Meet Carol Hannah Whitfield, one of my favorite bridal designers. With her bubby personality and constant smile – not to mention her romantic, feminine designs – Carol Hannah quickly became my favorite contestant on “Project Runway.” Prior to competing on the show in 2009, the southern belle (Carol Hannah is from Charleston) attended the College of Charleston where she earned a business degree. With her business degree in hand, she decided to pursue designing after being named the best emerging designer at Charleston Fashion Week and auditioned for “Project Runway.” However, she did not have any formal design training. Instead, while she was growing up she taught herself how to sew.
Although Carol Hannah did not win the competition, rather than continuing to stake out her claim in the fashion industry, she instead switched to bridal. Now, Carol Hannah creates new collections every year with “a little bit of magic,” which include her whimsical take on wedding gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses.
On Saturday, which was one of the first days of NY Bridal Market (the wedding industry’s version of NY Fashion Week), Carol Hannah showcased her latest collection at the Chelsea Art Museum. Her new collection features wedding gowns with lace overlays and feathers among others, combined with bridesmaid dresses in hues ranging from pink and red to violet. Her aesthetic remains the same: romantic, feminine, and whimsical, or more simply put, just lovely.
Enjoy the photos below, courtesy of Brides.com, of some of Carol Hannah’s 2012 collection. Keep checking her website, www.carol-hannah.com, for news about when the collection will debut online and in stores, such as Bella Bridesmaid.