"When Sung first began designing bridal gowns in the mid-80s, she wanted to create an alternative to the overly-ornate, puffy wedding dresses that were the standard at the time"..
A little over a decade after immigrating to Vancouver from Taiwan, fashion designer, Sandra Sung started her own bridal gown business. Today, Sung is one of Canada's most prolific wedding gown designers, offering more than 200 ready-to-wear wedding dresses which are sold all across Canada and the U.S.
Growing up in Taiwan, Sung lived across the street from a church, where the constant flow of beautiful bridal gowns inspired her to one day design gowns of her own. That inspiration led her to study design in Taiwan, before moving to Canada in 1974. Once in Canada, Sung immersed herself in the wedding industry, working at bridal and flower shops to get a feel for western wedding culture. In 1986, she opened her first bridal boutique, Iris Bridal; however Sung still wasn't designing her own gowns. It wasn't until customers began eyeing her sketches with envy that she got the encouragement to design her own wedding dresses, which were then scouted by a buyer for Eaton's Canada. By 2001, Sung had expanded into the U.S. market, and her bridal designs were made available from New York to Seattle.
When Sung first began designing bridal gowns in the mid-80s, she wanted to create an alternative to the overly-ornate, puffy wedding dresses that were the standard at the time. Sung's sleek style sensibilities and penchant for crafting gowns from only the finest fabrics, such as peau de soie, silk satin, and silk organza struck a chord with brides, who were thrilled with the option of choosing from Sung's ready-to-wear line or having their gowns custom-designed.
Sung specializes in designing the traditional Chinese mandarin dress, or cheongsam. Although the customary colour for wedding gowns in Asia is red, Sung has married eastern and western tradition by designing cheongsams in white, and occasionally adding a veil.
The following six selections from Sung's line features a wide array of styles, from sleek silhouettes, to full, frothy skirts, to delicate embellishments and embroidery, which add a finishing touch of elegance.
With its elegantly dipped cowl neck, this gown is reminiscent of the 1960s stylings of Jackie Kennedy. A fitted satiny bodice and skirt add sleek sophistication and streamline the rest of the gown, so that the distinctive neckline makes the most dramatic impression.
Sassy spaghetti straps which crisscross and tie at the back of the neck are evocative of beach bridal wear in this halter-style gown. More gathered fabric at the waist also ties at the lower back, leaving open space for sun-kissed skin.
Sex and the City's foremost femme fatale, Carrie, might not opt for this design, but Sarah Jessica Parker has been spotted in an almost identical gown at a red carpet event. Delicate spaghetti straps, a fitted bodice, and a flared, dramatic skirt make this wedding dress fit for a princess.
One of Sung's speciality cheongsams gets a blast of western white and veil in this stunning gown. A high mandarin collar, sheer sleeves and sleek silhouette combine to make a uniquely sophisticated, yet simple gown.
With its sweet scoop neckline, delicate half-sleeves and diminutive waist band, this gown is reminiscent of a fair maiden in medieval times. The contrast between the satiny, fitted bodice and dramatic, draping skirt also adds a touch of whimsey.
Whereas most strapless gowns feature either a fitted or flared skirt, this design has the best of both worlds. The mermaid-style skirt skims the lines of the body closely, until the knee line, where it flares into wide pleats. The fitted bodice and empire waist add extra glam.
Sandra's flagship store is her design studio, Sandra Sung Bridal in Vancouver
However, she instructs brides elsewhere to simply "if it is too far, please contact one of your local bridal stores to make arrangements with us. We would be more than happy to help.". So, find a bridal boutique nearest you and simply ask them to order the Sandra Sung gown for you.