What inspired you to get into the bridal fashion industry?
I have been designing since I was 20, but mainly in the fashion area. While living in Christchurch, I was asked by one of the leading fabric stores if I could make a wedding gown for one of their clients. From there I fell in love with designing and making bridal gowns as they are so individualised and reflect a bride’s personality. Working with a bride’s ideas and inspirations, and the trust a bride places in me by adding my professional design expertise, is really rewarding. I also adore working with the luxurious fabrics and laces that are available to us as designers.
How would you describe your signature style?
There is a timelessness in the beauty of classic styles. Classics from the 1920s to the 1950s… back when ladies were ladies – the fitted silhouette that reflects a bride’s femininity and showcases her shape. Every bride has a shape, and a good design will flatter and enhance her curves, camouflaging the bad points and highlighting her strong features.
Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
My inspiration is drawn from the old movies I used to watch as a child. The vintage styles with a refined structure and elegance inspire me to create gorgeous feminine gowns that never lose their timelessness and elegance, yet also make an impact.
What is the first thing you consider when you design a wedding gown?
When I work with a bride, body shape is paramount to the design and chosen fabrics of a gown. I’m honest with my clients, and if I feel something is not going to work, I will guide them to a better option. I feel that as designers, we are not here to sell the bride a gown; we are here to make her look amazing. My name goes on this gown, so it has to be right.
Tell us about one of your favourite wedding gown that you’ve designed?
I can’t actually single out one gown because they all have a special appeal. My favourites are always those that have a point of difference, whether it’s in the design, the colour, the fabric or the embellishments. A recent favourite was a bridal romper suit, which was edgy in its design but on trend with a subtle boho feel.
What number one piece of advice would you give a bride searching for her dream gown?
This is a quote from Oscar De la Renta, which I think sums up everything I believe in as well: ‘A bride should treat the purchase of her wedding gown as an investment. It is the strongest representation of a women’s personal style she’ll ever have – and the most important gown she’ll ever wear. Remember, the wedding day is also a moment captured forever in photos. It’s something you will look back on forever.’
What are your trend predictions for bridal fashion in the coming year?
For me, there is really no ‘trend’ as such for a wedding gown. A bride should do what she has always dreamt of. What we are seeing though is that lace is still on point for the coming season, but the laces are heavier woven laces rather than embroidered onto mesh, and also backing the lace with a subtle contrast base. This really showcases the design of the lace, making it ‘pop’ in photos.