It’s every bride’s dream to walk down the aisle in a wedding gown that resembles a work of art — a masterpiece if you will — one that reflects the bride’s unique style and character. Despite the stress over choosing the right venue, food and theme, we all know the day is really about the bride. But as we are inundated with images on social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, choosing the perfect gown for you can turn into an overwhelming quest. Enter Daniel Learmont, designer, couturier and master of French-influenced craftsmanship — think Alexander McQueen meets John Galliano with an underlying Dior vibe. While these may be some of Daniel’s influences, one of his earliest and most prominent role models was his grandmother.
“I loved to sew,” Daniel says, explaining what motived him to get into the fashion industry. “My grandmother taught me to sew. She was a beautiful sewer and she would always make stunning dresses for herself.” The beauty of his grandmother’s handmade garments had a lasting impression on Daniel and still influences his designs today. “I pursued Fashion Design at TAFE and became very interested in couture work.”
In the early stages, Daniel offered evening and race wear only, with no hint of pursuing bridal. “Everyone was asking for bridal,” he says. “It wasn’t the right time but when I started doing it, I fell in love. I have the luxury of creating my own niche. Back when I started in 2009, everyone was emulating what was on trend and I wanted to have my own style.”
Strolling down Darlinghurst Road in Kings Cross, you may come across this formidable fashion atelier. The designer is most notable for marrying diverse aesthetics from the ‘50s and ‘60s Hollywood eras. Inspired by the vintage, clean-cut and dramatic glamour of this jet-setting, high-flying period, Daniel injects a modern twist into his silhouettes. “All my designs are custom made,” he says. “I offer a one-on-one experience for my clients. We have a chat over coffee and I find out what they have in mind. I have samples in my studio where they can get inspiration and ideas from and then we’ll either add or take away from that design. But I don’t sell ready-to-wear. My designs are based on the unique taste of each client.”
For this reason, Daniel takes his clients fabric shopping, inviting the bride-to-be to take part in the process of dressmaking. “There is a lot of collaboration between me and the client,” Daniel says. “Once they’ve decided on the type of dress, it is then my job to try my best to create a design that they want; one which will look amazing and one which they’ll love.” He commonly uses Italian and French lace, characteristically creating a contemporary twist on French couture. “We’re seeing a departure from the ‘nude’ dress and the arrival of a princess-like style with more modest and classic designs. We’re seeing a lot of lace and three-dimensional flowers on fabrics,” Daniel says.
For the bride, wedding planning can be a very crazy time. With extensive experience in the bridal industry, Daniel shares his advice to help you get through this time and on the big day. “Once you’ve made a decision, stick to it,” he says. “Trust your gut, roll with it and don’t ask for too many opinions from others. No one will know if the flowers aren’t the right colour and if it rains on the day, just let it slide. When picking the dress, never fight your figure. Don’t choose something because it’s in fashion. If you feel amazing and look beautiful in it, then it’s the right dress for you.”
DANIEL LEARMONT COUTURE
Suite 203, 169 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst 2010
P: 0415 217 266