Sally Eagle Bridal – Wellington
Tell us about your design background and how you came to launch a bridal boutique/dressmaking business?
I was always interested in fashion and from a young age I was making my own clothes and drawing up designs. Once I finished school I studied fashion at University and found that all I really wanted to design was beautiful dresses. I then got married myself after I had finished my study and made my own wedding dress. I started getting asked by friends and friends of friends to make their dresses. I really loved the process of working with a bride to create their dream dress, so decided that this is what I wanted to do with my life. I then designed my own range and it went from there.
What do you love most about what you do?
There is so much that I love about what i do. It is such an honour getting to make the most important dress a girl will ever wear. When a bride has tears of joy because she loves her dress so much, that is what it’s all about.
What is the Sally Eagle style? Romantic, soft and feminine.
I want a dress to feel as good as it looks and to move beautifully.
Where do you get inspiration?
This is always such a hard question because it comes in so many forms. It can be a flower, a piece of lace, the way a chiffon drapes to create a new shape.
Do your clients usually come to you with very specific ideas or is it more of an organic process? Or a mix?
Definitely a mix, some brides know exactly what they are looking for and some have no idea. We often make dresses that is the skirt from one dress, the bodice of another and the fabric of another. Since we make everything by hand in NZ it is so nice to be able to create a bride her perfect one-off combination.
What are some of your favourite wedding dresses from history, and why?
It’s got to be Kate’s (Middleton), She is so beautiful and I am in love with lace long sleeves. I also love Kate Moss’s wedding dress, it was soft and delicate with subtle beading. Something I would want to wear myself.
What have been some of your favourite dresses to create, and why?
I always have a favorite or two from each collection, it’s usually the most lacey and floaty as I just want to put it on and swish around. We also make custom designs so it’s quite fun getting to make something I wouldn’t have chosen myself. We made a beautiful champagne gown last year that had beaded lace all over and was very fitted, it was different from my style but it was so beautiful and looked so stunning on the bride. Its great not only having designs in my own mind but being able to have input from so many different brides to create something amazing.
You also do a beautiful selection of bridesmaids dresses, tell us a little about how that process works?
Yes we have a range of bridesmaid dresses that have the same soft simple look of my wedding gowns. With the bridesmaid dresses you can choose the style you like from our range and then choose a colour (we have about 30 colours) and then the size you want. We then put it all together and either send it to you, or if you are in Wellington or Auckland we can do fittings.
What is trending in bridesmaid’s dresses right now? (Colours, fabrics, styles, details etc)
I am loving that floral bridesmaids are making a come back, also shades of white or Ivory for bridesmaids has been quite popular.
What was your own wedding dress like? Did you design/make it yourself? And tell us a little about the wedding…
Yes I did design and make my own wedding dress. That was one of the first wedding dresses I made so I think it would be different if I made it now, but I still love it. It was strapless with a sweetheart shape neckline. It had a big bow at the back and a soft lace skirt. We got married in Wellington at an old historic church that is very beautiful. It was July so a cold winter wedding and it rained. I actually loved having a winter wedding though as it was cosy and romantic. I went with a dark plum colour for my bridesmaids and cream roses everywhere.
Photography by Benjamin & Elise / Interview by Josie Steenhart / For more information visit the Sally Eagle website