Meet the Designer: Anais Anette
Maybe because they're sisters (and they make me miss mine), maybe because they're Polish (me, too!), maybe it's because they're two of the sweetest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting... whatever the reason, I've been drawn to sing the praises of Magdalena and Karolina, the lovely ladies behind the label Anais Anette since the first time I met them in 2013. The quality of the dresses they produce, and the fabrics they use, is truly impeccable, and (in my opinion) they have really identified their creative voice in the last couple of years, making their dresses some of the absolute favorites among Glitter & Grit brides. If you are seeking a unique dress with an air of modern romance, you will love them, too!
Why did you decide to design wedding dresses?
Magdalena: I’ve always been interested in fashion design. Ever since I was a child, I would watch and help my parents with their sewing. I decided to create wedding dresses because of the detail and time that goes into each gown.
Karolina: Magdalena approached me with the idea of creating our own brand, and I thought it would be an amazing, creative adventure.
Can you take us through your design process?
M: First, I search for new and interesting materials. Quality and texture are important. Second, I experiment with the fabrics on a mannequin to discover different and innovative forms and silhouettes that would compliment a woman’s body.
What is the hardest part of making wedding dresses by hand?
M: I’ve mastered every aspect from draping on a mannequin to pattern drafting and cutting to the actual making of the gown. Practice and experience have made the entire process easier.
Where do you find inspiration?
M: There isn’t a single source of inspiration. I’m always influenced by my environment, by different ideas, which are always influencing each other and changing. I try to transform these ideas into my work.
K: I find inspiration from the various materials and elements - their textures and patterns - that I work with.
Where do the names of your dresses come from?
M + K: Our social media manager! She takes the time to research meaningful names and find the perfect one for each gown.
What is the best part of your job?
M: In designing gowns, I get to be creative every day, which is incredible. In owning my own business, I get to exercise a more logical and organizational aspect of my personality.
K: That I get to work for myself - like Magdalena, both creatively and in running the business. It’s definitely empowering.
If you could dress anyone for their wedding, who would it be and why?
M + K: Cate Blanchett - she is the epitome of talent and grace.
What are your goals for the brand?
M: Make the brand known for its design and quality.
Do you have any rituals when you design?
M: As soon as I’ve completed a new creation, I always say: “BOOM! Design.”
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome during your time as a designer?
M: Finding a balance between what I want to create and what the general public will like.
How do you want a bride to feel when she wears one of your designs?
M + K: We want her to feel comfortable, cool, and confident. Like her true, authentic self.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
M: We’re often told to take business with any store that is interested in our line. However, we’ve come to realize that it’s important to align yourself with people and shops that have the same attitude and same values. Quality should always take precedence over quantity.
K: A good friend once told us that when you have your own business, your successes and failures are entirely your own. It’s a humbling thought.
What was your first job?
M: Organizing and folding mom’s patterns.
K: I worked at an Italian espresso bar in Toronto.
What are three things you couldn’t live without?
M: Sleep, music, and hair elastics.
K: Sleep, sweets, and swearing.
^girls after my own heart^
Do you have any advice for ladies currently in search of their wedding dress?
M: This might seem obvious, but make sure to wear the gown properly! A lot of brides overlook hanger tags, or wear the dress slightly crooked. It ruins photos.
K: Trust your instinct. It’s very easy to lose sight of who you are and your style when you try to please everyone.