Confessions of a Bridal Designer: Designing the Dream Dress
Posted by izzy on , 11:11 amAugust 29th, 2019See all articles in Bridal Wear
Getting a custom-dress made for your wedding is often the dream; a totally bespoke gown and the only one in the world – but did you know it doesn’t have to cost the earth? We’ve been chatting to Carrie from Blake Ida Bridal – after many years of creating signature gowns for beautiful brides, it’s finally Carrie’s turn! We follow her wedding dress journey from the first designs to the big reveal – let’s see where her journey begins…
My job is to create gorgeous, custom-made wedding dresses for fashion-forward women. And now I’m getting married. No pressure, then. Time to take a deep breath and apply to myself some of the rules I’ve learned along the way…
First up, I must be careful not to over-design. Include too many differing elements and I’ll end up in a Frankenstein’s monster of a look (in every sense)! It’s better to pick a focal design feature (a low plunge front, for example, or a statement open back) and focus on that – keep the rest unfussy. I’m a sucker for statement sleeves, so that was always going to feature in my design.
Usually clients love lots of different looks and it can become stressful for them trying to pick just one. I find it really useful to ask them how they want to feel on their wedding day. Cool? Sexy? Ethereal? Once you’ve cracked that it’s amazing how much it focuses your thinking around how the garment should look. I want to feel I’m at a super glamorous party with all my friends, so I was drawn toward more of a red carpet look fit for the church rather than towards the classic gowns which felt traditionally bridal.
It may sound dull, but it’s vital to consider the practicalities. You’re going to be wearing this dress all day (and dancing like mad in it all night), so it needs to be fit for purpose…as well as jaw-droppingly gorgeous! Anything extremely delicate around the shoulders runs the risk of ripping as you tear up the dance floor. If you’re very busty and go for too low a back, the support just won’t be there. Be honest with yourself. I focussed on a style which is both flattering and forgiving, because waking up on my wedding day to a super fitted dress when I haven’t bothered doing all the crunches I’d planned to doesn’t bare thinking about.
Finally, I’m not approaching this with the view that I’m trying to find my wedding dress soulmate. There isn’t just one style for me – there are several options I’d feel great in. Keeping that in mind really makes the process more enjoyable. So I’ve made my decision and now I’m going to embrace it, be faithful to it and not eye up other models, wondering ‘what if…’
Izzy has been writing about weddings for nearly 10 years. Recently married, she's been able to add her own experience of the planning process to her articles. In-house editor at Guides for Brides and previously editor of top wedding magazines; Wedding Ideas and Love Our Wedding. Her specialism is bridal fashion.