Wedding dress designer, Claire Pettibone’s delicate yet sensual gowns are where the trifecta of art, fashion, and nature collide particularly in her collection, The Three Graces. The dresses mix the ethereal with the enchanted, the luxurious with bohemian sensibilities. In our interview with the designer, who started her journey in lingerie, we see more of her desire for the future, hope for the brand, and a peek into the whimsical personality behind the gowns.
In your collections the Three Graces and Romantique the natural world played a vital role? How does diversity in the natural world continue to inspire you with your designs?
The beauty and variety found in the natural world will always be where I look to find both inspiration and peace. My goal as a designer is to reach that level of wonder and beauty with my creations. Although I know I’ll never be able to top mother nature, I can try!
The subject of sustainability has been at the forefront of the industry, what are your thoughts as to how sustainability fits within the bridal industry and specifically with the Claire Pettibone brand?
We have always made our dresses to order, and worked with mainly small, family-owned mills who produce our laces and embroideries. Because we only order small quantities as needed, we don’t have a lot of waste. Purchasing from independent designers does have this added benefit, in that you’re not dealing with mass production or big factories.
If your daughter wanted to be a fashion designer, what would you share with her that you wish someone would have told you starting out?
Never doubt your vision. It’s ok to listen to the market and evolve, but don’t let the outside world pressure you into giving up who you are. I’ve managed to do this, but I didn’t know how real those outside pressures could be, and it’s taken me years to really feel comfortable with myself regardless of the world’s definition of success.
Do you see a changing landscape or a revolution in the bridal industry in the next 10 years?
I think there is almost too much choice right now, and in some ways, that can be unhealthy for both brides and our industry. I would hope that the brands and designers who really have a unique vision, quality product, and integrity will thrive.
What is one of your favorite quotes/affirmations to live by?
“Creativity takes courage” – Henri Matisse
If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
A bird – the freedom, the view.
What is your favorite song?
Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife by Prince
Is there a book or a podcast that you are obsessed with?
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer is pretty much my bible.
What was your favorite subject in grade/high school?
If you were not a designer, what job/career would you have?
Interior Designer (I know, that’s still a designer!)
It’s Netflix and Chill night, what movie or genre of movies are you watching?
Schitt’s Creek to make me feel good, or Ozark to stress me out!
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To be invisible…pretty sure I could work this to my advantage!
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Lying in the sun with a Margarita.