I have a real treat for all of us today. I’m honored to be chatting to one of my favourite Australian wedding dress designers – the amazingly talented Jennifer Gifford. Jennifer has kindly agreed to give us a sneak peak into her world and share with us her creative inspiration behind her stunning Jennifer Gifford Designs collection. So take a deep breath blissettes, because this feature is packed with gorgeous gowns that’ll have you breathless for the rest of the day!
Q: When & how did Jennifer Gifford Designs evolve?
Jennifer Gifford Designs happened out of necessity, around the time the GFC hit I was forced to rethink my working arrangement and decided to get an ABN and set up a workroom at home. The rest is history really.
Q: Where do you source inspiration for your beautiful designs?
I get inspiration from other Couture designers like Elie Saab and Monique Lhuillier, but mostly I get inspiration from the Brides who walk through my door. It is ultimately the most exciting thing to create a wedding gown from the beautiful pictures and inspiration a bride will bring with her to her first appointment. This has then followed through into my Made to Wear collections.
Q: What do you think sets JGD’s apart from other designers?
The thing I think sets me apart is, I didn’t set out to be a Designer as such. I am a Dressmaker or Machinist firstly; designing has just followed on from that. When you order a gown from Jennifer Gifford Designs you are receiving a gown the is not only designed by me but 100% made by me.
Q: Tell us more about Jennifer – what you would be if you couldn’t be a designer?
I think I would be in PR, Advertising or Interior design.
Q: What is your favourite wedding trend right now?
I don’t know that I have one favourite trend as such, but I am loving the way couples are creating an event to remember for all the right reasons. Something that is heart felt and original but most importantly put together beautifully. Whether it is a retro, bohemian or vintage celebration it looks and feels like a fabulous celebration of Love.
Q: We’d love to hear more about how you work. Describe a typical day in the Jennifer Gifford Designs Studio?
I have two daughters Neve (14yrs) and Maeve (20 Months) so things are a little crazy in the mornings but I am normally in the studio by about 9:30 in the morning checking emails and FB, making phone calls and starting on orders by about 11 ish. I work to a system, which allows me to work within school hours. I do however sacrifice my Saturdays and some Sunday mornings to see brides who can’t come during normal working hours for fitting appointments.
Q: What do you think makes Australian weddings special?
We’re a pretty relaxed and creative bunch. There is always a real focus on the day as a whole celebration for everyone it is very inclusive and fun.
Q: What is your best piece of advice for bride’s choosing a wedding dress?
Follow your heart, but be realistic! If you really want a full lace and silk gown be prepared to pay for it. I hate it when I have to be the bearer of bad news, but creating a wedding gown from scratch is never going to be cheaper than purchasing something off the rack.
I LOVE what I do and it makes me so happy to be a part of this journey a bride takes leading up to her big day. This is what I try to explain to brides when I quote them for their gown. It is not just the gown you are getting, it is everything that goes with it – right from the first consultation, measurements, fittings and the fun that goes with it. You can bring friends and family to fittings and make some wonderful memories. It really is a wonderful process having a gown made just for you.
Q: What’s next for Jennifer Gifford Designs?
Jennifer Gifford Designs has recently undergone a little bit a of a revamp with a new Logo and brand new website. Then I take a break over Christmas before starting my biggest year yet. Bookings for made-to-measure gowns are filling up fast for 2013 with April and May already fully booked.
I am planning a new collection of One Of A Kind Gowns that will be available for purchase from my studio and several Wedding events JGD will be a part of this year. These include A Very Vintage Wedding Fair and The Wedding Harvest in February and later in the year The Byron Bay Bridal Showcase.
I also have some exciting creative projects on the back burner that I am keen to get started on so there will be plenty to keep me busy that’s for sure. What can I say, I Love my Job!