CAROLINE TAN & REBECCA YU
Founders/designers, Rebecca Caroline
Graduates of Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Raffles College of Higher Education, Rebecca Yu and Caroline Tan spent a decade working together in the wedding industry before joining forces to launch their eponymous label in 2016. The talented duo share a common design philosophy, producing timeless couture creations that feature hand-sewn lace appliqué and elaborate beading.
STW: What prep work should brides do before meeting you?
REBECCA CAROLINE (RC): The initial meeting involves heavy input from the bride. You should do simple research on the wedding theme and venue, and have an idea of the silhouette and style of dress you want. Alternatively, we can guide you and help to personalise a perfect look for you.
STW: What decisions are better made by the designer, and conversely, what decisions are better made by the bride-to-be?
RC: When it comes to the cutting of the dress, it’s best to trust the designer as we know what cut will flatter the bride’s figure. But where the colour is concerned, the bride-to-be would know the colour that best complements her skin tone, plus she may want one that matches her wedding colour theme.
STW: Are there certain intricacies a bride-to-be may not know about?
RC: Brides with a fuller body should avoid fabrics that can cling to the body, like silk satin. Thicker fabrics or lace will help camouflage problem areas. To distract from the area, we can also place lace embroidery or beads to accentuate parts of the body the bride wishes to flaunt.
STW: How can brides-to-be choose the right designer for their bespoke gown?
RC: Choose a designer who understands what you are looking for and is able to actualise your vision and ideas in their creation. The right designer certainly would not add stress to the bride-to-be!
STW: What happens after the gown design is finalised?
RC: We then do our own research and visualisation. We’ll drape onto a mannequin the various fabrics to be used in the dress as well as map out the placement of any detailing such as lace and sample beadings. We will show this simple mockup to the bride on her next visit to give her a better visual idea of the final outcome. During this stage, we also discuss details such as the type of neckline and length of train.
STW: What should the bride bring to the fitting session, and should she wear her hair in a style similar to that for her actual wedding day?
RC: Shoes are important as we will need to alter the length of the gown according to the height of the shoes that will be worn on the wedding day. We wouldn’t want the bride to lift the gown each time she walks! They can wear their actual wedding day hairstyle during one of the last fitting sessions to see if the overall look is complementary.
STW: How do you handle brides who want a say in the entire creation process, from material selection to colour matching?
RC: It’s good that brides know what they want. It will make it easier for us to achieve their desired gown if they are upfront with us about their likes and dislikes. Of course, if their choice is really not suitable for them, we will suggest alternatives. For instance, if a bride insists on having her dress designed in a way we know would look unflattering on her, we would have her try two ready pieces— one close to the design she insists on having and the other being the one we think would fit her better. This way, she’ll get a better idea of what suits her.
STW: Is insurance necessary for bespoke gowns?
RC: No, unless you are planning to have an overseas wedding and need to insure the dress against loss and damage.