Expert Q&A: Lisa Gowing12:0AM, Jan 1, 0001
What inspired you to begin a career in bridal design?
I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be a fashion designer. I was accepted into what was then East Sydney Design College at 16, but went back to school to complete my Higher School Certificate before enrolling at age 18. I then completed a Bachelor of Visual Art and majored in Costume Design. After graduation my sister got engaged and I created some sketches of the kind of design she wanted for her day and took her shopping in Sydney. I was fortunate to be offered an in-house design position at a high-end bridal couture salon in the Strand Arcade in the city after they met me and admired my sketches. This was when I fell in love with creating couture wedding gowns.
How would you define your design style?
I design feminine, vintage-inspired couture and demi-couture gowns for fashion forward brides. My design aesthetic heralds from past eras, from the 1920s through to the 1950s. I only work with the finest fabrics, laces and trims using the traditional couture techniques, and create designs that are not only easy to wear but highly flattering in their cut and construction. After working in bridal couture for almost 20 years I have a complete understanding of what suits a bride, her body shape, her personality and her style. My gowns are Hollywood glamour meets classic couture - red-carpet worthy creations made from layered silks and laces in shades of ivory, buttercream, nude and blush.
Where do you look for inspiration when creating a new collection?
I look everywhere - film, life and travel particularly inspire me. I have a collection of classic movies I love watching and enjoy viewing exhibits of great designers' works and iconic women's wardrobes when I am travelling or at home. For current trends I follow the red carpet during the Hollywood awards season, plus international fashion and street fashion.
What advice would you give to brides searching for the perfect wedding dress?
I would encourage brides to try to have an idea of the type of gown they'd like, plus the big day theme, the venue and the dress code, as this helps determine their dress choice. Don't shop and shop and try to see every gown on the market; know which designer's work you admire and make advance appointments to view their gowns. Try not to take too many people with you when you go shopping as everyone has a different opinion and too many people could confuse things. Just take one or two people whose opinion you trust. Keep an open mind as a trained eye will be able to suggest what could suit your personality and personal style.
To check out at some of Lisa's designs, log on to http://www.lisagowing.com