2012 October 15
From The Daily Brides: Marriage, Nicole Miller Style
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(NEW YORK) Fashion industry veteran Nicole Miller has been outfitting the chic set in her party dresses for decades—but did you know that she has a bustling bridal business as well? The Daily caught up with the iconic designer between trips to Miami, where she received the Fashion Group International’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Sao Paolo, where she is opening up her first store in Brazil. BY ASHLEY BAKER
You make beautiful white dresses now, but have you ever worn a traditional bridal gown?
What was your own wedding like?
We kind of eloped! My husband and I were married by Giuliani, and my four girlfriends all wore these checkerboard dresses. Isn’t that funny?
When did you get your start designing bridal?
It began because people hated bridesmaid dresses so much that they began buying our cocktail dresses to wear instead. And then we started making gowns, and women asked to have some of them made in white. And then a few of my friends asked me to custom make their wedding dresses. The first big wedding dress I made was in 1989, and then subsequently, girls in the office or friends would get married, and we’d just put those dresses on the line. The bridal collection was really created by demand!
How many brides have you dressed since 1989?
What is your particular vision of a wedding dress?
I’m not a frou-frou person, so I’m sort of astonished that brides still wear that sort of thing, not that I’m against a little bit of a crinoline now and then. I like my bridal dresses to be a little cleaner, and less fussy. I don’t like them to be chalk white, either. A lot of our weddings end up being destination dressings, because our dresses are easy to pack. With a lot of those huge dresses, I wonder how they fit into a box! Mine are much easier to transport, and they unpack really well, too.
It seems like you naturally attract a more laid-back bride.
I think so. I just did a dress for a friend—it was her second wedding—and she wanted a knee-length thing. We had marabou feathers, tulle underneath, elaborate beading…it went through about 10 fittings. There was nothing laid-back about that!
What’s your favorite wedding dress you’ve ever made?
It’s hard to say, because I’ve loved them all. I loved the first one I made in 1989, but if we looked at it today, it wouldn’t look current. My favorites are probably the metal ones, because I’ve worn some of those styles in different colors, myself. I made one for myself in tartan taffeta, and I wore it to the Dressed to Kilt event in New York, and I really liked the fit, so I made it in ivory.
How has the bridal industry changed?
There are a lot more bridal designers now; it’s a much bigger thing. I came from an era where very few of my friends had big weddings.
Do you do bridesmaid dresses?
No, but we have many customers who come in and buy our cocktail dresses. The minute you’re buying a ‘bridesmaid’ dress, it has a stigma. I think it’s much better to buy a real dress you might want to wear again.
Have you ever been a bridesmaid?
A few times, but I was lucky—I made all the dresses.
What is your wedding pet peeve?
Ceremonies that are too long!
What about the food?
I always see fish or lamb chops, but I think veal is a nice thing to serve. And I’m a sucker for that vanilla wedding cake. I’m always disappointed when they serve chocolate!
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