The tastemaker: Lela Rose

The New York-based bridal designer creates modern wedding styles mixing personality and glamour with specially sourced jewellery from Christie’s


‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.’ While this rhyme has dictated wedding fashion for centuries, today’s bride is finding new ways to interpret the saying — or break free from it altogether.

‘On your wedding day you should be the most glamorous version of yourself,’ whether that means wearing a pantsuit, peplum top and cigarette pants, or a pared-down dress, says New York-based bridal designer, Lela Rose.

Rose conceives her highly coveted bridal line with personal touches in mind, such as swapping an embellishment with a family heirloom, or embroidering the hem of each dress with the bride’s wedding date in blue thread. ‘We’re always trying to bring an heirloom element into our collections,’ she explains.

The Maldives look from Lela Rose’s fall 2020 bridal collection. Photograph by Lara Jade
The Maldives look from Lela Rose’s fall 2020 bridal collection. Photograph by Lara Jade
The Sullivan look from Lela Rose’s spring 2022 bridal collection. Photograph by Lara Jade
The Sullivan look from Lela Rose’s spring 2022 bridal collection. Photograph by Lara Jade

Believing wedding-day jewellery should feel equally tailored to a bride’s individual style and story, Christie’s partnered with Rose for its first At Your Service  video, spotlighting Private Sales.

‘One of the specialised services Christie’s offers, that most clients don't know about, is bespoke sourcing of special gems, diamonds and jewellery at clients’ request,’ explains Angelina Chen, Jewellery senior specialist at Christie’s New York.

Inside Lela Rose’s brand-new Bridal Atelier, the designer shared modern bride styling tips with Neda Whitney, head of marketing for Christie’s Americas, while pairing her spring 2022 bridal collection with exquisite jewels sourced by Christie’s. The resulting looks showcase three versatile statement pieces that can be adapted for wear long after the big day.

‘I really loved working with Christie’s to style heirloom-like jewels in unexpected, modern ways,’ says Rose. ‘They elevated everything to this different level that surprised me.’

Antique amethyst and diamond tiara. Sold for $40,000 on 13 April at Christie’s in New York
Antique amethyst and diamond tiara. Sold for $40,000 on 13 April at Christie’s in New York
Tiaras make for the perfect bridal entrance. Many, like this one, are adaptable to multifunctional use
Tiaras make for the perfect bridal entrance. Many, like this one, are adaptable to multifunctional use

Tiaras are having a moment right now,’ says Chen. While these alluring adornments offer that quintessential bridal ‘princess moment’, many are convertible, allowing brides to maximise their wardrobe long after their wedding day.

‘Most people don't know that a lot of antique tiaras were made for multifunctional use,’ explains Chen. ‘Many can be worn as necklaces with special fittings. Elements can also be taken off and used as brooches.’

Early Georgian diamond bow brooch. Sold for $47,500 on 13 April at Christie’s in New York
Early Georgian diamond bow brooch. Sold for $47,500 on 13 April at Christie’s in New York
By adding the brooch to the headpiece, Rose created a showstopping element
By adding the brooch to the headpiece, Rose created a showstopping element

‘Women from hundreds of years ago understood the value of a versatile piece,’ says Chen — one of the many reasons that historic jewels, such as the Georgian brooch pictured above, are perfect for wedding ensembles. Brooches can also transform a handbag or sash into a showstopping accessory.

‘We are seeing brides choose different kinds of headpieces to go with their gowns, and I love how this brooch pairs with the architectural simplicity of the Sullivan dress’s bodice,’ says Rose.

Diamond and multi-gem necklace. Sold for $81,250 on 13 April at Christie’s in New York
Diamond and multi-gem necklace. Sold for $81,250 on 13 April at Christie’s in New York
When Rose draped this necklace down the model’s back, the look felt ‘instantly modern’
When Rose draped this necklace down the model’s back, the look felt ‘instantly modern’

While coloured diamonds and stones are becoming increasingly popular for alternative engagement rings, brides shouldn’t shy away from wearing pops of colour in bracelets and other types of jewellery. ‘The moment we draped this necklace down the model’s back, it instantly felt so modern,’ says Rose.

‘When a client calls for a bespoke piece, we source the best available,’ says Chen. ‘For the modern bride looking for something very unique on her special day — and who hopes to perhaps use the piece again — these jewels fit the bill perfectly.’

To view a selection of jewels inspired by those featured in the video, visit Christie’s Bridal Jewellery Viewing Room, or contact our Private Sales team to plan a wedding look of your own. To schedule an appointment at the new Lela Rose Bridal Atelier in New York, email bridal@lelarose.com