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What drew you to wedding dresses as a designer?
was sort of a natural progression from my main collection. Many of the dresses I've done throughout my career have turned into wedding gowns for clients or friends on the side. Or, with some dresses I'd think: this would be amazing in white. I'm also a hopeless romantic, so it's an honor to have someone wear something of mine on such a big day.
Is there a story behind Julie? Why soft pink?
I sent a
version of this dress down the runway a few springs ago. The inspiration was sort of a fully romantic Juliette (as in Romeo) dress with a slightly higher waistline. For the original runway version, we did it in a light peach color. We loved the idea of doing something that wasn't quite white, but had just a touch of color – like a can of white paint with a drop of pink in it; it's very flattering. I also just love the juxtaposition of yards and yards of fabric adding up to a truly airy dress. The cotton silk voile is so light. She's simple, dreamy and not at all heavy; it's one of my favorite designs.
You strike a beautiful balance between femme, quirky, and sophisticated. Are there women (fictional or real) that you had in mind when designing these three dresses?
I like to call the ‘woman’ I design for a
practical dreamer; she has her head in the clouds but her feet on the ground. It's easy to get caught up in fantasy, but important to keep real women in mind too. My friends, of course, always inspire me. Over the past 10 years many of them have been getting married, so I always have the women in my life in mind. They're the ones buying a piece of the fantasy.
What is the Olivia bride like?
Olivia is actually a little
Gone With The Wind. You know, Melanie Wilkes – the sweet one to Scarlet's temptress. I loved the idea of raw-cut ruffles and a fuller skirt. I wanted to impart a naiveté with this dress. It emanates spring, summer, and outdoor weddings. It feels fresh because the ruffles aren't overwrought.
How do you like to incorporate embellishments into wedding dress designs?
I love a little bling here and
there but it really depends on the kind of wedding. With private clients it's a collaborative process; I've done full-out Swarovski crystal and then things that are more antique. As for Twiggy, I wanted beading on this one because of the short hem length – to balance the length with some opulence. The embroidery is predominately half-dome beads that have a polished look to them. I liked the mix of clean, sculptural embroidery with the dress's fabric, which is two feminine laces layered on top of each other.
Are there any other designers doing weddings right now that you're loving?
Obviously Vera Wang is the
queen of weddings. Monique Lhuillier is doing really beautiful things, and Lela Rose.
We did story a while back featuring vintage photos of our own moms in their wedding dresses. We're curious what your mom's wedding dress was like...
was the early sixties, and her look was very much the in Balenciaga vein: super-simple, duchess satin, a scooped neckline with three-quarter sleeves, and a full skirt with a train. Not a stitch of embroidery on it! She wore white gloves and a white pillbox hat on the back of her head with a long veil. All of her bridesmaids, her four sisters, wore white as well. My mom is super-minimalist.