We reached out to MoriLee’s Creative Director and Vice President of Design Madeline Gardner for her thoughts on how COVID has changed consumer preferences, and the steps she and Morilee have taken to address these needs.

Her comments are presented here as part of the VOWS Q&A series on the state of the industry.

VOWS: How would you describe the impact Covid-19 is having on bridal and special occasion design?  

Madeline Gardner: From the design perspective, Covid-19 has limited our travel and in-person meetings, but has not stopped the creativity and desire to make beautiful gowns for our Brides and all those wanting a special gown for an important occasion. The landscape has changed, but the design process remains the same. In fact, I feel we have all returned to what really matters most, which is Love and that celebration!! I love having the opportunity to continue to create at this time and present new gowns to all our customers.

VOWS: What trends have you identified, and are addressing in Morilee's 2021 collections?

Madeline Gardner: There have been so many new requests during this time because of the change of venues and timing. I have created our full Collections keeping everything very romantic with the most special elements of embroideries, laces, fabrics, etc.. to make the gowns dreamy.

I've also created a new Collection, "The Other White Dress" for those brides that are having a smaller wedding or a civil ceremony or even something sleek and simple for their celebration. These gowns, dresses and jumpsuit are made of great fabrics with comfort and style in mind.

They are super versatile and can be dressed up or down. Morilee is synonymous with romance, so my Collections are always reflective of the needs of my brides.

(To view a presentation by Madeline of The Other White Dress collection, click here)  

What aspects of today's bridal, prom and special occasion customer should store owners be particularly aware of?

Madeline Gardner: Our retailers have been working so diligently to service all of their customers.

This has been challenging for them with all the new compliances in place, but they have been so wonderful and have truly gone above and beyond to make so many of their brides happy.

Our customers are thrilled to be out there shopping and so thankful to find their perfect dress. It is a mutual feeling between the customers and the retailers which is so exciting to hear. We are so thankful that all of them are staying safe, positive and following their dreams!