With the popularity of bridal fashion at an all-time high (honestly, what did we do before Bridesmaids and Say Yes to the Dress marathons?), even the most affordable and unlikely of stores are getting in on the wedding bliss. J.Crew launched its well-received bridal collection in 2010, followed by the debut of Anthropologie's BHLDN wedding site in 2011, and most recently, Topshop released the plans for its first bridal collaboration with designer Richard Nicoll. Late last year, mall mainstay (and oft-mispronounced-- BayBay? Beeb?) Bebe announced its plans for a brand overhaul-- more class, less Kardash-- including the introduction of a bridal range. To shush the naysayers (there were bound to be plenty), Bebe wisely enlisted the aid of draping extraordinaire and Project Runway alum Rami Kashou to design the debut collection.
We caught up with Rami at the Bebe store in Soho last night to chat about his new bridal collection, which he sees as the "perfect marriage [Ed. note: puns!] for both [he and Bebe]." The Project Runway All Star has been doing custom bridal wear for the past five years, and sees his collab with Bebe as a "great opportunity" for his drape-tastic designs to be "worn by the masses." As for his double stint on Project Runway that surely aided in this latest career endeavor? It was "a crazy experience, but it was also a launching pad. But it's a game show, it's nothing more to me. It's produced." Wait, so... all my agony and tears shed over his totally unfair, unwarranted ousting on Episode 6 of All Stars were all for naught? In the name of all that is Tim Gunn, what is real?!
Anyway. Kashou's reasonably priced bridal collection for Bebe (gowns are $950-$2,500, bridesmaid dresses, $150-$300) includes ten gowns in classic, flattering shapes with a few familiar details (a lace-sleeved Sarah Burton look-alike is suspiciously called the 'Princess') and very little of the tickety-tak styles that have earned the brand its club-girl reputation over the years. Two trumpet-style gowns in particular feature Rami's signature draping mastery, while a slinky, sparkly '40s style column dress offers Old Hollywood for the newly hitched. To complement his gowns, Rami designed a slew of structural (and re-wearable) bridesmaid dresses which could easily double as less-formal prom wear.
Of course, Bebe Bridal wouldn't be Bebe without beaucoup de bling-a-ling: The store's internal bridal boutique is also stocked with some very un-Rami pieces, including bedazzled veils, feathered fascinators, Juicy-esque bachelorette party sweatsuits, and a rhinestone encrusted tee that depressingly reads "Last Night Out." Click through to check out more images of Bebe's new Bridal collection (including the new Rami Kashou for Bebe Bridal), available for special order in select Bebe locations as well as Bebe.com.