Bespoke Wedding Dress Couture Gold Coast
"I push my boundaries in everyday events, so it’s only natural I do the same with my designs and in doing so, I believe, makes for a better Bridal couturier" Helena Karkovic - Helena Couture Designs 

When it comes time to choose your Bridal gown designer, Gold Coast based couturist Helena Karkovic has so much to offer every Bride's style, shape and of course, budget. We chat to Helena about her childhood dreams, award winning Bridal couture designs and her tips for Bride's considering their own couture design for their big day.

"If I had to sum up my couture label in three words they would be timeless, elegant and individual. The latest trends that I have seen come through in my latest collection is texture, layers and recycling (using lace from a Mother's or Grandmother's Bridal gown) and revitalising the 1920's-1960's fashions.
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My most favourite thing about designing Wedding gowns is the detail. I often go off into my own world for days, working on the detail of just one dress and knowing just where I want to place and hand stitch it. I like to push myself to create elegant, innovative, feminine Bridal gowns that will evoke beautiful emotions in not only the bride, but everyone who sees her in her gown, that will be remember forever.

I create one off custom dresses/outfits for my clients, based on their figure shape, colour palette, personality, style of wedding and price bracket. I can design and create anything, so why dress my client in a dress/outfit that only looks ok on them, when I can design a dress/outfit that is as unique and individual as them, which has them not only looking awesome in their dress/outfit, but feeling it too.
Bridal Couture designer Gold Coast

Even with the many hurdles to overcome and am sure there will always be future hurdles in this ever changing environment, the one thing that has remained solid is my passion for what I do. It is this passion that drives me and I honestly couldn’t image doing anything else. This is my life and I love it so much, that it very rarely ever feels like work, as I’m enjoying myself too much. As long as I have music of course, I can't live or work as effectively without it.

Changes in the industry that I have noticed are that women are generally marrying older and becoming more daring in their chosen style. Young brides, say in their early twenties tended to want the typical full “princess” dress, but as the average age of our brides is closer to early to mid thirties, preferring a gown that will highlight their best features and have their dress as more a show stopper, red carpet dress.

Much different to the fairy tale style dress they used to envisage growing up but in saying that, social media has played a big part in opening the Bride’s eyes to new and innovative styles with the abundance of images surfing the net, well the ones coming to us do. But then the Brides coming to us don't want a generic Bridal dress that “looks the same as all the rest”. They want something that depicts them and the niche market we design and create for wanting that show stopper couture dress, that just keeps on being talked about, well after the Wedding day is over.

There are so many benefits of choosing couture over 'off the rack' Wedding dresses, where do I start? Probably with that it is such an incredible experience to treasure, as part of the whole engagement. You see your dress come alive and evolve at every stage; it can stay the course of the original design or evolve into something more spectacular than ever imagined. When having couture, the only limitations are the ones the that the Bride sets in the beginning. My imagination and eye for detail is endless, so we truly can create anything.

When a Bride comes to us, their Wedding dress is designed around their figure shape, personality, style of wedding, colour palette and budget. Often the price difference for couture and off-the-rack can be nil or minimal. Sometimes if you have to add the alterations to the cost, it can end up more expensive than having couture gown made.
Bespoke Wedding dresses Gold Coast
What to expect from the design process you go through when you are designing a Bridal gown of your own:

1. We meet to discuss your needs and wants in your Wedding dress.

2. I measure you up and do a figure shape analysis, then suggest the style of dress that will be the most flattering.

3. Even though we have many gowns to choose from, you will only try on a few, so as to not to get confused.

4. Knowing your budget and what you need and want, I guide you through a selection of materials needed for the Wedding gown.

5. At the end of the one hour consult, I will have a design sketched out with the selected materials required.

6. I work on your quote to get back to you, preferably the same day, where time permits. If you are happy with the quote, fittings are booked in.

7. There are a series of fittings varying between three to six, depending on the style of Wedding gown and amount of work involved.

8. The first fitting will often be a toile (a mock version of your dress), giving you time to reflect on the silhouette and if any changes are needed are done here, before we cut into your Bridal fabric.

9. I’m happy for you to have members of your entourage come to any and all of the fittings, as it is part of the experience. They can take photos from the first fitting onward too. I also take photos which are sent to you so you can look at them later to see if there is anything you might like to change as we go. This allows the dress to evolve, if need be.

10. The payment plan is not limited to a typical lay by system of six weeks to three months, but spread out through the entire time from accepting the quote, to a week prior to the wedding, giving you more flexibility in paying.

11. At pickup, I definitely encourage the Bride to bring a few members of her entourage, so they can see what is involved in dressing her and any final questions they might have.

My 9 tips for Bride's beginning their search for a Wedding dress:

1 Keep an open mind.

2 Look at styles online and magazines to get a feel for what you like and don’t like. Ask your partner to do the same and see what his likes and dislikes are.

3 Do you have style or concept you want the wedding to follow? Mention this to the sales people or bridal couturier.

4 Take into consideration the weather will be at the time and dress accordingly.

5 Make sure to get the best style with the best fit to suit you. It’s shocking when you see a bride wearing the latest fashion to be fashionable and it doesn’t do her justice. It does the opposite.

6 Take one or two close people with you who will give you an honest opinion.

7 Make sure you have a good breakfast to keep your energy levels up and take water with you as to not dehydrate.

8 Don’t overbook yourself. Select a few bridal shops/studios to visit, then you won’t be overwhelmed.

9 Women have natural intuition. Use it.
Helena Couture Designs
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