After being frustrated in the search for her own tea-length wedding dress, Dolly Thicke started making dresses herself, and the brand Dolly Couture was born. Suite 101 was lucky enough to interview Dolly about her business, her inspirations, and her aspirations.
Do you have a background in sewing or design?
I played around with sewing as a kid but learned all about couture stitching when I started Dolly Couture. Now we produce in a factory, we can reach so many more brides, but I sew very little. I miss it a lot!
I have degrees in Liberal Arts, Sociology and a masters in counseling, which can come in handy when I meet with frantic brides! I’ve also studied acting, and while I was working on my undergrad at UCLA I took drawing and painting classes, which were my favorites. I’m so glad working on my line has me drawing almost daily!
Why is tea-length still so special for brides?
Maybe because their mothers and grandmothers wore this style. Audrey Hepburn wore it in Funny Face and she might just be the fashion icon of all time. My mother wore a dress like the Edmonton, and I wanted something like that when I got married. I was so excited to hear short dresses were making a comeback, but nobody seemed to be making anything formal and special. Hence, Dolly Couture was launched. Also, this silhouette looks great on pretty much everybody. It flatters plus sized brides as much as it does petites.
Every so often bridal magazines proclaim “the short dress is back!”, but it’s nearly impossible to find one in stores. Do you think short dresses will ever be truly mainstream?
I sure hope not! I love catering to the unique bride and would hate to see a fad come and go. This style belongs to the ’50s and early ’60s and to the bride with an old soul.
What inspires you?
My idol in business is Xavier Roberts. Yes, the Cabbage Patch guy. I love how he turned a wonderful idea into one of the most well-known and beloved toys of all time. I’d like to think my dresses are as unique and wonderful as his soft-sculptured treasures. I’d like to start a line for flower girls that are one-of-a kind collectors items, but am still working out the details.
What advice do you have for brides thinking about a custom wedding dress?
Contact us! We can turn any vision into a reality. Since most of our gowns are mail order, we always recommend having a local alterations specialist lined up. So many of our brides are lucky enough to need no alterations, but I always think it’s nice to have your gown fitted perfectly to your body. Since our prices are only around $500, brides can use their own tailor and still stay within their budgets.
What’s next for Dolly Couture?
We have some new dresses coming out, and flower girl dresses! We are especially excited about our little dresses for the girls. These mimic our most popular wedding gowns and I hope they’ll be a big hit.
Our greatest hope for Dolly Couture is longevity and lots of happy brides who will remember us forever. We are so grateful for the opportunity to do something so creative and wonderfully fun for our brides. We love more than anything to see photos of our smiling happy brides on their wedding day.
Does Dolly Couture have a motto?
We have two: “No unhappy brides”, and “Dolly Couture: it’s better to show your legs!”