Alin Le Kal, a name synonymous with style, elegance and allure, has lent his creative and visionary art to the fashion-world creating garments of timeless style and supreme beauty that render the modern woman. We are thrilled to announce that Alin will be showcasing some of his never before seen gowns and pieces direct from his Paris showroom at Wedded World on 2nd of July at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.
We sat down with Alin to get the inside scoop on taking on the fashion capital Paris and the inspirations behind his timeless and elegant gowns.
Alin, tell us about yourself and how you started your business?
I started designing while I was still at Uni. I used to make gowns for my sister’s friends, make them little party dresses and that’s when I decided to start my own brand. I kept on my making gowns for friends and family and it just grew from there. We’ve been in business for 11 years, this is my 11th year.
Talk us through the process of designing a custom gown?
I always say to brides to allow us at least 9-12 months. I specialise in beading and so just the process of beading a garment takes about 3 months. So with other construction, design and fittings, it does take a good chunk of time. But we’ve had some cases where we made gowns for brides in 2 months. So it depends on the design, but I strive to make the most incredible piece for a bride, no matter what the length of time we have.
How does the process work with your interstate and international brides?
I have plenty of interstate and international brides. I have brides from all over Australia travel to Melbourne. What I do that is different to other designers is that I require my brides to come twice to Melbourne with an overnight stay. We actually do about 3 months worth of fittings in an overnight period. The next time they come to Melbourne, they see their completed gown. We try to make it easy for our interstate and international brides, so the less travel we offer brides, the better, without compromising the quality of work.
I do travel to Sydney once a month or every two months for consultation, I”m in Sydney from the 5th to the 8th of April. I also do FaceTime consults too for those who can’t meet me face to face.
Describe an Alin Le’ Kal girl?
I wouldn’t say the Alin Le’ Kal girl is a visual thing, I would say it’s more of a feeling thing. I want my clients, my brides, whoever wears my gowns, even if it’s a model or if its a celebrity or a bride that we have made a custom made gown for, I want them to have a feeling of being beautiful. That’s my biggest thing with making a gown, I want my bride to feel gorgeous wearing the gown.
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At Alin Le’Kal HQ, we’ve always been inspired and in awe of @victoriaswarovski. Other than her effortless style and incredible legacy, her strength and story breaths a vibrance into everything she does. We are honoured to have dressed Victoria for the @gala_magazin #spaawards and she looks absolutely incredible ✨ • #alinlekal
Tell me what Couture Week in Paris was like for a designer?
I actually relive every step of the way again and again in my mind, it was just a whirlwind, I’m still speechless. Putting a collection together was probably the hardest bit. We had four months to create 27 pieces, it was intense. I hadn’t slept in so long!
I was showcasing with the big guns and I had to almost rethink how I design the gowns. They are so particular in Paris because they have big designers there, they see everything, nothing is new to them. I tried to incorporate everything in one collection but without being grotesque. I had to try to keep it tasteful and also incorporate the elements I love which is glamour and high end.
There was something about Paris that captivated me, especially Couture Week. That’s where couture started, in Paris. I didn’t want to finish the gowns in Melbourne, I wanted to finish parts of the gowns in Paris. So two weeks before the show, we are doing the hems, finishing off the beading in Paris. I wanted to give the Paris feel to the collection.
It was funny, the finale dress didn’t even make it to Paris. We didn’t even mail it, it was too heavy! I had this idea to make the most expensive dress ever made in Australia and I did it! The gown is so heavy, its 150kgs! It just came down to safety in the end and a model wouldn’t be able to wear this gown. We used over 1.1 million Swarovski crystals, so that’s why it’s so heavy! We are planning an event in Melbourne and Sydney to showcase this gorgeous dress, the most expensive dress ever made in Australia, but never made it to Paris.
What else do you offer besides bridal wear?
We do evening wear, party dresses, I also do men’s suiting, mother of the bride dresses, engagement dresses and couture dresses. I love to create a gown, no matter if it’s a wedding dress or evening dress, I still want that client to feel beautiful.
What is the average cost of a wedding dress designed by you?
It depends on what the bride wants, it starts from about $6,000 and up, as it is custom made and made in Melbourne. It’s priced accordingly to what the bride wants and what fabrication we use.
What are you inspired by?
My aunty was actually a dressmaker and my uncle and father were tailors, so I grew up with it. I saw them working in the rag trade for so long that I just fell in love with it. I remember every time I would go to a wedding with my family I would glare at the wedding dress and think maybe I could change something about that dress. Mind you, I was so young, I was about 10 years old, but that’s how I knew that I wanted to be a designer.
If you could design a dress for anyone, who would it be and why?
I’m obsessed with Charlize Theron, ever since I saw her in the Snow White movie.
What can we expect to see at Wedded World on July 2nd in Sydney?
I’m definitely going to incorporate some of the Paris gowns. We’ve got a showroom in Paris now and I’m going pull some of the bridal gowns from Paris and showcase them at Wedded World. Also some beautiful new gowns that we’ve never shown before. I attended last year, the event was gorgeous, it run so smoothly and I can’t wait for this year!