Thursday, February 18, 2010

Feature Designer: Partina Atelier

It's getting close to wedding season, and most brides are probably looking for their perfect dress, so it's the perfect time share our very first feature designer interview with you! Tina Cho, who cites Christian Dior and Valentino as her inspiration, is the talented designer behind Partina Atelier, who specializes in elegant custom gowns with sophisticated lines and details. Read our inspiring interview below!Q: What advice do you have for brides who are confused about what style of dress to wear?
A: She should wear a dress that best reflects their personality and one that they're physically comfortable in. A bride should also consider the venue, time of day, and size of the wedding.
TIP: Start by trying on different silhouettes and once you find the right one, consider accents and details.

Q: Describe the Partina bride.
A: My brides understand style and want to be unique. My classic-contemporary style often shies from excess but when exceptions are made, the resulting gown is tame with a twist and still extremely elegant.
Q: What are your favourite materials to work with and why?
A: I love silk. Some of my recent favourites are silk faille, chiffon and my all time favourite is taffeta. It's light in hand, has a beautiful subtle luster and can be manipulated in many ways.
On Custom Gowns "There is truly nothing like a dress that's made just for you. You have the chance to make the dress uniquely yours down to the fine details."
Q: If a bride would like a custom dress made by you, how long would the process be?
A: I typically ask for at least 6 months notice because of the 3- 4 fittings required to perfect the style and fit of the dress.
Thanks Tina, for sharing your beautiful designs with us!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Question: Wedding Dress Guide in Toronto

Q: "Where are the best wedding dress shops in Toronto?"
A: I get this question all the time and with wedding season quickly approaching, I thought I should post it on my blog! Of course, there are tons of bridal shops in Toronto. I'm sure there are great ones I have missed, but most of my picks are from visiting these shops a few times and noting service, quality and value. I've also noted the approximate prices i've seen. Feel free to contribute any thoughts.
For the Couture Budget...
Many times I get asked, "Why are there $500 dresses and $5000 dresses?" The answer is in the materials and craftmanship. While a bride could easily blow a whole entire wedding budget's worth on a dress, set your budget and stick with it.

Vera Wang 38 Avenue Road, Toronto, ON (Approx $2500 - $20,000)
If you want to be surrounded by the most professional experienced service and gorgeous gowns, you must go to Vera Wang. The dresses here have clean lines, elegant silhouettes and are fashioned from the most luxurious light fabrics. When I purchased my wedding dress from them, I received nothing but the best service. Though this store doesn't have the selection as other Vera Wang stores I've been to (New York and London), they went out of their way to fly in a dress for me to try on.
White Toronto 19 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto, ON (Approx $2500 - $15,000)
White Toronto is another one of my favourite places. There is a silhouette and dress style for bride looking for a designer dress. Run by a former stylist, the boutique carries a gorgeous selection of Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Lela Rose, Monique Lhuillier, Anne Barge and other high end designers. I also love their selection of accessories and shoes. Of course, with that price tag, you should receive the best service, and they get an A+ for their no-pressure, cheerful yet professional approach.
Ines Di Santo 168 Davenport Road, Toronto, ON (Approx $5000 - $20,000)
If you love ornate, hand-beaded and embroidered ball gowns, this is definitely the store for you. Ines is famous for her trademark luxurious silk duchess gowns (which are also insanely heavy!), and her bridal salon in Yorkville makes you feel like you've walked into an empress's closet. The service is on the cool side, but worth a visit if this is what you're looking for.

Partina Atelier
If you're looking for a custom made gown with couture quality sewing, go to Tina Cho at Partina Atelier. Stay tuned for our very first designer interview with Tina coming up on Celebrate Beautifully!

For Mid-High End Budgets...
Dina Alonzi Bridal 3020 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON (Approx $2000 +)
A long time Toronto bridal shop, Dina Alonzi carries Amsale, Rivini, Badgely Mischka, and Kenneth Pool. Again, the service was on the cool side, but they've got a mid to high end selection that is worth taking a look at.

Pearl Bridal House 76 Lakeshore Rd East, Mississauga, ON (Approx $1500 - $3000)
I first discovered this boutique because I was looking for the Melissa Sweet collection in the GTA. They also carry Amsale, Kenneth Pool, and Christos.

For Lower - Mid Budgets...
Bridal & Beyond 100 Vanderhoof Avenue, Toronto, ON (Approx $800-$2500)
If you're looking for selection, this is the place to go. They also carry a wide range of favours, accessories and bridesmaid dresses. The staff was helpful but at some points we were pulling our own dresses. However, in terms of value, it's definitely worth a visit. They carry Provonias, Alfred Sung, Dessy, and Paloma Blanca.

Superior Bridal 7703 Kennedy Road, Markham, ON
Though i've never been, i've heard good things about this store and its deceptively huge selection. I've also heard from a few friends that they found the dresses they wanted there, and was charged less than they would have at other places. Definitely worth a visit!

Davids Bridal
This is a great shop with many ready to wear bridal shops at an affordable price. They carry the exclusive White by Vera Wang collection which is gorgeous and at a great price point!