Fashion designer Vicky Anglo got into the bridal business to make dreams come true. After spending her childhood sketching and playing dress-up with princess gowns, she got not one, but two degrees so she could become the modern equivalent of a fairy godmother: a bridal designer.
Her store, Anglo Couture, on the 600 block of downtown St. Petersburg, is the opposite of most bridal stores. Instead of a huge open space with a sea of options, there are only a handful of dresses hanging on one rack. They're just a starting point, the basic idea of different gown styles that brides-to-be can try on so they can create with Anglo a whole new original dress.
The experience does the brand's name justice. Taking a silhouette from one dress (starting at $1,800), the lace from another, a silk sash with Swarovski crystal details ($120) from a third and as many other magazine cutouts, explanations and red-carpet references that the client may have, Anglo sketches a "dream gown," which a bride can have in as little as six months. To finish off her wedding day look, she can choose from a variety of original accessories that Anglo makes with the same fabric of the chosen dress so it all matches seamlessly, just like every line and stitch on the dress.
Anglo has lost count of how many brides she's dressed over her career, but she remembers every face and every design she has sent down the aisle — somewhere around 300 to 400 of them. This year, Anglo is also adding bridesmaids to her client list, expanding the store to include the Bridesmaids Lounge next door.
While Anglo Couture is classic and conservatively upscale, the Lounge is where the party starts. With a dressing room that can fit all of the bridal party, the Lounge aims to give bridesmaids a fun group experience, complete with wine and champagne while they try on bride-approved gowns.