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Wedded Bliss: Ali Eagen

Wedded Bliss

Bridal wear is the major focus of Ali Eagen’s shop anatomy since she departed Elmwood Avenue to open her successful bridal boutique inside the Hotel at the Lafayette. Recognizing that the dress-purchasing process is just as important as the wedding day itself, Eagen is sensitive to the fact that every woman possesses a different physique, unique style, and ideal vision of what her wedding day will be like.

To quote Eagen, “my style is Alternative, meaning a bit more paired down and simplistic.” Eagen’s alternative approach to designing wedding dresses compliments the new Indie Wedding movement that’s appealing to clientele who do not exactly desire the traditional 30 pound wedding dress.

Eagen loves to inspire each bride and designs dresses around a woman’s body type. She explains about the communication process that comes with a one-on-one consultation before she begins to design a wedding dress. She first asks the bride to explain her vision of the dress and inquires about the bride-to-be’s personal style, preferred fashion eras, and favorite fashion icons. “I sketch a variety of looks based on the consultation and factor in the measurements of the bride’s silhouette and price point—as every bride has a budget. I then schedule a complimentary ‘Sketch Review’ where I’ll present the final dress sketch along with fabrics and trims. Even the pattern of the lace is factored in,” Eagan says.

Three to four months are required to complete the dress-making process from sketching the gown to measuring the bride, ordering fabric, and designing the dress.Another service Miss Eagen offers is dress reconstruction. She can restore or completely gut a dress and tailor it to anyone’s body. In this way she has worked with vintage dresses that are part of a bride’s family history (i.e heirloom dresses).

The most difficult request Eagen had was a bride who presented Alexander McQueen’s famous Rainbow dress comprised of 21 multi-colored, hand-dyed fabrics. The individual strips of chiffon had to be attached to the skirt form which was then attached to a bone bodice. The construction took over 100 hours.

Eagen is respectful of one’s wedding budget and her dresses range from $600 to $1500 to $5000. Budgets are factored into the overall quote, which includes the consultation and alteration process. “It all starts with a blank canvas,” says Eagen, adding that the process is very gratifying.

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