Friday, September 28, 2012

The Art of Couture

So many Brides ask me this question when I first meet them, "What is couture?".  Of course, the word couture is used by many bridal designers and bridal salons to describe their gowns.  But, what does it truly mean?  And, what really makes a couture gown?
Well, the word comes from the French "haute couture", which means "high sewing" or "high fashion".  It is a word that is actually protected in France to describe only those designers and Fashion Houses that meet a certain criteria on the fabrication of their clothing.  These pieces are typically made to order for each client, made with high quality fabrics, and sewn and finished by only the most experienced seamstresses with a great amount of time spent on the details.  To be even more specific, a true haute couture designer must even have a workshop in Paris that employs at least 20 full time people among a few other rules.
Now, at this time, that I am afraid I am not able to do.  Although, working in Paris sounds fantastic! Lol!!
But, unlike many other salons and designers, that just call themselves couture for marketing purposes, I strive to reach much of the "couture" criteria with each and every one of my brides.
  • It is just as important to me as it is to my brides that her gown fits beautifully, so however many fittings as are needed to achieve this must be met.
  • I am also proud to be able to say that I make each and every gown locally, at the Salon in Pasadena, yes, something actually "Made In America"!
  • Attention to the details is paramount and nothing should be overlooked.  As many of my brides know, I am a bit compulsive and if I personally feel that the gown is "not quite there", I will be up all night, all week, whatever is necessary, to get it right and even deliver the gown myself to my bride.
I believe that trying to keep couture "alive" is what makes my brides experience and her gown so special and dear.  After all, this is her wedding day, one of the best and most important days of her life....and that is something to be valued and cherished.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Process of Design: Part 3 (Raquel)

Now that my bride Raquel's wedding has been celebrated, I can post the images from our last and final fitting without worrying about her new hubby seeing them.  If you recall, in Part 2, we had a full version of Raquel's gown fabricated in muslin to insure the correct fit and make any design changes prior to cutting into the actual finish fabric of her gown.  After all of the corrections and alterations to the gown and tweaks to the design were completed, I took apart the muslin and proceeded to use this as my new pattern to trace onto the final silk fabric.  Getting the muslin version of her dress (or of any of my brides) correct is crucial to allowing our final fitting to go smoothly with minimal adjustments.
I put her gown back together, leaving any small details to be adjusted the days Raquel came in for her final appointment.  This time Raquel set aside a full week in L.A. to be sure we had enough time to get everything right before she flew back East with her gown.  
After a little bit of pinning, adjusting, tacking and sewing, Raquel's gown was complete!  
As she is on her honeymoon now, I am waiting for her return and looking forward to the photos.  Oh, I also created three cute dresses for the little flower girls, their photos are coming as well...