What advice would you give to summer brides about their dresses?
The most important consideration is comfort. I recommend choosing a gown that will allow the bride-to-be to move easily—nothing overly constructed and heavy. It helps to have a smaller train, as this also alleviates excess weight, or even consider a short or tea-length dress style. Look for breezy and movable fabrics such as organza, English net, taffeta and satin-faced chiffon, which are so in-trend right now. Another unique fabric that I've designed with is linen, which is absolutely perfect for a summer bride.
After designing for Priscilla of Boston for three seasons, what direction are you hoping to take the collection in now?
The Priscilla label is steeped in tradition, and so it's very important to me to continue the legacy through my design approach. I'm conscious that brides today are more in tune with fashion than ever before, so not only do they want their gown to be made with the finest fabrics and detailing, but they also want to show off their individual style and fashion sense. As I move forward with the collection, my intention is to capture the essence behind the label, the tradition and classic styling, while at the same time elevating the design aesthetic to reflect what is happening today in fashion.
You used a lot of different textures and fabrics in your most recent collection. Where did you get your inspiration?
Each season, I like to incorporate a few select, really beautiful novelty fabrics into the line because they add a fresh new dimension to the line and, in the end, really stand out from the sea of satins, organzas and chiffons you see so often in the bridal market. Lace is always a tried-and-true inspiration for me, and since last season the theme of flowers was so big, I really focused in on all-over floral Alençon lace patterns.
What are you working on now for your next collection?
I am working with a metallic theme. There is a new taffeta that is very subtle and looks beautiful when the light hits it. I also love ribbons and stripes, so I am working with an organza fabric with a linear pattern that almost makes it looks like there are different widths of ribbon running through it. The lines of the dress will be pretty and clean, which will let the fabric speak for itself.
How does your background in designing more casual cocktail and special-occasion dresses affect your current work as a bridal gown designer?
Throughout my career, I've come to understand how various styling details and silhouettes flatter different body types. This knowledge is invaluable when it comes to designing for the bride and incorporating styling details that bring out a bride's best assets. Design-line shapes and placement, waist join-lines, shoulder-strap placement, neckline shapes and skirt silhouettes all affect the proportioning of the silhouette. Based upon where and how these join-lines and seams are shaped and positioned on a gown, certain body features can be accentuated or camouflaged.
Bonus question: What is your favorite dress from your most recent collection?
That's a tough one, but if I had to pick just one, it would be the first one I showed this season (See it here!). It was a strapless 100 percent silk Razmir fit-to-flair gown with a hand-pleated bodice and double flounce at the hem trimmed with intricately handmade Razmir origami bows. I picked this style because it's very today and was fun and exciting for me, as it took me out of my "beading zone" and allowed me to instead work with the fabric itself to create interest and unique textures, which is so fresh and in-trend.