Monday, January 25, 2010

Vintage gowns by Colette Komm

colette Komm
Photo w/permission from Colette Komm

It is always an honor to meet designers, but when you meet a designer who is beyond the trends, and whose designs are among the hottest of 2009 and 2010, it is a real pleasure. So take a few moments to enjoy the style of Colette Komm Couture Bridal.

What are the 'hot' types of gowns are girls asking for (either type of material (cotton, silk) style, shape, etc.)?

Right now I'm taking a lot of cues from vintage gowns from the 1920's-1950's. Sewing and construction details are really what inspires me as I have loved to sew since I was a child. I've been doing hand-made silk or silk ribbon floral embellishments, 1930's bias cuts, highly constructed 1950's corsets and bustiers... (of course not all on the same dress!) My favorite fabric to work with is peau d'ange, also called razmir, or peau de soie--it's the same weight as duchesse satin, but not shiny. It has a gorgeous luster and a beautiful hand.

What are the busiest times of the year, and do you see a spike in bridal season or is it year round?

It is busy year round with an obvious spike for late spring and early summer weddings. It is best to book a gown with me 8-12 months in advance to be sure there is adequate time for the fittings and the construction. Making a couture gown is a very labor intensive process, and not something that can be rush ordered.

Are your gowns eco-friendly and if yes, what other ways can a bride be more 'environmentally' friendly?

I try to be as eco-friendly as possible, recycling pattern paper, giving away fabric scraps to design students or using them to make my signature hand-sewn silk flowers. A lot of my gowns include corsets, which can be worn again separately from the skirt. I think one of the best way for brides to be eco-friendly is to cut out purchases of things that are ultimately going to get thrown away like little trinkets or party favors.

How long does it take to create a dress and what are your price ranges?

I prefer to have a new client book her gown a year in advance (especially for summer weddings) but 8 months will usually do. If you try to book less than 6 months before you may be lucky and I can work it in, or you might be unlucky and I'll be completely booked. Having a couture gown made is different than ordering a "size 6" from a salon. There are multiple fittings, first in muslin to perfect the cut and fit, and then final fittings in the actual fabric. It's more of a time commitment than buying something off the rack, but nothing will ever fit and flatter you as a couture gown made especially for your body. And for brides who are really passionate about fashion, watching and participating in the process of the gown being made is a fascinating and once in a lifetime experience. Gowns are typically priced between $10,000-15,000; however, some gowns may exceed this range depending on the intricacy of the design and construction.

Anything else you want the readers to know about your designs?

My gowns are really investment pieces and in the words of a recent client, "wearable art". They can be turned inside out and be just as beautiful to look at--down to the way the hooks and eyes are stitched. Something that I always tell brides is that in 40 or 50 years when you have kids and grandkids, the only thing you will have left from your wedding are the photos and the dress you wore, and you will be wearing your gown in all of the pictures, so make sure you get the right dress! It will become a cherished heirloom.

For more information about Collette Komm's designs, visit her website. The collection can be viewed by appointment only in Colette Komm’s Manhattan design studio. Call her 212.580.2690 or send an email to


dharmesh said...

Normally I wouldn’t comment on posts but I felt that I had to as your writing style is really good. You have broken down a difficult area so that it easy to understand.

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