I know they say that less is more but in the world of 'Haute Couture' it simply isn't true. I don't profess to do 'Haute Couture', this is a Parisian classification of the highest quality and finesse in dressmaking which carries an exceptionally high price-tag. We are known for producing dresses to very exacting standards in both ready-to-wear and custom-made level as explained in previous blogs, but the real couture dresses are what I'm showcasing this week.
In the first floor showroom we have a small collection of couture dresses with price tags from £18,000 to £27,000. I see these as ideas, as starting points for the bride with the big budget to get an idea of the embroideries, the huge variety of fabrics and techniques that we can use to make her wedding dress and her entrance, spectacular.
At the initial consultation we discuss any themes for the party;
the venue, how many guests, any religious or cultural requirements
(e.g. covered shoulders). All of these practicalities need to be
factored into the design along with the ideas that the bride might
have herself and of course an honest appraisal of her figure!
Some designers get cross when brides arrive with pictures torn from magazines, I think it's great - it gives the best indication of how that bride sees herself and is, again, a perfect starting point. I'm not going to copy a Vera Wang and nor does the bride wish me to, it's just another great way to get started.
The more elaborate the designs, the greater the time it takes, from designing and getting approval from the bride, Mum and somewhere down the line, Dad. Next come the toile fittings for the underpinnings of the dress through to the outer sections, often with ornate embroidery on every piece of pattern, which I draw up myself before handing over to the embroiderers. Then the fittings in cloth and the final assembly of the finished embroidered dress. This can take between 3 and 5 months.
How gorgeous does Nadine look, her wedding in Beirut captured in the picture above. Check out the gallery with the original sketch and some other pictures that explain the process of making a couture dress.
A handy tip, a big dress needs a big car, my preference is the Daimler Vanden Plas Princess; the huge passenger area has been carrying princesses, film stars and brides for the last 60 years.