International bridal genius (and designer to the stars) Peter Langner is in town to celebrate the grand re-opening of our very own L'Atelier Couture. His tour de Minneapolis starts with an invite-only fashion show on Thursday night showcasing his collection and continues with a trunk show at L'Atelier all weekend long.
We caught up with Langner before the big night to get his take on designing bridal, his predictions for the hottest trends, and what he thinks it means to be a Midwestern bride.
How did you get started designing wedding gowns?
It was almost by chance. Once a friend of mine asked me to make a very special wedding gown for her. The dress had a great success and so I decided to go on with this fabulous challenge. And here I am.
Thirty-one years later and you're a huge success. How did your career evolve?
I started first working for grand maisons such as Christian Dior, Emmanuel Ungaro, Guy Laroche, Christian Lacroix, and Mark Bohan. And from 1991 on, I've been on my own, opening my atelier in Rome.
Wow. That's an impressive ascension to greatness. What’s your favorite part about being a designer?
I love every single moment of it. From the very first sketch, drawn freehand on paper when I capture the essence of an idea and conceive a new creation; to the preparation of the models, always handmade on paper; up to the check of last button or strap, naturally applied handmade. And when I look at the gown on the model, it is such a joy!
In your opinion, what’s the most difficult aspect of designing bridal?
It is extremely difficult to make a client a faithful customer. And furthermore you always need to invent new styles and trends for a sector that it is actually very classic. It is not easy to be innovative and charmingly timeless together.
When you design, do you have a bride in mind that you’re designing for?
It depends. I always try to be inspired from every single woman. Women universally are so unknown; they are such surprising discoveries!
Speaking of being discovered, who are your favorite celebrities to design for?
I love Gemma Arterton, she is so fresh and lively. Her smile is contagious. And her inner shining lights reflects every dress she wears.
What about with bridal. What are the most popular bridal trends in fashion right now? Lace. Embroideried bodices. Softness. And special fabrics. But with style, with no excess.
What is your inspiration for the collection you’ll be showing at the event at L'Atelier?
Something very special, and new! I want to match the new space in her new boutique with my latest gowns, which are ethereal and evocative. I imagine the show as a wide-eyed dream, a concert of emotions that deeply touch your soul. I want people feel the softness of the fabrics, look carefully at the devotion we dedicate to every single detail of the dresses, which are fully handmade in my workshop in Italy. I want them to feel the tailoring art of my Italian style. I want them to share my love for Internationality and at the same time for Italy and Rome, which inspires me daily with their strength and liveness.
That's a pretty amazing depth of inspiration to gain from your homeland. What do you think of our hometown? Have you ever been to Minneapolis before?
I come often to visit Amanda, and she and her staff are so lovely to me. And I am very happy that Amanda chose me for her grand reopening event party and for her first trunk show in her wonderful new boutique. It means a lot to me. We always have so much fun when we work together.
And what about her clients? What do you think of the Minnesota bride?
I think Midwestern brides like to feel very special, in a classic and yet unconventional style. They are aware of what they look for and they are very exigent when choosing fabrics and styles. They love Italy and our tailor-made style and experience.
What advice do you have for these brides who are choosing their bridal gown?
Everybody will look at them on the grand day. It will be their day! And they must feel special, unique, in their own style.They don’t have to pretend to be anyone other than themselves. I always suggest them to get in touch with their inner feelings and desires. It is not easy to find the right gown, but f you can count on specialists’s expertise such as Amanda and her staff it definitely becomes easier. I feel confident when they support brides in choosing their gowns. They can assure great care to details, quality of style, and knowledge. And with some very special fittings of very special gowns, you know . . . the dream turns into reality!
Thanks so much, Peter! Looking forward to the show!
Experience Langner's designs at the Peter Langner trunk show this weekend at L'Atelier Couture, 219 N. 2nd St., Ste. 404, Mpls., 651-602-9492, lateliercouturebridal.com