We had the opportunity to chat with one of New York City’s most famous bespoke wedding gown designers and chat about his latest collection for the Spring/Summer 2021 Collection. Walking down the aisle in a custom gown is a true luxury and Steven Birnbaum shares some of the details that goes into making your very own one-of-a-kind bridal gown. Enjoy!
Can you share with us your inspiration for this latest collection?
This collection was conceived during the chaos and tumult of the last few months, when my beloved home city of New York was brought to its knees. There was no escape from the anxiety and fear. This forced me to strip away everything extraneous and revel in the pure: the structure, the line, the volume and the gesture.
To present this collection, I took to the roof. There, the city is truly exposed – the ancient, the new, the shiny and the worn. The essence of New York!
All of your bespoke designs are custom. How long does it to create each dress by hand?
The standard time that I like to alot for a bespoke gown is 6 months. That gives both my atelier and my client the time to truly allow a gown to evolve and truly realize the vision of my client and myself. For a custom gown, once a sketch is decided on, we then produce a complete muslin prototype, to which all adjustments in style are achieved. From there we choose the fabric, laces, and findings. We will usually have approximately 6 fittings to provide a perfect fit.
Do these dresses have a special meaning to you?
I love the personal interaction that creating a bespoke garment gives both my clients and my staff. A Wedding gown is such a personal statement, and I love being able to bring the classic couture techniques and hand finishing that define a bespoke gown. Especially now, at a time when all forms of contact have become suspect, I take comfort in the sensuous touch my gowns provide. If we cannot embrace physically, my gowns offer the tactile embrace that only a handcrafted, bespoke garment can deliver.
Who is the Steven Birnbaum bride?
There really is no easy answer to who is a Steven Birnbaum bride. My brides come in all shapes and sizes, have an age range of 24 to 67, and range from students to CEOs. The one thing they all share is an appreciation of quality, and understanding that the greatest luxury is sometimes something as simple as someone actually listening to them and truly hearing what they have to say. My brides want a gown that reflects who they actually are; they are less prone to choose a gown that imposes an impression.
This year you have expanded your separate bridal ensembles. Is it very different than creating gowns?
The bridal separates that I created for the Steven Birnbaum Collection reflect an ease and comfort geared to a refreshing alternative for forward-thinking women, longing for comfort and ease. Bridal separates are a concept I first introduced in in 1995, with interchangeable corsets and skirts. This new group of bodysuits and skirts, meticulously crafted, are both practical and modern. The bodysuits have interior corsets for support and structure, and the skirts are made of a luxurious Egyptian cotton sateen. With additions such a wide leg sequin pant, the ease with which a bride can change looks is endless.
TO EXPLORE THE FULL COLLECTION VISIT: Steven Birnbaum