Questions & Answers
1. What makes you want to start designing wedding dresses?
Answer: Bridal was really rigid when I first started Cathleen Jia, there was not much variations in styles or softness in wedding gowns. Brides immediately loose their sense of style as soon as they needed to find a wedding dress. There was an idea of what a bride suppose to look like and we understand that is not for everyone. So I wanted to create a brand where I can educate women about their bodies, and encourage them to be brave and it is okay to choose a gown base on her personal style. That’s always been the foundation of what we do.
2. Tell us more about your brand and inspiration behind.
Answer: Cathleen Jia Bridal started in 2013, in a not so glamorous studio at the back of my parent’s house. Since then, we’ve grown from Australia to Asia and Europe, showcasing our gowns to brides all over the world! Although we are now a much bigger operation, our high standard of craftsmanship remains. Every style is hand-made in house in our bridal loft in Melbourne. Quality check after quality check, the details of beads, laces are immaculately and purposely aligned. Not driven by trends, we are very much inspired by fabrics and our brides. Through draping and non- traditional detail applications we create dresses that are effortless and romantic. Combining our love for vintage glamour and modern fashion elements, we create gowns with a sense of renewed timelessness.
3. What is your personal style? What do you usually wear?
Answer: My love for fashion started with my personal style. You can say I dress vintage chic with a contemporaneity twist. For me, it isn’t so much about the current trend but what works on my body. I like uniqueness, hence I am a big lover of vintage clothes. The craftsmanship and styles intrigues me, and I love mixing them with modern pieces to make the look seem new again.
4. Who is your favourite designer/style icon?
Answer: Christian Dior. Need I say more? Genius in his craft, he made women feel feminine again during a dark time in history. The way he understood the female shape and ability to reimagine romance is just phenomenal.
5. How do you get inspired and motivated season after season?
Answer: I wear a lot of different hats as a Designer, so when I need to be in the creative zone I always find myself getting reinspired by fabrics. Every season, we spend at least 50% of design time sourcing the right materials first. Because our gowns are so gentle, the perfect fabric and texture choice is so important. I am quite intuitive with materials, once I see a texture I like, my mind automatically starts designing.
Oh and I love going to libraries and borrow textiles/ fashion books, that always gets my creative juices going. We have some great libraries in Melbourne, and the idea of sitting in a sunny courtyard, with a good book and a pencil in hand ready to draw is so romantic to me.
6. What would you feel when women wearing your design?
Answer: I feel absolutely honored! We understand choosing a wedding dress is possibly the most important fashion decision you’ll ever make. And for brides to trust us to create her dream gown is so special. We really appreciate every single one of them so much.
7. What trends do you currently see in the bridal industry?
Answer: We are seeing a surge in long sleeve wedding dresses. I think the variation of sleeves in the market is great right now. Brides have the option to choose a sleeve type that suits her, whether be cap sleeves, bell sleeves to long fitted sleeves. Do what works for you!
8. Do you think that the current bridal industry is a big thing? Why?
Answer: Absolutely, bridal industry has always been a big thing. What I am noticing though is couples are slowly moving away from the “showmanship” of a wedding and really focusing on themselves, which is what a wedding should be about! Hence it is why I think Australian Bridal Designers in particular are taking the bridal world by storm. Generally speaking, we are more relaxed in our way of life, and this reflects in our designs. Couples all over the world are coming away from the rigidness, and want to feel more at ease on their wedding day.
9. What is the mistake that you think bride should never make on their wedding day?
Answer: Don’t get caught up on the small stuff! We understand a wedding is a big financial and emotional investment. But getting upset over small things like the right colour of flowers will make you lose sight of what’s important. You are marrying the love of your life and it is a celebration of you two as a couple.
10. What advices do you have for One Wedd Brides?
Answer: Don’t choose a dress based on a current trend but rather what suits your body shape. Trends come and go, but if you are confident in a dress, that will never go out of style.
11. Finally, what should we expect from Cathleen Jia in the future?
Answer: We are expanding so much in terms of international stockists and we want to continue to do that. We really feel the flexibility of our bridal separates are what brides are looking for. And as we get more feedback and ideas from brides all over the world, we will continue to push our creative boundaries. So keep watching this space.