5 Questions with... Chris Kole
The designer shares his inspiration behind his all-natural bridal line and why he's going green
Why did you decide to design an all-cotton bridal line?
I wanted to design a modern, luxurious bridal line that was cool, comfortable and easy to wear—all qualities that are clearly embodied in cotton. When I discovered that cotton was also available in an infinite variety of textures, weights and finishes, the fabric itself evolved into the basis for the whole collection.
You already use natural fabrics in your gowns. Are you planning to expand your green commitment?
Absolutely. Even in the collection itself, I have made changes from our first season. In our new collection, I replaced all the crinoline petticoats with petticoats made out of 100 percent natural cotton organdy. I have also started to use some organic cotton, which is very exciting.
You have dressed everyone from Ali Landry to Melania Trump. How has your experience with celebrity clients shaped your bridal line?
While I have worked with celebrities, I find that it is the experience with my private clients that influences much of my design. Over the years, brides have moved away from wanting a very ornate look to a more natural one that is more in line with who they are as individuals.
Where do you look for ideas and inspiration for your line?
Without question, most of the inspiration for the Cotton Bride collection comes from nature itself. Beyond that, listening to my customers has been a major source of inspiration and gives me ideas on how to rework an existing pattern or come up with a new design altogether.
How does working with cotton differ from other fabrics? Are there any challenges or benefits?
One of the benefits of working with cotton is that it's so easy to clean should the fabric get spotted during production. The biggest challenge is overcoming the perception of cotton as being limited to the casual-wear occasions only.
Bonus question: What's your best advice for brides choosing a gown?
The most important advice I can give a bride is to find the gown that makes her feel the best. I recommend that a bride try on all kinds of dresses so that she can see what she looks like in all of them and then select the one that makes her happiest.