Do you daydream of exchanging vows at dusk on the beach on a tropical island, barefoot, wearing a beaded tunic over your bikini? Are you that free-spirit who's searching for the perfect one-of-a-kind vintage bustier to pair with your raw silk gypsy skirt? Well, discerning boho brides, this is your moment. Calypso St. Barth has just unveiled their new bridal collection, Mariée, inspired by their long-lusted-after designs. InStyle sat down with Creative Director (and bride-to-be) Elisa Miller to get the intel on what brides can expect from this cult fashion label.
What inspired you to launch a specific collection? We have wanted to do bridal for so many years. We've been hearing from customers that they have been wearing Calypso for their weddings or their second dress. We have seen that there are so many different types of weddings now. It seemed like the right time to launch a true bridal collection. We love that it can be customized and worn in separate ways, designed with our kind of specific bride in mind.
Who is the Mariée bride? Bohemian is at the essence of what we do. Our Mariée muse is a free spirit. A non-conformist. She is totally our Calypso girl. She is all about feeling easy and comfortable in her own skin. She is not going to wear a super-tight corset, strapped in and uncomfortable with a long train. Our customer is so cool that way: she knows her body and she likes to improvise it. She will wear a skirt as a strapless dress or wear a sweater upside down. And just because we suggest items to wear together, but I absolutely love seeing pictures of ingenious ways real women have improvised. That's the fun of it!
But we're not only for the most bohemian bride. Having that sense of individuality and that sense of spirit translates to many brides and many venues—whether it's the courthouse or in the yard, or on the beach or a Brooklyn balcony. There are so many different types of weddings—it’s time to do something different.
Some are individual pieces. Are they designed to be interchangeable? We have some items that are specific hook-ups: for instance, a chiffon top and skirt can be worn together or separately. We have an incredible curated selection of vintage bustiers at some of our stores—brides can make them very much their own, worn under sheer top or with a skirt combination. We've designed a number of special bridal pieces from signature caftans to slightly more structured items.
We also have a completely gorgeous lace eyelet dress with matching pants—she can wear the whole outfit to City Hall and take off the pants and head out to a celebratory dinner or a Jazz Club for the night. For the girl who wants to dance or go a bit more fun, we have a mini, too. Our gowns can totally be worn over a bikini on the beach—making it totally "Calypso." But while, yes, there is that fantasy it can be real and it doesn't have to be extreme. That's my personal fantasy, but not everyone is going to do that.
Do you have any accessory advice for channeling your individual style with a Mariée dress? The jewelry is really where we focus—we have curated truly special hair pieces, incredible earrings, hand jewelry, arm bands, foot jewelry, crowns, clutches all specifically for bridal, all completely bohemian. We really focus on client styling in all of our stores. Our Calypso associates are truly excited about going out of their way to helping customers find what turns them on or making it their own.
Any style advice for the grooms of a Mariée bride? It varies so much depending on character of the individual and the location. It could be more formal if it's a City Hall brunch wedding or, if it's a seaside ceremony, I would suggest that he opts for a not-too-formal, almost unstructured look. Perhaps it's a unpressed ivory linen suit even surf shorts with white linen shirt.
Now for the bridesmaids who want to wear Calypso St. Barth. Any styling wisdom? Different colors within a bridal party is totally on trend. The matchy-matchy wedding can be beautifully done but it's super, super cool to mix it up. You want it to be in the same color family---I think it's nice when they’re all pastels, for instance, or all juicy brights. This summer, we went to town on color! Turquoise, hot pink, paler pinks, seriously insane fuschia, tomato red with a lot of orange in it, lavender, hot pink, acidy green. We have a lot of dresses that you can wear as a guest, or, for occasions in general: More parties associated with a wedding!
Getting that mixed-up bridal party look isn’t always as easy as it seems. If a bride wants to shop with bridesmaids, she can make a private appointment in the store—or—even host an at-home trunk show with one of our stylists (a complimentary service). She can come to you with an assortment. Either way, they can prepare and pull a selection based on your given history, sizes. We can show a client how to wear the Sara dress in five different ways—and we make it easy. You don't even have to shop in your home: we can come to your country club, your charity or even your beach cabana!
Anything else you want InStyle readers to know? There is one little child's dress! Perfect for a mini boho-chic flower girl.
Shop the new collection by visiting CalypsoStBarth.com.