D e s i g n C o .
What is the design process for a custom gown? What can you expect as far as price, quality, appointments, fit, and turn around time?
When clients first reach out, they often send a picture of a dress they fell in love with on Pinterest and ask how much it would be to recreate it. The first thing to know about Isla Atropa dresses is that they are one of a kind! I design specifically for each person's personality, wedding theme, budget, and body shape. Being true to this design process, and also not wanting to copy another designers art, makes creating an exact replica impossible.
Does this mean that you can't have the dress of your dreams? Of course not! It simply means we will work together to create a dress beyond your dreams. Together, we pull inspiration of a variety of sources and come up with a beautiful and truly unique design.
As for getting a quote on the desired product, there are 5 questions I will likely ask you:
1. When is your event?
2. What venue is your event at?
3. What are the color schemes and themes being used in your event?
4. What are some things you don't like in a dress?
5. What is your ideal budget?
Each of these questions allows me to place you in a certain demographic when I look to quote a design. For example, if your wedding is soon (less than 6 months away) we will need to use local fabrics only. If your venue is outdoors in the Texas sun and you'll be playing on a moonwalk, I'll probably stick with light and breathable fabrics. If your colors are burgundy and gold, I would be careful stay away from overly bright detailing. Lastly, giving me a price range allows me the advantage of only culling fabrics that are in your price range, this way we never have to deal with the tragedy of falling in love with something that will bankrupt you.
After I have this information I will take a few days to cull fabrics and come up with potential designs. I will send you sketches as well as a mood board to look over. A mood board is simply a photo collage displaying the fabrics and details I plan to use in your dress; since sketches can be hard to imagine in person, the mood board is their to help you if you are a visual learner. Once you pick a design, the logistics of the custom gown process begin.
I always prefer to meet my clients; it gives us a chance to sit down and talk face-to-face, get to know each other and establish trust, and make sure that I understand exactly what your vision is. My shop is in Rosenberg, TX about 40 minutes South of downtown Houston, I would love to sit down for coffee with each and every woman who reaches out to me, but I know you have busy lives and particularly busy bridal schedules. If your schedule or location make it impossible or even just very inconvenient to meet in person, I also offer video conferences. As for getting measurements, I will usually take them at our in-person meeting, however if you will be a remote client we can also take measurements over the video chat (you just need a measuring tape and a partner and I will walk you through the rest!) or you can go to your local seamstress and have her to your measurements and send them my way.
There are two ways you can pay for a gown: Pay in full OR opt for a payment plan, with a $100 financing surcharge added to the cost of your dress. Payments are made through Paypal and come with buyer/seller guarantees. I will send a contract and invoice to your email account, no work on the dress will begin until both the contract is signed and the invoice is squared (either through full payment or a deposit for payment plans). I make a point to keep in contact with you throughout the design process, this is obviously a very special dress and so to maintain open communication and mutual peace of mind I will always notify you when the following occurs:
1. Payment/ contract is recieved
2. Supplies are ordered
3. Supplies are shipped
4. Supplies is received
5. A picture when a very general outline of the dress is completed
6. A picture of the finished product
7. If it is necessary to return fabric due to poor quality or color differences,
you will be notified of the changes.
As for the turnaround time, it depends on a number of factors; some dresses take 2 months, some will take 6-8 months. It varies based on type of dress, the fabrics used, the detailing, whether the dress was paid in full or in payments (monthly payments for dresses cover only the cost of so many hours of labor/month, so they usually take a little longer). The most important thing is to be transparent with your timeline. Allow yourself enough time when you order a gown that you will have it in your posession no less than 4 weeks before your event. It will save you a big, anxious headache I promise!
Once the dress is completed or nearing completion we will set an appointment to try on the dress to check the fit and placement of the details, after that you can take your dress home.
And that's it! It's not as daunting as you may think, and you have complete transparency from me throughout the process, as I am here to answer any questions you may have.