It’s immediately obvious that Rachael Rodgers had a killer moodboard for her wedding. The Berlin-based stylist married her musician beau, Luca Venezia, this past June in Naples in an event that could only be described as Fellini to the core. Rodgers celebrated with two outfits: an archival Vivienne Westwood corset to walk down the aisle and a floral bikini by Adriana Hot Couture for the party. (The night before, she opted for a Paco Rabanne silver dress). While the outfits themselves were intricate, the wedding came together quickly in a romantically hectic process.
After the pandemic postponed their initial wedding date, the couple decided to head to Vegas. This past New Year’s Eve, they were married by a traditional Elvis impersonator. The bride wore a white Christopher Kane dress and Miu Miu shoes. “It was really fun and no pressure,” Rodgers tells Vogue. “And then obviously my family was like, ‘Wait, what are you doing? What happened to the original Italian wedding plan?’”
The actual planning for their Naples wedding began three months ahead of the ceremony (though they had been loosely working on it for two years). Having worn traditional white in Vegas, Rodgers volleyed between her Naples wedding-dress colours. At one point she wanted to do pink and red, then white, then not white, then white again. She made her final decision when she found a vintage autumn/winter 1992 Vivienne Westwood corset with a baby printed on it at One of a Kind Archive in London three weeks before her actual wedding. “I thought I’d got that white bridal moment out of my system, but apparently there’s plenty more,” she says. “I always had Westwood in mind for my wedding. She’s kind of an obvious wedding choice.” The baby image threw her guests for a loop. “Everyone kept asking me if it was a pregnancy announcement.”
To go with the corset, Rodgers wore a pair of sequined white capri leggings created by Berlin designer Clara Colette Miramon. “She was great because she did it really last minute,” says Rodgers. “Actually, she even had Covid while she was doing it, so I couldn’t really do a fitting. She would place the bag outside of the door, and I would try it on in the hallway. We were Covid couture.”
These sort of charmingly stressful moments happened a lot throughout Rodgers’s wedding. Rodgers wanted the floral theme to be roses. Her bouquet was three long-stemmed roses, petals were scattered throughout the venue, and her soon-to-be husband had a rose pinned to his Yohji Yamamoto suit with his Martine Rose shoes. When it came to her shoes, she had her heart set on a pair of white Loewe heels with a thorny down-turned rose from the spring/summer 2022 collection, but they were only commercially available in black. What about the white ones that walked down the runway? Rodgers miraculously managed to track down a pair, but they were two sizes too big. She still wore them. “I mean anything for the look, you know?” she says.
For the veil, Rodgers was inspired by Chanel’s bridal look for autumn/winter 1987: a polo-neck dress with a long veil that had two bows affixed to the sides. A week before her wedding, the stylist and her friends made a veil out of 55 feet of tulle with big bows on the side. “Then I felt like there was enough drama in the look,” she says.
Her outfit change was timed to the cake cutting, but the cake itself was spectacularly on theme. Rodgers was introduced to the baker – who is located an hour outside of Naples – through WhatsApp, but Rodgers wasn’t able to do a cake tasting ahead of time due to a taxi strike. Still, she bought a giant heart-shaped, plucked-from-the-’80s cake coated in baby pink frosting. To cut it, Rodgers slipped into a bikini by Milan-based label Adriana Hot Couture with three-dimensional floral appliqués that she had discovered only three days before.
“I emailed [the designer], and I was like, ‘Babe, can I borrow this bikini?’” says Rodgers. As Rodgers was unable to pick it up herself and there wasn’t enough time to ship it, Rodgers’s make-up artist brought the bikini with her to Naples from Milan. “I just tried it on the day of,” says Rodgers. “I was like, This will work.” She accessorised with a pair of pink silk opera gloves that her grandmother took a liking to. “My grandmother was like, ‘The gloves show that you’re a lady.’ And I was like, ‘What does the bikini show?’” Rodgers also got her second pair of shoes at the last minute. It was a serendipitous find on a Naples street – a under-£20 flat shoe that allowed her to dance for the rest of the night. “This is just a taste of the chaos that was this event,” she says. But in this case chaos can be quite fun – and stunning.