After a long pause of 2 years, Pronovias makes its return to physical runway on April 22, marking the official start of a booming season for the bridal giant.
The new 2023 “Versailles Collection” by Pronovias Atelier, the high end couture brand of Pronovias Group, showcased a series of stunning bridal gowns in front of 1,800 guests on the final day of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week. The event was broadcasted on a number of social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. Each and every dress that carries the Pronovias Atelier label is handmade by expert seamstresses in Barcelona using the finest fabrics and laces imported from France and Italy.
Alessandra Rinaudo, Artistic Director of Pronovias, says: “Versailles has come to define luxury and beauty, which to me fits perfectly with Haute Couture bridal. This collection stands out for attention to detail and head-to-to exquisiteness. It’s a modern, innovative interpretation of one of the most lavish periods in fashion history.”
Comprising 44 exquisite and opulent designs, the new Versailles Collection emanates a sense of royal luxury whilst staying true to the feminine beauty the brand is known for. Inspired by the glittering character of Versailles, the collection’s intricate embellishments and plush fabrics are complimented by extravagant veils, elegant elbow-length gloves, bustle-up capes and detachable, oversized sleeves. The casting is decidedly inclusive, with models of all age, body shape, ethnicity and gender diversity walking the runway and iconic supermodel Esther Canadas closing the show.
Marking Pronovias Group’s commitment to cutting edge digital innovation in product design and technology — and the first of its kind in the bridal industry — Rinaudo has also helped create three NFTs, each reproducing the patterns, textures, beading of three dresses from the Versailles Collection. The three NFTs are uploaded to the OpenSea platform and can be viewed on the Pronovias website.
Speaking to Amandine Ohayon, the CEO of Pronovias Group, it is clear that the international bridal maison is looking into the future with Metaverse, sustainability as well as social responsibility on its mind.
“My aim hasn’t changed,” says Ohayon in Barcelona a few days ahead of the show, referring to her goal of significantly accelerating the Group’s international development when she first joined in 2018. “And with the opening of the our Shanghai and New York flagship stores, we will continue with the expansion.” The focus for the next 2-3 years will also be servicing the rising demand due to cancelled weddings over the pandemic.
Despite the difficulties posed by the closed shop floors and restrictions in personal contact during the past two years, Ohayon made sure each client’s wishes were catered to, even if it meant shipping a gown across from Malaga to Houston for final alteration before sending it to the happy bride.
“People want to party like they never partied before,” Ohayon says with a smile as we discuss the trends for weddings. “I see two major trends — one being people wanting to have two or more dresses, as an increasing number of weddings consist of not just the big day itself, but also an event for the day before and another for the day after.”
“The second trend is the increasing appetite for more couture dresses.” Ohayon tells me, “Brides want things that are more dramatic and special, and we are seeing double digit growth in sales of the bridal accessories — veil, cape, gloves, with lots of styling.”
Coming from a background of beauty where the focus on sustainability is a lot more advanced than other areas of fashion and retail, especially the bridal industry, Ohayon was keen to identify and incorporate eco-friendly fabrics in the brand’s designs, as well as establish a sustainable practice within the Group. She and Rinaudo has since launched the EDEN collection, featuring a selection of sustainable #WeDoEco gowns.
In January this year, Ohayon furthered her sustainability initiative by launching Second Life at Pronovias, the wardrobe life extension initiative, releasing dresses designed specifically to be altered after the wedding and thus encouraging more wears and the longevity of wardrobe items. Rinaudo has designed a collection which can be transformed free of charge into a new style after the wedding, with the first launch consists of over 50 carefully selected bridal gowns that can be converted by altering the length, eliminating sleeves, or by adding belts, straps, sashes and other details to create a totally new look. The number of dresses that can be given a Second Life will increase with each new bridal collection launched by the brand.
“The pandemic was the reason we did all these,” Ohayon says, stating that the uncertain and at times dark experience in fact brought some great things and taught her, and the brand, to be agile and adaptive. “We signed the deal with Vera Wang in 2020 over Zoom calls — we now do business and develop relationships in a whole new way.”
The Pronovias Atelier Versailles Collection will be available in store in September 2022.