Photo: Souder Photography
We feature hundreds of jaw-droppingly gorgeous wedding dresses worn by real brides, and Anna's Winifred Bean off-the-shoulder sheath was no exception. Here, we spend a few minutes getting to know Angela Broyles Curanaj, the designer behind Winifred Bean.
Brides: Tell us about your collection. How do you get inspired? What were the inspirations for your most recent collection?
Angela: I draw inspiration from the people around me, whether it's a creative friend or people on the street. For my first collection, I have to admit that fashion in the general sense was my biggest inspiration. Everything from Brooklyn hipsters and street-wear bloggers to the most sophisticated celebrity looks on the runway. As I thought through each piece, I kept in mind the girl who would wear this dress and look her best. That "girl" would be a friend of mine, and she'd throw fabulous dinner parties.
Brides: What's a common misconception about wedding gowns?
Angela: That you need to be a fairy princess! Most importantly, the bride needs to feel comfortable and be herself. There are no rules except for her own.
Brides: What are your brides looking for in a wedding dress?
Angela: My brides are looking for original and off the beaten path, but also sophisticated and beautiful. And it goes without saying, but my clients like working with a smaller designer versus larger, more ubiquitous brands.
Brides: Do you have a favorite current bridal trend?
Angela: I would say the different shades of colors: light grays, pretty blush tones. That combined with all the lovely soft draping styles that are gaining popularity right now is so dreamy.
Brides: What's a silhouette that's hart to pull off?
Angela: The Sheath dress. This style is fairly shapeless and hangs straight. Typically this style is the most flattering on very thin body types without many curves. Most brides like to find dresses that will flatter and accentuate their natural shape, which is why the A-line dress that accentuates the waist and bust is usually flattering on most girls.
Brides: Why are strapless gowns so popular?
Angela: Donna Karan once said shoulders were a woman's best asset because they never change. I think this is true and many woman feel sexy and beautiful with their shoulders completely bare.
Brides: How do you approach a bride's dress budget?
Angela: My dresses are all around the same price, which is considered mid-range in bridal. My goal is to have a range of price points which maximize quality and style regardless.
Brides: How do you help a bride decide between two different dresses?
Angela: You can usually tell which one they like better. However, sometimes brides hold onto dresses they think they should like. So I usually steer them towards the choice I know they've already made in their head.