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  |   By Alison McGill

Is a custom-made gown a fashion option you’ve thought of? If you seem to be having difficulty finding the one, or want your look to be ultra-personal, this is an area you should explore. While I can’t speak first-hand about having a custom wedding gown designed, I can tell you I did have a killer outfit made just for me by my designer friend Joeffer for the Juno Awards last year, and it was an experience like no other. Everything was customized to fit me perfectly, and I literally saw the garment come to life from inception to completion.

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By Design

To get the skinny on custom bridal gown design, I needed an expert to quiz, so I asked Toronto designer Catherine Langlois why having a custom dress is so fabulous. Here are Langlois’ top three reasons:

1. Fit. Langlois believes you can wear any style and silhouette, provided the fit and proportion are correct. 
There are many shapes and sizes of women out there (super-tiny, curvy, full-busted) and sometimes radical altering of a pre-designed gown may change the proportion of the dress, which can make for an awkward fit. “Everyone has their own perceived figure flaws and one of the best ways to hide them is with a dress that’s made just for you,” Langlois says. “There’s nothing like having a gown that literally fits you like a glove.”

2. Exclusivity. “In my studio I have a sample line of gowns,” Langlois explains. “Most brides will come in liking a detail, a shape or a general style of one of my designs. By the time a fabric is chosen, the details and trimming are added and it has been fit expressly to one body, it becomes a complete original that nobody else has.”

3. Experience. “Buying a wedding gown is a thrilling experience,” Langlois shares. “It becomes extra special when you have a gown custom-made.” When you go custom, your every whim is catered to—no request is too big or too small for your designer. You work together as an intimate team to create the dress of your dreams. Langlois says over her years in business, many of her clients have become friends, ones she hears from well past the W-day. She quotes a recent bride to illustrate the special relationship she has with her clients: “Thank you for the beautiful gown you made me. It was absolutely exquisite! I came in not knowing what I wanted, but your patience and knowledgeable advice helped me choose the right one.”

This article was originally published on Aug 29, 2007
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