Lashings of lace, layers of tulle, and sprinkles of sparkle - it's all in a day's work for our Dream Team designer Katie Yeung from Hera Couture. Following our lucky winner's first fitting, we gleaned the inside scoop on where Katie draws her inspiration, plus her three bridal 'must-dos'.
What inspired you to become a bridal designer?
I’ve always had a fascination with fabric. I'm captivated by the textures, prints, and draping of all manner of textiles. It excites every fibre of my being when I'm sourcing fabric from around the globe - I can go 10 hours per day for a week without stopping. It's my drug!
As soon as I was tall enough to reach the pedal of my mother's industrial Singer machine at her apparel business, the hum of the machine could be heard all hours of the day. My ultimate dream was to venture into bridal design – it’s the most important dress a woman will every wear. The love, care, and patience required brings an immense sense of satisfaction – especially when I see the bride smile in the mirror after seeing her dream dress brought to life.
Where do you find inspiration?
I draw inspiration from all different sources - art galleries, travel, fabric swatches and the people I meet. I love discovering new things that ignite my creativity.
How long does it take to create a wedding gown?
Anywhere between three and a half and five months, depending on the complexity of the design. Other factors include where the lace and fabric is imported from, and our workload at the time of consultation.
How do you help brides decide on what style best suits their body shape?
We encourage brides to try on different silhouettes, designs and fabric. The team at Hera Couture are trained bridal consultants so they're able to assess what styles suit.
Who is your favorite designer?
Two words. Coco. Chanel.
How soon after becoming engaged do you recommend the bride start looking for her dream dress?
As soon as possible after becoming engaged, but the bare minimum would be six months out from their wedding day.
What are three 'must-dos' you would advise brides tick off before deciding on their style of dress?
1) Make sure he's The One! It sounds silly - but you need to be sure that the man you are going to marry is someone you will spend the rest of your life with!
2) Book your venue.
3) Have an open mind to try on different styles and silhouettes. You might surprise yourself in how much you suit a style you wouldn't have considered before.
What's the most unique wedding gown you've created?
A bride approached me with an Alexander McQueen-inspired gown, which took hours to envisage and five months to create. It featured a corset bodice and Guipure lace sleeves. Our team hand-beaded rose gold rhinestones and Swarovski crystals onto the full appliqué skirt. The result was breathtaking!
Last piece of advice for brides to be?
Keep calm, no matter what. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to enjoy with your fiancé, so don't stress over first world problems. Ensure the fit of yours and your bridesmaids’ dresses are perfect – ill-fitting dresses will cheapen the look of your whole bridal party.