Dana Harel is an Israel-based luxury bridal designer who has been creating show-stopping gowns since the brand launched in 2012. In her latest collection, Acqua, Dana was inspired by classic European figures mixed with a Mediterranean feel. This line features 11 stunning gowns adorned with Swarovski crystals, intricate beading, corsets, and a variety of skirts. We have an exclusive interview with the designer herself about her history as a designer and advice for brides.
A Chat with Dana Harel
What has been your biggest highlight to date?
My biggest highlight to date was actually a personal one — when I gave birth to my third child. I used to make only evening dresses before she was born, and after having her something in me changed, her presence in my life made me think more clearly and make more accurate decisions and I decided to make a shift to wedding gowns. The rest is history…
Any favorite memorable celebrity moments?
My favorite celebrity moment was a few months ago when I made three bridal dresses for a very well-known local influencer in Israel. It was then I realized the power of influencers on social media. The exposure was so big and positive, It felt like I had my designs broadcasted on prime-time TV.
Do you have an all-time favorite Dana Harel wedding gown design?
Almost all my designs are my favorite throughout the years as I try to make them eternal and not completely on-trend. But I think the Kate gown would be my all-time favorite and it reflects my aesthetics.
What silhouette will never go out of fashion?
The mermaid silhouette and small corset+full circle skirt (ball gown silhouette).
What’s the one piece of advice you have for brides when trying on gowns or looking at designs for the first time?
I have two golden pieces of advice – keep your favorite designer as the last visit after you see all the rest, and always go with a friend/family member who makes you feel good about yourself and isn’t too critical.
How has COVID-19 affected bridal fashion and attitudes towards the dress?
Covid made brides more flexible and allowed them to remember the first reason for getting married which is love and wanting to tie the knot with the person you want to share your life with. Now after Covid, brides understand how unstable life can be, and they want to celebrate their marriage with their loved ones more than ever!
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I breathe and live creativity, and it can come from a fabric I see, a bride I speak with, a painting in a museum, or a piece of jewelry I see… my collections are curated somehow in the back of my mind and when I want to turn them to reality it’s as if they come to me and not me to them.
What would one piece of advice would you give to women in this industry, or any, when it comes to following your dreams?
Be very clear with yourself about what your dreams are, be patient, and don’t let your ego affect your decisions.
The Dana Harel brand shows the strength and confidence in women. How do you implement this in your leadership and company?
It is important our leadership and company are composed of inspiring, smart and talented women – just like those our dresses are made for. We are proud to be a female-owned and led company.
All images courtesy of Dana Harel