Fashion Week Quick-Fire: Hera Bridal

What inspires this Auckland designer's sensual, spirited, sequined beauties? Find out in our pre-show Q&A with owner and head designer, Katie Yeung.

  • Story by Photo Carolyn Haslett

What inspires this Auckland designer's spirited, sequined, sensual beauties? Find out in our pre-show Q&A with owner and head designer, Katie Yeung. 

Why do you love designing?
I love the creative process − selecting beautiful elements, putting them together and creating something gorgeous for a woman who will wear the dress for one of life's most special moments. It’s very satisfying.

What makes your pieces unique?
They’re beautifully created with a corseted structure that fits the body like a glove. The workmanship is immaculate. Any beaded embellishments are hand-crafted from scratch at our atelier. Our designs are created to cater for more than one type of bride and everyone will find their dream gown at Hera. Our creations are limited only by your imagination.

What are some of your personal creative interests?
Interior design; styling; anything that’s related to beautiful, quality fabrics.

What’s one tradition of the wedding gown that you think should never disappear? 
The veil.

What bridal trend do you love right now?
Brides giving more time and thought to the wedding overall − not just their wedding dress or bridal party attire but the whole styling, location and look of their event. It makes it even more romantic and sweet, and less formal and restricted.

What are the three words to describe the pieces in your New Zealand Weddings Collection show at Fashion Week?
Unique, romantic, comfortable.

What will we see that celebrates tradition? 
Our finale gown is always created with a princess silhouette.

What has inspired you with this collection?
This collection has been inspired by my travels and by examining the different ways in which a woman's body moves. I aimed to celebrate a woman's figure with different cuts, panels, draping and corsetry. I was also inspired by learning about pencil sketching through my dad and his brother, my closest uncle, who teaches fine art in New York.
Is there a certain type of fabric you’ll send down the runway or a certain cut that will contribute to an overall theme? 
Yes − beautiful French Chantilly lace, georgette crêpe and silk crêpe, embellished with our latest Italian brocade lace petals and trims.

How will this show be different from past years?
We won’t include any colored gowns − just ivory in various forms with coloured silk-wrapped pearls from our bespoke headpiece collection.

What’s the biggest mistake brides make when they start their search for a wedding gown?
Not speaking to a bridal consultant and instead pulling everything off the rack themselves in all the wrong sizes, fabrics and silhouette. They should do some initial research then turn to a professional for advice.

How early should a bride start looking for her gown?
If time allows, five months ahead of their wedding date. 

How late can she order her gown from you?
The existing Hera collection − three and a half months before the big day; demi-couture − four months; and haute couture − five to six months.

How does a bride know when she’s found her perfect gown?
When it’s a perfect fit, in the fabric she loves and when she’s standing in front of the mirror with a tear in her eye, not wanting to take it off. That's the one. When a gown is comfortable, the bride can move freely and express her beauty and be herself without constraint. So the fabrics used and the construction of gown should complement a bride's personality and body shape. 

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