Ines Di Santo's "Aria"

We could talk all day about the myriad societal expectations on young women to wed, but what's the fun in that? I like to think I've always blazed my own trail, but if there's one thing that's putting the pressure on, it's this: the chance to wear a real-life princess gown.

Romance aside, a single woman can—does—admire the whimsical sartorial confections dreamed up by the likes of Monique Lhuillier, Marchesa, and Vivienne Westwood (Carrie's original dress in the Sex and the City movie, anyone?). Whether or not there are wedding bells in your immediate future, allow us to add another name to your bridal wish list: Ines Di Santo.

The Buenos Aires-born designer specializes in handmade couture constructions at her Toronto atelier, and her designs—romantic, feminine, and sculptural, inspired by her Argentinian and Italian roots—are sold in retailers worldwide. This weekend, West Ave Shopping District's Ivory Bridal Atelier hosts an exclusive trunk show featuring styles from Di Santo's Spring 2019 collection.

Ines Di Santo's "Bella"

They are lust-worthy, full of illusion bodices and back accents, dramatic skirts, and intricate embellishment. All could be classified romantic and ethereal, though the collection varies from airy ballgowns and cathedral trains to plunging V-neck sheaths and even a lingerie-style mini dress trimmed in feathers. Some boast exotic capes while others stand out for ruffled, beaded tiers not unlike a decadent wedding cake. Each design is named for a woman—Emily, Sadie, Mila, et al—and all make a grand statement. 

The trunk show runs from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Friday, September 7 and 9:30 a.m.—5 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, and Ivory Bridal will also offer special promotions and designer incentives for the weekend only. Brides can book an appointment online or at 713-550-1622. Which leads us to our final query: Must you be a bride to wear one?

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