Wedding dress fashion call

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The dreamy quiet of Lake Hawea will be set aside in favour of fashion, models and glamour for a local woman next week.

Wedding dress designer Annette Richan has been invited to New Zealand Fashion week, with a show featuring her unique designs.

More than 30,000 people will attend the Auckland event that starts on Monday and attracts fashion heavyweights from across the globe.

When Mrs Richan was invited to attend she first thought they might have made a mistake, but when it was confirmed, she was delighted to be able to showcase her “modern but with romance” style.

Her fashion career started in 2015 when she was living in Australia and working in banking.

Although she loved sewing and design she did not think she would ever be able to turn her passion into a business.

“I was always altering my own clothes and started to make some of my kids’ clothes.”

Although she loved art and design, she “didn’t’ know how to funnel that into work”.

That all changed when Mrs Richan began planning her wedding.

“When I got engaged, I couldn’t find the dress I wanted – I changed my mind five times, so I designed five.”

She then sold the other four wedding dresses, and “the penny dropped”.

This was the moment she realised there was an appetite for her creations.

“I realised this is what I need to be doing.”

Newly married, she moved to Wanaka in 2017 and began Ivory and Stone Bridal.

“I thought I would give this a real crack”.

Wanaka was a big wedding destination, but that was not in her mind when she began, it was other people who said it was a “good spot” to be creating wedding dresses.

“I didn’t put two and two together when I started the label,” she said.

Forming relationships with the bride, sketching and creating the dress were all elements she enjoyed.

“My brides end up being like family.”

Her “moody and dramatic” show is on August 27, and Mrs Richan has been involved in all aspects from lighting to music, working with the models as well as hair and makeup.

Seeing “awesome fashion” and being in the same room as many “amazing designers” whom she looks up to is going to be “really exciting”.

“I think it is going to be a very, very busy week”, Mrs Richan said.