European fashion at local bridal shop

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Couture on display: Dominique Debroux, Rosa Clara USA vice president and general manager, displays a 1920s-inspired wedding gown from the Rosa Clara couture collection at Eva's Bridal on LaGrange. | Photo by Kimberly Elsham Vavrick

Eva’s Bridal International on LaGrange, 15180 S. La Grange Road, in Orland Park, is bringing a bit of European couture to Chicago area brides. The bridal shop just launched the 2014 collection of Rosa Clara bridal dresses with a champagne reception and trunk show on Jan. 18.

Sweeping melodies from Parisian songstress Edith Piaf swelled through the space sounding as soft, bright and buoyant as the tulle of the dresses in the front-facing room.

Rosa Clara Perez started her company in Barcelona, Spain, 18 years ago as a small store, explained Dominique Debroux, vice president and general manager of Rosa Clara USA. “Her motivation was to bring a bit of fashion into bridal,” Debroux said

Two circular racks holding the trunk show displayed the Rosa Clara couture brand that’s made in Barcelona with dresses priced between $4,000 and $5,000. The room’s perimeter held the 2014 collection, five mid-priced lines from Rosa Clara, which are regularly at Evas’s: Soft by Rosa Clara, Two by Rosa Clara, Aire Barcelona, Alma Novia and Luna Novias, priced between $2,000 and $3,500. The entire Rosa Clara line includes more than 200 dress styles.

“Between the different collections, you can find your sheath beaded gowns, you can find all-lace gowns, you can find a mix of lace and organza, you can find laces and beadings that are completely theme-based in every price point level; you will find all lace, the ball gown, the fit and flare,” Debroux said.

“These days with bridal discounters and buying bridal gowns through the Internet, (brides-to-be can find) prices of $400 to $900 for the gowns; but what you’re getting for that is going to drive you nuts and you’ll want it off your body in an hour,” she said. “It’s not just the look, but also the feel. Yes, it’s only one day, but it’s a long day.”

“The Rosa Clara fabric, there’s nothing like it,” said Linda Sweis, Eva’s Bridal buyer.

“The Soft collection is probably the most unique innovative look that’s ever been done in the bridal business.

“They set a trend for the business in 2014 that hasn’t been set before. They give food for thought for other designers,” she said.

Bride’s testimonial

Eva’s on La Grange promoted the trunk show and launch of the 2014 Rosa Clara

collection online, which brought in dozens of brides and their friends and families on Jan. 18.

“I was going through the website for Eva’s Bridal and fell in love with all of the collection,” said Kristine Ostil, a bride-to-be from Chicago. “I came here just to see what should be my dress, and I think I like this collection the most. I love the lace. I love the texture. It’s a great collection.”

Ostil’s dress was part of the trunk show, a rare find for brides in the area. Eva’s on La Grange and the sister store in Oak Lawn are the only two bridal stores in the area to not only host the trunk show, but also carry the brand in general.

“We started carrying it two years ago. We had been trying to carry it for a while, and finally a door opened. We were very lucky to be selected by Rosa Clara,” Sweis said.

“A lot of designers like to sell to as many stores as possible, so when a bride walks into a store she’ll see the same dress here, here, and here,” Sweis said.

“Some designers like Rosa Clara are a little bit more selective. To us as a retailer, we love it; for the brides, they love it; for the designers, we have a lot of respect for them,” she said.