Sometimes wedding gowns seem a lot more that just simple items of clothing, they tell a story about new beginning, love and a fairytale life. That is surely the feeling every time I see a new WONA and Eva Lendel Collection. Their founder, Ilona Shramko, manages to imbue each and every single collection with ethereal timelessness and beauty.
It was an absolute joy to work with Ilona and her team for this interview. I hope you will all enjoy it and don’t forget to check their new collection on wonaconcept.com and evalendel.com
How did the brand come to be? When was it launched and what is the driving force behind it?
Since high school, I have always been intrigued by fashion and realised then that I had to pursue this passion by getting involved in the fashion industry. Starting with my husband, WONA is a family business that commenced as a small private atelier located directly at home in Lviv, Ukraine. In 2009, the company became the brand known today. In 2015 we launched Eva Lendel, which formed the WONA Concept Group. Eva Lendel introduces a new vision, up-to-date and independent from established principles of wedding fashion, implying its own rules and tendencies. The desire to develop and create extraordinary gowns and the faith in Ukrainian business help our team move forward, evolve and present our work to the world.
Talk us through the first years of your work. Maybe you could tell us what changed in time? Are your designs different from the very beginning?
We have evolved with our brands, our team has grown, and our designs have also changed over time. When we found our audience worldwide, we realised that we wanted to satisfy every bride and offer a variety of our designs. At the same time, we see our significant identity in various details and detachable elements created to make each look unique.
Why should a bride-to-be choose one of your designs?
Finding the right gown allows women to reveal their unique beauty. Our company strives to satisfy and exceed the expectations of brides and fashionistas. As a result, we continuously capture hearts with extraordinary designs, helping women highlight their unique styles and personalities on their special days. At the same time, we are very attentive to details, fabrics and accessories, ensuring our products’ high quality. Some of our dresses require more than 50 hours of our seamstress handwork.
Do tell us a bit more about your inspiration sources.
WONÁ means “she” in Ukrainian. This name emphasises the brand’s commitment to its clients – women – who are also the main inspiration for the dresses. WONÁ believes women are true muses and aims to create gowns that embody their most intimate and extravagant desires.
We see an Eva Lendel bride as a modern woman who follows the latest fashion trends, likes to try new things and goes beyond boundaries. Eva Lendel’s bride may be characterised as Charming, mysterious, sensual, and romantic. She is looking for a dress that is a perfect mix of contemporary details and her individual preferences and desires.
Have you got any piece you’ve created and that has a very special meaning for you? Can you describe it or can you show us a picture?
During my travels to New York, I had an exceptional opportunity to visit The
Metropolitan Opera. As I watched Otello, I was amazed by the power of voice and how
deeply it touched my heart. The very moment I realised it resembled the feeling when
the bride does first look, and the groom sees her for the first time in her perfect wedding
Dress. That is how we created the “Notte d’Opera” сollection. Here is the picture of the Franchesca dress, the highlight of this collection.
From your point of view, what should a bride focus on when choosing her wedding dress in 2022/2023?
Wedding trends for 2022 show favour in simple and classic designs; however, encourage brides to go full-in with colours, shapes, and styles. For 2023 we expect to see more eccentric and chic ideas and renowned vintage come-backs too. Fashion is changing, but wedding photos will remain for life. I suggest to keep this is mind as well.
And tell us what you would offer her and, maybe, other brands can’t.
As I mentioned before, various detachable elements make our significant identity. With sleeves, capes, overskirts and bows, the bride can transform her wedding look as much as her imagination allows.
Last but not least, do you have any advice for FashionBride readers?
Don’t change yourself just because it’s your wedding day. At the end of the day, it is your wedding and looking and feeling like your most natural comfortable self is the best thing to do.