Design Talk with Peter Langner
1) Congratulations on your 25th anniversary. What have been some highlights of your design career?
I have not imagined that I would be doing Wedding gowns in my life and realizing that how long you have been doing it, how many lives you have affected with your work and how many beautiful memories you have created is really unique for me. The other day, I spoke to my very first bride and the fact that we are still in touch and remember our work together on that very first gown, makes it so special.
Our opening party in Rome for our new atelier 7 years ago, the visit at the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums with our clients was an amazing moment. I think it is really more the moment with my clients and staff which made this journey special, rather than one gown over another, when I think about it.
2) How did you become a designer for evening wear and bridal?
I truly think it was by accident. A friend asked me to make her gown and I started. The process took me so long that another client had appreared and then a third. Before I really had any idea or project, I was doing wedding gowns. Later on, I needed to look for more; I needed to express my work with other things too. I wanted to grow and learn. So, we started with evening gowns and cocktail dresses. To keep me interested was the most difficult part of all that work.
3) What is your favorite part of the process?
The creative part. The design and development of a new style or collection. To play with fabrics and transform them. To look for new techniques and study of how we can do this or that. I like to find solutions when we have a problem. And that is usually a very creative process. You have to sort this problem out with what you have. So, you have to think and make things work. Sometimes enormous problems turn out to be excellent new solutions.
4) How many countries do you sell to?
We sell to 12-14 countries around the world. Sometimes you have one store particularly busy and than the management changes and you start over again. But in an average that is the amount of countries we work on a continuous basis with.
5) What do you find universal similar and different about the global bride today?
Information is the most commune aspect all brides have in common these days. They are pretty prepared on the subject of wedding gowns. They know what is out there. They have seen celebrities and what they wore. They might not have tried the styles on, but they have an idea of how they want to look like
Another aspect is travel. The customers today can travel so fast and without hesitation to any country to find their gown. It actually adds to the value of the gown if it is purchased elsewhere. It makes it more exclusive for them. More special.
6) Do you design different gowns for different markets?
I really don’t design differently for different markets but I know what might work in one area rather than another. The Asian market is very particular in fit and construction. They need to rent out the gowns to many clients and the quality of the gown is essential.
In the US and Europe it is more the looks and feeling of the gown which is important.
7) Your veils are so beautiful. What makes them stand out?
Our veils are really done one by one and the hand work really shows in the final result. Our trims are silk satin or silk organza and not just an applied ribbon. The laces are all placed by hand and made sure they fall the right way. I am particularly fond of our veil collection. They do create a unique touch and feeling for the special day.
8) In your atelier, the artisans who work for you sew, embroider or cut the clothes. Is there a new generation who is trained?
Absolutely yes, I love my young crew. Actually they are a driving force in our company. I love to train new people and feel of how excited they are when it comes to making new things. They have a huge passion for this work and you can feel it every single day. Not all of the young people understand the dedication and time that it takes. A lot of them think it gets quicker to learn and understand a process. But some of them are patient and get better and better. We always give space to young people as long as they have a true passion for this work.
9) What type of wedding venue do your brides typically have? Are they large celebrations?
An average wedding for us is around 250-300 guests. Only the Asian weddings are smaller and around 80-100 guests. Today the search for a special and unique venue is very important and essential for the outcome of the wedding.
10) In this social media fast-paced world, does this bride get the couture-made dress? How do you get that message out there?
We emphasize a lot with our images about the Couture work which is involved. We always takes images and video clips of our work and the followers on our Instagram and Facebook appreciate exactly that process “ behind the scenes” feeling. The social media actually helps to bring that message out. We can reach clients, which we have not met yet. We can show them directly where our gowns and veils are done. We can communicate with them and show them the value of the handwork, rather than "just pretending“ money for the final product.