Mes dumplings, I’ve begun looking at wedding dresses. Disclosure: I’m not “engaged engaged” yet with a ring, but my partner (who is still based in New York) and I (in Portland) are looking to combine our households in the near future at a third city. We’re planning on making things official with a wedding in 2022, possibly in Italy. As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts including the pandemic. But somehow, I’m feeling completely zen about it all. Enough that I’m not at all anxious about jinxing it by writing about it here! Our love story goes back to 2009—another era!—and I know that everything in life happens the way it’s meant to happen. I also know that I will always love and live my life very authentically, no matter what.
This brings me to celebrating love in an authentic way, which for me means a wedding that’s as sustainable, eco-friendly, and vegan as possible. That includes finding a vegan wedding dress. Pretty early on, I realized just how hard it is to find an eco-friendly vegan wedding dress. On one hand, you can easily find dresses made of synthetic materials at places like BHLDN. These are technically vegan, but come with higher environmental footprint. (Polyester, of course, is a plastic, which is itself a byproduct of Big Oil.)
Another accessible option is buying a secondhand wedding dress made of silk, which means there is no new animal cruelty and the fabric is natural and biodegradable. I do love the superlative elegance and softness of silk, but ever since my dad started keeping bees in his garden, I have grown to really adore some insects (not mosquitos though) and feel awkward about wearing silk. The secondhand silk option is the one I’m considering most seriously, in case I can’t find a new, eco-friendly vegan wedding dress of my dreams.
Recently, however, I discovered a completely cruelty-free wedding dress label that is designed in Paris and handmade by fairly paid artisans. Unlike many eco, vegan bridal lines that rely on easy, flowing cuts, this designer also boasts couture patternmaking and tailoring to satisfy the most dramatic, glamorous brides. I give you: Rime Arodaky.
Rime Arodaky broke into the fashion industry at the celebrated house of Sonia Rykiel, and launched her eponymous bridal label in 2011. The designer counts Kate Moss, Romy Schneider, Lauren Hutton, Zoe Kravitz, Vanessa Paradis, Brigitte Bardot, and Jane Birkin as her muses: “women who have lived their lives with great freedom. The Rime woman is a feminist and a modern goddess. Her best accessory? Self-confidence.” In 2015, the brand committed to not using any animal-derived materials (leather, silk, wool, feathers, fur) in its collections. Instead, Arodaky uses organza, lace, crêpe, and macramé that are sourced from Italian and French mills. The brand only works with suppliers and partners who “share their vision of a cruelty-free business model.” Oh là là!
If you’re lucky enough to be in or near Paris, the showroom in the second arrondissement is where you can find your dream vegan wedding dress. The label is also sold at bridal boutiques in the U.S., several countries in Europe, the U.K., and Australia. You can also make a virtual appointment via WhatsApp. Hooray, technology!
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of these gorgeous creations, shall we?
The sheer bodice and voluminous sleeves adorned with 3D flowers are perfect for a sophisticated, yet dramatic bride.
Clearly I’m craving sleeves! Lumi is an embroidered tulle, square neckline and dropped sleeves look that feels like a modern incarnation of a Tudor princess / Swan Lake, if that makes sense. In short, it’s utterly romantic and jaw-dropping.
I get it, sleeves are not for everyone, and maybe you have worked hard to get Michelle Obama arms. This corseted, mermaid number is so figure-flattering and sexy, but not so much that it will make your dad uncomfortable as he walks you down the aisle.
This entire look is so beautiful, seeing it makes me feel less depressed about the anti-Asian crime that’s springing up all over the place. It’s serving up major Botticelli / Madonna vibes but in a very sexy, very modern way.
What do you think about these dresses? Do you have a vegan wedding dress designer I should know about? Let me know!
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Photo: Rime Arodaky