An interview with Gay dePaor, exclusive bridal designer for De Paor Designs
What makes your designs unique and why should a bride want to work with you to make her dream wedding outfit?
I have a great selection of varied styles both full length and tea- length. I offer a unique personal service, working closely with each bride. Each gown is made exclusively, allowing great flexibility with fabrics and styles – mixing and matching the designs to create a wedding gown that suits both the bride’s figure and taste. I am passionate about my work and aim to create beautiful, elegant gowns to be treasured forever. In the words of Coco Chanel – “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”
What is your favourite fabric to work with?
I love to work with natural pure silks – dupions, satins, crepes and chiffons. I source beautiful French and Spanish laces for my more detailed styles. My favourite fabric would be silk crepe. I love its natural flow and the beauty of all silk fabrics is how luxurious and comfortable they are to wear – which is so important in a wedding dress.
What bridal trends do you predict will catch on next and what trends are poised to stay going strong?
The last few years has seen the beaded lace fishtail dress take over but I can definitely see a change at the moment. Sleeves have become very popular. The bare sleeveless look has moved on and I also have noted more interest in the romantic gown with the younger brides – particularly the full tulle skirt. However, as a designer I am not influenced by trends. I would always favour designing elegant, timeless gowns. Fashion fades, only style remains the same.
The tea-length dress is so on trend for 2017, what is your take on the trend and how have you made it your own?
I fell in love with the tea-length wedding gown about 10 years and designed my first three styles to exhibit at the Wedding and Honeymoon Show in the RDS. I could not believe the interest from the brides to be and decided to develop my collection to give these brides as much choice as those looking for the more traditional full length gown.
I now have a collection of over 35 individual designs –probably the biggest in Ireland – and as with all my dresses – they are all made to measure. These vintage inspired dresses are so comfortable and fun to wear. Petticoats, birdcage veils, a splash of colour and quirky shoes are the finishing touches many of the brides add to complete the look.
Would you cater for both brides in an LGBT wedding ad how would you do so while ensuring that they are not too similar, if they are trying to keep their outfits secret?
Certainly, I have done and have had both situations where the brides were happy to see each others dress and where they wanted to keep it a surprise. When you work personally with your brides you learn how to be discreet, and realise how important their wishes are for their big day.
What is the most demanding/difficult thing you have been asked to do by a bride for her dress?
Believe it or not I have never had a situation where I have found a bride exceptionally demanding or difficult. I have catered for brides with special requirements rather than demands, but in many cases these were quite personal, so in my opinion quite confidential.
I do my best from the start to listen carefully to what my brides want and to work carefully and slowly with them. The gown is designed and put together over 5 fittings and this ensures that the bride gets exactly what she wants. At the final meeting she can try her dress with all her accessories in our large comfortable studio to ensure that she is happy with everything.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I have quoted Coco Chanel and this is because she inspired me to design many years ago. The simplicity and elegance of her dresses, which were worn by such style icons as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, are a testament to her talent. She once said “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury” – and I try to achieve this when I am designing my gowns -- because a bride must not just look beautiful on her wedding day but also feel beautiful.