Reality TV and the Wedding Perception

Reality television (love it or hate it) has made an enormous impact on culture both American and global. We watch, we discuss, we refute or emulate. Sometimes we find that reality shows are useful, entertaining, and serve their audience well. One show that fits, more or less into this category is "Amsale Girls", on WE. Based on the wedding studio of noted celebrity designer Amsale Aberra we're drawn in to the weekly stories of the women who are clients and staff of this Manhattan salon. "Brides spend up to $75,000 for an Amsale gown, and the women who work in Amsale's salon are just as extraordinary as the dresses themselves. Every day, they deal with the non-stop pressure of pleasing some of the most discriminating Manhattan brides. Outside of work, these 30-something women are best friends, who support each other through good times and bad. But it's all in a day's work when you're an Amsale Girl".

For a clip:

Addictive and fun, give this wedding based show a try whether you're a current bride or not!

"Amsale Aberra is the Co-Founder, Co-CEO and Creative Director of the AMSALE Design Group which houses the AMSALE, CHRISTOS and KENNETH POOL collections of wedding and evening wear sold nationwide at the finest boutiques and luxury retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, as well as many prestigious retailers internationally.

Amsale Aberra’s career as a couture bridal and eveningwear designer happened by necessity.  While planning her 1985 nuptials, Amsale (known professionally by her first name) scoured the stores to find a simple, refined wedding dress.  She found little in the way of clean, sophisticated gowns, and discovered an untapped niche in the bridal market – elegant and understated dresses. 

"Everything was so overdone and with too much ornamentation," says Amsale, who was sure that her taste in gowns was shared by many other brides-to-be. Amsale placed an advertisement in a bridal magazine for custom-made gowns for other brides-to-be who shared her taste in sophisticated, understated designs.  And so, with a few responses, a sketchpad full of designs, and a small team of couture sewers, Amsale started her business out of her New York City loft apartment.  

Since then, her business has flourished and the name AMSALE (pronounced Ahm-sah’-leh) has become synonymous with the “forever modern” wedding dress.  Her namesake collections are designed for brides who desire a fashionable, sophisticated and timeless look. 

Amsale’s love of fashion began as a young girl growing up in Ethiopia, but her dreams were constrained:  “In Ethiopia there were no fashion designers.  I never knew that designing beautiful clothes was a profession to which one could aspire.”

Amsale convinced her parents to allow her to leave Ethiopia in order to study commercial art in New England.  While in school a revolution broke out in her native country, which left Amsale suddenly cut off and without financial assistance from home.  Yet she supported herself through multiple odd jobs and completed her undergraduate education at University of Massachusetts - Boston.   With limited financial resources, Amsale admits, “I would design and sew my own clothes because I couldn’t afford to buy new things.  That’s when I first thought of becoming a fashion designer.” 

Amsale left Boston, enrolled in New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and, upon graduation, began her career as a design assistant for Harve Benard.  Two years later, Amsale launched a custom bridal-gown business with her “forever modern” approach to sophisticated design.  

Amsale’s design philosophy has redefined the perception of the timeless wedding gown. Her innovative twists to time honored hallmarks of the traditional wedding gown -- reintroducing “illusion design,” modern updates of the traditional bustle, and tasteful color accents including the now-famous “blue sash” gown – have become so popular among prospective brides that they have been recognized as modern classics.  

Opening the AMSALE Madison Avenue boutique in September 2001, fulfilled Amsale’s desire to present her designs in a setting that reflected her “forever modern” vision."

Silk Taffeta. Silk Taffeta ballgown with ruched bodice and soft gathered skirt. Neckline features Taffeta ruffle halter. Available in Ivory as sampled and White.

Silk Organza. Strapless silk organza gown with ruched bodice and lightly gathered skirt. Hipline features soft floral detail.

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