Our guest blogger and interviewer is Deborah Meijer, recent MOB (Mother of the Bride) and board member of School Zone Publishing and Deep Creek Middle School in Eleuthera, Bahamas. Deborah Meijer spoke to designer Pamella Roland.
Hot Hollywood superstar designer Pamella Roland has one word to say about wedding gowns, and that word is: Chiffon.
“Chiffon is our bread and butter. I can’t tell you how many brides request chiffon. For warm weather, it’s perfect, especially for beach weddings. Chiffon is beautiful, it’s light, the wind picks it up outside, it’s simple, and it’s very comfortable to wear.”
That comfort extends to the red carpet, where the name Pamella Roland is perhaps even more ubiquitous. “On the red carpet, unless they want a beaded dress, everybody likes chiffon. It fits every body type, from the teeny-tiny, like Carrie Underwood, to curvaceous, like Queen Latifah.”
Roland remembers a family wedding she attended – and designed for – last summer. “There were ten or eleven bridesmaids and they all had different body types. Some were chesty, some weren’t, some had waists, some didn’t. So what we did was use the same color chiffon, a beautiful aubergine, but we designed different styles for each girl, to accent and emphasize each girl’s best features. They all looked gorgeous.”
Roland says “I recently designed a dress for a friend who remarried her first husband on a beach in the Bahamas. We got her measurements and surprised her with it. It was a lot of fun.” The fabric? “Chiffon, of course.”
The company wasn’t always known for its gorgeous gowns. “One of the first people I hired was a guy who had a suiting background. And when we began, we were not thinking gowns as much as daywear. But later, we hired a man who knew dresses, and we eventually became known for our gowns.”
But these dresses are not just for the red carpet or blushing brides. “We do a lot of second weddings. Some women want a beautiful pantsuit. Or, we also have a very pale pink dress in our collection.” (Pictured in slideshow)
What types of wedding trends has Roland identified? “For a long time, it was strapless, strapless, strapless. Every wedding I went to, the bride wore a strapless gown. Now, with Kate Middleton’s marriage, I think we’re seeing a return to lace, and a more modest, romantic look. And we’re also seeing more halter dresses, which adds interest to a look.”
What is Roland’s personal favorite? “I don’t think you could improve on Grace Kelly’s dress, which of course, inspired Princess Catherine’s dress. Grace Kelly’s dress was right-on. The beading was gorgeous, the lace delicate and traditional. It was tasteful, and it stood the test of time.”
Speaking of time, Pamella Roland is approaching an anniversary. “In February, 2012, we will have been in business ten years.” Sales have doubled in the past year alone, so Roland is doing something right. “Our customers like color. For for someone who wears mostly black [referring to herself], that’s rather ironic. But we sell best in the Sunbelt states: Florida, Texas, California. In California, we’re in almost every major city. In New York, and Bergdorf’s, we sell more beaded dresses.”
Speaking of New York, Pamella Roland’s collections are made there. “Our goods are all made in New York. We have the finest talent there. And of that fact, we’re pretty proud.”
Kenneth Marks, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Pamella Roland, says “the chiffon program has filled a void for the customer who does not want a traditional wedding gown.” And one of the best parts? “The dress can be re-worn later.”