THE DESIGNER SPEAKS

 

1.      My first commandment on design.

 

In everything I do to create a design, I strive to find design lines that enhance the client’s natural beauty.  I very carefully consider each line I sketch.  In all, I hope to find a line that considers the natural line of the body; at times, I want to accentuate it; at others I want to highlight it; in total, I want the composition of the total design to best compliment a woman’s natural beauty but additionally, I want the combination of the design and the woman to create a unique and powerful expression of mood and emotion.

 

2.      My commandment on the process of making.


I start my process by opening my eye to all going on in fashion and the arts.  I rarely if ever look at bridal fashion.  I have been in the fashion world for my entire life and the mental library I have collected is quite extensive.  As a retailer, I had the great luxury of working with most of the greatest designers of the last half century.  Through them, I got to see past simply the garment and look beyond into the idea of the design and the architecture that made the design come to life.

 

I edit what I am seeing and find my way to what currently is interesting and exciting to me.  Collections could be born from a mood, a single look, or an attitude.  Once I have that, I sketch.  Within the sketches, I always consider materials and structure.  I make my own patterns so what I imagine I must be able to construct.  I want the construction to be inherent to the fabric; I don’t want it to be forced.  All of my materials have unique qualities.  These include look and structure.

 

Once sketched, I drape.  Draping is an adventure.  Your sketch has provided a roadmap but most of the time, no matter how well planned or considered, obstacles and opportunities present themselves.  The sketch evolves as it manages these.

 

As each design is perfected, the collection in total is considered and designs are edited and tuned to create the overall experience of the collection.  As I put the music and the run of the show together, there I hope to find my mood.

 

As a couture house, as I make each design for each client, I hope to take my vision and utilize it to deliver my clients imagination.

 

Anna Maier Dress


3.      My first commandment on accessories.

 

Accessories are a simple addition to highlight the woman.  I like earrings that reflect light close to the face and not below the jaw line.  The neckline of the gown is designed to highlight the neck and face; jewellery should simply and elegantly deliver light.  I also like soft bracelets on the right wrist.  I find them elegant in their ease and drama.

 

Often I create jackets and stoles for clients.  I love the idea of multiple looks within the tight frame of a single design idea.

 

Shoes are all about making the foot elegant.  I think they should stand on their own but not be a singular point of attention.  They should be an accessory to the total look.

 

The gown and the accessories should be a complete and carefully considered package that highlights the beauty and elegance of the woman.  I want the first comment to always be, “You look beautiful!” next we can hear comments about the individual elements that contribute to the expression of her beauty but none are really recognizable in the light of her total look.

 

4.      My first commandment on makeup.

 

As with the gown, I want makeup to enhance the natural beauty of the woman.  In my shows, I am very specific about how the angle of the cheek and jaw are highlighted and not the apple of the cheek.  I deepen the mood of the eye but make sure not to lose the drama of the eye itself by overdoing shadow or liner.  I move between lip shades and most of the time they are a mix of color.

 

Always check the makeup under the various lighting conditions that it will be worn under.  Always check makeup under various light angles; straight on, down and up light.

 

5.      My first commandment for hair.

 

I never want hair to be “over-worked”.  I like softness and a look of finger combed.  I always keep it off the shoulders because I love the line of the shoulder and the neck and I don’t want to lose the drama of that under locks of hair.

 

By the way, I am blessed by the skill of Luca Blandi and his wife for my shows.  I give them ideas, they give me incredible.  They are simply among the best in the world.

 

6.      My commandment on social media etiquette.

 

I think social media is simply another medium to communicate via.  I think it should be recognized for its immediacy and reach.  I think it provides a venue for conversation that historically would have been limited to time spent together in one place.  It is a wonderful way to deliver images and experiences.

 

With all that said, I think there are other medium that are wonderful.  I think handwritten notes express time and consideration that texts, posts, and emails can’t.  Such notes that can only be written one at a time carry with them that specific and individual attention requisite to expression to those we love during such an important moment in life.  I love the permanence of printed pictures that capture experiences that often phone shots can’t.

 

For a wedding, such a singular life moment, I think social media should be an instrument in a very large orchestra.  I don’t think it is experience rich enough to convey all the human elements that such a time affords.  Play them all and experience something current, timeless, and forever lasting.

 

7.      My first commandment on choosing the dress.

 

Determine how you want to feel.  NO negatives!  Think of what you imagine.  Look at yourself knowing that someone has chosen to devote their life to you, the woman in the dress; find something to highlight that woman and the incredible feeling she has being so loved.

 

Simple rule for who one should chose a gown with; guests must love you and appreciate that you are choosing a garment to enhance this magical feeling YOU have.  They are there simply to have the luxury of watching.


Anna Maier Dress

 

8.      The most important thing to do on the day.

 

Make seconds last hours and the day last the rest of your life.

 

9.      The most elegant wedding I’ve seen and why.


The wedding was on September 27th in New York City in Cary Grant’s old penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park.  The attire was formal and the venue was left decorated as a residence.  The sunset seen from the terrace burned bright orange to red in the purple sky.  I recall these elegant couples sitting and gathering casually around the room as though it was a 40’s cocktail party.  I remember the buzz of the conversation and the mix of music.  I remember the wedding cake that the bride designed; there were three cakes that seemed to be pastel wrapped stacked gift boxes from Tiffany and Chanel.  I remember the UN Chaplin and his terrifying late arrival and the small trio from Julliard playing during the ceremony.  I remember the shots of tequila (the bride’s request) at midnight on two huge silver trays.  I remember room service finally to eat something at 4am when room service actually closed at midnight, many wedding  guests returning to the living room for breakfast the morning after, a party that night after the ceremony at a friend’s apartment in the city and a moment that turned into the most memorable weekend of my life. 


I indeed remember the bride; one of the most elegant women I have ever met in my life.  I am very lucky that amongst all those elegant memories, I get to relive them every day; this wedding was mine and that elegant woman is my wife Dionne.

  

10.  My last commandment.

 

A dear friend of mine told me when I was designing her dress to “keep it casual, I don’t want it to be a big deal.”

 

I looked at her and said, “Judy, this is the one time you stand up in front of all the people you care about most in the world for the sole purpose of expressing your love for Keith.  It is a very big deal!”

 

She proceeded to hit me in the arm and tell me she hated me.  “I didn’t want to think of it like that!” she said.

 

Well that’s what it is.  I just shared an evening with her, her husband and their young son . . . more wonderful moments.

 

Everything about a wedding should be woven together into the wonderful story of two people’s love for each other.  No single element or experience should overshadow this most powerful expression.  Appreciate the ceremony, appreciate all in attendance, savour every second, memorize every experience; freeze time if you can and live the magic of that moment for the rest of your life. 


View the complete Anna Maier collection exclusively at Les Trois Soeurs Bridal