Designer Maria Korovilas dreams up her free-spirited celebration and an inaugural bridal line to match.
Maria Korovilas never dreamed of an elaborate wedding. But when the Los Angeles-based fashion designer and her then-fiance, musician Lawrence Katz (longtime guitarist for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones), secured Silver Lake’s Paramour Mansion as the site for their late-spring nuptials, her creative wheels were set in motion.
“I’ve just been obsessed with that place forever,” says Korovilas, who resides with Katz and their pup, Elizabeth, in the neighborhood. “I started reading about it, and got really inspired by the motif and the stories,” she says of the hilltop property, once home to 1920s silent film star Antonio Moreno and his wife, Daisy Canfield, and later, a convent for Franciscan nuns. The result: an Art Nouveau-infused affair (taking style cues from Tim Burton’s fantasy film Big Fish), which included a tarot-card reader, a mermaid performer swimming in the outdoor marble pool for cocktail-hour entertainment, as well as a lawn-party feast for the 300 white-clad guests.
But her vision didn’t stop there. The estate’s opulent setting motivated the designer—who launched her Korovilas ready-to-wear label in 2012—to debut part of her inaugural eponymous bridal and evening-wear line at the lavish fete, including customized beaded bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, and her own dreamy “bohemian bourgeois” gown—fashioned from a Victorian lace tablecloth she found at a flea market and festooned with antique brass-hued embroidered appliqué. “I wanted all of the elements to come to life,” says Korovilas, who drew upon the property’s ornate details for her designs, from the carved antique furniture to the Greek Revival Wedgwood collection in the dining room, wallpaper motifs, and the pine forest surrounds.
“A bridal collection was always in the plan, it was just a question of timing,” says Korovilas, who also creates custom wedding gowns from her studio in Downtown L.A. (“I can only do so many a year since so much couture handwork is required”). “Once I got engaged and realized I was going to end up designing everything, I thought, what better time than now to design all of my dream dresses?” Made up of 25 dresses, the inaugural Paramour Collection is “interchangeable between bridesmaid, bride, guest and red carpet,” she says of the versatile range. Created in her signature shades of lavender gray and Wedgwood blue, each dress is also available for special order in ivory. “I think the world is a little different now; people get married in untraditional ways and in nontraditional places,” says Korovilas. “We’re pushing a different point of view.” mariakorovilas.com. • LESLEY McKENZIE.
Edited by Lesley McKenzie.