Who had their dress made by an independent designer/dressmaker?

posted 3 years ago in Dress
  • poll: Did you/would you buy your dress from an independent designer?
    I did/am likely to buy from an independent designer, if I can meet them & have fittings : (8 votes)
    31 %
    I did/am willing to order from a designer I found online : (6 votes)
    23 %
    I did/would prefer to buy my dress from an established bridal store : (4 votes)
    15 %
    I'm open minded and I did/will look at lots of options & go with the best dress : (7 votes)
    27 %
    I'm picky about my own dress, but I'd order bridesmaid dresses from a designer I found online : (1 votes)
    4 %
  • Post # 4
    103 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    Hi dot,


    I think it was more of an issue with my phone than with the board.  I particularly like you graduate collection 🙂



    Post # 5
    154 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    Hey there.

    Ive always planned on making my own wedding dress (textile design/fashion training) but if I weren’t to do that i would much prefer an independent designer. I’m a big fan of supporting local (Aussie) designer/makers who may be struggling just as hard as me to get their business off the ground. The design world can be killer!   

    working with someone who is relying on the quality of their work and providing a pleasurable experience to gain a client base rather than coasting off their name is always a great step in my opinion. 

    This sounds like it could be the start of an amazing adventure for you!! Wishing you buckets o luck and success 🙂

    Post # 6
    2581 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - UK

    @polkadotgirl:  I didn’t buy my dress from a custom designer, but my cousin did – and she married into quite wealthy family, and mentioned that some comments had been made early on in her engagement that an ‘off-the-peg’ dress just wasn’t classy.


    I think it’s absolutely possible to do, if your clothes are a high enough quality! I’m not sure how it workswhere you are, but you would need to get your name out there.


    – Is there a local dress store you could work with? Possibly work out a commission deal with them if they send people your way? Or even have a ‘stock line’ of dresses which they could hold samples of that people could order through them with not much customisation?


    – Make sure you get a really professional-looking website set up for when you launch – I suggest not having craploads of flash, or animations, because they can make browsing difficult and can be offputting (And DEFINITELY don’t put any music on – one of the photogs I looked at had some auto-play metal music that came on over his wedding slideshows. Scared the crap outta me and I x-ed out of there so fast), and I’d check your spellings and grammar several times – people are reassured by a well-made website, if it looks professional then you look professional. So many dress shops here have really dodgy-looking websites, and it makes me a little nervous before I visit them! You could even set up an Etsy store to sell your old samples through if you redesign, or any accessories, and link it to your website too! The bonus of this is that you could also still design some clothes from your line if you had time, and sell through there.


    – Get on social media – facebook, twitter, pinterest, tumblr. Get following the right people, reblog, retweet and interact.


    – Try and get a stand at local wedding fairs – it will give people a chance to see your work, and chat to you about your process. Even if they don’t remember you immediately afterwards, make sure they leave with a flyer or a business card to look at later. I found my photographer after discovering his business card in my jacket pocket! I have no memory of picking it up, or which fair it was even from, but he’s now booked so it doesn’t matter the details!


    – if you can, a good way to get your name out there is to run competitions or offers – maybe a contest for a percentage off someone’s custom dress?






    Sorry, you probably know all this, but I honestly think it sounds like a really lovely idea, and I hope you can make it work!


    ETA: especially since your wedding dress is that gorgeous polka-dot one that I thought was adorable when I saw your wedding photos! You are very talented!!


    Post # 9
    778 posts
    Busy bee

    @polkadotgirl:  I would definately support local designers (especially in Australia!)

    I have looked into having a dress made locally and it is so so much more expensive that if you had it made overseas.

    The things that stood out for me most about independent designers are those that are accomdating to budget.

    One I found in particular sits down with the client, discusses what they are after and the budget then sketches a design to accomodate those requests. All the fittings and a veil/sash was included in the one arranged price. I really loved that all expectations in regards to both design and price were established and agreed upon from the outset. This designer started at $2500-$3000 as well making it incredibly incredibly affordable.


    In regards to the reto inspired dresses- there is such a market for that kind of thing nowadays. The 1950’s tea length dresses especially.

    I would love LOVE to find an independent designer that was focused on the structured 1950’s evening dresses.  They just make me heart melt!

    Will you have made supplier connections in the phillipines? I should imagine the cost of material and variety available would be much much greater for you than back in Aus.


    Post # 12
    461 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @polkadotgirl:  I would absolutely buy from an independent designer. My dress designer is named Elizabeth Dye. She is based out of a shop in Portland, Oregon. I couldn’t be happier thus far! She is really responsive and we are collaborating on a bunch of edits to a dress from her line. I feel like I’m getting something truly unique that no one other girl has, and although it’s more “work,” it’s rewarding.

    I think your market will be women who want something unique, retro, and special. Your market will be different than many traditional brides who are fine with larger shops (not that there is anything wrong with those shops or designers!) I think an important target will be really high-quality design but at moderate price points … the brides who use indie designers want something very different but may not have Vera budgets, y’know? But I think that “retro” look is where you’ll be most successful; that’s so in right now, that BHLDN style of dress.

    You can also look into more independent-minded bridal stockists like Lovely (NYC, LA, Philly, DC), Everthine (CT) and English Dept (Portland, OR) to work with. They all stock independent designers.

    Best of luck!

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