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BB Dakota is dressing up for its debut next spring in the bridal category.

Guided by an alumna of BCBG Max Azria’s runway shows, the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based young contemporary brand is readying to unveil BB Dakota Occasion, a line of dresses designed for a younger customer who wants to display her fashion flair at weddings, prom and other special soirees. Leading the initiative is Melissa Cudworth, who joined BB Dakota Occasion after spending a decade at BCBG, where she helped create romantic styles that the Vernon, Calif.-based company showcased at New York Fashion Week. Along with Lily Ashwell and Houghton, BB Dakota is the latest label that wants to inject a cool, youthful vibe into the bridal business.

Targeting retail prices between $200 and $400, the company is striving to elevate its designs for BB Dakota Occasion while maintaining a versatility and wearability expected in its sportswear that has attracted customers at retailers such as Nordstrom, Shopbop.com, Urban Outfitters and Nasty Gal.

“It’s a way to reach the consumer that we normally do business with but for another occasion,” said Gloria Brandes, chief executive officer of BB Dakota. “We have a different take on it.”

The origins for the new business stem from an $88 number in its main line. A basic fit-and-flare cut from cotton lace, the dress has been a popular option for young women to wear to Easter service, an evening out and casual weddings. BB Dakota updated it for its new business in vivid tints such as indigo, bright orange, peach and pale pink, outlined with a muted but contrasting shade.

Other styles in the inaugural collection include a white cropped shell with a matching circle skirt, mint green sleeveless Empire-waist frock that combines lace with knife pleats, pink fit-and-flare dress printed with dainty flowers and a strapless gown covered with vibrant pink, red and purple roses.

“It’s still all about versatility,” Brandes said.

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