A Donna Salado wedding dress is anything but run of the mill. If you’re looking for a gown full of drama and exceptional attention to detail, this collection is for you. But what inspires the top designer? We caught up with the lady herself to find out…

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How did you get started in the bridal industry?

I had always loved the romance, beautiful fabrics, intricate structure involved in bridal, having always specialized and intrigued in the pattern cutting and fit side of fashion. I decided I wanted to explore bridal and started to work for a couture bridal company in London. Going on to launch my own label Donna Salado in 1991, producing the collection from my Northampton showroom and then being nominated 4 times for the Best British Bridal designer.

What’s your signature look?

My latest collection has a sense of both romance and drama and features my signature touches in terms of statement silhouettes and the fabrics I use. These dresses have stood the test of time and have become known for their exceptional fit, fabric manipulation, individuality and attention to detail.

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What fabrics do you like working with the best?

I love working with many different types of fabrics, especially silk taffetas and exquisite laces, experimenting with different cuts and techniques to create something unique. In my latest collection I have been developing hand spraying laces to create different levels of shading, as well as introducing devore and jacquards.

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What inspires you?

I’m inspired by any number of things – films, books and general fashion, the fabrics themselves often help develop new ideas. Once I start sketching, I can continue for days and continually think of new things and develop ideas through my drawings.

I am also fortunate enough to have my own bridal boutique, Stunning Bridal attached to my design studio in Northampton where I talk with real brides first hand – their feedback is invaluable.  I am also Head Designer for Mark Lesley, where I have to be able to create a number of different looks for our various collections.

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What’s your favourite gown from the latest collection and why?

It is so hard to choose a favourite gown and it constantly changes depending on my mood and sometimes on the bride that is wearing it! One of my favourites at the moment is ‘Astrid’ as she is so versatile with her soft A-line lace that can be removed to reveal a sexy satin fishtail gown underneath. This can then be worn with a crystal belt to create a totally different look in the evening.

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What do you think about coloured wedding dresses?

I love coloured wedding gowns and always try to incorporate them in my collections, red has always been very popular and if you’re a bride looking to make a statement, red is definitely a colour you should experiment with. Especially if you’re a Valentine’s Day bride!

What would be your top 3 tips on buying a wedding dress?

Do some research in bridal magazines and the internet to get some ideas of the style you like. Take into consideration the style of wedding you want, venue and the time of the year. And finally, go to a reputable bridal boutique, with an open mind and your mum or a friend that you trust. Don’t take too many people with you as it can get overwhelming and confusing. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so you need to enjoy it!

Need some more dress shopping tips? Read our advice here, and then take a look at some of the best new styles for spring and summer 2014.

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