Q + A with Claire

Where do you find your inspiration?
I am constantly inspired by art, all eras of costume history, from 1920’s clothing and accessories, to lace from the 1800’s. Flowers and butterflies…the natural world offers a rich tapestry of color and design and appears in many of my collections. I like to combine elements in a way that is vintage inspired, but fresh and a bit unexpected.
Who is the Claire Pettibone bride?
There is no one “type” just beautiful, individual, smart, creative, stylish, curvy, tall, petite, ethereal, funny, fabulous women! Women often use clothing as a way to express who we are or who we want to be, and never is this more evident than on our wedding day. I find it extremely gratifying and humbling to hear that our brides genuinely connect with the artistry, heart and soul that I pour into my designs.

Does a bride have to be tall and thin to wear Claire Pettibone?
Absolutely not! Many of our brides are size 14, 16, 18 and up, and many are under 5’6”. We absolutely believe that women of all sizes are beautiful, and feel our “real brides” look amazing. We offer several customizations to accommodate various body types, so whether you are petite, full busted, or pear shape, we can modify the pattern to your proportions.

Where are the dresses made?
Our atelier is housed in a historic Los Angeles landmark called The Castle. We have our production team, offices and Flagship Salon all under one lovely roof that was built in 1928. The laces, embroideries and trimmings that I design for the collection come from the world’s finest couture mills. Each gown is then cut and sewn by our talented craftspeople here at the castle. Our team takes great pride in their work, and we are very proud to employ people in our hometown.

What are the latest bridal trends?
As anyone who follows my work knows, I have a sincere devotion to all things vintage and a unique approach to dressing the bride. Some have called me “non-traditional” perhaps because I don’t restrict the idea of a wedding dress to the ubiquitous ball gown. When I design a collection, so many things inspire me, but I don’t pay much attention to trends. Although one movement I do fully support is the shift towards individuality in weddings, so it really warms my heart to see more and more brides confident in their personal style, and resisting the pressure to fit into a particular “bridal” mold. Antique lace, illusion backs and floral embellishments…these are all things that stir my soul, but really, it’s not about a sleeve or a train. A wedding is beyond trends…it’s the opposite of trends…it is meaningful, and genuine, an occasion that symbolizes something that is supposed to LAST. Not for a day, or a season, or until the next big thing comes along, but for a LIFETIME! In the end, the beauty that I strive to create is merely an attempt to honor that love.