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Down the Aisle in Style

[whitespace] Ristarose gown The Woman in White: Silk chiffon and charmeuse Lysele gown, exclusively at Ristarose, San Francisco, $1,620.

Photographer John Klycinski, stylist Diana Rupp, makeup Paris, model Jeanie.

Ristarose makes something old something new

By Diana Rupp

All too often, wedding dresses are in bad taste. Mainstream bridal salons are saturated with clichéd styles, from over-the-top gowns dripping with glitzy beadwork and plunging necklines to saccharin-sweet Cinderella sleeves and giant bows and bustles.

"We try not to think of wedding dresses when we're designing them," says Lynn Rosenzweig, who joined former Parsons School of Design classmate Ivana Ristic in forming the Ristarose design team. "We just try to think of a fabulous dress and then translate it into colors that people will recognize you as the bride when you're in it."

Ristarose's "nontraditional" line is inspired by fantasy and science fiction films, such as Fellini's 8 1/2. Looks range from the romantic, empire-waist chiffon "Emma" gown to the minimal, crisply tailored lines of "Audrey" in duchess satin, to the gothic "Orlando," replete with corset in Thai silk, tulle bustle and high-collared opera coat in rayon silk velvet with ornamental braid closures.

Lynn Rosenzweig & Ivana Ristic Design Duo: Ristarose designers Lynn Rosenzweig and Ivana Ristic create ageless wedding gowns without the hype of trends.

"We are not involved in trends," says Ristic. "We try to focus more on what we like about clothes all the time and the way things are cut. People will come in and they'll say, 'Oh, that looks sort of 18th century.' But actually it might have been from the 14th. And because the design is mixed together with so many other influences, it's really 1998."

"We don't put out seasonal collections like most designers do," adds Rosenzweig. "A lot of the pieces are very timeless, and we design a couple of new dresses almost every few weeks or at least once a month. There's definitely something for everyone."

Orders are required four to six months in advance. The custom gowns range from $1,000 to $2,000, which includes alterations.

Ristarose, 1422 Grant St., 415/781-8559.

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From the May 18-31, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

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