(AV17678) From Small-town Iowa to New York Fashion Week

hello welcome I’m Lindsey Michelson and
I’m Hayley Ozma and we’re assistant producers for this year’s fashion show
we’d like to thank our co-sponsor committees on lectures program funded by
GSB for making this all possible tonight also we would like to let you know that
following the show the exhibit in the Mary Alice gallery called weddings in
the heartland apparel tradition memories an exhibit representing a century of
wedding fashions from 1897 to a gallon from Matthews 2009 collection will be
open later tonight for the visitors from this little lecture
it’ll it’s in the textiles and clothing museum Mary Alice gallery is located in
10:15 Morrill Hall and will be open until 8 p.m. tonight hurry please help
us in welcoming Matthew Christopher as he joins us from New York City to speak
about his journey from Iowa State University to the Big Apple Matthew
Christopher is chief designer and creative director for Matthew
Christopher incorporated a bridal fashion house and manufacture his gowns
are currently available in more than 70 boutiques and are regularly featured in
publications such as inside weddings Martha Stewart Weddings
the not theknot.com and modern bride matthew studied at the Art Institute of
Chicago in Iowa State University because before creating his own label at age 26
it is with great honor to have such a sex successful designer here just the
part okay on that note and his passion for art has such a successful designer
and alum here to support the Iowa State Fashion Show
so without further ado please help me welcome Matthew Christopher and his
assistant Jesse thank you ladies thank you very much thank you
Jesse under you hi everyone how are we oh we got a little feedback going on can
we hear me okay everybody got me okay how is everyone great I’m so happy to be
here at Iowa State it’s I haven’t been back since ninth
so it’s kind of very exciting to kind of see how much things have changed here at
Iowa State and to be with all of the students today and to inspire inspire
them hopefully to get a fire started under them anyway well I’m Matthew
Christopher and this is Jesse Lyon my assistant my mother is in the front row
over here stand ISA Bosque she’s waving I have one of I have one of my very very
very very dear friends Lou Miller who taught me how to sew sitting right here
right next to my mom anyway I’m just gonna give a little bit a little bit of
a story about how I got started in this business and how how my life kind of
unraveled I grew up on it in a town not even in a town in a small small little
area in southeast Iowa called packwood Iowa grew up on a pig farm where my dad
used to grow about 1,500 head of pigs a year I believe Wow yeah I think so right
mom I was one of three children the middle chil the middle child
I’d say the Jan Brady look at my hair we were very it was a very it was a very
interesting family situation I had an older brother really great football
player had a younger sister amazing basketball player and then there’s me
this very creative artistic person that showed up in their lives anyway my my
what I what I say was really great is that one when I got started as a
designer I guess I got started as a designer when I was probably seven or
eight my mother gave me a pair of fashion plates when I believe was one
Christmas and it was one of my most favorite gifts I think I ever got
fashion plates if you remember where those you take a bodice a head or let
and then you take a bodice and you take a skirt and you’d like put it on paper
and you do Scott chalk and then you would color on top of him and do all
kinds of different things with them so that was kind of how I got started for
me my parents were amazing people they supported
all of all of us kids no matter what we were good at they supported it mm-hmm I
was also a musician and I sang as a kid just very creative a funny story
everybody asked me brides III go on trunk shows every weekend across the
nation and the same question appears every weekend how did you become a
bridal gown designer and I always have some kind of funny you know who is China
oh it’s always the same answer me and Barbie were best friends best right now
my my my sister and brother and I had a closet a conjoining closet this really
cool big closet and Barbie lived in there and nobody knew that her and I had
a relationship it was really fun that she had really beautiful clothes and she
had this really great wedding gown and my mom was kind of describing it to
me the other day and I was just thinking about was this really beautiful with
lace dress and it was handmade and I think my grandmother might have made it
I wasn’t sure but back in the day Barbie started the whole fascination with what
fashion was gonna be for myself so anyway grew up on the farm went to
peak in high school I was I was in track cross-country all that good stuff I was
in 4h as a kid and I went you know I’d go to the fair and I learned how to sew
Bermuda shorts and a shirt and my my that actually happened and as my mother
sent me to the neighbors to Gwynn Mitchell’s house or to Adrian Gentry’s
house which was a few miles away which was really interesting I would go to
their home mmm I think one year we came home with a cat I remember that but they
did they engrained in my mind like the beginning of learning how to construct a
garment they taught me how to sew simple pair of shorts to a shirt and I I think
I kind of lost a little interest at that point I think it was maybe nine 10 at
that point and music took over and so we get to high school
I know I’m kind of going around here a little bit well we get to high school
and there was a girlfriend at the time that was getting a prom dress made and I
love this moment this moment was awesome so she’s getting your product prom just
made and she was we were she’s like Matthew do you want to go with me to Lew
Miller’s house she’s a very famous person in the Quixote area that makes
everybody’s prom dress you weren’t Luke come on now so I went
over there it was a January really cold January day and I had been looking
through Brides and modern bride and I was like wow I love this now this
fascination with my Brides a modern bride had started earlier than that okay
much like it like at 10:00 right after that I had been looking at wedding gown
so i go to i go to lose studio walk in the door I was like oh my god
I have arrived what uh I’m like this is amazing what is this place
there’s wedding gowns hanging there sewing machine going look it’s just
beautiful and Lou and I hit it off immediately the girlfriends over in the corner like
whoa what’s going on over here Lou and I like designing her dress we’re like
talking about things and that’s when I began my journey of working with Lou who
really gave me some of my other skills of learning how to do evening wear which
was really the direction into going into Bridal which was really cool so I’d be
it you know in high school I was at track practice it’d be like five o’clock
and I’d be like see you later I’m driving to Wellman bye and I would drive
oh gosh I don’t know 45 minutes 45 minutes at least just to get to her
house and Lee would show up at the door and I’d go up to her studio and she
would teach me something new every time and I have to say like flu thank you so
much for that because look at what’s happened
it’s insane it makes me want to cry anyway but really cool so
I started that I started that whole path senior year I made I made seven prom
dresses that was crazy seven prom dresses trying to run in
track trying to be in the musical trying to do this and I think my brother and I
got in a war about three o’clock in the morning one night with scissors he’s
like turn off the sewing machine it was like I can’t I can’t
this has got to get finished so anyway I was notorious for working late I was a
night owl everybody knew I was a night owl so I am it was Christmas it was
Christmas of 1994 we’re at grandma my grandma tsubaki’s house my last name is
sue Bosque and the big family gatherings happening and this is the year I’m
graduating from high school so I hear my aunt Mary Jo talking to my parents and I
hear her go you need to send him to art school you need to send him somewhere I
was like and I could just think you know I’m thinking yes the seed has been
planted so the seed was planted and that was at the time that spring I had made a
few dresses I went to get Art Institute in Chicago which was called ray bulb at
the time and now it’s at Art Institute in Chicago ray vogue if you know the
bridal business ray vogue is where Lazaro graduated from Lazaro very famous
bridal gown designer who I looked up to since I was a youngster graduated from
there and that meant a lot to me and Lou I believe you were the one that kind of
pointed out ray vogue to me so anyway when she went to raivo for that year
which was the Art Institute and I was dropped off in Chicago my first year
living in a big city and I was I got a little nervous I think I think I was a
little missing home a little bit and then I said I think I need to come back
to Iowa I think I need I need some more time in Iowa and I called my parents I
remember having this conversation and I think they were kind of excited to have
me back closer so I said hey let’s look at Iowa State Josh went there in the AG
program I know there’s a TC program there are clothing programs so I looked
into it sent in my and from nation and I got accepted as I guess
because of course my grades in high school were like Blair but when I was at
the Art Institute or a vogue in Chicago I actually was on the Dean’s List for
the first time in my life and that was very exciting for me but I was missing
out I said I want to go to a big school I sing I dance I want to do theater I
want to you know I want to make I want to make friends of a lifetime which one
of my best friend’s moms this is how it here in the audience I wish she could be
here but did we I have a ton of friends in New York that all came from Iowa
State and we all live there now but I got to Iowa stated in 96 and I started
in the the program here and I was very all the teachers knew that I was very
like focused on what I wanted to do my advisor was Ruth Glock who has now
passed away and I’m sorry it makes me a little sad I didn’t get a chance to say
goodbye to a very very wonderful woman that helped me helped me every every
week I’d come in to her and ask her how can we get this done quicker how can we
get this done quicker because I really really wanted to be done with school so
I could move on with my career so anyway my good friends Karen and Bill Evans
lived in Bondurant they let me live with them my first year and they had a little
custom Bridal business she had a little Bridal business and she set up a sewing
room where I actually got to sew and create we did Lincoln High School’s show
choir you show choir dresses in 96 they were like most beautiful things they’re
like 40 pieces this dress I never I will never forget it because I had to make 30
of them it was insane it was insane I mean where my fostonia machine was I
think broke at the end of that but anyway I was driving back and forth here
to Iowa State I was doing custom wedding gowns for people I didn’t have to work
as a waiter a waiter or doing the other jobs I would make a couple wedding gowns
here or there and make 1,500 – 2 – $1,800 on each dress and I’d maybe do
three of those at a time but in 1998 I went to New York now how many
has everybody been in New York in here or just a few of you or show of hands do
we love New York yeah yeah anyway I went to New York we love New York Joey Jesse
we do we went I went to New York for this study tour the Iowa State studies
to her and I never forget it was my 21st was it my 22nd birthday 22nd birthday
and I was gonna get to spin that in New York City I set up an interview with
bureau Wang pink Bridal and I wasn’t there I was I was a very adamant
go-getting type of person okay I was like I’m like hi my name is Matthew su
Bosque you’re gonna love me you’re gonna love these dresses I think you need to
have me as an intern so I picked up the phone a million times called everyone
got these these interviews went and met with a very famous guy named Chet that
worked for Vera who has now passed away he was amazing guy and I got the inner I
got the internship but I turned it down because they weren’t gonna let me do any
design it was gonna be a runner and I didn’t really wanted to be your honor I
didn’t want to be a runner I wanted to work in the workroom so I went to think
bridal and met with Gus Marinelli customary Nellie what a name what an
Italian anyway it was really cool like this really cool guy he designed for
them and he he hired me I came back to Iowa State really pumped up I think we
did that year we did stars over viche I think we did Bye Bye Birdie loved it so
I’ll get to be in that auditory I will get to be in CY Stephens again and with
my gowns now on the stage this will be really cool tomorrow and I got the
internship came home got a phone call and bright at the end of school and they
closed the company I was like ah oh my god I was i but I was not gonna let that
stop me at all and that got back on the phone of course on the phone because
this was this was an mail just started you know email was
just beginning you could fax but I got on the phone and I called Demetrius in
New York I called sweetheart Bridal I called
Venus I called these kind of moderate price companies but Demetrius called me
back I sent them my portfolio they talked to me on the phone they hired me
by unseen for the summer for my internship no pay but whatever I was
going to be in New York so anyway I went I went to New York that summer and I was
one of the luckiest boys in the world because I got to go into an industry and
I think Lou did you come that summer to visit I might have been the following
Galena was the next yeah Lina but it was it was the time when the fashion
industry in New York was so cool like there was still fabric like rolls of
fabric going across the streets there was like dresses being pulled out of
trucks being taking up to like 371 1875 Broadway or wherever you were it was
still the the mecca of like everything was being made there it was so cool the
energy you know I walked down on 7th Avenue and the big button with the with
the needle going through it I’m like I’m here I’ve arrived it was so cool so I
worked there you let me Jimmy Elias who is this this crazy Greek guy with long
curly hair he’s the owner a Greek family really really famous like he was very
famous in the 80s he was known for the big puff sleeve dress bass waist with a
big beautiful ball gown cutout lace that was his thing I mean we’re talking major
traditional dresses that sold rightly yeah so so anyway I had a great time
there I I came back to school that fall and I had ants in my pants that I have
ants in my pants I was like okay I’ve got to get this done I got it I got it I
gotta get it done so I’m working doing my thing whatever you’re laughing but I
was working really I was really trying really hard to get my credits wrapped up
and learn as much as I could in the in the things that I you know the classes I
was taking and I and I left here in 1999 for New York and I started working for
ready-to-wear a company called kazoo and you know what I was doing I was putting
swatches away I was doing just crazy weird like odd stuff but I was getting
paid and that was January and within three weeks found an ad in Women’s Wear
Daily everybody probably knows Women’s Wear Daily if you know the fashion
business Women’s Wear Daily is like a date you know comes out a fashion it’s a
fashion newspaper and this is when you would this is when you would get the ads
and you would look for look for jobs and there was a job for a pattern maker
pattern maker for a couture bridal house I said oh my god I gotta call this I
gotta call this number now so I go down to a payphone on the street during lunch
I’ll never forget this payphone I was like what my quarters you know this was
like before this is before so I’m like trying to find a payphone I call it the
woman picks up her name is Candace Solomon one-of-a-kind bride she made
couture dresses that priced up to $20,000 $10,000 her her bread and butter
was like a 68 to $7,000 dress anyway to get this job I had to drape a four ply
silk crepe dress on the bias double ruffle off the shoulder a little bit of
a sweetheart with the ruffle on the shoulder and I had to make it fit her oh
my god I was like are you kidding me she was she was intense so I was like okay I
called my friend Jared I called my friend Jared and Jared is a very famous
costume designer in New York City he actually came here I met Jared he came
here to Iowa State and he he designed a show anything goes okay and that’s how I
met Jared let’s adjourn I need some help I need some help I need some help I need
to talk to you about you know like how many it like pull this off he goes you
know what you’re doing so he came over we talked we walked through all the
steps I draped the dress on the form with her measurements did it all sewed
it up okay wasn’t a fully lined dress but it was
all cut we sewed it up took it to her studio she had given me the fabric put
it on her it fit her perfect oh my god I got the job I was like yeah so I got the
job okay now before I got this job before I got this job I went interviewed
for Galina now Galina was a huge bridal house around 50 they were around for 55
years that’s where I was heading I was heading the direction to a well-known
company that everybody knew well Galina wasn’t ready to hire and this whole
thing came up with canvas so I took the job well anyway in the meantime I made
some great friends with Candace my good friend April Larkin who I just love was
her sales person that’s when rent came out in New York and it was like the
hottest musical we sang seasons of love every day on the cutting table we were
insane it was it was great it was great times I’ll never forget it mm-hmm
and galina called one day at work called there on the house phone Candace was
crazy okay I can say this year it’s okay it’s okay everybody don’t worry she’s
not in business anymore we don’t know where she’s at anyway she’s it’s crazy
so anyway that’s in a good way so anyway I am the house phone rings and she says
Cindy’s on the phone I’m taking my Cindy cried he’s on the
phone I can’t wait to talk to her oh no it’s Janet Peters from Galina I’m like
what is this woman calling me for here oh my god oh you know I’m like I’m like
turning 20 shades of red I’m like ready to like fall apart all right right there
and anyway she calls I go to the bathroom Candace walks out I know who
just called you I star 69 that phone call
and I said oh my okay well I didn’t tell him to call me here but hey isn’t that
cool not terrible so anyway needless to say that weekend I
went away probably on my first vacation in Florida ever came home walked in the
door she said this is your last day Sun and Galina was my next day they hired me
on so I got fired for the first and last time right then and there and went on to
Galena and that was pretty cool anyway everything works out God’s fun like that
isn’t he so anyway anyway I went to Galina Galina
was awesome I worked with the pattern maker Martha Bob Orr and Martha Bob or
is she worked with every every designer Christos Lazaro Jim Hjelm Judd Waddell
if you know the bridal business she worked with everybody for 30-some years
in this business and she taught me the world I was really lucky like I was the
last of the Mohicans we say the young ones to come into the business back in
the day and I learned about Venise lace how to cut lace how to deal with Ilan’s
on lights how to place it on a dress how to do all this really cool stuff that no
one really knows how to do anymore so I worked for them for their last year we
were trying to rebuild a brand the owner was he was an older guy in his late 70s
smoking cigars and he would tell me kid get it done get it done kid I mean you
would like you would never guess this is like this guy is in the bridal business
I mean this guy was like what so anyway Martha and I would have to show him
lines ever you know and we’d do a couple of collections and we’d bring things out
and he would mix a dress like no way no way that’s terrible and you’d be like oh
my god I’m gonna cry and you would go to the back of Martha’s
like it’s okay it’s okay max okay does it all the time does it all the time
so anyway needless to say I was laid off three times in that year and I remember
mom would dad be like what what this is the kind of business our son is gonna be
in this is ridiculous so anyway anyway they closed their doors
sold it to David’s Bridal I’ll never forget
today Martha said take the patterns Matthew I have the original my original
patterns from Galina which is so cool David’s Bridal moved into our space on
260 West 37th I believe or 39th and then I was on my own again and that’s when I
worked for that summer I worked for Watters and Watters everybody if I’m
sure if any of you women in here I’ve been in weddings you probably wore
Watters and Watters bridesmaid dress so I did bridesmaids I launched her Bridal
line I did Casablanca and then in 2002 that that fall or that spring my parents
had me I came home brought a dog back to me from from New York to Iowa and my dad
and mom set me down and said hey we’re Brett we’re gonna open Matthew
Christopher we’re tired of these people getting
everything out of you were gonna over mattress fur so i sat there at the
dinner table with my mom made the best pot roast and like noodles and whatever
all that fabulous food that I love when I go home so I’m studying there it’s my
birthday and I was so excited I have to tell you i-i-i was full of excitement my
father said well this is gonna be it’s gonna be this is gonna be hard this is
gonna be tough we’re gonna do this on a shoestring
budget he goes we got to have a budget we got to stick to it we have to stick
to it let me tell you my dad learned a lot I think he wanted to kill me and
throw me out the window the next year but but the great thing is here we are
10 this will be 10 years this year I can’t believe it
10 years 2012 collection will be Matt – Christopher’s tenth year we we’ve had a
number of people work with us Josh Stephens that was went to school with me
here at Iowa State I’ve had interns Abbey Limburg that was from here Lou
worked with us for a while we’ve had all kinds of people and now I have Jesse as
my assistant and we’re very lucky we went through the mid mid-2000s when
things were really good and we we got rid of a lot of debt and we built our
business up and we have a business that runs itself and I have to tell you
that’s pretty great I feel very very proud of that I have a dad that was
so good with me he’s taught me so much even though sometimes I’m like this we
figure it out I mean we’ve really figured out and I’m very very very
fortunate so I’m gonna give Jesse a little bit of talk here
Jesse actually Jesse came to me two years ago on email she came to me over
email about ten times I was like this girl no I was like she’s persistent so
anyway Jesse once you introduce yourself talk about yourself okay
I am Jesse I guess I should start where I began it’s actually kind of
interesting our stories are really different but I look back at our history
and I ran cross-country and track I was always in musical theater I have a twin
sister who is like very much a huge part of who I am and we were both always very
creative so it was like you know the twins are gonna do something in the arts
what is it going to be so it was always my sister and I can remember like going
to sleep we were always dreaming of our dream houses so it was either between
architecture thinking of fashion we there was medical in there too like we
were I don’t know whatever that ended up fizzling away I just can’t fathom being
in school that long but so anyway so eventually I knew that I had to narrow
it down a little bit I just had so much that I wanted to do I think one year I
did a mural which it turned out really good but it was completely terrible I
hated doing it it was just so tedious so I knew I couldn’t do Fine Arts I just
didn’t have the patience so let’s go about let’s fast forward I did one year
of a regular college decided okay I really want to do the Arts I’ve got to
do it my life isn’t gonna be the same if I don’t do it so I went to a an art
school much like yours in Tampa and I studied fashion so and I will say like
first of all congratulations on your fashion show is amazing I just saw the
run-through but you guys truly like put on such an amazing graduations it’s so
advanced it really is I haven’t ever seen it in the spin CY Stephens we used
to do at Mackay hall and you guys have really taken this program to another
place I’m really really proud of you and I was
talking to a few of the teachers today and it’s
sounds like the program has doubled from when I was here so that is fantastic go
ahead so and just the into saying that my school I I don’t feel like I got near
as much direction I certainly was not prepared or not aware of the do’s that I
would have to pay to get to where I’m at right now if someone had told me I
probably would have said okay I’m doing architecture or something else whatever
was so but anyway so I graduated and I was hoping I’d get a job but then okay
maybe I’ll take one internship so I take my first internship my parents like
getting paid right no not really so I took my first unpaid internship
with Rachel Roy I then took another internship with James Coviello again did
not lead to a job because nobody was hiring at the time and then I took
another internship with Thuy already to where companies so I had a lot of
ready-to-wear experience a lot of lot of errand running and in tax filing it was
really good at that after a few years but anyway so all the meanwhile I’m like
annoying him like remember me sending him pictures and things like like who is
this girl oh my god and finally he responded to one of my many many phone
calls and emails and it’s kind of right before the you dress kristin chenoweth
for the Emmys he started doing a project where I Illustrated one of his gowns and
she ended up choosing one of the gowns and wearing it which it’s actually right
there on the website yeah that was a huge accomplishment for him let’s pull
that let’s pull it up so we pulled up yeah let’s look at it there’s the
original gown was called Sasha so this is a short version of this is Sasha
short mini I mean if anybody knows kristin chenoweth who i say well gelinda
from wicked she’s pretty fabulous she’s a peanut tiny tiny thing the dress
came in all finished I’m talking like this week I’m like oh my god
I’m like houses gonna cover I run up to Jessie Jessie but yes that’s when that’s
when you started working that’s about when it was so so that was really
exciting for me and soon after I started a blog for Matthew Christopher which
right now in my life I really feel like I get to do so much of what I want to do
I get to be the writer I always wanted to be it’s it’s silly but the butt of
blog is such a fun way and we were both just so ridiculous together if you read
our blogs you they’re just so silly but we have a lot of fun with it so I get to
do that and no I think we’re you know really gonna grow from here yeah I mean
I you know I’m really excited I haven’t had an assistant like Jessie that comes
that’s her age and that’s came in very very you know ready to learn and ready
to like do things and she’s really learned a lot and brought a lot to my
business and I’m really really proud of her we’re working on all kinds of things
I’m getting her out there at trunk shows and all that kind of stuff and I’m
working on a new collection for the fall hopefully we try all kinds of things to
break into new markets this um this fall we’re gonna try to go with the with
another line with a different price point with a different kind of
fabrication to see if we can break into that like 2,500 to $2,000 girl so we can
break into that market we’ll see and I’ve kind of given Jessie that that rope
go for it try it because that when I was at Galena they gave me bouquet and the
bouquet line had never done so well which was their moderate line when I did
it so that I feel kind of like I’m passing the torch on and going why don’t
you try that price point I got it you can start I kind of have champagne taste
when it comes of making these gowns believe me the year that we made to
$7,000 a diamond dress I think my dad hung wanted to hang me in the barn but
anyway anyway I’m serious but anyway anyway the great thing is you know the
design process the design process of making a wedding gown is so interesting
for myself I get ideas from all kinds of things and as the years have gone on my
ideas I’ve had to really I have to really sit down anymore and I have to
take the time to be a design because I’m a businessman now and that’s
one of the most important things and if there’s any students out here you need
to know that the most important thing in this business is you have to sell you
have to know how to sell your products promote your product and market your
product and I know that sounds like boom-boom-boom
but one of my marketing techniques is as you see my ad campaigns my dad said you
need to be in your ad campaigns and you’re gonna be in every one of them
because you are the face and the brand of this company so I have about 10 years
up here yet so we got some fun stuff stored up for you I can’t wait for you
to see it I can’t wait to do it but anyway designing is is inspiration
from architecture inspiration from organic things inspiration I was talking
to a few classes today inspiration from ready-to-wear ready-to-wear is so cool
you know you look at some of the Couture things that are made in Maine overseas
they’re in Europe during the couture shows and they’re amazing and you can
translate some of those little pieces into a wedding gown and my this is my
little secret someone else taught me and now I pass I want to pass it along to
any of you because it’s so it’s just it was ingrained in my head and grain in my
head since the day I heard it the designer at Demetrius was kristina
Fortin and she was this wonderful Italian woman amazing and she said so
you know Matthew you know what design is it’s a third and a third and a third she
goes it’s a third of something else it’s a third of your own and it’s just throw
something new so you know like if you find an idea from a cool skirt or a cool
whatever and embroidery whatever go off of that because you never know what can
happen so that’s kind of how that design process works dia actually started the
2012 collection you have a few weeks ago and we had we actually take our little
blog camera with us now which is fun and I took Jesse to Bergdorf’s which I said
Jesse just walk around like you own this place so we did we went looked at all
the beautiful collections saw some really great things got
it’s really nifty need ideas we definitely when it comes to trends in
the bridal business we definitely are the trendsetters we’re trying to move
things away from pickups and ruching and all the things that are going on right
now bridal has gone through so many transformations in the last gosh I don’t
know 20 years but we’re working our way towards a new kind of newfound things so
anyway I want to I want to show you just a little bit so you know Stacy we have
our collections on here we have 2011 through 2006 I can actually we have
Delphine there l this is the same model we’ve been using Dalia the Dalia is one
of my new top-selling dresses I hope you know it’s the most beautiful dress we
love it this is Peggy Sue Peggy Sue gets married going to the chapel my good
friend Julie music her mother actually and her her family’s from here and she
she names all the gowns Felicity Briony they still won’t take my head out of
picture I don’t know why but anyway we’ve asked our web guy I understand
creative people okay but get the job done please anyway beautiful but you can
see where we’re at you know this is 2011 we go back to 2010 Sascha which is the
dress we did in blue which is one of my top sellers I love that dress you know
we go through these lines you can kind of see my progression and change as a
designer this is the dress that my dad wonder they’re like choke me for anyway
is gorgeous this dress Lalique is one of my top-selling dresses I ever did it’s
amazing it’s it that’s the dress that’s over in yeah the gallery
thank you very much lease and this this was a beautiful year this was the year
that everybody said I went off on guard I went different I definitely went
different let me slow down I’ll slow down for you there we got
Claire de Lune they’re beautiful I mean they really are
we go back in time to 2008 this is I think when I really started transform as
a designer Nocturne radiance Metropolitan masquerade which I’ve never
sold it one of those can you believe that the mo a the way we sold how many
mom a ton a lot a few hundred of those dresses you can see why it’s beautiful I
mean a lot of brides are gonna go for that trumpet beautiful silk satin
organza frothy him you know with this gorgeous kind of architectural details
notice I’m describing the dress very good because that’s all I do all day
long so even when you’re talking to a bride when I’m trying to like have her
help her buy a gown do you need to talk to her like that I tried to tell her
everything we have my way again aster who never sold one about cried whatever
and imagine which was one of the coolest dresses this dress we did really well
too it’s very cool anyway 2008 2007 this is the year that I made to Josephine the
Josephine is the dress I actually did that was in the movie called you again
this fall is how we met Christian Chenoweth and it’s coming up somewhere
in here there she is and my mom said that dress is gonna be
something special and it was actually a dress I almost nixed and cut off the
line and was like now and we actually made it happen and it actually ended up
being a great dress but we go back to 2006 and this is actually my cousin
Allison Steinhardt we were in the martha stewart building if you can see
Manhattan in the back of the net the skyline but you can kind of see how
through the years I’ve grown and changed and Roman Holiday was our other dress
this this dress paid all the bills that dress right there paid all the bills but
anyway we really really thank you so much for having us having me here I’m
excited I hope you all of you students really understand and know you’ve got to
keep that fire lit under yourself know what you want to do with your life and
get out there and make it and I think we’re gonna do questions
right now yes so you want to raise your hand if
anyone has a question and I’ll bring the mic to you there’s one I was looking at your
dresses before now and stuff I was wondering have you ever thought of
putting more culture different cultures into your dresses like Indian and
Japanese and Korean and Vietnamese and just you know like the way that they’re
made like the style themselves the styles and maybe silhouettes and I know
some of those have like like a sari or something like that
yeah just incorporating some of that because I mean I would think that
there’s a lot of people out there that have those type of cultural tradition
type sayings and I don’t go as much I guess american-style dress right right
well you know what we I have a good explanation for this
I kind of leave that where that is because that’s what they’re good at
people that are great at making sari should make saris like we were the
fashion editors at the bridal magazines such as Martha Stewart and one of my
favorite fashion editors Marteen Marteen ‘no Dez was the modern bride editor she
said Matthew then the United States Bridal designers are some are the best
Bridal designers in the world and that’s because we come up you know
over seas and over in Europe it’s all kind of the same and we’re known to kind
of go outside the box but how I can wrap this up for you is I have a lot of
brides when we incorporate things we do changes for them you know how to bride
that that purchase one of my gown she’s kind of having an Indian ceremony and
she’s gonna do henna and cool like bracelets with her dress but she still
wanted that kind of western style style which our wedding gowns are so I guess
that’s my answer would you say it’s easier to start a
business now than like if you when you were trying to start it 10 years ago
with all the technological advances oh wow that’s it
Wow I would say it could probably be there could be some easier things
because of social media because you could advertise in a lot of different
ways without having to spend a ton of money you know what I’m saying like we
were spending we spend money in like Martha Stewart Weddings you know what I
mean we do like magazine prints that’s kind of thing I would say the economy is
made it harder for people to start a business but don’t let it scare you
don’t let it scare you don’t let anything scare you you know what I mean
have the drive believe in yourself if you believe in yourself have the drive
and have the talent behind it and know that you can do it and really put and
make it happen and put it out there and put it out there great then you can
build a business you said you had someone else named you’re like dresses
yeah so do you have like a list that she gives you and you just kind of pick
where you think yeah actually we the list is getting shorter and shorter
because there’s 10 years worth we’re like we’ve done that name already
oh we need to like go look at another that you know we need to go look at
French names or whatever names of Princess it or yes she actually will we
work back and forth on email and that’s how it happens so what do you see as like the new newer
trends like coming up in the years to come Bridal yes well I would say right
now for the last few years it’s different the demographics of all of you
women across the country are so different I mean they’re so uniquely
different the New York bride versus the California bride versus the Texas bride
versus the the Midwest bride are so different you know right now some brides
are just now catching on to the trumpet and the trumpets I’ve been I’ve been
doing that trumpet rocking that trumpet 2008 and they’re just now catching that
trend so the trick if you notice if any of you guys say yes if you watch say yes
to the dress which I know when I know some of you
people do okay because I know people are addicted that set there and I’m like
that is my life I want to shoot myself sometimes anyway just buy it anyway
anyway the trend the trend has been ruching pick up skirts the the kind of
fitted the fitted trumpet you know I don’t know you know we’ve been trying to
bring ball gown back you know we’ll we’ll do like I said that year I did
Josephine I was talking to the design class and I said there’s something about
us designers I don’t know what happens I know it’s a god thing love it but anyway
we all ended up doing on Pier dresses on Pier dresses that were very ethereal
we’re talking Reem Acra um salah me there was probably five of us that year
and all that all the stores are like how did you guys know we didn’t talk to each
other there just happens to be something that kind of goes and we all kind of do
it so who knows what we’ll do this year you know people are still loving lace
you know lace some people are scared of lace some people love lace like the
North Carolina girl she’s like I want I want to I want to lace dress with a sash
I’m like okay how many of those can we sell anyway
yeah that’s my answer I’ve noticed that j.crew and
anthropology stores that just sell clothing have started to bring bridal to
their stores so has that made the industry a lot more competitive oh heck
yeah but that bride that is buying a Master Christopher is not that bright
you know the JQ crew bride is different the Magic Christopher bride the bride
that’s that wants the experience to go into a boutique into a salon they want
service they want it to be fitted they want to go through alteration process
they want to go through the whole thing I think that bride is going to go buy
the dress and just take it and now we have costco doing wedding gowns shooting
me we have David’s Bridal that just bureau
went to what she was probably smart Veeran Vera had a hard time making money
she made her money at her Couture salon in New York which is the most gorgeous
place I held grace Adler’s dress from her wedding whose wedding the unwilling
Grace that she wore she’s like this big I held that dress I’ll never forget that
but you know the industry is definitely growing with people that want to be
bridal gown designers and businesses that want to do it and get on the bridal
bandwagon but I think eventually one day it’s gonna go and you know it’ll weed
itself out everything does everything works itself out in time anyway more
questions thank you one thing I actually used to
work at David’s Bridal and was at two different bridal shops yeah so I know
all those isn’t anybody talking about but one thing we always had problems
with when I was working there was finding mothers gowns yeah and there’s
the huge I don’t know if there still is a huge need for that I don’t work at
David’s anymore but you know what they’re the mothers are so I tried it
didn’t I mom I’m like you know what I’m just good at making a wedding gown I’m
like I’m good at making a wedding gown that can translate into a red carpet I
tried to do mothers I can I don’t know what happened but it just didn’t work I
was like I didn’t get this off the ground but yes there’s a need there are
people I know that are starting some new fresh things be looking out for you know
I know my ears to the pavement I know what’s going on in the business but it
isn’t either yes and I almost got one of your gowns
four years ago you did where’d you go Perry you did what dress do you remember
which one you tried on one of them was up there the last one I think the Roman
holiday with I’m sorry I didn’t buy it hominin okay that’s okay you got to try
it on there right here in the you mentioned a Vera Wang drop to put
David’s Bridal and I know that you said you were mentioning going to a moderate
price is that like cheap and your brand do you think or do you think that’s an
okay thing no you know what as long as you’re you know we know that the Khazar
couture dresses are bread and butter for our company you know I I think we’re
just trying to reach you always want to do better I uh I know what I’m never
happy seriously I want to I’m trying I think at 35 now I’m 35 I think I’m
happier than I’ve been in my whole life but you’re always driving man I want to
be better I want to go and I think it’s that it’s chasing you all the time that
come on you know what I’m saying so I’m just trying something new
to try to see what can happen but yes I think the Bureau Wang thing yeah
everybody can now can say she’s wearing a bear way I think it’s definitely
lessened her brand I think it’s gonna change her couture
fire but hey she made that decision and good you know good for her she and she
inspired me when she did Nancy Kerrigan’s skating outfit years ago that
wasn’t so long ago yeah but I mean even if you’re looking ready-to-wear like all
these designers that like are designing for target I really think that it it
cheapens them I mean your couture line is always going to speak for itself I
just think that in this economy of being like a smart businessperson is also
adjusting to you know what’s going on around you and providing for more
clients and the more your name is out there the more it’s recognized so I
guess that’s the other end of the spectrum but yeah any other questions I have two questions
where are your gowns made and then do people try to copy your work and then
what do you do about that I call my mother and I call Lou and I go
are you kidding me I go oh I’ll never forget okay yes we make her our dresses
in China we get our fabrics from Italy and France I when I decided to do
production over there I knew that I could make you saw some of the work on
these gowns in the photographs I knew that I could do every imaginable thing I
ever wanted to do because their skill set was so amazing I’ve never found a
skill set so good we have to keep on top of it I mean sometimes you can be like
what were you eating a hamburger on this you know something weird will happen
you’ll get a dress in it we’ll have some weird thing somebody watch this did this
really just happen but you like I have to keep on top of my production but it’s
like the best the best and now I have to say China you know something for all the
students who know China now is really matching price to the United States
we’re now becoming two strong places but I still think
production overseas it’s going to stay because it’s very hard to find the skill
of that kind of some of the bias work and the beating and stuff here in the
United States and what was your other question ma’am like copying copy my work
the first copy dress I ever did was from a Galena I didn’t do but someone copied
me was this dress I did with the belt the exact thing I went to market when I
was a kid and Forever Yours cut probably copy three or four of my gowns and my
dad said ah it’s flattery let him chase you you had another one in your head
you’ll be fine so I you know yeah it does there’s a nudge this is definitely
a nudge like a fly flying around me when I see that but I try to let it go but
anyway yeah like imitate at a lower price point remember diamonds last week
oh yeah we had a girl that bought a map she wanted to diamond just the seven
thousand dollar dress she bought it online for three hundred and forty
dollars let me tell you how ugly it was so bad so he called us she’s like oh my
god oh oh now do you I’m so sorry I should have really just spent the money
and I did this and look at it it’s terrible she emailed it to us and
horrible really we were giggling but whatever yeah
alright we have time for two more questions I’ve noticed that color is becoming
really popular in the bridal industry like my sister-in-law’s dress had you
know like big pink thing down the back yeah you thought about moving into
viewing colored accents or colored wedding dresses yes I let Jesse do a
sash collection this year and if you notice there’s a black sash in a black
hat so just that from me is like the color direction I will go but yes there
that has been kind of like a it’s an ongoing thing like one year I did like
this this it was like a taupe color the lace dress remember that and like an
aerosol one it sounds like whatever but yes it is definitely a trend and it
comes and goes when you first started making your gowns
did you do it by yourself like my hands like all the stitching everything oh
yeah I went to Lou and I’d go I messed up oh my god how are we gonna fit my
cousin her boobs falling out would you say I you’d say that again when were you
finally able to move your production to China I did okay so I worked in the
workrooms like when I first made the gowns okay you have to understand I was
making those gowns when I was in college when I had my own little custom business
but when I moved into the business you know the industry we had so worse that
did that I would work with the pattern makers I would kind of drape with them
and do that there was people that had that skill that could move forward and
do better work than I could showing right and I was a good so I became a
very very very good sower and but yes I moved production immediately like when I
started Matthew Christopher we started overseas so all right well thank you all
for you and tonight um if you want to see these garments on the runway come
tomorrow or Saturday night at 7 p.m. doors open at 6:00 for the exhibit and
his 2011 collection will be on the runway yeah thank you everyone so much
thank you very much

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