When Adele Weschler was 21, she opened a successful business in Cape Town, South Africa. While many wouldn't have any thoughts of leaving the beautiful warm shores of the Indian Ocean to travel to the sub-artic environment of North America, she did. After an unexpected proposal from a man she had recently met, Ms. Wechsler took fate into her hands – and so the adventure begins…
Upon arrival in Toronto, Ms. Wechsler started designing handmade knits and fabric coordinates. Her love of luxurious fabrics such as French lace, silks and chiffons in monochromatic colours of ivory, cream and blushes was exceeded by her clients, so much so, they wanted to get married in them.
“The typical puffy white gown was the only option at the time,” she says. “I saw a niche that could be filled and that is how my Adele Bridal Collection was born.”
The Adele Bridal Collection is understated, modern, contemporary, streamlined and romantic. Beautiful fabrics and fine details of an organic element are hand sewn into the dresses; flowers, leaves and stems are used; sheer overlays in organza create a soft mysterious underlay.
For 16 years, Ms. Wechsler worked out of her flagship store in Toronto and recently expanded her bridal collection to North American retailers. She quickly discovered her one store could not accommodate the bridal gown production numbers.
Her Fall collection, HELLO AFRICA reflects on her South African roots. “A combination of ideas went into designing this collection," she says. "The first being, brides today want their weddings to have sentimental meaning and the African culture expresses this well.”
Geometric shapes and patterns symbolize the circle of life and the triangle of fertility. The beadwork for the dresses is done by talented local women in Durban, which also helps create employment in an area where jobs are scarce. Adele says, “The women work from their homes designing beautiful bead and shell patterns that are unique to each dress.”
So what ever happened with the marriage proposal?”
“Well, I arrived here in Canada and after two months I married that fellow at City Hall. Not very romantic but we did go back to Durban at a later date, where we are both from, to celebrate with family and friends. Oh, and did I mention I just celebrated my twenty-fourth anniversary with him?”
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