Middleton, Moss, Monaco - we've been treated to many wedding gowns this summer. And let's not forget Abbey Clancy's wonderfully whimsical number, which she wore for her Big Day earlier this month and was created by our very own Guest Editor, Mr Giles Deacon. We sat him down to discuss how the design came about...
Giles Daily: How is the process of designing couture pieces different from designing a ready-to-wear collection?
Giles: 'The main difference is that something is made as a one-off for an individual person. So the client comes for a meeting, we discuss what they do and don't want, then we work on sketches and discuss fabrics, then we do fittings when we decide if we want it changed – bigger, smaller, larger. Everything becomes clearer for the client once they've had that fitting because they can actually see it in 3D.'
Giles Daily: How do you ensure the client is happy with the final result?
Giles: 'With Abbey's wedding dress, we wanted it to be effortless and she wanted a big skirt, which also had to be light. So there's a lot of work that goes into a piece like that to ensure it looks right - there's so much you don't see within the construction of it. That piece in particular took about two people six weeks to make. There's a lot of detail, a lot of handwork, and a lot of prep work. It's not just like you're making a jacket or a simple dress, it's a whole new piece so there's lots of new problems to solve within the process.'
GD: We noticed Abbey choose not to wear the lace panel on the neckline…
Giles: 'We decided, getting closer to the day, that it looked nicer without it. That's the luxury of made-to-measure pieces, you have the freedom to change things and it's ultimately about what the client's happy with. My job is to ensure that she doesn't have to think about it – it fits perfectly, it looks great, it's not a worry so they can enjoy the day.'
GD: Abbey certainly looked great.
Giles: 'She's got a fantastic figure and a great personality. She's full of life so even though it's a substantial piece, she's wearing it rather than the other way round.'
GD: We spotted you working on a wedding dress for a friend on Tuesday. Will you branching more into bridal wear?
Giles: 'Not necessarily. We're very specific for wedding dresses because of the time factor and they are very expensive. They're very different to just doing an evening dress for someone because there's often a lot of other associated people in the mix for a wedding.'
GD: Is there anyone else you'd like to design a wedding dress for?
Giles: 'Carey Mulligan would be great if she's planning on getting married any time soon. It'd be a great pleasure to be thought of for that.'
GD: It's been the year of wedding dresses. What did you make of Kate Middleton's McQueen gown?
Giles: 'I didn't see that one – when was that?' >wink wink< 'Anyway, the only thing I was watching was Paula [Reed] on the telly!' [laughs]. 'I think Sarah [Burton] did an incredibly good job. The dress looked very very right for [Kate], which was the job in hand. It suited her from a taste level, it was very beautiful, it was opulent without making an over-the-top comment so it suited the occasion. She looked perfectly Kate and very happy and perfect for having a great day, which I'm sure she did.
GD: So many brides are going to be inspired by Kate's dress. Are you influenced by past wedding gowns?
Giles: Not specifically, no. You get an idea of what to create when speaking to the client and from there, it's just about working out what's right for them.
- Jessica Vince