GEMMA’S GOWN

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - NEWS -

When Anna Schim­mel was ap­proached by Gemma to de­sign her wed­ding dress, she had no idea just how high-pro­file the event would be. “I am one of these peo­ple who is stuck in the work­shop away from what is go­ing on in the world, so yes, I was flat­tered but I didn’t re­alise it was go­ing to be so big!” Gemma al­ready had an idea of what she wanted – a clas­sic, sim­ple dress with a low back in silk satin.

“The dress has beau­ti­ful de­tail,” says Anna, who also makes a ready-to-wear range. “Be­cause Gemma’s gen­eral style is sim­ple, it was im­por­tant to add some­thing re­ally stun­ning so it was show-stop­ping. We wanted a grand en­trance, so we had a cus­tom-de­signed, beaded veil made for her. The dress was stun­ning, but the veil took it to an­other level.”

Anna es­ti­mates the dress took about 100 hours to de­sign and make, with the low back prov­ing the most chal­leng­ing. The hand-bead­ing on the back of the gown took four to five weeks of work by bead­ers in Mum­bai, where Anna sent an ex­tra veil in case some­thing hap­pened to the first.

“The bead­ing is a big job done by spe­cial­ists in Mum­bai, where all the cou­ture hand-bead­ing is done. If you look at a col­lec­tion on a Paris cat­walk it will all have been done in Ma­ha­rash­tra, Mum­bai.” The dress was sent to Wanaka be­tween Christ­mas and New Year for Gemma to try on, so if there were any ad­just­ments needed, Anna could fly down and make them. The dress, how­ever, was a per­fect fit.

De­spite Gemma’s busy sched­ule, Anna says the process was smooth. “I think Gemma is one of these peo­ple who tries very hard to do a good job of any­thing she agrees to do. She is su­per lovely – you won’t meet any­one who is more sin­cere. She is gen­uinely one of the nicest peo­ple I have met.”

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