It was my pleasure to interview the inspiring Naomi Hogie, Designer and Owner of Naomi Peris Bridal. I had the pleasure of seeing Naomi’s collection on the Fashfest catwalk last year, and it was amazing. I could not wait to interview her after I found out she would be showing again this year:
We’ve just heard amazing news that you’ll be showcasing your latest collection at Milan Fashion Week, just before FASHFEST. Tell us about it.
I’m so excited… and never believed this would happen to a small Canberra girl… I couldn’t believe it when one of the organisers of Milan Fashion Week contacted me and invited me to showcase my collection, after they saw one of my designs on the catwalk at FASHFEST 2016 via my website. They told me they have a team of five curators who review over 8,000 designers a year looking for original concepts they believe media and the public will love. They were immediately drawn to my step away from traditional ideas of bridal wear gowns, such as the skirt overlaying lace trousers, and so they issued me an invitation. I feel incredibly special.
I’ll be launching my 2017 collection—Fairy Tale Princesses in the Amazon Jungle—in one of Europe’s premier fashion shows. It very surreal moment knowing that I will be at Milan Fashion Week.
Naomi Peris Bridal started in 2009. Had you been involved in bridal design previously, and where did the idea for the business originate from?
Before Naomi Peris Bridal I had a women’s and menswear label for about six years that focused on ready-to-wear garments. I made the transition into bridal design to target a gap in the market. I had many friends getting married at the time, and they all were telling me how expensive wedding dresses were. I knew that I could design high-quality wedding gowns at affordable prices. So I created The Perfect Gown which then changed name to Naomi Peris Bridal in recent years.
Where did you learn your tricks of the trade?
I completed a Diploma of Fashion Design straight after school, but it was all the experience I had after that working in sales, marketing and advertising that really gave me a good understanding of business.
The fashion industry has been described by some as rather brutal and challenging, what do you think is the reason behind your continued success in Canberra and the surrounding region?
I think being adaptable and forward thinking is key. I set myself away from my competitors because I offer something different. I’m not a shop, and don’t carry stock for people to try on. I design, make and produce wedding gowns to match peoples’ personality and style. I’ve also created app on my website where brides can design their own dress and receive an instant quote.
Naomi Peris Bridal prides itself on its unique design process. What do you take into account when designing the perfect gown for a client?
Firstly, I talk to the bride, and get an understanding of her personality and style. Is she boho, vintage, modern, contemporary, sophisticated, or a combination of different styles? Will the fabrics, materials or beading work with her style?
I don’t just listen to what she is saying, but try to read between the lines. Because sometimes brides say one thing, but actually want something else. It’s my job to understand this, and design something perfect.
I also assess a bride’s body type and check that the elements they are wanting in their gown will match their shape. Most of the time I will need to change something in the design so that the gown will look balanced when the bride wears it.
What is your favourite part of designing wedding dresses?
It is a privilege to be a part of someone’s special day, and to be able to design that one special gown that they will remember for the rest of their lives. My favourite part of the process is when a bride sees her dress for the first time. It makes me so happy to know that I have designed the perfect gown for her.
What is the inspiration behind this year’s collection?
I’m so excited to launch my collection in Milan this year because I’ve really pushed my design aesthetic. I decided that I didn’t want rules to restrict what I design. I’m using unconventional fabrics that are normally not used in bridal as well as garments that push the boundary of bridal design.
My concept is based on fairytale princesses in the amazon jungle.
Maybe there is a bodysuit … Maybe there is a fur wedding dress … You will have to wait and see …
As a designer, I’m inspired by everything around me, including right here in Canberra. I recently saw a cushion and designed a whole dress around it. I have fallen in love with the architecture in Europe from a recent trip and I’ve already starting designing my next collection.
The number of hours that go into a collection must be many, what goes on behind the scenes to prepare for the launch of a collection?
It takes about six months to prepare a collection. This time the collection is heading to Milan Fashion Week and then will appear on the FASHFEST catwalk a week later. From concept to design to production to alterations, pulling together a collection is a massive job. Not to mention the marketing, photoshoots and promo work. But I love it so much. It’s so satisfying. It’s always been my dream to produce a collection like the one I’ll be showcasing this year. I just can’t wait for everyone to see it.
See more of Naomi’s stunning creations on her media platforms:
To buy your ticket for Fashfest head to http://fashfest.com.au
Love Sam Xx