Creating Your Own Bespoke Wedding Dress - The Ins and Outs
A wedding dress is what we have dreamed about since being small girls dreaming about what we will look like in one. It is the most special and meaningful part of the wedding process, which requires thought, time and moreover, the right person to advice you on it.
Because you are unique, and we believe you deserve the special attention of your very own, bespoke wedding dress, we took time out of our favourite dressmaker in Paris, to hear her take on what makes a truly special wedding dress.
Geraldine Daulon creates unique, tailor-made designs, made entirely by herself in quality fabrics and 100% French Calais-Caudry labeled lace. Here she details the intricate process that goes in to creating your very own bespoke wedding dress.
1 | THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEMI BESPOKE & MADE TO MEASURE
We often confuse "semi-bespoke" with "made to measure". Many designers mistakenly use the term "tailor-made" when it comes to ready-made "semi-bespoke" and this is where the difference lies!
The "semi-bespoke" begins with a mass-produced dress and is thereafter adjusted to the client's measurements or making some minor modifications.
"Made-to-measure" is a unique creation, designed according to the person, their taste and their body shape.
Many brides who come to see me are disappointed because they can't find THE dress they want in semi bespoke. They then turn to an entirely tailor-made dress to have the possibility of having a wedding dress that corresponds to their dreams or expectations.
As a rule of thumb, future brides who move towards custom creations know more or less what they want; and even if they don’t know, one thing they can be sure of is what they don’t want.
They often tell me they are tired of always seeing the same style in many designs they come across... They really want something exceptional for their unique day.
Many use references and inspirations from Haute Couture creations or very ready-to-wear luxury styles (high end) that make them dream…
2 | QUALITY
In addition to an extraordinary style that stands out, above all they also seek quality and are very attentive to this.
By having their tailor-made wedding dress created, they know that they have a certain freedom of choice and will have a dress that reflects them. They want to have fun with a piece that no one else will have. A unique piece, like Haute Couture creations.
Bespoke is a pure creation from nothing. First there is the genesis of the dress in one or more ideas and the designer, acts like an alchemist.
The designer is there to bring together and harmonise all these inspirations while taking into account the personal wishes of the bride to create THE dress which does not yet exist.
Some women are afraid of embarking on this type of creation from the start. It is a shame because it is, in addition to being a fully personalised job, a great adventure also.
Indeed, in addition to being a personalised service in every detail, the custom-made creation evolves step by step, over time with fittings where the validation of the future bride takes place all along. It becomes a love story between the bride and her unique dress.
3 | CHOOSING CUSTOM-MADE
First step is choosing the designer. This is the very first and most essential step because it will define the proper process for the creation of your dress.
The meeting and the exchange with the designer will help you to know. You must have a good "feeling" with the person who will create your dress. Feeling means being listened to and understood. This is essential.
Also in case of doubts over style, the designer will guide you and advise you if necessary (that's their job). You will have to trust them.
Made-to-measure is by definition a creation entirely adapted to the person and their personal tastes, so even if you think outside the box, the designer must be able to adapt to your request to the extent that it also suits them in terms of style. Because indeed, designers have their own stylistic signature too.
Even if the role of a custom designer is to be able to fulfill any request, the fact remains that choosing a designer is also choosing a signature.
So the designer must know how to define your desire and compose it, combine it with their stylistic imprint to obtain a result that will suit you both, without losing sight of the main mission: creating a dress that looks like YOU. A real balancing act!
Your choice must be based on the human relationship aspect and that of style.
4 | DESIGNING THE DRESS - THE FOUR STEPS
The process takes place step by step; so you have the opportunity to track the progress and make changes accordingly. The designer is there to adapt to your requests while advising you.
The first step is the concept, the birth of your dress from an idea.
During your interviews with one or more designers, you will have been made several proposals through basic fittings, ideas or sketches on paper.
The designer advises you on a shape and materials according to your personal tastes but also according to your body shape to know which shape will suit best and bring most value to your body.
You then validate the project that you will like the most.
When working with me, once the project has been validated, some small modifications can be made during the making of the dress.
Again, tailor-made is not something that is set in stone, it is an adaptable and adjustable project. A creation that is refined over the fittings from the general idea to the choice of finishes.
The materials most suited to the desired rendering will be offered to you by the designer and will be the subject of in-depth and personalised research.
The designer knows what material will suit for such or such shape or rendering desired, it will therefore be necessary to trust them for the structure of the dress.
Regarding decorative elements of materials such as lace, embroidered tulle, etc, you will have great freedom of choice.
Depending on whether you like classic or modern, geometric, organic, embroidered or floral lace…. The search will be fully personalised.
Likewise for colours; if you want a colourful, powdery, red dress it's possible! It is tailor-made, everything is allowed!
The second step is to create a prototype dress.
Once the base has been drawn and the main lines validated with the designer, time for fittings.
The designer proceeds with the realisation of a canvas: a prototype of your dress in a very simple cotton material in order to validate with you and on you, the general shape of the dress before cutting in the real materials.
This fitting is essential and will allow you to project yourself a little already through the volumes and the overall silhouette of your dress.
During this fitting, you can make all the desired modifications: shape of the neckline in front and back, length, adjustment, flare, etc.
This is THE moment when everything is still possible to modify.
If you validate the canvas at the end of this fitting then the designer can go to the next step which is to make the dress with the real materials that you have chosen with them. Third step is trying on the real dress.
These fittings consist of trying on the dress made from real materials before completion.
You finally see the final rendering. With all the beautiful materials that you will have chosen with the wise advice of the designer for a beautiful rendering. Also you can validate ideas of the finishing touches before they are made (braid border, lace border in this or that place, pearl buttons or buttons covered with fabric...).
The fourth and final step is to try on the finished dress.
Your dress is ready, that's it!
During the last fitting, you wear your finished dress, perfectly adjusted, with all the modifications you wish to make.
Your dress, the only one, unique, just like you.
Through these steps, you can see that tailor-made is the incredible possibility of seeing a project born, following its evolution and of seeing it come to light.
Above all it involves a lot if interaction based on listening, personalisation and a high-end service. The privilege of choosing in a world where fast fashion and its mass distribution do not allow us this freedom of creation.
You become, in a certain way, yourself, by your approach and your ideas, a designer. So your dress will match you or the image that you want it to reflect, like a second skin.
Bespoke is to explore the field of possibilities and let your imagination run wild -Géraldine Daulon, designer of unique custom-made dresses.
If you would like to discuss your requirements in more detail directly with Geraldine, we invite you to contact her, mentioning MY RIVIERA WEDDINGS.
By appointment only.
Telephone: +33 (0) 6 20 06 03 34
The atelier is located 25 mins from Paris centre in Yerres.
All dresses in this article are hand made made by Geraldine Daulon
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