I must say I fell in love with Barbara Fabree’s designs! You know I’m a very picky person and that I don’t say that too often, but I am really, really loving the simple and elegant line that Barbara’s gowns have.
Since I wanted to know a bit more about her gowns, I did a quick interview with Barbara which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I do!
And don’t forget to check her collection and choose your perfect gown :D!
First of all tell us a little bit about yourself, when did you decide to do this, was it a childhood dream or rather a wish to change things in the bridal department?
As long as I can remember I was busy drawing and creating outfits for my Barbies, I always wanted to become a fashion designer. I went to the Amsterdam fashion Academy and graduated cum laude when I was 23. I left for London for an apprentice by the bridal wear designer Catherine Rayner, I immediately fell in love with the métier; the beautiful silk fabrics and the workmanship , the time and effort spend on one dress, that is only possible for a wedding dress.
How did your first wedding gown looked like? Do you remember, can you describe it a bit?
I must say that my first wedding gown was my own; aged 24, married the love of my life, my French husband Bruno (for almost 13 years). It was made of ivory silk duchess, heart shaped bodice with long sleeves of French lace, draped straight skirt and a four meters long train.
The success was enormous and there were a lot of girls asking me to make their dress from that day on.
Tell us a bit more about your inspiration and your sources.
My style is classic, sophisticated and pure, it has to enhance the beauty of the bride before all. A beautiful design doesn’t need a lot of decorations, pure lines and an perfect coupe from the best silks is all you need.
I’m inspired from beautiful fabrics, but there are a lot of things that inspire me; art books, museums (fashion history), movies. The greatest inspiration of all is the bride; her wishes and desires are what inspires me to create a dress even more beautiful than she can imagine.
Talk us through the process of making a gown. What’s the most difficult part and how can we (as future clients) can help you (I think our continue change of mind isn’t helpful 😛 )
The most important aspect for me is to really listen and hear the brides wishes and than to advise her in what way she will look and feel at her best on her wedding day .I’m always honest and because I’m a woman myself i know we all are conscious about some part of our bodies(no matter how thin or beautiful you are)The great thing about haute couture is that I can make those “imperfections” disappear.
When the design is made and the measurements taken we make a toile, a cotton dress, at this stage the design can be altered and the bride can see for herself if she is comfortable in it. Now comes the difficult part and that is weight loss, I always tell my brides that to alter a silk dress isn’t the best thing to do, it s a pity when you see stick marks or when the fit isn’t perfect anymore because of weight loss. So until we make the toile the brides can loose weight…..most of them take that very seriously.
What do you like to see at a bride; is a certain fabric, maybe embroidery or other things like that.
I love to see the true beauty in a bride, she is still herself but at her most beautiful; clear, classic feminine lines, beautiful silk fabrics that enhances these simple lines.
I also love French lace that is my specialty; it is so sophisticated. I work it like a puzzle on the body of the bride, it is all done by hand and that shows; there are no seams it just embraces the skin. In my opinion it is more seductive to see skin under a beautiful lace bodice than a very décolleté strapless gown that shows it all.
And of course a bride is only a bride when she wears a veil, the silk and lace veils we make by hand from the same lace as the dress, the moment the bride puts on her veil is always breathtaking.
Does your upbringing (you are born in the Netherlands) change the way you perceive a bride? And does that reflect in your designs (are they more sober or more distinguished then the Latin ones)
I think it is a matter of taste, my clients appreciate this more sophisticated style, they are already used to quality clothes and materials, they look for the same quality in their wedding gown.
But it is true that Dutch design is well known for its pure and simple lines.
Are you more fond of the traditional bridal look or do you tend to be more avant-gardist?
Maybe a classical avantgardist, there are so many overwhelming bridal designs everywhere; feathers, paillettes and frills; my advice is keep it tasteful and elegant, choose quality before extravagance. Keep that for a night out.
Do you also work with brides? Or you just offer them a given pattern that can be latter modified?
Every dress is haute couture, one of a kind made especially for one bride.
Have you got any particular dress you designed that has a very special meaning for you? A dress that you remember and care about?
Of course my own dress and hopefully the dress for my daughter Sophie in the future ( she is only 9 at the moment)
Why do you think your gowns stay apart from the crowd?
Because they are so different from the rest, no strapless or frills.
Can you give us an insight on your 2010 Collection; what where your inspiration sources, what did you opt for as materials, shapes etc.
More sleeves and (strapless is really finished) Lots of beautiful French lace bodices even with high necklines, wide skirts and long trains. More constructed forms from mikado silk that really stands out.
Last but not least, do you have an advice for FashionBride readers?
Stay true to your own style, don’t be a completely different person on your wedding day, choose a dress that enhances your best features and camouflages the parts you don’t feel secure about. Follow your heart when you choose your dress, you will feel it when it is the right one for you.
You can also add anything else you want to tell my readers.
I wish them lots of memorable, precious moments in these special times of choosing the dress of their life!