bespoke bridal gowns
Welcome & Congratulations on your engagement!
At the heart of our business has always been the expressive, creative, imaginative, confident bride.
She already knows her body shape.
She knows what she wants to highlight.
She loves exquisite fabrics and laces and is charmed by her silk gown becoming a future heirloom.
In short, she is ready to find a designer dressmaker to bring her vision to life.
If this is you, you may want to check out the designs we have made for like-minded brides on the gallery page: our brides and read on for the how-to's.
Hand-crafted in Christchurch, New Zealand
Since 2006, we've offered an alteration service for brides who've purchased their gowns elsewhere.
Over that time we've seen many types of gowns with many types of construction, but our favourite dresses have to be New Zealand made!
Many off-shore gowns, though seemingly inexpensive, are often made with heavy, synthetic fibres and hyper-engineered corsetry and lining.
And, since they are generally made in generic sizes 8, 10, 12 etc, they can quite often end up more expensive than a locally produced gown because they are so hard and time-consuming to alter.
New Zealand brides like very light-weight linings, corsets and fabrics that move with them but still have a fantastic fit and support.
This is why we absolutely believe in New Zealand made!
Using our collection pieces as the starting point, we’ll help you to decide every element - from the most flattering silhouette, panel widths, fullness, to the colours and fabrics, to the way we hand-embellish the design.
You're in Control
Many brides express concern that they don't know what the final product will look like.
Understandable! The process certainly does involve a leap of faith. For out part, all we pray for is a happy and perfectly delighted client.
Therefore we have a number of steps we have put in place to ensure that the outcome is better than you'd dreamed.
One of these steps is that of the calico toile. A cotton toile is created for your first fitting, and is used to develop your initial pattern.
We don't order or cut any actual gown fabrics until the toile layer is perfected.
Over time, you’ll watch as the design and crafting process develop into your dream piece.
Once everything is in place in terms of fit, design and fabric, we fashion the piece by hand, using traditional methods and techniques to ensure a flawless creation.
By utilising timeless artisanal dressmaking skills, we ensure that each piece is as unique as its wearer.
Fabric, Silk & Lace Selection
An important part of the design process is choosing the right fabric to achieve that "drape" and appearance you want.
We can't lie, we prefer silk! Why? Because it feels amazing, has a superb lustre and it breaths. So you will stay cooler and dryer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I lose weight?
As all brides feel the need to look their very best on their wedding day, weight change is an often an important issue to be considered. We allow for this and arrange fittings for when the bride is happy with her shape and only finalise the closing of the gown closer to the wedding date.
What are the first steps?
We start with a full set of measurements being taken, a paper pattern is then drafted. Then the calico toile or mock-up of the dress is made for the first fitting.
Why is there a toile fitting?
The toile fitting is vital to ascertain the most accurate fit and flattering shape for the body, and also to allow the bride to preview the design and tweak aspects of the cut and the seam-lines of the wedding dress.
This step may be repeated if alterations to the pattern are required.
A note on fittings
The wedding dress is then cut using adjustments to the toile as a guide. As every wedding dress and every bride are different, the fittings needed may vary from two up to six, with the final fitting as close to the wedding as possible.
As it is every bride’s prerogative to be indecisive, it is possible to make design changes at most stages of the fitting process. Final detail and embellishments are often perfected by trying out various options during the fittings.
The dress is then pressed and collected, often one ore two weeks prior to the wedding.