?
LL: Never forgetting the customer. I strive to blend special appeal; versatility and functionality into something the Leona girl will feel striking and comfortable in... no detail is forgotten!
Lauren and her fabulous team!
BB: When designing for women, specifically bridesmaids, what are your inspirations? LL: I initially try to take the word bridesmaid out of the picture, thinking more of designs that this girl would wear to an elegant party. I take that idea and form it into something that is both appropriate and phenomenal for a wedding party to wear. There are so many factors to consider like photographs, body types, and functionality. If the design meets those criteria and is still stunning and special then we have a winner! BB: Was there a specific event or person in your life that led you to begin designing bridesmaid dresses? LL: When I started the Leona ready to wear label, I was immediately approached to do bridesmaid dresses. I have now been designing for weddings for three years. It was time to officially launch the new label and Bella Bridesmaid was the perfect partnership for us because of its focus on luxurious, modern dresses.
Image via Victorian Wedding
BB: If you could give any famous woman a makeover, who would it be and how would you style them?
LL: I would love to see modern day makeovers on some of the women from the Victorian era. They looked so uncomfortable. Wouldn't it be fun to see Queen Victoria in a Leona dress?!
BB: What high school trends are you embarrassed to admit you followed?
LL: It was the age of Britney Spears, distressed jeans, and tube tops...not exactly a shining moment in fashion history. I tried a little bit of everything. BB: If you weren't a designer, what career path would you have chosen?
LL: A photographer! Although I have no current skills in this area, I love being a creative director at our seasonal Leona photo-shoots.
BB: What is your favorite dress in your collection?
LL: The Serena! So versatile, effortless and chic.
BB: Any advice for certain styles for different body shapes?
LL: A V-neck or halter looks nice if you have a larger chest. I love a sweetheart neckline to add definition for more boyish figures. A skirt that is slightly A-line with some added fullness at the hem looks great on all shapes and sizes and a sash is the easiest way to define the waistline!
BB: What are you carrying in your purse?
LL: iphone, Chapstick, business cards, RayBan Cats, bobby pins!