She’s brought you off-the-shoulder everything, festive evening separates, fashion-forward swimwear and an abundance of ruffles. Certainly it's no exaggeration to say her pieces have changed the wardrobes of women everywhere, celebrating femininity and making dressing up—be it for cocktails, weddings, weekend getaways or tropical vacations—a thing again.

 

Now, having received multiple requests from private clients over the past twelve years, the 43-year-old Colombian is releasing her first ever bridal collection. Exclusive to Moda, the 12-look capsule features softly-hued silks and guipure lace in her well-loved signature silhouettes, each set to capture the hearts of women in search of a little Latin romance.

 

If you're anything like us, you have a few burning questions (How did her husband propose? What did she wear on her big day? Who is the Johanna bride?), so we asked the mother of three, married for 13 years, everything you'd want to know...Read on.

 

—Tatiana Hambro

M’O: Let’s start with your wedding! Where was it?

 

J.O: In An Island called Punta Iguana in Baru near Cartagena​, Colombia. It was 13 years ago…

 

M’O: What did you wear?

 

J.O: A white ruffled dress—and no shoes because it was on the beach.

 

M’O: What is your best memory from the night?

 

J.O: Dancing Salsa, and seeing the biggest shooting star I have ever seen...it was a magical moment.

 

M’O: How did your husband propose?

 

​J.O: My oldest son (he was 3) came with a ring and the most incredible letter from Cesar proposing (we lived together but were not married).​

 

M’O: Who is the Johanna Ortiz bride?

 

J.O: My bride is looking for a sort of “unexpected romance.” She's in search of a sense of effortlessness through a romantic statement and non-traditional dress that feels festive yet remains elegant.

 

M’O: How should a bride go about choosing her dress?

 

​J.O: I really think you have to go with your personal style. I love for the bride not only to feel like “the bride” but also to feel elegant and comfortable, with a sophisticated sexiness.

 

M'O: You’ve designed 12 looks in the collection. Does each correspond to a specific type of woman?

 

J.O: I feel this collection has a “wear” for every “who” and “where.” There’s a "beach bride" dress, a “garden party" bride, then a more specifically evening dress... the collection journeys through options of lace, ruffles, minimalistic sheer and slick volumes.

M’O: What are the key fabrics and silhouettes used in your bridal debut?

 

​J.O:​The fabrics used are mostly natural, fine fibers like silk, silk faille, guipure and double georgettes. They were all used in ecru, nude & off-white tones through detailed volumes and sheer.

 

M'O: Your designs strike the perfect balance between sexy and sophisticated. Is it something you think about?

 

J.O: Everything has to be in balance; too much volume, or too sexy, or too simple doesn't work for me. It has to have a contrast.

 

M’O: Are you still loving off-the-shoulder or is there another silhouette you are excited about at the moment?

 

J.O: I will always have a thing for shoulders, but I explored different ways of showing them in my bridal collection.

 

M’O: Ruffles and print always appear in your designs. Here, we see lots of the former but none of the latter. Did you consider doing print at all?

 

J.O: Ruffles give life to my dresses—they give so much movement. Rather than print, I focused on richness in terms of fabric and construction, though the Johanna Ortiz floral aesthetic is still present in a subtler, more romantic way through 3D guipure lace.

M’O: This season, we’ve noticed a big trend towards bridal separates. Why do you think this is?

 

J.O: We want our brides to feel “bridal” and elegant but be equally ready to celebrate with family and friends. Separate pieces are ideal as they guarantee comfort and feel more laid back, day or night. It’s also nice to consider wearing your wedding dress (or a special part of it) some other time in life!

 

M’O: What, in your opinion, is a modern bride looking for?

 

J.O: More and more women are seeking versatility and ease, aside from a chance to shine with more than one dress—especially during destination weddings.