Designer Spotlight: Amsale

Ethiopian-born American designer, Amsale Aberra was born in 1954 and is known for her couture wedding gowns. Her entre into bridal fashion began in 1985 with her own wedding: when she couldn’t find a simple, yet refined gown to wear herself. So the FIT graduate began making custom bridal gowns in her NYC loft. According to her website, the gowns “fused pure, archetypal silhouettes with couture craftsmanship and sumptuous textiles.”

Today Amsale is one of the most recognizable names in the bridal business, and her gowns are still crafted and displayed in New York City. While you can purchase her gowns at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and other fine bridal boutiques across the nation, the Amsale flagship store makes its home on Madison Avenue. Her style, easily recognized, is marked by both “exquisite simplicity and luxurious restraint.”

Beyond her namesake brand, Amsale founded the Amsale Group with Neil Brown. The group is comprised of three distinct, yet complementary luxury bridal collections: Amsale, Christos, and Kenneth Pool. The group also includes the Amsale Bridesmaid Collection. Each of these impeccable collections can be found at the flagship store on Madison Avenue and other fine boutique retailers—including Nitsa’s Bridal—across this country and over 20 other countries.

Amsale gowns have been worn by numerous celebrities, including Halle Berry, Selma Hayak, and Julie Roberts, just to name a few. Celebrities that married in Amsale include Sara Rue, Lisa Loeb, and Bethany Frankel, among others. In 2011, WE TV did a reality series called “Amsale Girls” offering a behind-the-scenes peek at the Amsale boutique. The Amsale mission: “I want a bride to be thrilled with her wedding-day look for years to come because her dress has a timeless beauty that reflects her true essence,” Amsale says.

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This Summer’s Fashion Trends

Trends this summer are just as hot as the weather. From in-your-face prints to intricate straps—and plenty of them—to old classics made new, fashion is anything but subtle this season. A few of our favorite trends from prints, swimsuits, and the tried-and-true classics.



No longer cool on just countertops and floors, marble is heating up closets this summer. From stone-age separates to rock-solid accessories, this earthy, chic print is an awesome addition to any summer ensemble.


From dresses with cut-outs to fabric with sleek, geometric lines, the trend this summer is more than a little graphic.The prints boast a mostly monochrome motif, making it easy to pair solids of any sort, whether a dress, skirt, or a killer pair of pumps.


Long Lines

The longline bikini is making a comeback this season. A little more concealed and completely classy, longlines come in all shapes and sizes—from retro balconets, to scalloped halters, to crop tops—and are certain to get along swimmingly in your closet.


Strappy lines that that go this way and that are a top bikini trend this season. From sporty, criss-crossed backs to sexy, multi-stringed bikini bottoms, and Grecian-draped tops, this season says the more straps something has, the better.


The White Shirt

The classic white button-down was reincarnated on this season’s runway. Asymmetrical cuts, embellishments, and collar detailing took this closet staple from traditional to terrific. Pair it with any befitting bottoms; this twist on an old classic is a blank slate.

Black and White

Black and white break out of their old patterns this summer, and you’ll see their familiar hues across almost every trend we’ve mentioned. From crop tops to color-blocked swimsuits, graphic to marble patterns, black and white is a standout this season.

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What to Expect From Your First Wedding Dress Fitting

While you’ll likely go to several dress fittings over the course of your wedding dress alterations, none will be so important as the very first. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re prepared for your initial appointment with your seamstress, and how to navigate it with ease.

When and Where

The first fitting usually takes place at your seamstress’ shop, of course, and six to eight weeks before your wedding date. The average bride will have three fittings over the course of the dress alterations, while a bride that just needs a simple size adjustment may need fewer, and a bride looking to create her own look from the dress she already has will likely need several more. Use this timeline as a guideline, but also be aware of what it is you want your seamstress to accomplish, and give her enough time to make your dream dress happen.

What and Who to Bring

Even though it’s your first—especially because it’s your first—you should bring every accessory you plan on wearing on your big day with you to your initial fitting. Both your undergarments and your shoes will affect the way the dress fits and falls, so you want to be sure those factors are added in from the get-go, while your other accessories—jewelry, veils, or headpieces, belts or sashes —will all inform the overall look of your wedding dress and, therefore, should be present at the fitting to help you and the seamstress envision the final look. Also, don’t be afraid to bring along a second set of trusted eyes.This can be an overwhelming process, so having someone you trust, like your mom or maid of honor, along to help you navigate the first fitting is a great idea.

How and Why

Many boutiques, like Nitsa’s, offer alterations in-house to brides that purchase their dresses from their store—making finding a seamstress a no-brainer. However, if you order a dress online or buy from a discount or small boutique, you’re often on your own when it comes to finding a local seamstress. How can you find a reputable alterations place? Check online wedding websites and look up the reviews. See what other brides experience and make an informed decision from them, or ask friends who have married in your area who they trusted their dream dress to. Reviews and recommendations are crucial when it comes to picking just the right lady (or gent) for this job.