The first love note included a quote from the Spanish opera Carmen: “Love is a child of Bohemia. It has never known any law.”
That line alone inspired the aesthetic of the Galia Lahav’s Spring 2024 couture collection, Amor. Filled with agency, the 15-piece collection is a testament to the unapologetic spirit of the modern bride and the nature of today’s relationships: they do not have to comply with conventional norms.
The opera tells the passionate love story of Carmen, a fiercely independent woman, and her affair with a soldier, that was ground-breaking at the time: not only did the main character buck tradition but so did the elements of the entire opera. It changed the French theater scene.
These historical facts were not lost on head designer Sharon Sever, a self-proclaimed opera fanatic, who found Carmen as his muse for these bridal gowns when thinking about that first love note he received. It came alongside a bouquet of roses, so he played with the idea of the flower in the collection too.
“It is about empowering brides to be fearless, expressive and adventurous to explore the passion that burns within,” Sever says of the wedding gowns. “I wanted to create a collection that celebrates the unbridled spirit of love.”
To exemplify this, Sever experimented with new techniques, silhouettes, fabrics, and patterns. The collection features high necklines, long sleeves, and drop waists—all elements of customary Spanish dress—as well as layered skirts pulled from flamenco dancers for the Fuego gown and bolero jackets from the bullfighters for the Paloma.
He took up a study in lace to push lace-making design to new heights for the body-hugging Evita and sourced a specialty satin fabric from Italy to create the iridescent glow of the ethereal Luna gown. Roses appear as appliques on the trumpet-style Barbara dress and as painterly embroidery on the Evelyn ball gown. There is also a departure from white, cream, and ivory. He included a dramatic black gown too.
Of course, the collection includes the spectacular elements that have long made a Galia Lahav bride unique: dramatic low backs, Swarovski crystal adornments, structured corset bodices, hand-sewn luxurious fabrics, and the intricate haute couture embroidery and beading.
“Our couture bride wants to stand out so I am inspired by Carmen as a way to help our bride do that,” he says. “She is regal, yet unapologetic. And, as cliche as it sounds, we want her dream to come true.”