10 Questions with Designer Monica Byrne
1) What is your bridal and eveningwear design experience prior to opening your atelier?
I have over 15 years of bridal design experience at global brands that include Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang, Jill Sander and Donna Karan. Currently, I run my evening and bridal atelier ‘Monica Byrne Maison’ and consults for other designers.
2) What do you like about designing bridal and eveningwear?
For me it’s the entire process of creating the gown and the journey or story that unfolds while doing so. It begins with a concept, then begins taking shape through fabrics, embroidery, embellishment and sketches. The end product reflects that story with highly detailed craftmanship that is always one of a kind and essentially, a piece of art!
3) What celebrity wedding dresses have you designed while working for the other designers?
I have designed wedding dresses for many celebrities including Chelsea Clinton, Hillary Duff, Alicia Keys, Lily Aldridge and Ivanka Trump. I also created signature evening gowns for Michelle Obama, Sandra Bullock, Mila Kunis and Renee Zellweger.
4) What is the vision of your collection? Describe the look.
Fresh and modern, while remaining timeless.
5) What is your inspiration for this season?
My inspiration changes constantly, whether it’s art, nature or a film; it’s constantly evolving. This season I have been very intrigued and inspired by the Artist Fra Angelico. Dior’s vision and execution is always on point for me, no matter what the season.
6) What fabrics do you like to work with?
I love silk faille, gazar, stretch crepe and charmeuse and tulle.
7) What do you learn from your brides in your atelier?
Exactly who they want to be when they walk down the aisle and how they see themselves with their partner in the years to come.
8) What are the price points?
The prices range from $10,000 to $30,000, but there is really no limit if the budget allows.
9) What is your design process when working directly with a client?
It’s several steps and meetings along with at least four to five fittings - sometimes more. It begins with the story of the bride and groom, where the wedding is taking place and the silhouette she envisions herself in. We start by trying on existing samples in order to see what works for her body shape, and then I create inspiration/mood boards to further clarify the vision. We then move into fabrics, techniques such as embroidery and/or embellishment and come up with three to five various sketches. From there she picks her favorite - her toile is built to perfect fit and finally to her fabric.
10) How do you see your company evolving into the future?
Monica Byrne Maison’s home base is in NYC. I see it evolving as a major player in Haute Couture and expanding the product line to fully complete the bride’s needs. Satellites offices will eventually land in London, Paris, Asia and the Middle East providing complete bridal services.