Vintage may not be the first word that springs to mind when looking for a dream wedding dress. However, one visit to the Happy Isles salon in Los Angeles will sway even the most modern of brides. Inside, a wonderland of modish feathers, fringe, and pleats abound throughout a polished and orderly space, where designer names are sprinkled throughout; an asymmetrical silk Versace here, a bowed Givenchy Haute Couture there. Owned and curated by Lily Kaizer, the boutique carries a 50/50 mix of bridal white and colorful party and resort pieces, and has quickly become the ultimate resource for high-end, special event vintage for the altar-bound fashion set.
“Marriage is such a wild commitment we get to make in this life, and to infuse the occasion with vintage is already aiding in that nostalgic essence of the event,” says Kaizer of her chosen career. Her goal is to eschew the modern day trappings of fast fashion as well as rid the unstylish connotation of “bridal” by focusing on garments of quality construction and design, some of which happen to be bridal or come in bridal white. Another prerequisite for acquisition is more intuitive: “My principle motto is that I have to be viscerally obsessed with every piece I buy,” she notes. Lately, the former fashion event producer has been turning to ‘80s runway archives of Christian Lacroix for inspiration, but every era is seemingly up for grabs, with some of her favorite items in store right now ranging from a ‘60s hand-painted caftan to a ‘90s rainbow splatter Thierry Mugler suit. “I’m very into suits right now,” she adds.
As for what brides are snatching up at the moment? Kaizer reveals they have been on the hunt for a good jumpsuit, and all things mini for the reception or afterparty. For the weekend’s festivities as a whole, she lists off eclectic looks spanning an ’80s sleeve or ruffle to skirts over pants and a 1930s slip or eyelet moment. Headpieces are also in demand: “I can imagine that with all the maxi-pearl crowns we’ve been seeing now for a minute (Naeem Khan, Inbal Dror, now Givenchy) that this trend will be a must in the year or two to come,” she predicts.
As her business grows and offerings expand (she recently introduced registry-worthy homewares), Kaizer will continue to keep things personal with appointment only visits for ladies looking for something unique and special. Another thing she promises they are sure to find in store for 2019 is simply more—“more feathers, more fringe, and maybe a tad more black.”