Hawai‘i’s De la Rosa Marries Elegance and Versatility in Wedding Gowns That Go Beyond Bridal
This story originally ran in the November 2019 issue of HONOLULU Magazine with the title “Modern Romance.”
photos: courtesy of de la rosa, justine grajski; model: valerie ferguson
Few bridal lines have captured our attention like de la Rosa. With its sleek silhouettes and effortless take on glamour, the local line delivers on what a lot of today’s brides are looking for but are hard-pressed to find: versatility. It’s a welcome counter to the over-the-top princess styles—all rib-crushing bustiers and sparkle-sparkle everywhere—that are worn once then done.
“I wanted to create a more casual approach to bridal—something chic, timeless and easy to wear,” says designer Rachel Flemister, a California girl who honed her skills designing for Bebe and Juicy Couture before moving to O‘ahu in 2016.
Mission accomplish-ed with de la Selva, her first full collection, released this year. Half of the collection consists of gorgeous bias-cut slip dresses—think whisper-thin straps, delicately draped cowl necklines and dipped backs—that easily double as cocktail and formal wear.
The rest are sophisticated separates that seamlessly mix in with one’s everyday wardrobe. Slip on the figure-skimming Renata midi skirt with a tee and flats for a refined high-low look. The sheer Bella wrap blouse looks just as amazing with jeans as it does layered over a gown. And the collection’s pantsuit, featuring a high-waist wide-leg trouser and slim-cut blazer—it’s pure boss bride.
Gloria tie-back top, Rio skirt
All of the pieces are made-to-order by Flemister at her Waimānalo studio. Most are crafted from a luxe silk crepe de chine or a heavy silk satin that flows over the body like water. Many reveal hints of Latin influence, a dramatic organza balloon sleeve here, a cascading train there. De la Rosa, which translates to “of the rose” in Spanish, is Flemister’s mother’s maiden name, a nod to the woman who first taught her how to sew at age 12.
Up next, Flemister plans to expand the collection with some fresh silhouettes. “I have some more conservative options in the works, along with a new high neckline and low back,” she says. Whatever the style, she just wants her brides to feel beautiful and like themselves. “The dress should never overshadow the girl. The girl should just look that much more great in the dress.”