Couture fashion designer Rubin Singer has turned his discerning eye toward the wedding gown. This is his first full bridal collection, and he does not disappoint. But this is hardly Rubin’s first foyer into bridal design.
“I’ve always designed bridal dresses in my mind that were very outside the box,” Rubin stated. “I would do a black wedding dress and use it as the finale of a show, but I never really told people that that’s what it was.”
Rubin’s first big bridal moment came when his stylist approached him to create the dramatic platinum-colored wedding dress for Cynthia Bailey, below, for The Real Housewives of Atlanta wedding finale.
“I was reluctant to do it,” Rubin explained, “because I didn’t want to get into reality television, but I changed my mind. My caveat,” he said, “was that it would be a wedding dress unlike any other. Shortly after that I started doing a lot of private bridal clients.”
Rubin is a third-generation couturier. His father Alik created costumes for the Bolshoi Ballet and the Stanislavsky Theatre, and his grandfather, after whom he is named, was one of the most celebrated designers in the Soviet Union, dressing Russian royalty, Soviet political figures, and the social elite.
“I grew up in the business, around my father’s work in Paris and in New York. I watched him work my whole life and his aesthetic has been ingrained in my philosophy.”
And what would that philosophy be? “A woman is at her most powerful when she feels beautiful,” he told me, “and my goal is to empower women with my designs.”
Now he has flexed his creative muscles for this new self-imposed challenge: 13 awe-inspiring wedding dresses. And boy are they beautiful! Any gown by Rubin is sure to leave its wearer feeling like a princess. Just look at these dozen and one dazzling bridal beauties, each ethereal wonders, ripe with uniqueness, and each one personified with its own individual name as a work of art.
Rubin, a virtuoso of drapery, told me, “A lot of attention is paid to paneling, detailing and drape…I drape all the gowns myself.”
A side bustle adds visual interest to the statuesque strapless gown above. With metal mesh inserts and delicate beading, Rubin executes gracefully his own brand of elegant eclecticism.
“I love to combine unexpected materials,” he said. “I use a lot of leathers and silks, for example.”
You may have seen this type of dichotomy in Beyoncé’s leather and Chantilly lace bodysuit, designed by Rubin, which she wore for her Super Bowl performance in February.
With contrasting fabrics, Rubin creates interest through surface and tension between the elements.
“I’ve tried to veer away from the traditional silhouettes and details,” Rubin said. “Why would I do it otherwise? It already exists, and I wanted to create something that is different and that excites people.”
The heightened hemline of the flirtatious dress above is another example of Rubin’s unexpected, spontaneous–yet calculated–designs.
A visible petticoat, above, adds an air of drama and whimsy.
“Much of my work is form-fitting and body-conscious, as well as sculptural,” Rubin said.
As a third-genertion couturier, Rubin was raised by masters in the craft; hence his extraordinary attention to detail as seen in this intricately beaded dress in an unfamiliar silhouette.
“There is a strong aftertaste of couture in everything that I do,” Rubin said.
The exquisite beaded bodice and asymmetrical ivory ruffle skirt, above, is a classic gown with a twist. “I have to present something to these brides that is going to make them feel unique and special,” he said.
Something blue? Yards and yards of frothy tulle explode beneath a brilliantly-beaded bust.
“My approach is to dress the modern bride,” Rubin said, “and the modern bride has a lot of needs. Sexiness is very important, but she is also demure. So it’s a matter of balance. There’s a sweetness as well as an aggressiveness. My clothes are about being strong and powerful,” he continued, “so that needs to balance with the sweetness.”
“Natasha,” above, is a mix of baby pink python with tulle. “It’s very unexpected, but the dress was so sweet that I felt it needed to be counterbalanced that way,” Rubin stated.
“This collection became an evolutionary experience when I started working with a lot of different kinds of brides,” Rubin said. “I had an African bride, I had a bride that was getting married at a Scottish castle, I had a bride getting married in the South of France. It was all about my experience with all of these different kinds of brides. I started to think about how I could approach, with my aesthetic, these different personalities. There are archetypal kinds of weddings and brides, and I wanted to address each one of them through the dresses in this collection,” he said.
The Rubin Singer Bridal 2014 collection will be sold in Kleinfeld’s and Neiman Marcus from September 2013.