There’s wedding dresses, and then there’s Alex Perry. The wedding dress in the shop window and Alex Perry’s RTW bridal range are both essentially wedding gowns, but the signature style of old-world glamour that has A-list celebrities hooked could only be expected from the latter.
In true ‘Alex Perry style’ candour, the man is not afraid to emphasise this distinction.
“There’s not much integrity in the bridal sphere; it’s one knock off after another and I’ve never done that,” he says, referring to today’s all too common strapless and A-line wedding dresses.
“There’s always a fashionable element to my dresses; if you imagine them in black they would still look fantastic, as would they make fantastic red carpet evening gowns.”
Evening wear has long been the signature feature of Alex Perry, ever since he opened up his first shop in Kensington, Sydney at the age of 29.
Perry was instantly acclaimed by an editor of Vogue Australia who rushed to feature his explosive gowns, sexy sheaths and jewelled corsets in their fashion shoots.
Following his success, Perry relocated his store to Double Bay in 1994 where his label captured the clientele of high profile celebrities and personalities.
Self-acclaimed ‘Perry Girls’ include Elle Macpherson, Eva Longoria, Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Sarah O’Hare and Megan Gale, just to name a few.
“There is something fabulous about dressing up and it’s part of our culture as Greeks,” says Perry.
“To dress up is a mark of respect. It adds to the beauty of an evening when women dress beautifully in cocktail dresses and guys put on good suits. That’s why I love evening wear more than anything else because it becomes a Cinderella principle. You can work all day and you may not feel fantastic but when you go out it’s that red carpet moment.”
Although Alex Perry was custom making wedding dresses since his early days, it was not until 2005 that he launched his RTW bridal collection.
“If all I did was wedding dresses day in, day out, I’d have to kill myself,” he admits wryly.
Hence Perry releases one bridal dress collection per year, which have been created in beautiful shapes, both soft and structured, and perfected to fit the body like a glove.
They may be ‘Ready to Wear’, but Perry says that his wedding gowns are hand rouched, hand beaded, and French seamed, “unlike the finishes found on regular dresses.”
Think silk Georgette fishtails with hand detailing, and beautiful, big, princess dresses with ruffles. ‘Sadly’, there is no strapless A-line.
Whilst his gowns are designed to flatter and accentuate a woman’s body, he still advises brides to take into consideration their body type when choosing a wedding dress.
“There’s nothing worse than having a strapless dress with fat hanging out of the back and walking down the aisle with down-lighting,” he says.
“If you want to wear strapless honey, there are two options, you can either cover up or stop eating crap. I’m only saying what other people will talk about behind her back.”
That being said, he doesn’t recommend that brides follow those magazine guides that claim women must wear a specific dress shape because their body is for example, a pear, or an apple.
“A-line dresses seem to be the favourite of girls with heavy thighs, which I consider as the ‘nothing dress’. That girl can wear something beautiful that’s draped and Georgette that does wonders for her figure, so there is no definitive dress type for every shape.”
So where to now for Alex Perry?
Perry is currently taking a well deserved holiday in Athens, Greece.
Following his role as a judge on Australia’s Next Top Model and the success of his labels, Perry has decided to diversify the business to homewears and has designed a range of Greek inspired rugs.
“I am continuing to keep myself interested, regenerating and fresh,” he says.
Alex’s bridal dress tips
- Don’t travel in a pack when choosing your dress. You will be overwhelmed by the differing opinions. Take two people you really trust with you.
- Your wedding dress should highlight your good features. Have a good look at your figure and define what parts of your body you want to features and what parts you want to conceal.
- Choose a wedding dress that is good quality and a good fit . You
will look a million dollars. You can buy a dress with all the beading
in the world but if it doesn’t fit, it will look cheap.
- Bridal gown trend: “If I was going to pick a trend, it would be
from Sex and City and the recent couture shows In New York- incredible
big ball gowns with light touches of lace detailing sheer fabrics in
the skirt, and organza overlays.”