Insights On Designing A Custom Outfit Westcoast
Your wedding day is the big day. You deserve to feel just as beautiful as your photos. This makes it even more important that you love the dress you are wearing. Why not create your wedding dress?
Tania Kottoor is a wedding stylist and co-founder of WESTxEAST. Tania created her award-winning wedding and 75 custom outfits for her, her wedding party, as well as her family. You know what? Tania can help you, or someone you love, create the wedding dress of your dreams. Tania was kind enough to sit down with us and answer our questions about working with a U.S.-based designer or bespoke brand.
Tania Kottoor was asked a series of questions by us about designing custom clothes.
- What can a bride expect from a wedding dress designer when she works with them? A professional designer can help you understand silhouettes, colours, and other fabric options. They will guide you through every step of the process, from conception to delivery.
- What is the one thing that brides-to-be should know about dress shopping? Although we are a virtual service, I recommend that brides-to-be visit boutiques that sell gowns. You can try on different silhouettes and see what fits you best.
- Why work with a U.S.-based designer over one from overseas? You can speak with someone who is experienced in luxury design and can communicate well. Avoid any Indian aunty or tailor. They won’t be able to see your vision. They aren’t always transparent, so you could be at risk of getting something you don’t like. Through our transparency, WESTxEAST assures you that you are getting exactly what it is you want.
- How do you master the production of a bride’s wedding gown? Westcoast offers a digital, Haute couture-like service at an affordable price. The team will help you connect with a Design Consultant who will be your point person through the entire design process. The team creates B&W mood boards, digital sketches, and trims. A Zoom Virtual Design Meeting will allow you to choose from the available options, and we will keep you informed with progress photos during production at our atelier. You can complete the entire process from your home.
- What was the difference between creating your wedding dress or helping someone else design it? Seventy-five unique outfits were part of my wedding. This wedding was very personal. As a Wedding Stylist, I created vision boards, mood boards and 2D sketches. Before any fabric went into production, I sourced samples of fabrics. To make sure everything went smoothly, I had to map it out clearly. The same goes for clients.
- What is the biggest myth that you have seen about brides in the creation process? Many brides, mothers of brides and sisters of brides believe that more is better. It would help if you found a balance. To stand out, a bride doesn’t need to use multiple colours or heavy embellishments. Make a mental note of when you’ll have your hair and makeup done. You can then add jewellery to complete the look. You still need to feel and look like the bride.
- What is the first thing that you and your client talk about when creating a wedding? I ask, “What’s the color scheme for my wedding?” This is always a good question to start with. The colour scheme plays an important role in the design of outfits and events. Before you can play with embroidery and other elements, it’s the foundation.
- How can you help a bride who doesn’t know where they want to go? Use Pinterest and Instagram to find inspiration photos. Then fill out the questionnaire, which breaks down the different necklines, skirt silhouettes, and Pantone colours they have the option of choosing from. This questionnaire is extremely helpful as it lets you see all the options available before beginning the design process.
- What is your favourite thing about designing wedding dresses? It’s amazing to see the clients’ vision become a reality. It’s a joy to see the wedding photos and to see how hard our team worked in creating a truly original piece.
- What have your fashion experiences helped you become a dress designer? My co-founder Liya Thachil and I both come from luxury backgrounds. We have worked with top-end designers, who have a complex process of designing custom-made dresses. We used the same process to create a virtual platform that South Asian Americans can use to be part of this special process. They are their designers.
You have complete creative control when working with a custom brand or designer. These are 10 facts to remember when custom-designing an outfit.
- Color You can choose any Pantone colour you like, as most garments are hand-dyed.
- Silhouette: There are endless options for skirt shapes, necklines and sleeve lengths.
- Base Fabric – There are endless options for silk, velvet and taffeta.
- Indian Craft — Endless options such as mirror-work and foil print handlooms, mulberry silk, hand block, etc.
- Reference Photos – Share your inspiration pictures with the designer.
- Mood Board – A mood board with selected Pantone colours and details.
- Samples A personal book with hand-dyed swatches of printed fabrics, embroidered fabrics and trims.
- Sketches– A digital or hand sketch of an outfit based on swatches. This allows you to see it come to life before production.
- Made to Measure – No matter what size you are, it doesn’t matter. All garments can be customized to fit your body.
- Progress Pictures– The client is shown pictures of the dyers dying the fabrics, patternmakers were cutting the fabrics and the embroiderer hand embroidery work. Finally, the tailor sews the garments together.