NZFW Behind-The-Seams: Trish Peng

Fashion Week is familiar ground for bridal designer Trish Peng. This year, she shows her gowns in our New Zealand Weddings Magazine Collection Show. After tracking down Trish for five minutes of insider knowledge, we simply can't wait for her turn on the catwalk.

What can we look forward to when it comes to this year's runway looks?

My designs are always based on what flatters the woman’s body. With this collection, we replaced the common all-over lace and have designed our own pattern with hand-sewn beads and pearls to contour the body beautifully. The collection is mostly intricately hand-beaded and will be custom beaded to each client’s measurements. We have an exciting finale gown we cant wait to show you!

When did the preparations for NZFW begin?
I designed the collection three months ago, but we were still sampling them two weeks out, as it’s a process matching the correct fabrics – there are so many different shades of white.

How many hours would you estimate you’ve spent preparing for the show?
I would say my whole team has probably spent a good 300 hours preparing for this, including designing, sampling, and other preparations.

How do you edit down the gowns that will appear on the runway?
It's pretty last minute. It might be a combination of pieces from our previous range and the more intricate new pieces to show the audience a range of styles we can do. It will all depend on which models look the best in each piece.

What is your all-time favourite fabric and why?
I have so many favourites but I do love working with silk crepe de chine. I always suggest this for my clients because it drapes beautifully, has a slight sheen, and a bit of stretch to contour the body.

Where does your drive to succeed in business come from?
I would say it was from my hard-working parents who moved to New Zealand with nothing and built their own business. It also comes from my Chinese background where it is drilled into us to have our own business, and you have to work hard for what you want.

Do you have a favourite look of the show, can you hint to what makes it so spectacular?
The finale piece! As it is the final piece to close the whole show, we are making it quite dramatic! That is all I can say...

What is one thing about the preparation for showing at Fashion Week that may surprise us?
I think it would be the sheer amount of time and the process that goes into creating each dress; I sketch the design, which then gets created into a flat pattern. We then sew a mock up and have a fitting with our 'fit' model (this is a crucial fitting as from there we design the floral/lace pattern that will be hand-beaded), it then gets hand-beaded on lace/mesh and sewn into the full dress with lining and tulle.

What do you hope people take away from viewing your collection?
I hope people see that we cater to every bride as we offer a custom-make on every dress. Brides can either choose a current design of ours, a mix-and-match, or we can design with them for their perfect gown.

How would you suggest budding bridal designers get their foot in the door of the industry?
I would say to intern with top bridal houses and get experience with customer service. It's all about building a personal experience for each bride as well as being with them every step of their journey, and catering to their needs.

Which international designers do you love to follow on social media?
My absolute favourite is the King himself at couture, Elie Saab . He is a genius when it comes to dressing women.

What is the first thing you’ll do after the shows are complete?
Probably pop some champagne with my team to celebrate our hard work!


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