Elbeth Gillis

Interview with South African Bridal Designer: Elbeth Gillis

Elbeth Gillis

Bride Icon are pleased to share this exclusive interview with bridal designer from South Africa Elbeth Gillis.  Her designs are renowned for sheer luxury and a sophistication that transcends time, and a brand that oozes all the hallmarks of femininity.

Elbeth Gillis is internationally known for her bridal and evening couture. Relentless in her pursuit of distinction and refinement, Elbeth searches for only the most opulent French laces and the most sumptuous silks, satins and chiffons made by prestigious fabric houses that are known to supply royalty.

As a young girl, Elbeth was surrounded by the beauty of fabrics, inspired by the magic that took place as her aunts and mother brought beauty and grace to the garments they sewed. By the age of 12, Elbeth knew she was destined to study fashion. Now, over 20 years later, the reputation of the Elbeth Gillis brand is a testament to Elbeth’s talent. Brides looking for something different will fall in love with the enduring, Audrey Hepburn-like design aesthetic.

So let’s find out a little bit more about Elbeth Gillis:

Elbeth Gillis

Thank you for taking the time to speak to Bride Icon.  Could we start off by asking about what your new beautiful collection DESIRE represents for brides to be?
Desire is very possibly one of my most articulate collections to date, fluently and coherently weaving together 15 gowns into one seamless whole.  Breathtakingly elegant, this collection pays tribute to the strength it takes to be fully woman: to know when to stop, listen, harness, and let go. This collection sees the return of structured gowns with light boning in the bodices, weightier silks and satin to add definition and line, and bold, outspoken laces.  Silhouettes range from gliding ballgowns to figure-defining mermaids.  Necklines are strong: plunging Vs, striking bateaus, sweeping off-the-shoulder lines.  Sensuous touches of femininity are evident throughout: beading sparkles and glitters, tulle skirt overlays tempt, lace cap sleevelets entice, and back and side cut-outs seduce.
Elbeth Gillis
Elbeth Gillis

Bridal dresses are within a very competitive market around the globe, how do you see your collection as being exclusive, ie what makes an Elbeth Gillis creation special for a bride?

Brides almost always comment on how comfortable their dresses are, and by how beautiful they feel in them.

Elbeth Gillis
Elbeth Gillis
There are so many trends out there, how do you decide if you were to follow a trend or not, or do you have your own styling ideas that you prefer to take forward?

I’m driven by transcendent style and by quality. While the bridal industry isn’t as trendy as high fashion, it is influenced by it, and this means there are things that will come and go. I instinctively pull out the elements that will transcend trends, and then translate that into a gown that is ethereal and sumptuous.

Elbeth Gillis
Elbeth Gillis
What has been the most intricate dress you have made and what was the story behind it.
I really like Fleur.  This body-sculpting gown in stretch satin has bold, plunging lines. Floral motifs adorn the bodice, while deep V armholes with illusion insets invite a second look.

Who is your ultimate Bride Icon in the world, past or present, that you would love or have loved to create a wedding dress for, and what would your design look like?

There are so many!  Maybe one of the royal weddings…. Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle, that would have been an amazing experience. When designing a more bespoke dress, especially for an occasion of such magnitude, the bride would have to be involved in the design process so it is really hard to say what it would look like.  However, it would have stayed true to the Elbeth Gillis brand: pure luxury, modest sensuality, and timeless yet modern designs, ethereal and feminine.

Elbeth Gillis

Elbeth Gillis
Bride Icon celebrates every woman. What would be the one piece of advice you can give to every bride looking for their ultimate bridal dress?

Pick the dress that you want to wear, that you feel beautiful in, that you feel comfortable in.  Do not be majorly influenced by friends and family.  You will know when you have picked the perfect dress.  I would also advise to start the dress buying process early for less stress, it can take a few fittings and I would also get your shoes early on too as this will have implications for the dress fittings.  Shoes and dresses can take 1-3 months to make especially if it is hand-made!

Elbeth Gillis
Elbeth Gillis

Elbeth Gillis

Elbeth Gillis

We would like to say a huge thank you to Elbeth Gillis for taking the time to speak with Bride Icon.  Elbeth Gillis can be found in boutiques around the world, also taking private appointments in Cape Town, South Africa, or visit the website and social media tags here for more info:

Website: www.elbethgillis.com

Facebook: @ElbethGillisCouture

Instagram: @elbethgillis

Elbeth Gillis

Elbeth Gillis

Imagery Courtesy of Elbeth Gillis