Behind the Inspiration of Metamorphosis

You’ve seen the profound wedding shoe collection that is inspired by the transformative changes of a butterfly. Now, we will bring you on a journey to explore the inspiration and story behind the collection. Get an inside look at how ‘Metamorphosis’ was interpreted in the shoe designs, location and gowns by the most talented creatives in the industry.

Weddings Post 2020 

In 2020, Covid-19 hit our shores, and the world that we were so used to completely transformed. A new normal came to be. Many weddings were cancelled or postponed. Many eloped or found ways to celebrate their original date on a smaller and more intimate scale. We saw the strength and resilience of many brides and wedding vendors, and also the struggles and challenges that everyone had to go through. So, as we planned our latest collection for 2021, we knew that we wanted to tell a story of our world post 2020. Hence, the idea of ‘Metamorphosis’ came to be. 


Shoes: Eve. Photo: KT Merry

Metamorphosis [met-uh-mawr-fuh-seez]:  a profound change of transformation from one stage to the next in life history. 

This collection is a celebration of the resilience and strength many of us have put forth in the face of challenges. It also signifies coming out at the end of the journey with renewed hope and life, while commemorating the diversity of lives and the hope that leads us to our destination. 

Just like the process of metamorphosis itself, it wasn’t easy to put together a collection when everything had to be coordinated remotely with our production and development teams. Many challenges arose, some greater than others, some pushed us to our limit, but they all taught us to rise above the challenges that were in front of us. Not only did we persevere, but we put together a collection that connects with us emotionally in meaningful ways.

In many ways, our world was forever changed by the events of 2020. We had to quarantine and face the uncomfortable silence. Silence from social events, friends, family and all the outside noises. We had to be uncomfortable in the silence that arose from 2020. When the Black Lives Matter movement happened, we had to be uncomfortable and truly question our beliefs. No longer can we run away from it by distractions. We had to become uncomfortable to find comfort at the end of our journey.


Photo: KT Merry

With ‘Metamorphosis’, we wanted to tell a story of the transformative process of a butterfly, from the fragile state of a cocoon to a magnificent butterfly, reborn in color. We all start our journey of self-discovery in a cocoon, conformed by social norms, noises and expectations. We yearn to break free and truly find ourselves. That was something many of us experienced at the start of 2020. 

As we begin our journey of self-discovery, we begin to question our beliefs and what makes us who we are. We then realize that it is our uniqueness and strength that makes us special. As we break free from our restraints, we are reborn into a beautiful butterfly, spreading our wings to fly. That is the story of ‘Metamorphosis’, a journey that many of us had to take in 2020 to be reborn in 2021. 

The Shoes

Now that we have the story of the collection, we began to design the shoes to tell the story of ‘Metamorphosis’. 


Photo: KT Merry

This ruffled bootie is our interpretation of a cocoon. Delicate and yet structural, we wanted to convey a cocoon with layers of pleated tulle. Soft but strong, the ruffles and tulle represent a fragile and resilient state of the beginning stage of metamorphosis. 


Shoes: Loretta. Photo: KT Merry

When Covid-19 hit, a lot of brides opted for a smaller and intimate wedding in their backyard, hence the popularity of block heels. We knew we wanted to design a comfortable block heel with subtle notions of a butterfly. Inspired by the movement of a butterfly, the uppers and ankle straps are shaped to mimic its fluttering wings.  


Shoes: Reese. Photo: KT Merry

As we were in the midst of designing the collection, we knew we wanted to pay homage to the transformative process of a butterfly metaphorically. With Reese, we used a fabric technique to construct sculptured bows to metaphorically represent the wings of a butterfly. 


Shoes: Penelope. Photo: KT Merry

We couldn't design a collection centered around the transformation from a cocoon to a full-grown butterfly without thinking about its natural habitat. Hence, Penelope was born. Weaves and webbing of delicate thread embroidery form the artwork of the natural habitat of a butterfly. 


Shoes: Josephine. Photo: KT Merry

At the last stage of metamorphosis, a butterfly is born. We designed Josephine to embody that final stage of transformation. Trailing vines and blossoming flowers represent a new season of life, celebrating beauty in its truest and most authentic form.  

Shop the Metamorphosis collection here

The Dresses

When we started the process of interpreting ‘Metamorphosis’, we knew that dresses would play a big role in conveying the story of the transformative journey. 

Shoes: Penelope. Photo: KT Merry. 

One of the gowns that caught our eyes was this magnificent Krikor Jabotian gown. Delicate yet structural, it reminds us of a cocoon with its endless layers of cloud-like pleated tulle. Soft yet strong, it represents a fragile yet resilient state of being in this stage of metamorphosis. She’s in a cocoon, constricted by social norms but yearns to go on a journey of self-discovery to break free. This beauty represents that state exquisitely. 


Photo: KT Merry. 

In the next stage of ‘Metamorphosis’, she is breaking free from her cocoon, finding her wings and close to flying free. 

A gown that signified this breaking free stage is this spectacular Dylan Pariente Paris gown. Short at the front, she is breaking free but the long cathedral train at the back signifies the weight of social norms, expectations and everything else that is holding her back. She is on the next stage of her journey to self-discovery. She finally realizes that she needs to let go in order to be free.


Shoes: Cameron. Photo: KT Merry

In the final stage of ‘Metamorphosis’, she finally finds her wings and is reborn in color. 

We knew for this final stage that we wanted color to represent the idea of being reborn, and this gown from Edwin Oudshoorn is the perfect representation of that. The color illustrates vivacity. As she is reborn, she finds her inner charm and liveliness. She’s free, free of the society’s expectations of her. She finds her wings as symbolized by the sculptural butterfly wings sleeves. 

Explore the magnificent gowns here

The Venue 

Photo: KT Merry. 

We knew that to tell the story of ‘Metamorphosis’ properly, we needed to find the perfect setting. In our search, we stumbled upon Vizcaya Museum and Garden and we knew that this was the perfect venue. 

The beauty of Vizcaya is that it has both structural architecture to represent the social constructs and norms that constricts us, and also a luscious garden to symbolize the freeness of a butterfly in its natural habitat. Vizcaya was the quintessential location to tell the story of ‘Metamorphosis’. 

Photo: KT Merry. 

Artist Interpretation

Each artist that we worked with for the editorial had their own interpretation on ‘Metamorphosis’. 

We are honored to work with some of the best creatives in the industry. We couldn’t have done this without their expertise that delivered a feast for the eyes. 


Photo: KT Merry

Dreamy photographer KT Merry has her roots in fashion editorial and she delivers magic in every shutter she clicks. Her signature style is a melodious symphony of soft colors, evoking romanticism and leaving us captivated. We love how she exquisitely captures the essence of the Bella Belle girl - resilient and confident. A dedicated conservationist at heart, you can find her traversing around the globe to fulfill her lifelong passion. 

From KT:

“I feel the theme was very significant, especially given the season we are emerging from. A season of going inward, slowing down and reemerging. I always hope to bring meaning to the beauty I create in my work and this concept of evolution is something that we can all relate to during different seasons of our lives. 

Each shoot is an opportunity to uncover something new, to challenge our creativity and bring the unique talents of the team to life. I like to view my approach to photography as seeking. Always patiently uncovering and looking for what beauty might be revealed in front of me and captured.” - KT Merry


Photo: KT Merry

One of our favorite visionaries in the industry, Joy Proctor is one of our frequent collaborators and is an internationally renowned wedding designer. She has a flair for realizing romantic dream-come-true from the conceptual into real life.

From Joy:

“As designer of the Bella Belle Shoes 2021 campaign, I saw the theme of Metamorphosis as an opportunity to tell the story of our world post 2020, to tell the story of resilience, rebirth. In ways large and small, our world was forever changed by the events of 2020. Collectively there were two large lessons we learned; First, that the similarities and struggles we share as human beings will forever bind us to one another.  And second, that while we vary in a multitude of ways, our differences paint the world in the most incredible palette. 

I narrated this short film by Ale Vidal to shed light on the second lesson, a legacy of resilience of the beautiful BIPOC cultures throughout history. It is the story of the ones they underestimated, forced to assimilate to the cocoon of society. But even within the colorless walls that confined them, they heard the call, the strength of those who came before them. And facing the world in all its pain and all its beauty, the color grew within them and they understood the gravity of their own power.” - Joy Proctor

 

Photo: KT Merry

Ale Vidal’s whispering art is powerful. She explores deeper, uncovering the raw beauty that many sometimes miss. She peeks into the soul of the subject behind her camera, spotlighting the meaningful glances and the delicate movements to bring out the sublime quality of the story.⁠

From Ale:

“The beauty of metamorphosis isn’t always obvious. There is a moment that requires stillness, darkness, and solitude before the transformation. And out of that comes a person, a belief, a change so profound that it cannot go back to the way it was. This is metamorphosis to me. It is not only seeing the beauty that comes after the transformation, but it is also learning to see the beauty that happens in the unseen — behind the veil. 

While interpreting this for Bella Belle’s editorial film, I wanted to highlight the vulnerable moments I imagine one experiences in the cocoon. This was visually represented with Samantha bare, covered only in butterflies and sometimes veiled. Her movements that followed after represented the release, the freedom to move and be known. And ultimately, that is my hope in every story that I tell - that my subject feels fully seen.” - Ale Vidal. 

We are forever grateful for everyone who worked tirelessly to bring this vision of ‘Metamorphosis’ to life. 

We hope you love this collection as much as we do. 

Shop the Metamorphosis Collection

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