As a shining stalwart of the Brisbane wedding-designer scene for over 25 years, securing numerous accolades and a near-cult status following along the way, Wendy Makin’s passion for bridal design is enduring, to say the least! Together with the support of her husband, Geoff, and a talented team of local in-house seamstresses, she continues to smash goals with her leading go-to labels; Wendy Makin Couture and ready-to-wear french collection by Wendy Makin. We recently had a quick catch up to find out more about style, design, inspiration – and to see how life is travelling for this dynamic designer . . .
QB: What sparked your interest in wedding dress design?
I loved sewing from a very early age and knew that I wanted to be a fashion designer. I did fall into bridal wear, to be honest, because my first job out of school and only job before I started my business, was with a bridal wear company. I started as a trainee and was designing by the time I was 19. I loved bridalwear for its creativity and romance.
QB: What inspires you and who are your style icons?
I am inspired by brides themselves, listening to their needs and designing collections around their feedback. I am inspired by travel, the feel and drape of fabrics…. and Pinterest (who isn’t!) As for style icons, I love the classics, the timeless elegance of Audrey Hepburn, Christian Dior and Valentino
QB: Describe your style in 3 words:
Tailored, Classic, Romantic
QB: When designing a new collection, what is your process and do you design with a certain type of bride in mind? Do trends matter?
Having our own retail store I definitely design with brides in mind as I work one on one with them every week and listen to their requests. Trends do matter to an extent, you want to remain in fashion! But I have always erred on the side of timeless design so in 20 years you look back and still love your dress! So it’s more a matter of picking modern elements and trends but mixing them with our brand ethos.
QB: Do you have a favourite material to work with?
Stretch Crepe is a fave at the moment, it is so easy to wear and forms to the body beautifully. I love making brides comfortable in their gown while still looking the part!
QB: Which celebrity would you most like to dress?
I know they’re old school but I would have loved to have dressed Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly. Their stylish elegance has been an inspiration to my design style.
QB: What do you do to relax?
You will usually find my having a spritz on my balcony listening to music or dreaming up the next travel adventure!
QB: What advice would you give to brides-to-be searching for their dream dress?
Be true to yourself, you want to feel like a heightened version of yourself on your wedding day, not anyone else.
QB: How many years have you been a bridal designer – and what has been your biggest achievement?
A long time! Wendy Makin Bridal celebrated 25 years last year and I was in the industry a few years before that. I think the biggest achievement is being in the bridal business that long and adapting to all the shifts and changes in the industry during that time!
QB: What’s next? What do you look forward to most for the future of Wendy Makin Bridal Designs and BellaDonna Bridal?
We have just merged out two stores into the one Wendy Makin Design Studio so that we are now a one-stop-shop for our Couture, french collection and Watters Bridal gowns!
We are also looking forward to seeing all our beautiful brides again now that restrictions are easing and seeing some magical wedding days! (Cheers, to that!)
You can find Wendy Makin Bridal Design in East Brisbane at 179 Wellington Road, East Brisbane and check out more of the dress collection here.