From the first visit to delivery, how long does the process of acquiring the perfect dress usually take?
It can be quite a long process. We recommend that brides begin shopping for their gown ten to twelve months before their wedding. They should order their gown no less than eight months before their wedding. Designer gowns may take as long as 5 months to be delivered to the salon. Purchasing less than six months prior to your wedding may incur a designers rush fee. In some cases the gown may not be able to completed at all. Our gowns are all made to order and this takes time, plus we need to make sure that each gown arrives in time to have proper fittings and alterations period. That can be minimally two months.
How many people is too many to be involved in the selection and fitting reed?
I recommend that a bride only bring one or two people close to her that she trusts. Too many people in the fitting room can confuse the bride and really make the whole selection process more difficult. Many brides often shop alone for their first appointments and bring their mother, sister, maid of honor back to make the final selection. If a bride feels they need to bring a gaggle of bridesmaids, wait for the final alterations fitting or book a VIP appointment where we will close the shop which will then allow room for all and everyone.
It must feel fantastic to have made so many brides absolutely elated for the most important day of their lives! Has it become an addiction? It is definitely the best part of the job. I wish I could be in the fitting rooms with the brides all day to see the tears of joy, but someone has to run the business and find the designers and gowns to feature in the Atelier. I do make it a priority to try and meet every bride at some point during her appointments, especially when she is in a final fitting to see the completed look.
What’s the craziest accessory you’ve ever known a bride to have hidden under her dress?
I don’t know if they really show me those things since I am a man! But our brides often like to have something sentimental, like an heirloom or a token from their mother or grandmother either sewn or tucked into their gown. And some of the designer shoes they are wearing now are fierce! My girls are not wearing simple dyables, we see the most extraordinary shoes! Just last week we did have a client who came in with the most incredible gold and feather cape and wanted to find a gown to go with!!!
After a number of years of experimentation and some pretty outrageous themes, we’ve been seeing a large increase in requests for a more timeless, elegant invitation. Is the same thing happening in dress design?
Yes and no. Our brides seem to be falling into two camps lately, those who want the classic, timeless styles a la Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera and those that want to push the envelope fashion wise. The more adventurous girls are really adapting more of their personal style and ready to wear sensibilities into their bridal style. They are opting for sexier, more bare and sophisticated gowns. Then we have many girls who opt for a classic look for the ceremony and something outrageous and fabulous for the reception!
God forbid, if you couldn’t do what you’re doing now, what would be your runner-up dream career?
Who knows, something creative for sure! I have always liked the idea of designing something myself. Now that I have designed the paper collection, I really am looking forward to what else I can do creatively. I am very inspired by men’s tailoring lately, so who knows what I might be doing next!