Can’t find the perfect wedding dress? Why not make it?


Sometimes, no matter how many wedding dresses you see or try on, you simply cannot find The One.

It may just be that the shade of gown doesn’t quite fit your vision or, perhaps, the material looks fabulous but isn’t all that comfortable. Oh, and then there’s that teeny, weeny bulge at your waist because you’re not quite a size 14, but you won’t fit into a size 12.

The solution? Have your gown tailor made, just as brides have done across the globe for centuries.

“Not every bride is lucky enough to have that wonderful ‘wow’ moment, when they find their perfect wedding gown, the one that is exactly as they imagined it and everything they want” says Suzanna Zagon, owner of Melbourne-based fabric store  d’Italia, which specialises in creating couture wedding gowns from exquisite hand-made laces and high-end fabrics sourced from the same fabric houses used by Armani, Gucci and Christian Dior.

“But no bride should ever have to walk down the aisle on such a special day in a dress that isn’t quite The One.”

Suzanna, a trained seamstress, says that a perfect solution is to have your wedding gown created from scratch using the age-old method of tailoring and dress-making.

“It’s not just the groom who can have his suit tailored, the bride can have her wedding dress made exactly as she wants it, choosing everything from the buttons on her gown to the pattern on the lace,” says Suzanna who has helped more than 2500 bride create their dream wedding dress in the 10 years she has been running d’Italia.

“Off-the-rack gowns can be absolutely exquisite but it’s not a bride’s only choice and, frankly, sometimes you just can’t find the perfect dress no matter how hard you look. so, why not have it made?”

Suzanna and her team of 15 nimble-fingered seamstresses take a leaf from history, where every piece of clothing was hand made. There was no such thing as ready-to-wear and, until about half a century ago, most garments, even simple ones such as a skirt for work, or items such as evening dresses, had to be made, sometimes, months before an event.

And there was no such thing as a ready-to-wear wedding dress. In fact, in parts of Europe and Asia, tailors still thrive because so many locals have their clothes hand made.

d’Italia allows brides to experience this very rich and wonderful process. They involve brides in every step of the dress’ design, from the initial sketch of their dream dress, to choosing which fabrics and which shades will ultimately be used.

Suzanna considers it her responsibility to create the bride’s perfect dress – and she takes it very seriously – as do her customers but she also tries to make the experience as enjoyable as possible, too.

“Our brides absolutely love the process of going through bolts of exquisite fabrics and then choosing all the little details. They can be as hands-on or hands-off as they want and, because her wedding dress is being made for her exact body shape, it will fit her body exactly,” says Suzanna whose customers include Australia’s fashion royalty, celebrities and even high-end couture wedding gown designers seeking fine fabrics and lace from d’Italia superb and very diverse range.

“If you’ve ever worn something that has been made for you rather than a generic sized manequuin, the feeling is sublime. Every curve is caressed perfectly, nothing hangs and it looks so much more elegant and tailored than the garments most of us wear every day.”

Surprisingly, having your wedding gown hand made won’t cost a fortune. Suzanna says that, most often, d’Italia‘s gowns cost less than their couture counterparts.

“The bride chooses all the materials from our range and we sketch up what the final gown should look like, then our amazingly talented seamstresses take over,” says Suzanna who hand-picks each seamstress herself after a rigid interview that even involves checking the quality of the thread they use.

“We give brides a final price and, unless there are significant changes, that price won’t change.

“In fact, I’ve even had brides burst into tears when they realise that not only will they be getting the wedding dress of their dreams, it will fit their body and personality perfectly – and they’ll also be saving money that can be put towards another part of their very special day.”

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