Lauren Santo Domingo Walks Back Down the Aisle With the Launch of the Bridal Collection on Moda Operandi

Head over to Moda Operandi today and get shopping done for your wedding celebration. The online purveyor of thoughtfully curated designer ready-to-wear and accessories, as well as items that you can preorder moments after they have debuted on the runway, has added a big-day assortment to its mix. We caught up with the Moda cofounder—herself one of the most iconic brides of the last decade—to learn more about the launch, her style tips, and the one thing she learned while planning her own nuptials.

Photography by: Daymion Mardel
Moda Operandi cofounder Lauren Santo Domingo.

For those who haven’t visited Moda Operandi, can you share with them what the site offers and what makes it unique?

Every woman has been there: You see a dress on a runway, fall in love with it, and then spend months wondering how you could get your hands on it. Enter Moda Operandi. We are the only place where you can preorder right off the runway, giving women the power to shop unedited collections months before they hit stores.


How does adding bridal complement what is currently on the site?

Customers already know they can find the best and most unique pieces on M‘O, and that should definitely include bridal! We’ve curated a selection of the best dresses that a bride might not otherwise have found—Christos Costarellos and Luisa Beccaria, for example, are known in Greece and Italy, respectively, but have less awareness in the U.S. And for all those finishing touches, we’re honoring French tradition with our Trousseau assortment, offering the bride everything she may need (well except the groom, of course!).

Photography by: Moda Operandi/Peter Goldman
<a href="" target="_blank">Luisa Beccaria</a>'s needle-lace gown with a small peplum.

So much about shopping for a big-day look involves trying on and pairing the clothing and accessories to see what works. How will M‘O seek to make an online—versus an in-person—shopping experience a gratifying one?

We know how important it is for brides to feel as confident purchasing online as they do off. We have an expert team on hand to answer questions, as well as assist in anything from fittings, tailor suggestions, jewelry pairing—you may even get a florist recommendation!

What style tips would you share with a bride-to-be for putting together her wedding ensemble?

Consider the tone of the day. I was once told that the wedding gown should fit the size of the room; a large cathedral or ballroom requires a large, full dress, for example. Think about the setting and a dress that would make you feel the most confident and comfortable there.

Photography by: Moda Operandi/Peter Goldman
<a href="" target="_blank">J.Mendel</a>'s “The Bea” wedding dress.

And how about for deciding on the finishing touches, such as shoes or a clutch?

No one will be looking at your shoes. The best accessory is a smile.

Photography by: Moda Operandi/Peter Goldman
<a href="" target="_blank">Oscar de la Renta</a>'s Goa cabochan clutch.

You had a destination wedding in Cartagena, Colombia. Should a bride-to-be think differently if she is shopping for a destination event, especially in a warm climate?

While a destination wedding on a secluded island is lovely… forgetting something is not. Do your research and arrive prepared.


I got married in Colombia where it is traditional for brides to have long white wedding dresses. I worked directly with my good friend Olivier Theyskens to create my dress and coat. There was some confusion between Olivier and I about the climate in Cartagena—a simple mix-up between Celsius and Fahrenheit or perhaps he did not quite believe my pleas about the heat—but both the wedding dress and after-party dress were better suited for a cooler climate. In the end, he had to cut my feathered dress in half when the heat became too much to bear.

Photography by: Moda Operandi/Peter Goldman
<a href="" target="_blank">Naeem Khan</a>'s “The Tahiti” dress.

Did you have a something borrowed, something blue, something old, something new? If so, what were they?

My great grandmother’s rosary beads were old, blue, and borrowed. I’m nothing if not efficient.


What are some of the recent trends you have seen on the runways—whether from bridal, ready-to-wear, or haute couture?

Similar to the runway collections, we saw a lot of separates in bridal. I think our customers will embrace this and opt for a chic separates look for a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower.


See More Spring 2016 Wedding Dress Trends
Photography by: Moda Operandi/Peter Goldman
<a href="" target="_blank">Delphine Manivet</a>'s bridal coat.

Are there any designers who are not doing bridal that you wish would do more of it?

If I may…Emilia Wickstead, Proenza Schouler, and Altuzarra would be at the top of my list. Even being married, one never stops dreaming of their wedding.


Your bridesmaids wore a variety of different dresses in different shades. How did you pull that off and make the bridal party look so cohesive?

I was married in the beautiful Iglesia de Santo Domingo in Colombia. The palette for my bridesmaids’ dresses was inspired by the gorgeous colors of the church; it ended up coming together perfectly.


When you look back on your wedding, what was your favorite memory?

Andres and I were married at City Hall before our wedding in Colombia. I will never forget how unexpectedly moved I was by the intimacy of sharing that moment with him.


What was the one surprising thing you learned during the planning process that you would want to share with a bride-to-be?

Some things will happen just as you planned them, others may not. Guests, parents, even your closest friends can all have their moments. One free pass is allotted.


Of all the things you received, what has become your favorite?

Anything with my new monogram. Tradition says, the gentleman’s monogram goes on hard pieces—barware, cuff links—and the woman’s monogram goes on the soft pieces—towels, sheets, napkins. Thanks to my mother-in-law, I have a fantastic assortment of linens!

Photography by: Moda Operandi/Peter Goldman
<a href="" target="_blank">Julia B. Couture Linens</a>'s lingerie bag set.

If you were to hold the same wedding all over again, is there anything you would have done differently?

Looking back, I would change almost everything if I were to do it over. But it was exactly what I wanted at that moment in time, and I was happy.

Photography by: Arthur Elgort
Lauren Santo Domingo on her wedding day in 2008.

What advice would you share with soon-to-be newlyweds for keeping a relationship strong through many anniversaries to come?

I read years ago and it’s stayed with me, a wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance, and tenacity—the order varies for any given year.

Photography by: Moda Operandi/Peter Goldman
<a href="" target="_blank">Del Toro</a>'s bridal slippers.
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