For over ten years, Vancouver's own Caroline Calvert has specialized in apparel design and fitting, creating both one-of-a-kind wedding gowns along with a ready-to-wear line for brides and bridesmaids. Whether a bride walks into her studio with a vision for a designer dress, or wants to choose from a gaggle of gorgeous gowns already available, Calvert is committed to making dreams come true for women on their wedding day.
Shown here in gold silk shantung, the "Janice" (style no. 6125) features ruching from the empire crossover bodice down to the bodice and hip. This design also features an A-line flair in the skirt with a chapel length train.
The short and flirty "Kelly" (style no. 2120) features a low-waisted princess seam, trailed by layers of organza and lace. This gown is available in silk shantung (shown here) and silk duchesse.
The simple and sophisticated "Chloe" (style no. 6129) features a sheath gown with silk chiffon overlay. The V-neck empire bust meets a halter-style top, which shows off the shoulders.
The most unique feature of the "Madison" (style no. 6123) is the vintage flair of its lace shrug/shawl. A strapless with princess seams and slight mermaid flair, the Madison is shown here in silk shantung and also available in silk duchesse satin.
From the Bridesmaids section of Calvert's ready-to-wear collection comes this sassy number - "Nadine" ( style no. 2147). Shown here in purple silk shantung, this dress is available in over 80 different colours.
Brides who wish to have a custom wedding gown designed just for them must first set up an appointment with Calvert at her Vancouver studio. They bring along photos of styles or designs that they'd like to see incorporated into their gown. Then they talk fabric, fit, colour, and cost with Calvert in order to arrive at a concept that perfectly fits both the bride's body type and budget.
Mya wore this custom-designed gown with spaghetti strap bodice and bubble skirt for her June 2007 wedding.
For Jenn's October 2008 wedding, she asked Calvert for a traditional Korean gown with a modern twist.
In August 2008, Keisha wore this strapless silk gown, all decked out in layers of chiffon and lace.
Janelle wore this sheath princess seamed dress in off-white silk shantung for her April 2007 wedding.
Michela is shown here in her custom-designed silk shantung strapless gown with pink crinoline and matching silk flower, worn for her June 2007 wedding.
We had our own consultation with Calvert to discuss the latest trends in colour, bridesmaids dresses, and how she combines the bride-to-be's vision with her own eye for design!
Yes, I have. Having been around wedding gowns and knowing what works, I always let the bride know my point of view and explain to them why I don't think a certain idea would work. The most common mistake I see is the undecided bride trying to do too much with just one dress. In the end, I just want them to feel comfortable and happy with the gown they have chosen. I work hard to make sure they are happy the day they pick up the dress to take it home.
Is it the one-of-a-kind aspect, or the custom fit? They are looking for a very specific gown, so most of my clients that have a custom dress made are looking for one-of-a-kind dress.
Yes, I do. I am designing a green gown at the moment, and do see a big trend in breaking free from the traditional colours of wedding gowns. Colour is great - I hope to see more brides in the future take the leap into a coloured wedding gown. The majority of brides still go for the traditional white or ivory gown, but it is very common now to see a hit of colour, even in the most traditional wedding.
Definitely the bride who knows what she want is easier to design for, but it's always more fun when the bride is open to suggestions and I get to have some creative input with the gown.
Yes - I try to design dresses that the bridesmaids could wear again. Gone are the days of puffy sleeves and unbearable designs! I think brides today are thinking more eco-friendly, and having bridesmaids re-use the dress fits right in with that way of thinking. Also, with the economy the way it is, it's hard to justify spending money on a dress you are only going to get to wear once.