Rosanna at Alexis George shared a little about how it works behind the scenes at their Adelaide design studio…

“So Polka Dot Bride wants to know the behind the scenes of a bridal couture store like Alexis George? It’s about Service, Service, Service, and providing those extra special touches that mass produced (cheap imported) bridal gown shops can’t possibly compare with.

Consulting with brides is the most satisfying part as we like to solve their concerns. It’s about listening to the bride-to-be’s needs and sometimes combining styles. We like to advise brides to look at magazines first, and work out the elements they love prior to an appointment with us, then we can work from there. We are conscious that not all dresses suit all figures, so we assist them to work out the ideal silhouette that suits first, and then we go ahead incorporating the features such as beading or lace etc. Brides need to understand that only certain fabrics can achieve a certain look, and can’t be translated easily between styles.

We love showing customers our gorgeous treasure trove of the latest laces and innovative fabrics that we source from overseas. We always get excited when our Italian representative rolls in with bulging designer suitcase filled with the latest fabrics. Sometimes, brides fall in love with a fabric first, like ostrich feathers, the new textured fabrics or an exquisite lace.

Our designer, Pat Georgiou has always been inspired by the fabrics first, and then our couture designs are developed from her vision. We regularly hold fashion parades and we like to draw inspiration from our runway collection and make them up in bridal colours. It makes our designs feel modern, but as most of our garments are boned, the fit and styling always remains classic and timeless.

While our new styles are initially modeled on Pat’s figure (which is a size 10), a little known fact is that we offer styles up to size 18 in store. While federal MP Kate Elllis’s recent campaign was to promote diverse body shapes and called for realistic sizes from Australian designers, we have been proudly catering for all women for a long time now, and thoroughly understand the needs of this market

One piece of advice that most brides aren’t aware, is the importance of fit. It’s sad that brides-to-be are put off strapless dresses because they never forget the look of a badly fitting strapless dresses that brides battle to keep up all day. It’s such a pity, because strapless gowns are so special and suit most shapes, but only if they are fitted correctly!

We don’t rely on a big bust to hold up a dress, we rely on the waist. It’s as simple as that. A well-fitted bridal gown must be anchored tightly at the waistline, which is naturally the smallest part of the female form. It can’t possibly go up or down from that point. The bustline is adjusted accordingly. A too tight bustline for a busty bride is most unflattering. It should be ever so slightly looser than the waist to avoid the unsightly pinched in soft flesh look. For brides who are not so endowed, we advise ruching in some form in the bustline, or sewn in padded bra pads to help fill out the dress for a flattering and balanced silhouette.

Our bridal range always amazes people because we like to create couture art. One dress in particular, the ‘Briar Rose’ captured hearts and minds. It was our most talked about dress. We would continually get visitors who came specifically just to visit the “Gone-With-The-Wind-Grace-Kelly-Dress”. To this day, it still remains my favourite wedding gown with masses of frothy tulle and hand painted Japanese rose print chiffon overlay… Alas, I was sad to see it go (sigh!).”

Photo by Alexis George