Ask the Edit: Who Is Your Favorite Designer?

Jan 31, 2024

I love answering reader e-mail.  Often the questions I receive are about utility more than style.  And while I enjoy helping readers with their fashion and beauty quandaries, I was so excited to get a fun question.  So let’s answer it.

Hi Abra!

My sister-in-law is getting married in April.  I want a great dress.  A GREAT DRESS.  Something designer, maybe, but I don’t know where to begin.  Who are your favorite designers for special events?

Thank you in advance. Estella J

Oh, amazing.  I am so excited for this.

No questions asked, my favorite designer is Johanna Ortiz.  The dress on the left was my wedding dress for Kyle’s and my second, official wedding.  The dress on the right is one I bought on Yoox with no event in mind, and wore to a friend’s wedding last fall.

I can only afford Johanna Ortiz on sale.  So I hunt Yoox, Outnet, and Poshmark.  (I am hoping this one hits sale.)

I buy dresses when I find them in my size and then hold onto them for an event, so I’m not searching for a dress last minute.  I need to get the dress on the right tailored because I bought it two sizes big and pinned it to get through the wedding.

What I love about Johanna Ortiz is that the brand has a wonderful flair to it.  The pieces are pretty, feminine and stylish.  Not every piece is a winner for me, since her very tropical resort wear doesn’t fit into my life in Spokane, but her more tame pieces are incredible.

The other two designers that I love for special occasions are Saloni (this burgundy and ice blue is stunning) and Ulla Johnson, which is a more relaxed option.  You can find both of these designers on discount regularly.

My best advice for special occasion dressing is not to buy only when you need something.  Hit the sale section or the discount retailers at the end of the season and look for things you love.  Then, hold onto them for parties, weddings, and other events, and shop your closet.

If you have a favorite designer, let’s have some fun with this.  Drop them in the comments and tell us why you love them.

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  1. nancy m says:

    Vintage designer would be fun for a special event! I follow Sophie Strauss on instagram and she has so many resources to find vintage and second hand pieces.

  2. Jessica says:

    Just want to say – I love when you post your own pics. I’m sure it feels very vulnerable but it really adds so much warmth and personality to your site. Love, love “seeing” you. Thank you!

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