Sydney Watters Dunbar has worked in all areas at Watters, from marketing to product. For the last two years, she has taken on the role of style director, putting her stamp on bridal fashion.
What makes Watters different from other bridal lines? Part of what sets us apart is our incredible team with a diverse perspective. We are based in Dallas, not somewhere more obvious like L.A. or NYC. This really pushes our team to explore and travel for inspiration and to find what’s next. There’s not a fabric district here so we aren’t looking for the next “it” thing in the same places as other brands. I think our unique location helps us reach and understand the majority of brides as well.
How much time is spent on a gown, from concept to execution? It really depends on the gown; some use a technique that can take a few tries to execute while others happen unexpectedly in an instant. For most of our collection, we start sketching about six months before we see product start coming to life.
Do you personally design each gown? Designing gowns is a team effort. We have an awesome group of talented individuals from all around the world and everyone brings something unique to the table. Designing a gown goes beyond a sketch. It includes selecting the perfect fabrics, working with our patternmakers to engineer the perfect fit, and collaborating with our seamstresses to see what works best to make the vision of our dresses a reality.
How do you come up with the names? We typically brainstorm names and words that relate to the collection themes that season and put them with the dresses that feel right for the name.
What are your favourite trends? I am loving how clean styles are still going strong, I love a crisp bridal fabric and a creamy shade of white. It’s so fresh yet classic looking.
Which trends are on their way out? With advances in fabrics and components in the materials we are using it’s great to see the airiness that can be achieved in bridal now, nothing is overly crunchy or too structured anymore. Brides have options that flatter them, not just dresses that look like they are wearing the bride.
What advice do you have for brides who are starting to shop? Try on things you didn’t imagine you’d like! You may be surprised, and if not, you can be even more sure in your decision. And, of course, pick the dress that you feel your best in, it’s your day.
Do you have a favourite gown?
This season I am loving the Rianne dress from our Wtoo Collection. It features a fluffy ballgown that’s always a favourite with an updated origami Mikado bodice that makes it look super modern.