- Engagement & Bridal
- Antique & Vintage
Nestled in the leafy suburb of Norwood, in a boutique of fine fabrics and marvellous gowns, lies a treasure trove of creations.
Established in 2010, GretaKate has become one of South Australia’s leading bridal designers. Her work with fashion-icon Liza Emanuele, led to the creation of her own bridal range and has today evolved into an in-demand-couture service.
We sat down with Greta and learnt more about the ins and outs of what it means to create one of these exceptional GretaKate bridal gowns, along with what brides can expect from a consultation with Greta.
What do you love most about your job?
I love working with my clients - I love making them feel wonderful on their special day and I love the experience we can create here - a special, memorable experience. I also love working with the beautiful fabrics and my seamstress Taylor. It’s a job that’s never boring, it gives me a lot of satisfaction.
What inspires your wedding dress designs?
The inspiration for a lot of my gowns actually comes from clients, and most of my collection is in fact named after them. So often we develop something special for them, and then I’ll refine and further develop it to create a gown that will later be named after them. I’d say 60% of our designs are inspired by past clients and the dresses we have created for, and with, them.
As for the remaining gowns in my range, we either get fabrics custom made or we source them and get inspired by the ways in which they drape on the mannequin.
What part of the process excites you the most?
When I’m designing a range, it’s the fabrics I’m using. But when I’m designing for a client, they excite me, how their wedding is going to be and what they visualise for their special day. The entire process is exciting.
Image Sourced Via http://gretakate.com.au
What’s involved in your couture design (i.e. what can a bride expect in a couture consultation?)
We do between five and seven fittings for a couture creation.
In the first consultation, the bride will come into our showroom and talk me through her wedding day, the vibe, what she likes and what she doesn’t like. Then we try on some of the range. Brides can either pick one from my range, or I can do a one-off design for her. If she likes specific elements of one dress, but not others, I can create something truly perfect for the bride.
To bring the design to life I'll then show her our range of fabrics, or we can source any other fabrics including ones we can have made up specially for her. I’ll also do up a sketch - to make clear what is proposed and ensure we’re on the same page.
How long do you generally work with a bride in creating the wedding dress of her dreams?
We need a minimum of six months but most brides come to me a year in advance. We start the design and consult with brides up to 18 months ahead of weddings, and we’re now starting to get brides in for 2020. As venues book up, brides are looking to be organised and get ahead of the rush in the lead up to their wedding day.
What do you find brides are looking for in a dress? Are they going more comfortable or princess-inspired?
The GretaKate style suits the comfortable, modern bride. We don’t really create massive gowns. It’s important to feel a level of comfort on your wedding day. Sometimes the beaded gowns can be heavy, but I always inform my clients about those. A modern, contemporary bride is more about comfort.
Image Sourced Via http://gretakate.com.au
Before a bride comes in for her first appointment, what would you suggest she do in the lead up?
Just visualise your wedding day and think about what type of neckline you like to wear. For example, if you like wearing crewneck t-shirts, we can recreate that in a dress, or if you hate wearing strapless gowns or tops, it’s important to just have this in mind. Also, Pinterest is a great tool to explore what sort of ‘look’ you like. This will give me an understanding of the sorts of things you’re after. We can then discuss - what might suit and what we might have to offer, or what we can create for you.
Many bride’s are actually surprised with what they end up selecting.
Some brides have been dreaming about their wedding for a lifetime, and have done a lot of research so they do know what they like. On the other-hand, some brides come with no idea, so we set about working on something together.
What advice can you give to a bride who might be struggling to find the dress of her dreams?
Don’t stress about it - there is a gown out there for everyone. You might just need to try on a few different styles and open your mind to other designs and fabrics that you may not have considered before - don’t be disheartened if the Pinterest gown doesn’t look good on you - there will be something else. As professionals we are here to help you, and we do have an idea of what garment styles and fabrics work best and how to cut and piece garments together to achieve the best look that suits you and your personality.
What sort of trends are you noticing amongst brides who have purchased their wedding gowns?
Well recently, just coming off the back of winter, we have done a lot of sleeves. Some are quite fitted and long, a bit of a flare down the bottom - a little reminiscent of the seventies.
Some trends are coming from the Royal Wedding, but not as many as one would assume. People are looking for classic fabrics, but the design is a little more interesting.
Can you tell us why the experience of choosing a gown from Greta Kate is so unique?
The bride will get to work with me throughout the entire experience, they’re made here in our Norwood showroom and it’s a fun, rewarding journey together.
How do you help your brides select a dress that suits their body shape?
I listen to what they feel good in, and what they like to wear. We then work through the dresses on offer, and I’ll suggest certain styles and designs that I know work better on a bride with a bigger bust, or wider hips, or a petite features.
When a bride buys her gown from you, what is included in the price?
The price includes all the fittings and all consults with me. We also produce a prototype of the dress out of calico which allows the bride to see what the gown will look like from a silhouette perspective. The patterns, cuttings, everything involved in the experience, it’s all included in the price.
Extras would be the veil, headpiece, jewellery and undergarments - obviously we can design and make up the veil. I also have some accessories that are available in the showroom, otherwise can help you source such items.
Do you see many brides change their body shape during the process of making the gown?
Some clients will come to me and say, "I want to lose weight". But I will never design a gown with the assumption that that is going to happen. If things change, well and good, but I don't want to assume anything, and besides, you shouldn’t have to change your body for the wedding.
In any event, fittings are spread out throughout the design and creation process and we do a final fit before the wedding. The week of the wedding the bride tries it on one more time, allowing it to truly be a truly perfect fit no matter weight fluctuations.
That’s one of the good things about a couture dress, it’s made to fit your body. And I’ll make sure it fits like a glove.
Image Sourced Via http://gretakate.com.au
Can you tell us what is involved in the process of choosing a Greta Kate gown?
Between five and seven fittings, plus the initial consult.
Bring them if you already have a pair, otherwise we have a pair that brides are welcome to use.
It’s good to wear nude underwear when trying on dresses. When it comes to the gown, we have underwear you can buy.
Having no more than two or three is good. More than three, especially in the initial consultation, can get a bit confusing. Too many opinions, sometimes it’s better to keep it to only a couple of people.
What sort of care instructions are offered with a Greta Kate gown?
We have a dry cleaner that we recommend. When the bride picks up her gown, we have a small sample of her fabric that she can take to the cleaner for testing.
If you would like more information on Greta Kate and her range of breathtaking designs, visit her website.
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