Designers Horacio Nieto and Celeste Malvar-Stewart are collaborating on a line of gowns and veils

Photo credit: Gabrielle A. Shamon

There's a new bridal line in town. Verano Bridal, which made its debut at the Experience Columbus meeting in March, is a collaboration between local designers Horacio Nieto and Celeste Malvar-Stewart. The pair, who both have several collections of their own, met during Columbus' Alternative Fashion Week. Using Nieto's design skills and Malvar-Stewart's innovative work with textiles, Verano Bridal was born: A line of comfortable, unique and easy-to-care-for gowns.

"We are providing a unique choice for brides looking for an unconventional dress," Malvar-Stewart explains. "It is the bride who wants a piece they are never going to see on any other bride."

Nieto and Malvar-Stewart create the gowns at Hangar 391, their studio space in German Village (they're offering workshops at Hangar 391 as well, including one where the group goes to a local farm, picks out their own wool and learns how to make their own scarf-all in one day. For more information, visit Hangar391.com.). After Nieto makes a sketch and gown sample, Malvar-Stewart uses a technique called felting to add texture and design. They'll also incorporate details like beading and lace.

"The felting never comes out the same," Nieto says. "So it's our way of giving the bride her own version of the dress."

Wedding gowns begin at $3,000, and they'll also make veils (unique to Columbus because of the felting technique) ranging from around $420 to $1,200. The full collection will be available beginning this fall.

"What we're trying to do here is help people have a connection with what they are wearing," Malvar-Stewart says. "Knowing that every piece is handmade…it creates a deeper connection."

To learn more about Verano Bridal, visit the line's website.

-Heather Weekley, @heather_weekley