Sketch to Dress {Behind the Scenes with Carol Hannah}

Sketch to Dress {Behind the Scenes with Carol Hannah}

By | October 25, 2010

I love just about every single detail about weddings but one part that makes me a giddy gal is the privilege of seeing behind the scenes. To have the opportunity to learn from the amazing talents that make weddings in Charleston happen; who execute so flawlessly that they make it look it easy. I assure you that it is not. That appearance effortlessness is a product of a plethora experience and a passion for excellence.

The bridal couture world is buzzing with excitement right now after the much anticipated bridal market in New York. We could not pass up the opportunity to chat with the Charleston design darling, the happily ever, sweet as pie and gorgeously talented, Carol Hannah. She is known for her success on Project Runway and for her stunning designs. She whooed us all last March with the launch of her bridal gown collection. Carol kindly shared a peak behind the runway into her everyday world. A glimpse at how her designs begin from her mood board and become to sketches that end up on the runway and magazines and then to you.

TWR: In your earlier years, how did you decide that you eventually wanted to become a designer?

Carol: It was a combination of a lot of different factors.  I knew early on that I loved to make clothes and specifically dresses, but it wasn’t until I went on Project Runway that I even formally called myself a designer.  When you are self taught, it’s not like there’s a point where someone sits you down and says, “You are a designer!”

TWR: When you create something, what goes through your mind?
Carol: I think about how something will feel when you’re wearing it, how a gown will move down the aisle or on the dance floor, and what kind of feeling I want to reflect in the piece.  Design shouldn’t be forced, but should rather be a natural progression, so you have to let yourself go a bit and just run with an idea whenever it hits you.

Charleston WeddingTWR: What is your favorite aspect about Bridal Market?

Carol: I love the energy.  I love finally revealing what I’ve been working on.  It’s just a fun and exciting time to see all sorts of new things from everyone.  And the big events that Martha Stewart and The Knot do at the end are a blast!


TWR: How long does it take you to create a collection?

Carol: It depends.  I usually end up sewing and actually making most of the samples in a fairly short time period.  The most recent collection was done in about three (very intense) weeks.  I find I work better under pressure when I don’t have time to overthink things.  The back end of designing a collection is longer than that though…concept + sketching, sourcing materials, etc.

Charleston weddings

TWR: What is your inspiration for your latest collection?

Carol: The current collection is based on the architecture and the vibe of Charleston.  I love how the city has this interesting combination of high society meets coastal bohemian.  It’s a great combo of luxe and relaxed simultaneously.
The next collection that I’m working on is a touch more abstract.  I’m really excited to see how it develops.

TWR: What advice do you have for the aspiring designers?
Carol: Sew!  Sew as much as possible!  The higher your skill level, the easier the whole process of launching a line will be. You also have to know your point of view and your niche.  Know your girl (or guy) and what they are looking for.  Stick to your guns.

Charleston weddings

Charleston Weddings

Meet Carol and see the collection at her upcoming Trunk show at Maddison Row with Bella Bridesmaid, November 11th – 13th. Please call for an appointment {843.720.7979}.

Weddings in Charleston

Images Courtesy of Carol Hannah | Real Wedding Images by HBB Photography {including top post image}

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