Not Just a Ring and a Veil: The Designer Who Accessorizes Israeli Brides for Their Big Day

Whether it is a classic 1920s style or the traditional princess look, designer Keren Wolf tailors her bridal hats to the bride's personal story.

The wedding industry in Israel is a fashion and business empire. There are hundreds of designers who each work on different aspects of the big event: dress designers, suit designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, shoe designers, jewelry designers and more.

Among all these, the most prominent is jewelry designer Keren Wolf, who every year designs a line of bridal accessories, foremost among them an extensive line of hair accessories and hats.

Wolf travels twice a year to Paris to study millinery, where she works privately with a 90-year-old milliner, learning the intricacies of measurements, sewing, weaving, knitting, stone inlay and more. The result: Unique hats customized for her brides based on their personality and measurements, as well as the exact hue of their dress.

Wolf emphasizes that it is important to get to know the bride in order to figure out what kind of hat she should wear. When a bride wears a hat it is the focus of attention, she explains. There is no need for another dominant accessory.

With her romantic, nostalgic designs, Wolf does more than just create hats for her brides – she also creates stories. There is, for example, the story of the bride who, after wearing a hat designed for her by Wolf, gave it to her sister, who married after her. The sister passed the hat on to another woman in the family, and, along the way, all the women agreed that they would give the hat to their daughters as well when they were old enough to marry.

Like her clients, Wolf's designs come in a wide range of styles. Her natural, hand-woven straw hat suits the bride looking to play up her natural beauty. A tulle hat set with zircon stones is perfect for the bride going for a classic 1920s look. And for the bride who wants to achieve the princess look, Wolf offers a tiara with a breathtaking inlay of hand-selected vintage pearls.

Wolf also helps transform simple dresses into wedding gowns by accessorizing them with stone inlay and crochet work. She gives a new and interesting look to traditional silk gloves as well, sewing on flowers adorned with stones, zircons, pearls and other sparkly baubles.

After their wedding, many brides ask Wolf to add a small pin or nail to the accessory so they can hang it on the wall as a memento. This, Wolf says, is why she does what she does – the personal stories that develop from her unique accessories are the secret to her work.

Prices: NIS 290 – NIS 3,200. Available at Keren Wolf studios at 1 Shabazi Street and 18 He Be'Iyar Street, both in Tel Aviv. 

Keith Glassman