According to bridal designer Aleem Yusuf, true overnight success is a myth. And being in the industry for over 10 years, he’s in it for the long haul. Yusuf draws inspiration from Haute Couture techniques from the golden age of craftsmanship creating meticulously handcrafted pieces.
Whether it’s decedent opulence or sleek sophistication for your special day, Yusuf will guide you through the very personal and emotional process in his Collingwood atelier.
If this bridal designer’s gowns don’t send your heart aflutter, nothing will.
Tell me all about yourself, how long have you been in this business?
I first started sewing dresses for my doll at the age of nine using a needle and thread. My first gown was made from a shower curtain! And then during my early teen years, I moved on to using leftover fabrics from my great-aunt who was a fabulous couturiere. I would sit beside her watching her making patterns, cutting beautiful fabrics and sewing them into these amazing gowns. At that time, I just knew that all I wanted to do was design and make beautiful gowns. I continued practising sewing well into my late teens and then that passion got suppressed as I entered my twenties. After a few years of working in a different field, I re-ignited my passion and went to fashion school and studied various aspects of designing, pattern-making and sewing. I have learned from other incredibly talented professionals in the industry and there’s been a lot of self-taught learning. So, I have been designing and creating couture for nearly ten years.
What have you been doing recently?
Recently, we have shown at Paris Haute Couture week for the previous two seasons. We are also working on new designs and adding to our collection. Earlier this year before COVID-19, I attended one of the largest fabric fairs, Premiere Vision in Paris to source new and modern fabrics that are sustainable and eco-friendly. Our clients are loving our take on traditional methods of couture using modern and technologically advanced fabrics.
What inspires you?
My clients inspire me to create new designs. I think clients are most important to keep in view while designing new collections. While creating new designs, we already know who we are designing for and who will be excited to wear them.
What are the trends in bridal fashion at the moment?
There are no particular trends anymore. It’s all about the individual client and their style, their own choice in what suits them. Every person is unique and what they aspire to is also unique. Also, different designers have their own take on bridal fashion, which is great for customers because it gives them a lot more choice.
And what about colours?
There is definitely more demand for colours other than white and ivory, such as oyster, red, grey, silver and print for wedding gowns.
Why do you love being a bridal designer?
Being a bridal designer and especially creating couture gowns is an amazing experience to share with my clients. It gives me an opportunity to be a part of the most important day of their life. It’s really wonderful to be on that journey with them and create a gown that makes them look and feel even more fabulous on their wedding day.
What would you say your style was?
I love textures and working with different colours. My style is a combination of traditional and modern design elements such as combining traditional laces with modern fabrics. Paying homage to tradition while keeping in view that it is relevant to today.
Do you have any advice for future brides hunting for their perfect dress?
Always follow your heart and trust your instinct. Once you have found *the one* delete the Instagram and Pinterest Apps from your phone. At your fittings bring your friend or family member whose opinion you trust the most. When there are too many opinions, it can be very overwhelming and confusing for the bride. Also, have faith in your designer because they have your best interests at heart.
Where do you think your brand’s going?
My brand is based on providing a personalised service, designing and creating couture gowns and has been growing slowly and steadily. Overnight success is a total myth. So we are continuously working at growing it further. Our next phase is to combine technology with couture and be more accessible at a global level.
What makes your brand unique from everyone else?
We provide a personalised service to each client and listen to their needs and wants. A great fitting gown that’s comfortable and in line with the client’s personality is of paramount importance to us. We always have the client in mind when designing and creating their gown.
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