When it comes to looking for your perfect wedding dress, a lot of Rock n Roll Brides are now heading online to see if they can get their dream gown at a fraction of the price. My worry with this has always been that you might end up with a substandard ‘knock off’ dress that isn’t of the quality that you deserve for your big day. You know what they say, “pay cheap, pay twice…”
However I’m excited to say that I’ve found an exception to this rule! I was contacted by AriaDress a few weeks ago and I have not only been blown away but the quality of work and design that goes into every one of their bespoke gowns, but at prices significantly less than you’d expect! Can you believe you can get a dress as gorgeous as these for under $500!?
I got chatting to designer Tak Hau last week about his passion, his inspiration and his love of creating simply stunning gowns for brides and bridesmaids. I hope you enjoy reading all about it. He really is a wonderfully talented man and I’m so thrilled to be showcasing his brand new Spring 2011 collection on Rock n Roll Bride.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Tak Hau, the designer and creative director of AriaDress, a company I started nine years ago to bring style and sophistication where it was really needed – in the bridesmaid dress category. Now, we also do wedding gowns. I started out designing cocktail dresses in the 1980s, under my own label and others, which were sold in boutiques and the top department stores in the USA.
What made you want to get into Bridal fashion?
Being a designer in the dress business for a long time, I began to think of a category that I could build into a new and viable business. I started to be more aware of bridal fashions, and noticed there was a lack of modern bridesmaid dresses that were affordable, or that didn’t look like the truly awful bridesmaid dress Melanie Griffith wore in the film, Working Girl. Remember that, with all the powder blue chiffon? It didn’t seem much had progressed since then.
Before I started AriaDress, you either had to pay a lot of money for bridesmaid dresses or they were that ugly! So I discovered this niche that needed modern, affordable, high quality dresses – there were none 10 years ago – and we took off almost as soon as we were on the web.
Someone who is asked to be a bridesmaid can dread the experience because of the dress. I decided to make AriaDress as close-to-custom as possible, so each bridesmaid could choose what fits her best and the dresses could be made all in one color. It’s really very easy to switch a bodice with a skirt, for all different sizes, and make a bridesmaid feel really great to appear in the dress.
That was my goal. We just introduced wedding gowns this year, for Spring 2010, and use the same concept of allowing our brides to choose any neckline to go with any skirt silhouette, using the same designs from the bridesmaid’s collection. In pure silk, fully lined, with the quality of made in the USA construction, a bride with more style than cash can have a really pretty gown for under $500 – and use the thousands of dollars that seem be the cost of a one-day wedding gown, towards a house, or a honeymoon, or sometimes, a baby.
I’m happy to make that possible!
What are your influences?
Audrey Hepburn is my muse – she’s a classic. I’ve never seen her in an outfit that looks bad or silly at any point in time. You can see her in the 70s, the 80s and she always looks right.
That’s what dresses from AriaDress are all about. I want my dresses to never look silly at any point in time.
I get a lot of ideas from watching old movies. Movies from the ‘20s and ‘30s give me many ideas, and put me in a world where I start conceptualizing a design. I was watching a movie about a woman that was a showgirl, and had this beautiful dress with a fishtail mermaid skirt, all ruffley, very girly and pretty. And it gave me the whole idea for my new designs for Spring.
Our dresses have been very structural, very linear – which was necessary to tone down the overdone styling in these kinds of dresses. But that movie, and the times, made me think of doing something more organic and more flowing for next season, Spring 2011.
For us, it’s new. I’m softening up the look to be more feminine, girly, and body conscious. I love using a single ruffle, never overdoing it, to jazz up the dress, and I’ve brought in a Short Trumpet skirt, which is very flirtatious and works beautifully at knee-length, or even a little longer.
Color, of course, is a big influence. I’m drawn to purples and blues, greens, and the cooler shades this season.
Whose work do you really admire?
Donna Karan. I like her aesthetics and point of view. She’s very modern. Her clothes are never trendy. I don’t like trendy things. She’s a true artist and her clothes reflect that – every piece of clothing she makes is a piece of art.