Giorgia Gabriele Wore a Custom Off-White Wedding Dress With a 26-Foot Train to Her Ceremony on Lake Como
Photo: German Larkin Giorgia Gabriele, the founder and creative director of the fashion brand Wandering,
Giorgia Gabriele, the founder and creative director of the fashion brand Wandering, and Off-White CEO Andrea Grilli ran in the same work circles for years. “And then, at the end of 2017, something changed,” Giorgia remembers. “We just clicked. We connected on a completely different level and fell in love. We’ve been together ever since.”
Growing up, Giorgia was never a big fan of her birthday as it falls around Christmas and celebrating with friends was always a challenge. “Andrea changed my perspective on this for good when he proposed on my birthday, surrounded by all the people I love,” Giorgia says. “It made the day unforgettable.”
After putting their plans on hold twice due to the pandemic, the two married on July 10, 2021 at Villa Balbiano on Lake Como. They worked with event planner Alessandra Grillo to orchestrate a wedding extravaganza that brought Italian It Girls and influencers together for the lakeside ceremony and lavish reception—the first big bash to really take Instagram by storm since COVID-19 swept the world. “Alessandra is a dear friend of mine,” Giorgia says. “Calling her a wedding planner is not enough. She has a complete vision on how to execute every single moment of a major event and pours her heart into each small detail.”
“We started with the idea of having a ‘wedding not wedding,’” Giorgia adds. She was focused on three pillars: achieving total comfort for all the guests, executing an elegant ceremony, and holding a non-traditional dinner. “Ultimately, our goal was to create a wedding that felt like a party most of the time—full of joy, but always keeping every detail chic and sophisticated.”
Giorgia always knew what she wanted to wear. “Everything came together naturally,” she says. “I feel lucky to have such incredible and genius friends like Virgil [Abloh], who created my Off-White custom gown, Amina [Muaddi], who designed my custom shoes, and Chiara and Romy for the Eera custom jewels.”
The bride started working with Virgil Abloh on her wedding dress early in the planning process—exchanging mood-boards, sketches, fabrics, and details. The gown was made with a French lace and tulle, embellished with beads, micro-veneers, and rhinestones. All of the cuts of the dress were encrusted by hand so that no seams were visible on the finished garment, and the entire scalloped edge was hand-stitched and fully embroidered. The end result was an exquisitely ornate gown with an eight-foot-long train, and a 26-foot-long veil that took four months to finish and required three fittings as well as an additional month for embroidery.
“Andrea Grilli is one of my closest friends and a person I respect the most,” Virgil says. “He supports my creativity, and this dress is a symbol of my mission statement as a designer.” The designer adds that it’s “a preview of the future of Off-White bridal,” as he plans to take on a number of clients a year to create bespoke, personal dresses.
To that end, “Giorgia’s gown is undeniably Giorgia,” Virgil explains. “The look is classic in the traditional sense of ‘wedding gowns’ as we know them, with the intricate lace, the iconic skirt, and the embellished veil. We paired these elements with more modern touches, like the visible boning throughout to truly capture Giorgia’ charisma, her zeal for life.”
The 40-minute outdoor ceremony was held under an archway of florals created by Vincenzo D’Ascanio. “We wanted the ceremony to be very deep and emotional,” Giorgia says. “So everything was thought of in order to have an intense service, where our promises and speeches from our wedding party were accompanied by emotional music, plus a live performance by Maestro Andrea Bocelli, who created a magical moment for all of us.”
After the ceremony, it was time to party. For dinner, dancing, and the fireworks display, Giorgia changed into a one-shoulder dress she designed herself. “The mood completely shifted,” Giorgia says, “to one of whole-hearted fun, starting from the aperitivo and going into the dinner which, thanks to Inspiration Entertainment, turned out to be exactly what we dreamed: one of our best dinner-parties we’ve ever experienced!”
The day after, lunch was held at Villa D’Este. There, Giorgia wore a head-to-toe custom couture embroidered lace mini dress by her friend Alessandra Rich. “I really loved the idea that my close friends were involved creatively in every aspect of my special day,” she says.
“The week after the wedding was a storm of emotions,” Giorgia says. “The love we received from friends and family was overwhelming. After all was said and done, Alessandra, our wedding planner, told us, ‘You guys really wanted to be married to one another, and the way the wedding went is proof of the power of your love.”