After having trouble finding her own wedding dress, fashion designer Michele Corty decided to design it herself. Living in Paris, she traveled throughout France and discovered artisans who make beautiful laces and textiles for some of the world’s most renowned fashion houses, and the inspiration she came across inspired her to start her own bridal line in 2011.
Michele, originally from Chicago, worked in New York City’s Garment District after design school, and then in Paris at several fashion brands, including American Retro, ZOEtee’s and My Lovely Jean. In 2009, while at ZOEtee’s she collaborated with Gwyneth Paltrow on a jersey knits capsule collection, ZOEtee’s Loves Gwyneth.
With years of design and fashion experience, Michele launched Rue De Seine (pronounced roo-de-sen) to fill a hole that she saw in the bridal fashion industry. Named after the street she and her husband lived on in Paris, Rue De Seine was created as a collection of effortless, feminine and bohemian style gowns. All the gowns are handmade in New Zealand where the company is based and home to the brand’s flagship salon.
Rue De Seine wedding gowns are an eclectic mix of traditional silhouettes with bohemian, romantic and feminine details. Some of the detailing includes beading, illusion, draping and three-dimensional floral embellishments. In addition to traditional wedding gown silhouettes – fluted and sheaths – Rue De Seine also has a collection of separates that allow a bride to create a wedding-day look that is true to her own sense of style, and many of them can be worn as ready-to-wear pieces, such as coats and blouses.
A bride can find her complete wedding-celebration wardrobe with ivory and white dresses, blouses and skirts for each pre- and post-wedding party: The engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner and post-wedding brunch. Dresses, tops, bottoms and accessories can be mixed and matched to create unique pieces that each reflects the bride’s sense of style.
The Rue De Seine bride is a free spirit. She can be described as bohemian or even romantic, and is searching for a wedding dress that looks effortless but is anything but. The gowns are slim fitting and flatter a woman’s figure. Detail embellishments are available in beading that can be both vintage and glamorous, and fabric flowers that are feminine and dreamy.
The gowns are modern in that they offer bride of-the-moment trends, including sleeves (both long and bell shaped), illusion, open backs, cut outs, exposed shoulders and fringe.
Made from soft laces and cottons, some sourced from the factories Michele discovered in France, many of the wedding gowns have shorter hemlines that show everything from a hint of the bride’s leg to a lot of it, allowing a bride to wear and show off both her legs and a fabulous pair of shoes.
Each Rue De Seine collection has a distinct name that explains its inspiration and the thought process behind the designs and detailing. Here are two examples from recent collections:
The Love Spell Collection has a gypsy-inspired look and feel to it. It consists of 20 pieces that can each be styled in a more traditional or relaxed way. Many of the gowns are made with lace in various floral patterns, both delicate and bold. Long sleeves, straight or bell-shaped, keyhole cutouts on bodices, open backs and fringe are some of the details that make the Love Spell Collection Boho chic.
The Nomadic Collection was inspired by textures, landscapes and details found in nature. According to the designer it was influenced by bohemian desert festivals held in the United States and folk art made in Eastern Europe, and is made from various laces to embody a free-spirit lifestyle. Several of the gowns feature hand beading, others have low-cut backs, and various necklines from modest high necklines to plunging Vs.
Brides planning to wear Rue De Seine on their wedding day can wed in any number of venues. Destination or beach-front weddings are a given with these light-as-air gowns, but they can also be worn to a garden wedding held on an estate, in a park or other lush venue. Some of the gowns can be quite formal and will work well in a grand setting. Brides looking for something more traditional for the ceremony can change into a Rue De Seine wedding gown for their reception, allowing them more freedom to dance the night away in a lace or cotton dress.
Thanks to her parents’ influence, Michele has a vast collection of vintage pieces. Some she restores and others she weaves into her wedding gown collections. Sourced from all over the world, Rue De Seine’s vintage pieces include hand-embroidered veils, a 1930s beaded gown and a pillbox hat from the 1950s. Part of the flagship salon in Auckland, New Zealand is dedicated to vintage pieces, which can also be purchased on the company’s website.
Several celebrities have worn Rue De Seine including Gwyneth Paltrow, Rhianna and Drew Barrymore. And the collection has been featured in French Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle magazines.