After getting married, I relocated to Vancouver! I now have a studio located at the heart of historical Gastown for meeting clients and a home studio where I make all the magic happen with draping, pattern making and couture sewing."
What made you start your own bridal business/brand?
"After showcasing a capsule evening-wear collection at New York Fashion Week in 2014, my name was recognized by various major media such as Vogue Italia, WWD, and NYMag.com. It kickstarted my custom design work as I started getting requests to make custom bridal dresses and evening gowns for private clients in New York. I really fell in love with the idea of designing something tailored to my clients' personalities. Having my own business had always been what I wanted because then I always have a voice in design. Starting my own brand just felt like the right thing to do."
It seems like you really value the design aspect of your job, is it fair to say your favorite thing about having your business is being able to design?
"Definitely! My favorite thing is getting to showcase who I am as a designer but because being a business owner comes with so many other side tasks, I only get to spend a-third of my time actually designing."
Where do you get your design inspiration from?
"I am all about making unconventional designs that make a statement. My background in fashion gives me a different perspective in designing bridal dresses. I have always been inspired by current fashion styles and found ways to incorporate them into bridal dresses. I think bridal gowns should be classic and timeless, but also reflect what is currently happening around the world."
The fashion industry has a bad reputation for wastefulness. What do you do to try to minimize that?
"We make our wedding dresses made-to-order and focus mainly on custom designs, so we only use fabric when we need it. We are careful with the fabrics we sourced and always aim to utilize our fabrics with minimal waste. For example, the deadstock of custom laces are always transformed into veils, hair accessories and lace masks. What we can't use for a gown, we create into something else!"
What advice would you have for someone who wants to become a fashion designer or start their own clothing/design brand?
"Do a thorough market research before you start. Knowing your target customer and his/her lifestyle is the key for brand consistency. Once you get that right, your products will come naturally. & don't forget to be patient!"
Do you have a favorite piece that you've designed for OM Couture?
"Among all the happy brides I’ve dressed, Natasha was definitely the most memorable one! She came to me after trying on over 100 dresses in four major fashion cities around the world and couldn't find THE ONE. She had almost lost all hope and just thought she would never find anything she'd be happy with. I helped her design the most unique gown ever with 3 different types of laces combined and handmade fabric flowers decorated throughout. She teared up when she put the dress on the first time and said she couldn’t believe it was exactly what she had dreamed about!
I also made a lace pantsuit for her rehearsal dinner and flower girl dresses for her daughters! To make the piece even more memorable, the entire design process was done while I was pregnant with my baby! haha I worked till 37 weeks."
What do we have to look forward to for you and OM Couture in 2021?
"We just launched our first collaborated bridal collection ‘831 Bridal’ with fashion and lifestyle influencer @emmegann. The collection takes design cues directly from EM MEGAN's wedding style in 2019, where I created a custom hand-beaded lace gown. This collection serves as an important reminder that every woman should shine on her special day, with a style fit for every celebration. From short dresses to pantsuits to bridal separates, each thoughtfully designed to bring out the strength and beauty in women of all sizes, shapes, and colour. It is available to order on our website: www.om-designstudio.com.
I have also pivoted my business since COVID hit the industry to provide more virtual appointments so that I could connect with brides around the globe and we launched our online shop at the start of 2021! I am excited to see the bridal industry evolve and if we can make the dress precisely based on measurements provided, it's possible we'll be eliminating in-person fittings so that more brides can access our service and have their couture dresses made by us!"