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Image by Joseph Bertossi

Whether your bridal gown goals are solid or you are still wanting help and guidance along the way, there’s no need to book a flight to Melbourne or Milan to get wedding dress obsessed. The team at Paddington Weddings are located in Brisbane but they travel to Europe each year to hand select fabrics that inspire their next collections. Head designer and creative director Anne Bertossi and her talentd team create custom made wedding dresses, and everything is Australian made from their on-site Paddington workroom. An appointment with Anne is the perfect place to start the hunt for ‘the one’, you will be embraced with guidance, expertise and bridal dress know how, and as your wedding dress is the most important piece of fashion you will ever purchase it’s important that you put yourself in the safest of hands. Paddington Weddings are experts in bridal wear design, and if you are searching for a simple, elegant and timeless wedding gown with stylish sophistication, these ladies need to be on your radar.

We shared some time with Anne Bertossi to find out what makes her bridal design brain tick!

Q & A with Bridal Gown Designer, Paddington Weddings/Bertossi Brides

‘Every Bertossi Bride leaves our studio smiling with their dream dress in their arms, customer service and the quality of our gowns is of the upmost importance to us and we are known to go over and above what is expected for our brides happiness.’

Tell us your story, the journey behind your brand, the reason for your business?

I have been creating bridal gowns for over 26 years here in Brisbane, I was brought up in the sewing world with my father being a pattern maker and my mother a seamstress, I was always going to be part of this creative world. I am lucky enough to work with my beautiful Mum Josie, sister Gill and an amazingly loyal, talented team of seamstresses.
Paddington Weddings is a family affair where brides all become part of our Bertossi Brides family when they decide to wear one of my designs, making their dreams come true is a privilege that I will never take for granted and my team work hard to ensure every bride leaves with a beautiful gown and memories to cherish forever.

Where is your studio based?

Our studio is a beautiful workers cottage in trendy Paddington and is where every Bertossi Brides gown comes to life. Our workroom and my cutting table over looks Brisbane city and it is a magical place to work, full of light and creativity. We are proud to say that each and every Bertossi Brides gown is made individually by our experienced, talented team and my gowns are available exclusively through our showroom.

What motivates you when it comes to designing, where do you seek your inspiration from?

For me it is all about fabric, I travel to Europe regularly to visit the silk and lace mills in Paris and Milan, fall in love with fabric and then let that inspire me. I am always mindful of styles and trends that are happening at the time and the types of weddings that couples are having but it is when I spend time draping fabric and lace that a design really comes to life.

What trends have you noticed in bridal wear for 2019 and beyond?

My 2018-19 collection has taken me into a new direction, offering my gowns as either ‘Couture’ where the gown is made to measure for a bride over 5 fittings to fit like a glove, or ‘Ready to Wear’ where the gown is made up in a stock size closest to the brides measurements.  We were finding so many brides today were travelling interstate to become a Bertossi Bride or were time poor with busy lives. The ‘Ready to Wear’ option has allowed them a much quicker, easier process with the gowns being created in the same fabrics by the same team so there is no drop in quality. Brides today want a simpler, efficient systems, quality and value for money and the ‘Ready to Wear’ gowns are flying out the store.

From a design point of view this year my gowns are much softer and more relaxed to tie in with the more informal weddings that are on trend these days. Gone are the big stuffy venues and rules, the modern bride of today wants a fabulous party, styled elegantly with all the people in the world they love around them when they marry the man of their dreams.

Choosing ‘THE’ wedding gown can be the most important decision of wedding day planning, what advice would you give brides to be who are in search of that perfect bridal gown?

Social media and Google are wonderful tools to start getting an idea of the kind of designers and gowns you are drawn to, online research saves brides a lot of time these days where you really can get a feel for a company before you commit to an appointment, the review system is fantastic for picking the good companies.

Once you have narrowed down a few shops that you are liking the look of make a day with a couple of your most trusted friends or family. Try not to bring along too many people, it is very overwhelming to have so many opinions on that day and you really spend the whole time worry about what they think rather than focusing on what you want.
Be mindful of the wearability of the gown that you are thinking of. Is it comfortable? What underwear do you need to wear? Is it heavy or irritating in any way? I always tell my brides a smile is different to a grimace and if you are uncomfortable it is written all over you face in your photos!

Your wedding day isn’t the day to make the biggest fashion statement in the world, you really do want to be a slightly more glamorous version of your everyday self. Pick a style that is on trend but most of all pick a style that is simple and elegant that highlights your figure rather than you being taken over by the dress. Your body and colouring will often determine the style and colour hat will suit you best, a good designer will guide you with this and be honest, this is something that is very important to us.

Tell us a little bit about your process, from enquiry to booking stages, to delivery of the finished gown before the big day!

Our brides book in an appointment in our beautiful studio in Paddington. At this point we are going over all the gowns giving advice on design and fabric options for the styles that they are liking, at the end of the appointment we will sketch their favourite design and give them fabric samples to help with the decision.

Then if a bride decides on a ‘Couture’ gown that is made to measure, this process starts 3 months out from their wedding and we see them every 3 weeks over 5 fittings where they see their gown come to life as each fitting passes. The final fitting is the week of the wedding to catch any last minute weight loss and ensure the most perfect fit and wonderful experience.
If a bride is budget conscious or struggling time wise to make it for 5 fittings we are able to offer a ‘Ready to Wear’ gown, we take the brides measurements and create a gown in a stock size as close a possible. We then offer an in house, same day alterations service to do any adjustments needed to create a great fit.

In 5 words describe a gown that makes you shiver with excitement!

Stylish, elegant, timeless, tailored and on trend.

Do you see a return of the veil?

Absolutely, long simple veils with delicate lace trims were already popular before Megan and Harry’s wedding but since then it has become even more so. It looks stunning with the clean, simple designs that are very popular at the moment and is such a romantic, timeless look.

Choosing a gown to suit an individual body type can sometimes be an overwhelming experience for brides to be, what is your advice for dream dress hunting and pointing brides in the right style direction to suit their body type?

Pick a good designer who will be honest with you and who has experience in dressing many brides over the years. I love to create gowns for brides of all sizes, tall, short, curvy, petite. For me what is important is that we create a gown that is right for each bride, not having brides starve themselves to fit into a gown that was never right for them.

Pick a design that shows off all the parts of your body that you love and doesn’t make a big feature of the parts of your body that you may have an issue with (and every bride in the world, large or small has issues with some part of their body!) However many times someone tells you that you look good in a design you must trust your instinct and know that you feel good in it too.

The Sunshine Coast is a diverse landscape from hinterland to coastal locations there is so much variety. When assisting brides to be searching for their wedding dress do you ask where their celebration is taking place, and how important is the location of their wedding day?

I always ask my brides where their wedding is going to be. It tells me a lot about the type of person that they are, is it an intimate ceremony on a beach or a huge party in a marquee. This helps me know how to guide my brides to different styles that would be most suitable for the venue. A great example of this is if your wedding is in a paddock with lots of rough ground you really do need to think if a 3m train on your gown is the right choice as it may be hard work for you on the day.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Our studio is full of smiles and laugher, it is hard to pick just one part of my job that I love but making our brides feel their most beautiful and confident on their special day is so important to me.

Go to our supplier directory for more information and contact details for Paddington Weddings or their website

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