If you are looking for custom bridal wear that isn’t going to burn a hole in your wallet so large your wallet no longer exists, we have found the label for you. The Perfect Gown is a Canberra-based design studio founded by formally trained designer Naomi Hogie, who specialises in exquisite custom gowns that won’t have you living off two minute noodles for months on end to afford them.
In October 2016 Naomi showcased her label Naomi Peris Bridal as part of FASHFEST 2016 (see our runway report here). Her collection ranged from classical inspired pieces including draped, Grecian inspired gowns, to bold contemporary statement designs with a fashion forward sensibility such as a sexy white lace pantsuit. Naomi’s love of duality saw her combine these classical and modern influences while effortlessly weaving colour, dynamic silhouettes and embellishments such as feathers, beads and gold accents throughout her collection.
We caught up with Naomi to find out more about her design process, what inspires her and what sets her apart.
Leiden: Could you tell us a little bit more about your unique design style? How do you balance traditional techniques with contemporary styling?
Naomi: I love modern fresh designs, but I also believe that gowns should fit perfectly and be beautifully finished, and the only way to do that is with fine tailoring.
L: Why bridal?
N: Well I didn’t start in Bridal, I designed womenswear and menswear for 6 years prior to The Perfect Gown. What’s funny is if you pulled out my old sketch books from when I was 10 years old I use to only ever draw gowns. So in a way I feel like I made a huge circle and I’m back to doing something what is true in my heart.
L: What’s the process when you design a new collection?
N: I initially do a lot of research for months before any actual design happens. This enables me to trend forecast, and decide what risks I want to take. In the background I would also be thinking about a concept, theme or thread that will link my collection together. I then sketch for up to a month, and come up with nearly 100 designs. Shortlist my favourites, then cut cut cut again, until I have the premium designs from the bunch. Then it’s production and sample making.
L: Do you have a favourite moment in the design process?
N: I have two; the first is finalising the collection during design stage, because this is when my designs come to life and I imagine the collection down a runway. The second moment is when I open the bag and see my finished samples for the first time.
L: Do you design with a certain type of bride in mind?
N: Of course. Targeting your niche is so important, because it’s what will set you apart from everyone else. I design for the modern, sexy bride who wants something different that highlights their personality and style.
L: Who are your bridal style icons?
N: My favorite bridal designers are Inbal Dror, Julie Vino, Galia Lahav, Riki Dalal and Zahavi Tshuba
L: Who are your dream Perfect Gown brides?
N: Brides who have a clear idea of what they want, and it’s just a matter of working together to achieve the best result.
L: What do you think are the most important things a bride should consider when they’re choosing their gown?
N: Their body type and their personality. If their design doesn’t match these two things, then the design won’t work on that bride.
L: How do you stay inspired and motivated?
N: I’m always inspired by everything around me. It could be a piece of art, a song, or a piece of fabric. Being motivated is easy when you love what you do.
L: Your illustrations and designers are absolutely stunning! Have you always had a love of drawing?
N: Yes, I’ve loved to draw ever since I can remember. But like everything you have to really work at it to be great at your craft.
L: What has your experience been as a fashion designer based in Canberra?
N: I’ve been a fashion designer in Sydney and Canberra, and I’ve always believed that if I can make it in Canberra I could make it anywhere in the world. Canberra is a great place to test and grow a market, because it’s small enough that you can get a good idea of your demographic, but big enough that you can see what works and what doesn’t work without spending a fortune.
L: What styles and trends do you think we’ll be seeing more of in 2017?
N: The sheer nude gowns are still in, and lace gowns are still strong. I think brides will move away from Ivory and white gowns and choose more neutral colours next season.
L: What are your top styling tips for brides?
N: Know your body type, and choose fabrics and a style that matches your personality.
L: Finally, what should we expect from your next collection?
N: I’m super excited about what I have planned this year. My first drop will be delicate sheer gowns, intricate beading, open flowing skirts, more lace, colour… and beaded netting!
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Visit Naomi Peris website