CRE­ATION OF COAST COU­TURE

MEET THE DE­SIGNER CRE­AT­ING SHOW-STOP­PING LOOKS FOR HIGH-PRO­FILE, RED-CAR­PET EVENTS

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | BIG READ - WORDS: SARAH DIONYSIUS

Caloun­dra prob­a­bly isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think high end cou­ture de­signs. But nes­tled away in her lit­tle stu­dio in Golden Beach, Judy Co­p­ley has been cre­at­ing dresses more than wor­thy of grac­ing the run­way at New York Fash­ion Week.

Judy started Judy Co­p­ley Cou­ture al­most 14 years ago.

She de­cided to turn her pas­sion and hobby for cre­at­ing dresses in to a busi­ness and to­day, she is a highly-sought af­ter de­signer, cre­at­ing cus­tom-made and one-off gowns for high-pro­file events and wed­dings.

“I have al­ways loved cre­at­ing. Since I was eight years old I have been on the sewing machine, de­sign­ing out­fits,” she said.

“I’m do­ing what I love and once my work be­came pub­lic knowl­edge it just re­ally took off.”

Judy has cre­ated red car­pet looks for the Arias, The Logies, the CMC awards, Al­lan Border Medal and Brown­low Medal award cer­e­monies.

Her lat­est cre­ation ap­peared at this year’s TV Week Lo­gie Awards, as worn by Mar­ried at First Sight con­tes­tant and Coast ra­dio an­nouncer Heidi Latcham.

Judy said they had played with a few dif­fer­ent ideas be­fore com­ing up with a con­cept they were both happy with.

“I have worked with Heidi be­fore and when she said she needed a gown for the Logies I was more than happy to help out,” she said.

“She wanted a re­ally clean, slick look and I think she pulled it off per­fectly.”

With their busy sched­ules, the pair had limited time to cre­ate the dress be­fore the big event but Judy said work­ing un­der pres­sure

was a wel­come chal­lenge for her.

“My busi­ness is only small so cre­at­ing one gown as well as run­ning the other sides of the busi­ness is quite chal­leng­ing,” she said.

“But Heidi is so easy to work with and it all just came to­gether in the end.

“I cre­ated a dress for the Logies last year as well. It is a lot of pres­sure but it’s good pres­sure and I love a chal­lenge.”

Judy’s work in­volves her col­lab­o­rat­ing with brides to cre­ate their dresses for their spe­cial day.

De­spite the stereo­type, she said she had not once en­coun­tered a “bridezilla” and loved be­ing able to cre­ate some­thing they would love for a life­time.

“I have met the most amaz­ing peo­ple through de­sign­ing bridal gowns,” she said.

“I work with them through every step to en­sure the end re­sult is ex­actly how they pic­tured it.

“There is no bet­ter feel­ing than see­ing their faces when they try on their fin­ished dress for the first time.”

Judy has de­signed count­less dresses over the years for brides, ma­ter­nity shoots, high-pro­file events and award cer­e­monies, but she said the ideas con­tin­ued to flow.

“I never run out of ideas and when­ever I think of one I just can’t wait to get it out there. I just can’t sew quick enough,” she said.

“I am ex­cited by what­ever I am cre­at­ing in the mo­ment and I don’t think I could name one par­tic­u­lar de­sign that would be my favourite - I love them all.”

Judy works by appointmen­t only.

Her gowns are in high de­mand so she rec­om­mends get­ting in early if you have an event com­ing up.

“All of my gowns are orig­i­nal pieces so you can be guar­an­teed you are the only one on the plant to have that de­sign,” she said.

“Ev­ery­body is so dif­fer­ent. Some want some­thing sim­ple while oth­ers want some­thing ex­trav­a­gant. It’s a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence when you work with some­one from start to fin­ish to cre­ate a dress. It’s a re­ally amaz­ing progress.”

Judy grew up in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and moved to Queens­land to start her busi­ness.

She said she knew it would be a chal­lenge to be based on the Sun­shine Coast but it was the life­style that it of­fered that was the draw­card.

“It is very hard to run a cou­ture busi­ness here as there aren’t many events on the

Coast that re­quire the de­signs I cre­ate,” she said.

“It would be so much eas­ier in the city but it is just so beau­ti­ful here and I have fam­ily who live here.

“Hope­fully one day the Coast catches up but for now I am con­tent.”

Judy has a dream of ex­hibit­ing her cou­ture gar­ments and bridal gowns in New York Fash­ion Week and is cur­rently crowd­fund­ing to do so.

She was aim­ing for $30,000 to cover the as­so­ci­ated travel costs, and all con­tri­bu­tions over $100 would go into the draw to win a cou­ture gown, with the win­ner be­ing drawn on the last day of Fash­ion Week.

“I AM EX­CITED BY WHAT­EVER I AM CRE­AT­ING IN THE MO­MENT AND I DON’T THINK I COULD NAME ONE PAR­TIC­U­LAR DE­SIGN THAT WOULD BE MY FAVOURITE - I LOVE THEM ALL”

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.judy­cop­l­ey­cou­ture.com.

HIGH DE­MAND: Judy Co­p­ley‘s de­signs are fea­tured on cat­walks and red car­pets.

HIGH DE­MAND: Judy Co­p­ley‘s de­signs are fea­tured on cat­walks and red car­pets.

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