It’s not easy to know what you’d like to do with your life when you’re in high school and even in the first couple of years out of school. However, that’s not the case with today’s young bridal designer interviewee, Caitlin Moussa. She says, “Ever since I was little, I was always in love with the idea of fashion, big designers, branded clothing, the lot!”
Believe it or not, Caitlin created this stunning wedding dress while she was still in high school and today, we’re asking her everything about her passion through to the process that went into creating such a breathtaking dress. We hope you enjoy this Centennial Park, Sydney shoot as much as we do!
What led you to design the gown?
I fell in love with a different approach to a wedding gown. Having a skirt on its own, which can either then turn into an overskirt over another dress or can be worn on its own.
What inspired your creation of the gown?
Christian Dior was one of my inspirations for this gown. Back in the 50’s, he emphasised the small waist of the female figure. The skirt has a fitted waist band, which defines a small waist then dragging the eye down, it is puffy towards the bottom. The fabric that I chose also led me to create this style as the lace has softness that was able to trickle down in between seams.
Tell us about the process you went through for the design and creation?
I had to really consider what look I was going for, so I had a few looks to go under the skirt and I thought this one was quite fitted and suitable compared to the others that I had designed. My inspirations and the fabric helped me with the process of creating this design and choosing multiple creations to find the best suited style and way of making the garment.
What materials did you use?
The skirt is made with a silk satin base, which forms the gown and has allowed it to drape nicely without catching the tulle. Over the silk I have used four layers of bridal tulle, which gives a delicate look and great softness to the whole gown. On top of the tulle at the waist, pieces of beaded and embroidered lace have been cut in specific pieces and appliquéd onto one layer of the tulle.
What techniques did you use?
The tulle layers have a french seam to hide away the edges. I have used ‘appliqué’ as one of my techniques through hand stitching the lace. I did bead all of the pearls and sequins on the lace to make it more of a luxurious piece of work.
What do you hope to design in the future?
In the future I would love to start a bigger bridal collection with many of my own creations consisting of many beaded laces and embroidered tulles. Hopefully I will be able to create a ready to wear collection along the way and witness many beautiful girls wearing “Caitlin.”
What has influenced you to go down this path of designing?
I have much older siblings and they were also in love with fashion and had a lot more knowledge at that time than I did, which has brought me into that industry as we shared our love for clothing. I kept researching and dreamed of making my own clothes and seeing my own clothes. I kept looking at things to find inspiration to help me design new things, and to try and create like some other designers did.
When I was 12 years old I did some work experience with a designer that was a family friend and she helped me to make and create my own designs. She taught me how to make my own patterns and I also helped her with her work. She made me do some fiddly work to get me used to it, allowing me to be patient with lace work and beading, and fall in love with lots of detail and teaching me many ways to use lace and to change it in order to make it original with my own touch. I worked with her nearly every holiday I had off high school.
What has influenced you to go down this path of designing? Continued…
She taught me how to make my first custom made couture garment, which was for my 16th birthday. Over time I started to make my own dresses and make new patterns for myself, trying to design some new clothes for myself. Coming from a Lebanese community, we always had many functions and I always wanted to be one that came in her own designs. A year later is when I started designing and creating for other clients trying to start something of myself. And after that is when I started my high school project of this wedding dress. My school project took me about half a year to create as well as studying and “sleeping.” With experience now over time, I know I’ll be able to create designs faster than I did before.
Ms Zigzag says: I’m so impressed with this young designer’s passion, skill and determination. What an inspiring story and stunning gown. We will be keeping our eye on you, Caitlin!
Caitlin Moussa Bio: Caitlin designed and made this dress during high school. She has started TAFE this year to further her knowledge and skills.
If you’d like to contact Caitlin, she can be reached here: firstname.lastname@example.org / Ph: 0401 003 220
Models by Ignite Elite Modelling Agency.