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An Interview with Claire Pettibone and a Fabulous Video!

I have had so much fun featuring the Spring 2013 Claire Pettibone bridal collectoin called An Earthly Paradise!  So, it occured to me ... why not speak with the girl herself and find out a bit more!?  So I did just that :)  Below is my interview with Claire Pettibone ... wedding dress designer extraordinaire and the brilliant mind behind these oh-so romantic dresses.  Be sure and watch the video at the end!!  It's soooooo beautiful!

XO~ Heather

Heather:  An Earthly Paradise is clearly, in part, about making women feel empowered and beautiful ... is this something you hold dear? Is that an important message in your designs?
Claire:  As a young girl I discovered a love for ballet, which later evolved into an addiction to fashion and all things feminine, and so my romantic style came naturally. I was shy and artistic at an early age, and I was absorbed by the details of things...that attention to detail is still with me. I research and collect images and objects related to a specific theme as a starting point for developing a collection. Ultimately, the theme is just the beginning, and my goal is always to make a woman look absolutely breathtaking. We women often use clothing as a way to express who we are or who we want to be, and never is this more evident than on the wedding day. My brides genuinely connect with my work and it’s a great feeling to know that the heart and soul that I pour into my designs resonates in a very personal’s not just a dress, it expresses who they are, and to me, that is the most beautiful thing.

Heather:  There are lots of embellishments using ribbon ... even an amazing ribbon-like cape in the Aria number ... what was your inspiration drawn from?

 Claire:  One of Alma-Tadema’s paintings entitled “Spring” depicts this whole village gathering to celebrate the season. The women and girls are wearing flower wreaths in their hair, and there are ribbons streaming from baskets of flowers and from poles…it has such a jubilant quality. Ribbons wafting in the breeze…it’s almost as if butterflies are following our bride and flowers bloom in her footsteps…what could be more romantic?

Heather:  When you sit down to design a whole new line, where do you find the most of your inspiration comes from? Recent trips? A book you just finished? Movies you just watched? Is An Earthly Paradise speaking to brides from a certain point in your life?

Claire:  Any and all of the above! Growing up with artist parents, I think it is just in my DNA to always observe, to remain open to inspiration whenever and wherever it strikes. Things in my life may trigger an idea or a mood, and then I start thinking about what might result in a beautiful collection…what might be fun to delve into. With this particular collection, it began with the paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. A dreamy, languid mood I feel when I sink into those images.

Heather:  The models you use to show off your dresses are very tall and long limbed ... is that the type of bride who looks best in your designs? Could a petite or stalky bride wear them just the same?

Claire:  It surprises me when I hear that, because don’t all designers use tall willowy models? Those are the girls the agencies send to the castings! Of course models are beautiful, but so are curvy women. In the real world, the majority of my brides are petite, or at least not model height. We offer a custom length option, so rather than just chopping off the bottom, the pattern is adjusted to the bride’s proportions, and sizes above 14 are very common as well. I absolutely believe in celebrating all figure types and creating gowns to best flatter the individual. We may not all look like models, but we can certainly look our personal best.

Heather:  LOVE the use of pearls on the back of the Clio dress ... you truly have a knack for making the backs of dresses stand out! Why is that an important element to you?

Claire:  The bride should be stunning from every angle, and since the back is often the focus during the ceremony, which is the first chance the guests have to see our bride in all her glory, I spend just as much time considering the back as the front. This is a beautiful spot to feature sheer lace or embroidery, or delicate details.

Heather:  Choose one:  Jeans or a Dress?  Cupcakes or Tiered Cake?  Music or a Book?  Movie or a Broadway Show?  Blogs or Magazines?  Phone or In Person?  Somewhere Tropical or Somewhere Snowy?

Claire:  Jeans, Tiered Cake, Book, Movie, Blogs, In Person, Somewhere Tropical 

Claire Pettibone An Earthly Paradise from Claire Pettibone on Vimeo.

Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone

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