Cecile Michel Couture in 10 questions...
1. Who are you?
Hi, my name is Cecile Michel. I was born in France, spent 9 years in London and moved to Australia in 2007.
I love dogs, have a passion for drawing and creating, and cannot sing to save my life.
2. What is Couture?
Couture is a French term to describe the craft of making made-to-measure garments to the specific requirement of the client, and mostly made by hand.
3. How long have you been doing this for?
I officially started Cecile Michel Couture in 2016 but have been creating and sewing for most of my life.
I studied Fashion at 2005 in London, then in Australia, interned for 3 years and worked as a finisher for a Melbourne bridal house for 4 years.
4. Why bridal? Isn’t it a nightmare?
Some call it a nightmare…, some call it a challenge!
Bridal gowns – as well as evening gowns and red carpet event dresses – require a high level of skill and attention to detail. It is like practicing meditation; you have to focus so much on details such as beading and crystals that you loose yourself in the moment and for those hours (hundreds of hours!!!!) you are alone in your own virtual world.
Creating custom dresses that are tailored to one particular person is highly satisfying, and draping fabric – as opposed to working with flat patterns – is really quite fun!
5. What is your least favourite part of this job?
Zips!!! When I first designed womenswear garments, I would only create items without zips because I found them so challenging. Despite studying all the books that I could find on the subject, I just couldn’t figure out a fail-safe method with a result that I deemed good enough.
So, I kept practicing over and over and over again; sewing and unpicking, until I found a natural movement which became a repetitive reflex.
6. Why do brides come to you?
For the free champagne and macaroons….!?
The Waubra studio is quite a convenient location. Being approximately equal distance to Bendigo, the Grampians, Melbourne and Geelong, brides get a Melbourne-trained designer without the need to travel very far.
They benefit from a one-on-one experience in a relaxed and peaceful area, where they can freely and casually talk about their wedding plans.
7. How long does it take to make a dress?
It really depends on the dress and how intricate the work is, as well as the availability of the client for fittings.
I would recommend no less than 3 months prior to the wedding because time is needed to source the correct fabric, narrow down the exact design that the bride is looking for and arrange the necessary fittings in a relaxed manner.
8. Do you only make wedding dresses?
Wedding gowns are the centre of the label, but you can also come to us for other special occasion gowns such as bridesmaids, mother of the bride, debutante dresses, ballroom gowns…
9. What’s in the works for Cecile Michel Couture?
An interesting project is coming up about creating custom fabrics…
Rather than buying standard lace or embroidery from the store, brides will get a personalised pattern made at the studio.
There might be a family tradition about wearing a certain flower, or they would like to pass on a heirloom to their daughter… It will be yet another individual and tailored part of the dress.
10. Any recommendations or advice for your brides?
Just enjoy the process… Come in for a chat and a coffee, or a glass of bubbles….
You are the star of the show and you get to witness every part of the making of your special gown.