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Say "I Do" to Your Best Dress

By Courtney Clark

Pasadena is home to Anna Elyse Collections, a unique bridal shop that aims to provide customized designs for the bride and bridal party. Striving to obtain a graceful, beautiful look in the bridal party without the "cookie-cutter" style typical of many bridal parties, the one-of-a-kind Anna Elyse helps to bring a bride's wedding fantasies to life.

The owner and designer of Anna Elyse, Annie Sokoloff, has always had a passion for fashion. By her own account, she started designing dresses for her Barbies as a child, and as she grew, so did her love of creating. However, as she furthered her education, Sokoloff decided to pursue finance for its practicality.

Many years later, however, her son became her inspiration. Sokoloff says, "When I saw my son pursue his passion for the film industry by getting his degree at NYU, I realized that I also could follow my own passion." It was at this point that she enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.

Now, Sokoloff owns and designs her own branch at Anna Elyse. Her favorite part is that she can "create something that is aesthetic and introduce it to the public." She also enjoys how the designs excite her customers. After all, "each bride has a vision that they are trying to portray with their wedding or special event," and Sokoloff sees her work as transforming these visions into realities.

One of the unique qualities of Anna Elyse is the opportunity for brides to combine styles to create a customized look. Sokoloff says that in this way, brides ? and each bridesmaid ? can "choose the style that looks best on them", but still use the same fabric and color as other party members. Each look may be unique, but they come together for a seamless result.

The online shop offers multiple styles from which to choose: there are thirteen bodices and skirts which can be designed from four fabrics in 120 colors. Each dress is made to order, and the production of each dress is supervised by Sokoloff. Clients are guaranteed to be satisfied with the result ? after all, Anna Elyse won the 2015 Weddingwire Couple's Choice Award, which places it in the top five percent of wedding professionals in the country.

To get an idea of how dresses can be customized, Sokoloff gives an example of a "bride" celebrating her 25th Wedding Anniversary. Since the 25th Anniversary is the "Silver" year, the bride decided to "duplicate the theme in her style." To do this, they used a "pale grey base for the dress overlaid with silver metallic lace." All of this came together with a "slight sweep to the back of the dress to represent the train."

Bridal party members who want to achieve a unique look will receive excellent care at Anna Elyse. Great for bridesmaids who do not fit into the same style as others, the shop customizes each dress for the individual. The result is picture-perfect style as the bride says "I do."

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About The Author

Courtney Clark graduated from Flagler College with a BA in English and Creative...

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