Friday, January 16, 2015

Fashion Forward: Janet Yang of CALÉ bridal Shares Inspiration, Trends and Her New Projects

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Ever wonder where a designer gets his or her ideas or what the process of creating a bridal gown is like? Designer Janet Yang of CALÉ bridal was able to give us the inside scoop on how she operates. 

On Inspiration:
"I usually draw my inspiration from people, life, and nature. If I could, I would sit in a cafe all day with a great cup of coffee (of course paired with a delicious pastry), watch people, take note of their personal style, and their interactions!

"Nature is beautiful. Not only is creation's form beautiful but it is also functional. Whether it's adding pockets to dresses and skirts or having adjustable waistbands, these are some ways I strive for both form and function in my designs."

On the Process:
I always have my sketchbook with me. I will write and draw out any ideas/thoughts throughout the day. Most of the time my writing and sketches look like chicken scratch, but when I get into my studio with my dress form -- that is where it all comes together. I love to actualize my sketches into tangible things. Sometimes my ideas don't always work out and that's okay because sometimes a better idea stems from that. I enjoy the making process not just for the finished product but also for the journey. 

On the Best New Trends:
"I have always loved the idea of bridal separates, and the possibility of wearing them again after all the wedding festivities. Why spend so much on pieces that you can't wear again? I was thrilled when I saw what Olivia Palermo wore to her wedding: a bridal ensemble composed of a cashmere sweater and a tulle skirt with lace details. It was simple and classic, with a twist, and it fit the occasion perfectly."

On Her Clients:
I love to design for the women around me and, honestly, for myself! I think of what women would enjoy wearing, what they would feel comfortable and beautiful in. My ideal client would be the character Holly Golightly played by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. Her style is very classy with a bit of drama. What I love about the character is that she wears the same items more than once! Whether it is her little black dress paired with a large brimmed hat or a statement necklace, you get a sense that she is very stylish even with just a few pieces in her wardrobe. I love that the pieces I make for women can be worn not just once for a special occasion, but can be part of their everyday wardrobe.

On Finding the Perfect Gown:
When I first started shopping for my wedding gown, I thought I had a pretty clear idea of what was going to look good on me and what I wanted to look like on my wedding day. When I tried on the dress that I had been imagining in my head, I realized that it wasn't very flattering and it wasn't special to me.

Once I ventured out of my comfort zone, I found my dress, but it wasn't followed by a flood of tears. I actually started to pet the dress! I was amazed at how beautiful it was and how beautiful I felt! So from my personal experience, my advice to brides is to first try on a few different silhouettes and styles and go from there. Find what looks good on you and what makes you feel beautiful!

I've seen too many brides buy something that they don't love, either because they are pressured by family members and friends or because of their budget. Brides, bring just a few loved ones to your appointments so that you really get to choose what you love. If something is a little over your budget, try to adjust your budget. Maybe you'll choose to DIY the ceremony decorations so that you can spend more money on your wedding dress.

Also, don't have unrealistic expectations for when you do choose your dress. Not everyone cries and reacts the same way. Also, after you picked the one, stop shopping! Someone once told me, when you find the guy of your dreams, you don't keep looking, right? Well, same goes for your dress!

On Fittings:
I enjoy fitting brides in their gowns and giving them the perfect fit. Every bride wants to feel beautiful on her wedding day and the fact that I can help them with that is such a rewarding experience. I love talking with brides, asking what they need and want, and for their opinions. I know I am the expert, but it's the bride that is going to be wearing this dress, not me. So if they want it a little tighter or a little longer, I listen to the bride, pin them the way they would like and let them walk around in it just to make sure they are comfortable and love the way they look. If I know something is not going to work out, I give them my advice and multiple suggestions so that they have options to choose.

It's always amazing to see what a box of pins can do to help the bride visualize what the finished product will look like. And many are amazed themselves! I've had brides tear up at the end of a fitting because it is like when they picked their dress the first time, except this time it's really their dress, fit to their body.

On Finishing Touches:
There is a satisfaction that I cannot completely explain from finishing a gown. Whether it's making a garment from start to finish or altering a dress, there is a sense of relief, but also a renewed excitement for the customer to wear it. When the customer tries on their finished dress and they enjoy wearing it so much that they don't want to take it off till their wedding day -- well, there is an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and pride in my work. Many times my work surprises me, because I know I wouldn't be able to do what I do without the support of my family and friends and for people giving me a chance and seeing something others did not see at the beginning of my career.

On Her Current Projects:
"I currently have a capsule collection on etsy for my company, CALÉ bridal. I also have a facebook page and instagram that show my collection and current projects. I plan on adding more to the collection in the spring time."

Thank you so much to Janet Yang, owner and designer of CALÉ bridal for her fabulous insight on bridal fashion and couture wedding wear!

Photography by Mayumi Tiburzi Photography

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