Your absolute best
That's how you want to feel every day, of course – but especially on your wedding day and other special occasions. Part of that means wearing something that not only looks amazing, but also feels like you. Right down to the last detail. But what if you have your heart set on something specific and you can't find it anywhere? Or you want something that's 100% unique? Then I'm here to help. Instead of using existing patterns, I make every new creation completely from scratch. What are the benefits? Read on to learn more.
"My first dress-fitting appointment at a bridal store was a true disaster. I didn’t feel welcome and the people weren’t very nice to me… So I decided to call a friend of a friend who is a designer. And we designed my dress together. Lilli is truly amazing and she really made my dream dress – simple, elegant, perfect."
- Yaël, bride
"After having scoured a bunch of different bridal shops, I still hadn’t found what I was looking for: something with 3D lace, a bit of color and a split; clearly a wedding dress, but light and danceable. Not the easiest demands. Then I heard from a colleague that his wife also makes wedding dresses: Lilli. She is really the perfect partner to design a dress with. Thanks to her patience, discussing all my ideas and doubts, and her eye for detail, she was able to make a dress that was even more spectacular than the one I had in my head: elegant, sexy, unique!"
- Luzan, bride
Why Lilli Turner Couture?
Most stores and designers that offer a "one-of-a-kind" wedding dress or other garment do so by letting you to choose from existing designs – for example, x number of tops and x number of skirts – further allowing you to (1) choose which top you want to go with which skirt, (2) adjust these components as desired (e.g., a different neckline) and (3) select fabric(s) from their current stock.
Clearly, such a concept meets many people’s needs and saves those doing the making a lot of time.
But what if you want something that isn’t a part of their program? Or you’re looking for something that's truly, 100% unique? That's when you call me.
A different approach
For every new project, I draft a brand-new pattern by hand based on your exact measurements. Ensuring a wide range of possibilities and a truly tailor-made fit, this approach also puts you in control of the design.
I also don't limit you to the fabrics I have in stock. Instead, I work with a wide variety of swatches and, if I don't have what you're looking for within my current collection, then I actually go out and find the fabrics that are just right for you. The average cost of materials for a wedding dress from Lilli Turner Couture is approximately €300 to €500.
Although the search for something truly unique – be it a wedding dress or other garment – is the most common reason I hear from clients, I also offer other advantages:
- Personal contact with just one person, who is in no way a salesperson (yep, yours truly). I'm also here to serve as a sounding board every step of the way. Personal attention and advice are a big part of the process at Lilli Turner Couture. And no question is too big, small or strange!
- Flexibility. I'm not a store and don't have opening hours. Prefer to meet in the evening and/or on a Sunday? No problem.
- A relaxed environment. My studio is located in a "broedplaats" (a special, collective building for self-employed creatives). Definitely not your traditional bridal shop or clothing store.
- Old-school craftsmanship, made 100% by me, in Amsterdam. More sustainable than purchasing a dress manufactured in a far-away factory! And you're supporting a local creative entrepreneur.
Process & price
Step 1: the price quote
After our first (and, of course, obligation-free) meeting in my studio in Amsterdam-West, I'll offer a price quote based on your wishes. The price quote is made up of two amounts: one careful estimate of material costs and one fixed amount for labor. Labor includes an average of three to four fittings, finding and purchasing fabrics, drafting the pattern, making the toile (a mock-up garment to test the pattern on your body), pattern corrections, a matching, handmade veil (optional) and, of course, the final garment.
When determining the materials estimate, I always take your specific desires into account (e.g., how do you feel about synthetic vs silk) but the end amount ultimately depends on the fabrics you choose (in step 2). The final invoice will include an itemized list of materials used according to the prices at which they were purchased. The amount for the agreed-upon labor is not subject to change.
Material costs for the wedding dresses I make generally run around €300 to €500. For labor, I charge an average of €2,000 to €3,500, depending on the design and other options chosen. This means that the average total price generally comes to about €2,300 to €4,000. All prices mentioned here include 21% VAT.
Step 2: the sketch, toile and fabrics
If you're on board with the price quote, then our next step is the sketch. I’ll make a rendering of the garment(s) according to your wishes (similar to the example here). Once you're happy with the way the design looks in the drawing, I'll start drafting the pattern and making the toile (a.k.a. mock-up).
The toile gives us a chance to evaluate the style and fit before anything has been set in stone – for example., we can still adjust the neckline, sleeve length, etc. For the toile, I use similar but cheaper fabrics. This allows us to get a good idea of how the final garment(s) will look while keeping costs to a minimum.
Step 3: the final garment
The whole process generally takes about six to ten weeks, in which we see each other approximately four to five times. And then: ta-da! It's time to come try on the final result. Just like when we fit the toile, you'll want to bring everything you're planning to wear with your new garment: the appropriate underwear, the shoes, etc.
Are you happy with how everything looks and feels? Then it's yours for the taking. Hurrah!
Who am I?
Among other things, I'm a fashion and costume designer, tailor and illustrator. I live in Amsterdam with my husband and two kids. As long as I can remember, I've been obsessed with art and making things. The obsession began with singing and drawing and, over the years, came to include everything from acting, knitting, (song)writing, painting and – of course – making clothes and costumes.
My adventures in freelance fashion design and tailoring began approximately ten years ago, first in Portland (Oregon, USA) and now in Amsterdam (Netherlands). Although I started sewing around the age of 10, it wasn't until I was busy completing my BA in theater arts, which included a focus in costume design, that I actually started considering a career in design and tailoring. A few years later, after settling in the Netherlands, I obtained two diplomas: one in textile knowledge and one as a certified "costumière" (tailor). And I continue to attend classes and workshops to this day.
Get in touch! I'd love to help you realize your dream wedding dress or other garments – and if I can't help you, maybe I know someone who can.
Dr. Jan van Breemenstraat 1, room T 10
1056 AB Amsterdam
+31 6 3448 1733