Today marks the debut of the first collection by new creative director Margo Lafontaine for Amsale with a 1 p.m. fall 2019 bridal show. Prior to the brand’s founder and former creative director Amsale Aberra’s death in April, Lafontaine was set as successor and had the opportunity to work hand in hand with Aberra.
The new creative director was brought over in January from Vera Wang, where she was working as senior studio director, and worked alongside Aberra for two months before maternity leave [in which time the designer died and the spring collection was shown]. She marked her return this summer to oversee both the ready-to-wear and bridal collections.
“Amsale really was the creator of the modern wedding dress,” said Lafontaine, “She left us the most incredible gift, which is her brand, her aesthetic, which is the strong, clean minimal dresses. It’s really about the bride for Amsale. Making her feel the most beautiful on her wedding day and letting her natural beauty shine. Not letting that be covered up too much. That said, we’re never dedicated to minimalism. Some dresses have more or some are a little cleaner.”
For the debut fall show, Lafontaine will be showing three collections together: Nouvelle Amsale Bridal, Amsale Collection and a relaunch of “Little White Dress.” Originally presented in 2009 by Aberra, “Little White Dress” — which encompasses various outfits and dresses for occasions surrounding the wedding day — is being relaunched for fall to celebrate and pay homage to Aberra’s legacy while expanding the brand from just the wedding day.
“The wedding is not a single moment anymore,” Lafontaine explained, “You have your ceremony dress, but there are so many more events: rehearsal dinner, the post-wedding brunch, reception for some…the bridal shower, the bachelorette weekend, that’s 20 events. Really thinking of Amsale not as just a destination for the bridal gown but for bridal dressing, we can provide outfits for all those different events.”
Overall, “the design aesthetic is ‘purposely simple,’” Lafontaine expressed of the three lines, in which she described each dress as a “micro-passion.” Adding, “This was kind of Amsale’s M.O. when she was designing. It’s not “it’s a collection;” there’s a cohesive sense that these dresses go together but it’s not about a big theme, it’s about each dress that’s special for each different bride.” The designer spoke about focusing on traditional Amsale details throughout: interplay with sheerness and opacity, adding subtle but luxurious details through lace, hand-painting and tonal embroidery to add texture but not overwhelm.
“I’m excited to present Little White Dress and honor Amsale’s legacy with it and really take the brand forward that I hope would make her really proud,” Lafontaine mused.