Ever wondered why some male fashion designers choose bridal wear? We asked international designer Jimmy Demetrios that, and a host of other questions. Read on to discover this expert's wedding gown do's and don'ts, favourite bridal looks and trend predictions, as well as pics from his latest collection ...
How did you get into fashion design?
We moved from Greece to the United States when I was a teenager and my mother, who had studied fashion design and pattern making, opened a bridal store. I used to work there with her and after college [Demetrios did business studies], began designing headpieces for brides. That led to dresses. I had no formal fashion training - my mother taught me everything I know and she really was my inspiration. I later (set my sights) on New York and opened a design studio there in 1981. Today we have two main bases - New York and Milan - and distributors or stores in 70 countries worldwide.
Describe your style.
When I began, wedding gowns were very conservative with mainly high necklines and long sleeves. My vision was to create a sexier, more romantic look using elements such as lace, mermaid hemlines and lower cuts for the neck and back. That got me noticed and helped my business grow. Now, I don't stick to one particular style. I like to offer variety in my boutiques and cater for all brides, and I do take note of trends. If I had to describe the inspiration for my looks, I'd say I like to create elegant, sensual and romantic wedding gowns.
What is your current favourite bridal fashion trend?
Definitely lace; it has always been a favourite of mine and features in about 30% of my new collection. I love how elegant and sophisticated it can look.
What makes a wedding gown beautiful?
The bride makes the dress beautiful because of how special she feels on her wedding day. With wedding gowns, it should always be the girl who makes the dress and not the other way round.
What trends can we look forward to?
Simple dresses will become more popular, still with interesting detail but less fuss. Higher necklines will continue to make an impression (this includes off-the-shoulder dresses and V-neck designs). Sleeves will also be important. I prefer short cap sleeves on a wedding dress, unless the long sleeve is made of fine lace or stretch tulle.
Do you have a favourite style of wedding gown?
I love A-line and mermaid styles - they're very flattering. I also love low, sexy backs and pay attention to this in my designs.
How important is embellishment on a wedding dress?
It's very important - after all, when else does one get to wear such a special, detailed dress? Things such as crystals, beading and lace can transform a look. I don't like to use too much in my designs though, because I prefer a more delicate, elegant approach.
Tell us your thoughts on veils.
I like veils. They've made a return to fashion and complete a wedding look. My preference is for short, simple veils unless the bride is wearing a very plain, long dress, in which case a long veil - perhaps with embellishment around the edges or at the bottom - can look very beautiful.
And what about jewellery?
Earrings are my favourite accessory for brides. I like bracelets too and occasionally necklaces, but never all three together. It's simply too much.
What should brides look for in a wedding dress?
Comfort first, then a silhouette that flatters your figure shape.
This is a hugely competitive industry. How do you make sure your gowns stands out?
By maintaining quality and giving good service. We have four lines and make sure that we market each one properly worldwide.
Tell us about your different collections.
Cosmobella is a less elaborate, more affordable range of wedding gowns, while Demetrios dresses feature greater detail and appeal more to fashion-forward brides. Our OreaSposa line is very clean and simple and includes evening wear. Finally, there's Demetrios Platinum - our high-end range that is only available in the USA.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?
My original aim was to become a doctor but I didn't enjoy so much studying. Fashion was - and still is - more interesting for me.
What are your top tips for brides?
Shop alone for your wedding gown, at least initially. The more people you bring, the more conflicting opinions you'll have to deal with and it can become overwhelming. Listen to your gut and stay true to your own personal style. Also, don't try on too many wedding dresses. Visit just two to three bridal stores and make your choice accordingly.
The latest Cosmobella Collection is arriving at Demetrios stockists in Australia, contact stores to make an appointment and not only see, but try on gowns from this stunning collection! Check out Demetrios Australia on Facebook too!