HAYLEY Paige is a busy gal. As the head designer for Hayley Paige, Blush by Hayley Paige, Hayley Paige Occasions, Hayley Paige Red Carpet and La Petite Hayley Paige at JLM Couture, there’s not a lot she doesn’t know about bridal couture and how to make her clients feel a million bucks on their special day.
In fact, she’s so white hot right now, she even has her own TV show called Hayley Ever After: The Dress, a magical mix of Say Yes To The Dress and Project Runway, and an impressive resume which includes creating outfits for A-listers including Chrissy Teigen.
Paige talks to news.com.au about why she favours brave brides and how to avoid the many pitfalls of bridal salons …
Let’s get down to brass tacks: what are the current trends for wedding dresses?
Colour is definitely making a huge splash. I’ve been seeing a lot of wedding dresses incorporating both champagne and flesh tones, and underlays of nude are quite big right now. It’s incredible how the right use of colour can make the perfect dress pop.
You like to design beyond white. Why should brides consider wearing a coloured dress?
Why not? White doesn’t necessarily look good on everyone because everyone has different skin tones. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter whether you’re wearing white, or blush, or a shade of ombre. It’s all about what looks best on you — and only you. Remember: you’re unique so be unique.
We’ve booked a day to hit up bridal salons. Any advice?
First and foremost, do your research and make sure you call ahead and get a good understanding of the specific type of designers the store has on offer and what sizes they carry. Yes, that’s obvious, but it’s essential. If you manage your expectations, you won’t be disappointed.
Go into it with an open mind. Don’t be discouraged by your friends who have stories about how they tried on 1000 dresses. I’ve had plenty of instances where a bride has chosen the very first dress she’s tried on. It does happen.
Make sure you try on at least one gown that you normally wouldn’t go for. You would be shocked at how many times a bride walks into an appointment thinking she’s Jessica Rabbit and leaves as Cinderella.
Don’t forget the basics! Wear heels to your appointment, know your desired silhouette and pay attention to fabrication. Think about the wear and tear of the dress and also keep in mind that embroidery and lace, in particular, can look different in natural light!
Last and certainly not least, ask a lot of questions. Oh, and at the fitting stage, don’t forget to wear the right undergarments. They make all the difference.
What does one need to know about bridal sizing?
Bridal sizing, for the most part, runs off couture sizing. But like any sizing, it will vary. Don’t be discouraged to find out the size you wear day-to-day isn’t the same when it comes to bridal wear. It’s totally common. When it all comes down to it, sizing isn’t important. It’s all about proportion.
Any salon no-no’s to be aware of?
There are many. If you have a strict budget, stick to it. Don’t try on gowns above your budget.
Don’t invite too many people, which is code for don’t invite too many opinions! It can be too overwhelming and it can stop you from making the right decision for yourself.
How important is it to plan non obvious costs into your budget?
It’s essential. That’s why it’s vital to stick to your budget, because choosing the right dress is just the beginning. If your budget is $2000 and your dress is $1800 that probably won’t be enough to cover your accessories (shoes, veil, jewellery etc) and any tailoring that needs to be done. And every dress needs to be tailored!
But also keep in mind that when it comes to accessories, you can find huge savings online or by visiting wedding expos etc
And when it comes to tailoring, the faster you want it turned around, the more you going to pay for it. Time is money and tailoring can be a very costly business. Make sure you shop ahead to avoid rush fees.
You must have come across some spectacular Bridezillas in your line of work. Any dish you want to share?
I actually had a bride’s mum get so sloshed on Champagne at an appointment that we had to put her in a dress and let her have her own moment just so we could focus on the bride. Trust me, I’ve seen it all.
What are your thoughts on brides who purchase a dress with the desire to ‘slim into it’?
I think there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a goal for your wedding, so that you can look and feel your absolute best. But you also want to enjoy the journey towards your special day. That’s important, too.
How do you know when the dress is The One?
I think it’s much the same way you feel when you’re falling in love. It’s indescribable. Sure, it’s just an item of clothing, but when it’s perfect it represents everything in the world to you. Trust me, you’ll know.
Last but not least, should brides play it safe — or be daring?
My motto is: when in doubt, go all out. I think there’s nothing better than looking back at your wedding photos and thinking, “I did it my way.” It’s up to you to go for the moment.