'A wedding is the one day in a woman's life where she can be that little bit over-the-top and still look absolutely amazing' says couturiere Nicky Apostolopoulos.
She's been dreaming of wedding gowns since she was a little girl - and living among them since her hugely successful couture house, Velani, was established 22 years ago. 'All my old teachers look back and they're not surprised at what I'm doing now. In year 7 I was already working with taffeta and sequins!'
These days, Nicky's work comprises more than frills and sparkles - she and her highly trained team have maintained the bud of youthful imagination and enthusiasm with their creative designs and use of colour. And over the years their techniques have matured and blossomed, so much that in fact, that you can always tell a Velani creation.
'We're a young team very much in touch with women's demands. We keep up to date with a lot of fashion and try to incorporate a contemporary edge to a classic style,' says Nicky
'And having a different mental approach inspires us.'
The individual touch comes from the fabrics - the fine laces imported from Paris and Italy, samples collected by agents on the look out, and Nicky's niche-talent for designing her own. 'We see what the client needs and have it made up especially - fabrics and laces which require a particular type of bead or pattern for instance. And through the long process of sampling we can create it'
It's a time consuming process, but it flies when you're caught up in divine intervention. ' The client comes in and we'll have an extensive chat and discuss individual tastes and styles, then we try on samples to get an idea of shape, then we prepare some sketches,' Nicky explains. 'Along the way I'm always open to changes. I've been known to turn around and say, wait! I've got an idea!'
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