Designer takes aim at Bridal Market

October 19, 2009 3:14:07 PM PDT
Bridal gown designers are in New York this week to show off their goods. And there's one man who brings a different background to the runway. He used to design costumes for the Paris opera.Gilles Montezin hopes that a bride will one day wear his dress down the aisle. But first, the dress has to take an even more important walk

It's a walk down the runway that Montezin has to conquer, and it's happening this week. It's Bridal Market in New York, and Montezin has just a few days to sell retailers his very first bridal line.

"You start with the idea that you can bring something different, and then you just express it," he said.

Montezin once designed costumes for the opera in Paris. His aim with bridal gowns, he says, is that they, too, should sing with drama. So, he turns to the fabric to build emotion, changing up textures by soaking organza in water, then braiding and drying it. Whimsical pleats jump to life. Romantic roses bloom.

"I'm a little cuckoo," he said. "I like to manipulate fabric. I like to pin the fabrics on the mannequin to see how it reacts, and sometimes it doesn't do what I want it to do. And so I came up with the idea of forcing it to do something else and they like it."

Soft and ethereal here, attention-grabbing there. Montezin shapes the personality of each dress with twists and turns of gossamer white.

"I try to design every dress as a dream dress for somebody," he said.

And some of Motezin's inspiration still comes from the opera. In fact, one dress with a beautiful fan pattern is called "Carmen."

He also re-designed the corset, naming a shorter, lighter version "le cinch." It can take as much as four inches off a bride's waist.

It is an important week for Montezin. His dresses mark the wedding of big dreams and hard work, each one embroidered with hope.

"So I just wish that somebody's going to say, 'OK, this is my dress and I want to get married with it,'" he said.

To see all of Montezin's designs, visit



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