Behind the Seams

When it comes to creating a romantic aesthetic, no one brings the ooh-and-ah-factor quite like Hayley Paige, who enchanted us with her whimsical gowns for spring/summer 2013. A designer who’s new to Nordstrom, Hayley chatted with us about the process of finding her design persona, not being afraid to push the envelope on your wedding day, and which gown styles you’ll want to gravitate toward in the coming season.

The Wedding Suite: In terms of design, what makes a wedding gown a successful creation?
Hayley Paige: Confidence! As with most creative processes, staying true to your vision and executing that vision to the best of your ability is the most important factor. The language of accountability is a beautiful way of communicating to the bride.

Before venturing into bridal, you did a stint in ready-to-wear working for Jill Stuart. Which ready-to-wear techniques do you incorporate into your designs?
Hayley: It’s so important to present a balanced assortment. You want to deliver gowns that brides are asking for, but there also have to be some directional risks, wow factors and what I like to call “freshies” for an effective brand representation. As in ready-to-wear fashion, the bridal industry has a great deal of saturation. This makes it all the more important to keep evolving and interpreting a demographic while staying true to your aesthetic delivery. Getting my start in ready-to-wear was also important in figuring out my design persona. Biggest lesson learned: It’s nice to be important. But it’s more important to be nice!

Which fabrics, necklines and gown lengths will be trending for 2013?
Hayley: I’ve seen a lot of versatility with regard to interchangeable looks: adding a bolero, removing a skirt, detaching a train. In 2013, I definitely think we will see more gowns offering two looks in one. I’ve also had a ton of fun with sheer peekaboo details, illusion necklines and baroque-style beading. These are elements I will be integrating into next season as well. Although I don’t foresee too much novelty with regard to fabrics, you can always count on oodles of chunky embellishments, ombre accents of color and sheer elements of temptation!

Are there any Hollywood weddings that have inspired you? If so, what about the wedding caught your attention in particular?
Hayley: Gwen Stefani wins by a landslide! I was so utterly love-struck by her gown choice. It was the first time I saw a hot pink ombre wedding gown, which is why this was one of the first trends I was eager to incorporate into my debut collection. I’ve always been drawn to gowns that offer a playful juxtaposition in style. Whether it is twinkle versus matte, structured versus organic or modern versus shabby-chic, creating a lovely balance of sophistication and sass is my ultimate creative desire.

What three rules of style should every bride keep in the back of her mind when selecting her wedding gown?
Hayley: 1. Your wedding day is a chance to push the envelope, but that doesn’t have to involve changing who you are. I love brides who draw directly from their personal style but also up the ante! Your gown is an opportunity for a fantastical escape, but that doesn’t mean you need to do something wildly outside your personal style or character. You want your hubby-to-be to recognize you!
2. Avoid feeling confined by tradition. There is sparkle and splendor in being an “of the moment” bride. I think few things are better than looking back at wedding photos from previous generations and valuing the homage to that time period. Fashion is beautifully cyclical, so you don’t have to feel obligated to choose a dress that you foresee being “on trend” in 40 years.
3. I see so many brides getting too caught up in the details of the gown and overwhelmed by the process of picking “the one,” when in reality, it’s going to happen in the same way you found your groom: You’ll just know!

Describe your dream wedding.
Hayley: This is always one of my favorite questions, because my answer is playfully capricious. I don’t think I would be able to know what kind of wedding I would want until I knew who my groom was! Three things are for sure, though: There will be a ton of wardrobe changes, 50 shades of pink and lots of dancing.

Discover our selection of Hayley Paige wedding gowns at a Nordstrom Wedding Suite near you.