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Confessions of a Couturier

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When she was a child, Lilli Marcs dreamt of hearing her name mentioned on stage…

Two years ago, that childhood dream came true when my gowns appeared on the catwalk at the Melbourne Bride Wedding Expo. I was so excited. I’ve been sewing for more than 40 years but didn’t start my own business until I was older. Even though I started at a late age, I’m very happy that I did. I love being able to put a beautiful smile on beautiful brides’ faces. It’s hard to describe it because I just love what I do.

Brides today are a bit more relaxed about gowns like ours, which are a bit different to the rest. My style is all about the body shape, with a silhouette designed to follow the natural look of a woman’s body and show it off, rather than hide it under a bigger dress. I’m glad girls are going for the slinky look instead of bigger gowns. After the wedding, many of my brides chop their dress to a cocktail length or dye it another colour, which works very well with the silks they’re made from. It’s not a gown you just put away.

I do love my silk – I always work with silk. I wouldn’t use anything else for a bride because it’s very special day and a very special gown. I also love lace, and beading is a favourite as well. When somebody comes to show me some fabrics or laces or beading, I just close my eyes and see a gown in it. I said to someone once, ‘Is that strange?’ and they said, ‘No, it’s natural, it’s what you are.’ Audrey Hepburn is my biggest inspiration. She always wore such simple, beautiful gowns, in styles that could still be worn today, tomorrow, next year, in 20 years’ time. They’re just timeless.

My style is all about the body shape, with a silhouette designed to follow the natural look of a woman’s body and show it off, rather than hide it under a bigger dress.

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