One-on-one with Franca Guglieri

Milan has recently seen the closing of The Unconventional Wedding, a unique opportunity to visit the top brands and the most prestigious luxury ateliers of the bridal world gathered together at the pop up store that opened from 10th September to 20th October on the fifth floor of the Rinascente.

The area, dedicated to garments (bridal and evening fashion), accessories, lingerie, beauty and home & decor was divided into two spaces. This elegant venue exhibits the creations selected and assembled together by Franca Guglieri with Rebecca La Sposa, the remarkable Atelier from Piacenza with headquarters also in Milan.

Top-class Italian and international designers such as Giuseppe Papini, The Atelier by Jimmy Choo, Sophie et Voila, Viktor & Rolf, Andrea Sedici, Naeem Khan, Marquise, Galia Lahav Couture, Elie Saab, Inbal Dror and many others have been expose in different moments for six weeks with presentations and trunk shows.

We asked the main protagonist of the fashion scene to talk about this experience: Franca Guglieri, trend setter and talent scout, an enthusiastic and creative woman with an innate aesthetic taste and a strong curiosity that takes her around the world in search for the new and the beautiful.

How did the idea of Unconventional Wedding first start?
Unconventional Wedding has been born of a need to get out of the ordinary, a new and “unconventional” way of bringing the bridal sector to life, creating a quality space designed to give maximum visibility to national and international luxury brands. A pop-up store that had combine the logic of top-notch ateliers with live presentations and trunk shows, in such an important venue like la Rinascente, and this is exactly what encourage me to take part. This is a space to meet and compare, had provide an all-encompassing, constantly moving experience: here, brides had the opportunity to meet designers, get some advise, attend fashion shows, all in one place.

How do you choose the collections that will be included in your atelier?
The way I select brands and designers has always been based on constant research, investigation, on the desire to always propose something innovative. I am a tireless globetrotter, I often travel between New York, Paris, London, Barcelona, Sydney and Tokyo, and every trip is an opportunity to learn about new realities. The absolute distinction in the choice of my collections is undoubtedly the sartorial quality, which must be exceptional. Without quality, aesthetics has no value.

In a world that is always running, how important is this ‘unique and dedicated’ moment for brides and what advice would you give them before booking an appointment?
Fortunately, this increasingly competitive world has not taken anything or almost anything away from this extraordinary moment. It has perhaps only shortened the times to choose and decide on things, and this is why we try and give our brides exclusive experiences. Any advice before booking? Definitely knowing what you want for your own wedding. This fast, hyper-technological society of ours has the advantage of connecting with the world: this is why it is important to look, observe and try to identify one’s expectations in terms of style and trend. Once you understand this, the choice of dress will be easier.

Your first sartorial collection has been also presented in this event: what was your inspiration for this collection?
By discreet, veiled, subtle beauty. In this ostentatious world, my collection represents a return to a contained elegance, made of ethereal fabrics, very fine lace, where everything is harmony.

What kind of woman makes your perfect type of bride?
A self-aware woman. And every woman can be different. This is the extraordinary part of my work, being able to interpret dreams and materialise them.

The innovative element of the collection?
This is a sensory collection, in which the rustling of the fabric becomes a living experience, an integral part of the dress that completes the tactile and visual experience.

How important is it for a woman to be aware of wearing a dress that was created just for her?
Very, very important. On her wedding day, every woman wants to be unique, special, the protagonist. With a tailor-made dress you can be sure that every thread, every embroidery, every edge of the garment is the highest expression of who she is, her story, her personality.

By Elisa Nascimbene for Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week