One of the most thrilling attributes of today’s bridal fashion is that modern, minimalist solutions and excitingly exaggerated trends exist simultaneously. Daalarna designer Anita Benes did not want to choose between them when creating the new FLORENCE collection. Therefore, she decided to combine the most defining stylistic features of the Renaissance era with the sophisticated and feminine lines that have been defining Daalarna’s unique style since the beginning. The collection takes its name from Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, while the photographs were taken in one of the most exclusive suites of the 15th-century Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, decorated with original frescoes and antique furniture.
“In recent years, the latest Daalarna collections have been inspired mainly by moods and emotions, but it has long been a dream of mine to go back to an era in the history of fashion and implement it in the modern age a bit differently”, says Anita Benes. “With the pandemic behind us with its practical, home-office style clothing and micro weddings, weekend-long celebrations with hundreds of guests are finally back. Therefore, dresses that make the bride feel like she’s really giving way to the celebration are a perfect match. The Renaissance dress culture with its sumptuous, opulent, over-embellished style features fits perfectly with this concept, so it was a natural choice to hark back to this era when designing the new FLORENCE collection.”
The origins of the Renaissance period can be traced back to 14th-century Florence, Italy, and was marked by a major cultural, artistic, and intellectual revival across Europe. In keeping with the spirit of the age, fashion underwent a major transformation, while luxury became more accessible as trade grew. Dressing culture was significantly influenced by emerging humanist ideas that focused on the individual and, as a consequence, the desire to display wealth and status.
“It was an incredibly rich period of beautiful clothes, soaring art, joie de vivre, luxury, and opulence – an exciting opportunity for me to reach back and adapt the most defining trends of the Renaissance to contemporary tastes. One of my favourite historical aspects of this era is that the flamboyant necklines that became fashionable among the aristocracy at this time were inspired by the dresses of the lower classes – even courtesans – thus making classy and desirable what had previously been despised and looked down upon. As this made the dress of the different social classes more uniform, the new distinctive mark of noble origin became the pearl necklace and pearl jewellery.”
Luxurious fabrics were also a defining feature of dresses of the period, with silk, velvet, brocade, and satin being the most popular. These fabrics were then enriched with intricate embroidery and embellishment, puffed sleeves, tight tailoring and plunging necklines, and they were also not shy of spectacular ruffles, feathers, lace, and beading.
The extra loose, richly pleated, puffy sleeves, airy tulle skirts, and extravagant pelerines are also introduced into the collection as classic Renaissance-style elements. These can be a practical, combinable addition to wedding dresses, as in most cases they can be a two-in-one solution. For example, a light tulle top, a pelerine or puffy sleeves can be added to the dress for the church ceremony, and then removed in one go for the civil ceremony or the party, allowing the wedding dress to be renewed and updated without having to change.
The richly detailed collection also includes modern pieces – mikado gowns with big bows, lush ruffles and feminine cuts, and airy tulle models with meticulous ruffles – that can be the choice of brides with more minimalistic tastes.
On top of this, Anita Benes dreamt up a few evening dresses, this time in various shades of green, inspired by the colours of the authentic suite at the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, the location of the photoshoot. “And if a bride finds the right one among these, we can, of course, also make it for her in off-white or other various colours,” says Anita Benes.
We are now sharing with you the campaign photos but stay tuned for the whole lookbook coming soon!
Photos: Éva Papp and Zoltán Scheider, Make-up and hair: Csilla Kiss, Models: Berta Nagy (@Attractive Models), Charlotte Nkoli (@Eleven Models Budapest), Vera Deim (@VM Models), Location: Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, Italy