A big part of what makes Canada so great is its multi-culturalism. People from all over the world bring their own unique style sensibilities and traditions to transform Canada into the cultural melting pot that it is today. One great example is South African-born designer, Adele Wechsler, who launched her career in Cape Town before bringing her fashion sense to Canada, where she currently designs a fully-feminine line of bridal gowns.
Although Wechsler has long been associated with gowns for Destination Weddings, she now unveils her 2009 line of eco-chic wedding dresses, "for the bride who cares about the world in which she lives...." Featuring certified organic fabrics such as vegetable-dyed silks, hemp and silk blends, and recycled lace, all of Wechsler's eco-chic gowns are produced in accordance with Toronto's Fair Trade Labour. Wechsler, a member of "1% for the Planet", also donates a percentage of the proceeds from her gown sales to environmental groups.
A tour through Adele Wechsler's eco couture bridal collection is not unlike wandering through an enchanted forest: hidden orchids, hibiscus, and lilies bloom unexpectedly in embroidered applications, while vines of satin and hemp entwine the bride in romantic reverie.
The "Blossom" design could fit in just as easily at a Hollywood red carpet event as a dream wedding, with its glamourous wrap and waist-cinching bodice. Crafted from vegetable-dyed silk and shown here in Claystone colour, the Blossom even features even pockets, for the bride to stash her tissues, safety pins, or anything else she may need on her big day. Twisted organza stems and blossoms pack an extra eco-punch on this design, which is also available in other vegetable-dye colours such as Alabaster and Limestone.
Straight out of a fairytale forest, this dress features hand-made leaf, stem, and vine designs which wrap around the bride in an asymmetrical line. The "Fern" gown also features a flute train sprayed with blossoms and leaves, not unlike a fairy-ring found on a forest floor.
If the connection between nature and fashion in Weschler's designs isn't already clear, the "Petunia" gown pushes the theme into full-bloom. Layers of hand-cut vegetable-dyed silk and organza actually create the effect of flower petals on this gown, and embroidered flowers are sprinkled around the front and back for added effect. A dramatic v-cut in the back also adds extra elegance to the flower-inspired gown. Shown here in Limestone, the Petunia is also available in Alabaster and Claystone.
With crushed silk organza blossoming from the bust-line, this gown, aptly named the "Rosebud", actually does resemble a flower in mid-bloom. Hemp ribbons crisscross over the waist while the circle-cut train with organza ruffle spills to the ground, resembling the soft petals of a flower. The Rosebud is featured here in Flax.
Fun and feminine, the "Sunshine" gown features a strapless corded lace bodice, swathed in vegetable-dyed silk. Shantung and pleated organza silk give the skirt a light feel, while a full and fun ribbon tied at the back adds a touch of whimsy. Shown here in Lemon Cream, this gown is also available in Vanilla Sky.
This dress may be named after an iconic 60s fashion icon, but it's more "romantic" than "mod." With its flirty knee-length hemline, the "Twiggy" is perfect for a destination wedding, where the bride can walk along the sand-swept beaches with ease. Made of hemp and silk blends, this design, shown here in Grain, creates an empire waist with its perfectly-pretty satin band.
Story by G. Melanson
You can view the entire collection on Adele Wechsler's website.
To find the Eco-Couture line in a bridal boutique near you, use our Gown Finder, search for Adele Wechsler Eco-Couture.