Meet Savannah-based designer Faith Thornburg, a 2012 Belk Southern Designer Showcase winner, at Belk at the Summit on Sunday, February 24, from 1 pm to 4 pm! The designer of one-of-a-kind bridal gowns will meet with customers at Belk at the Summit, discuss their dream wedding dress and sketch her ideas for each dress in store. From that sketch, Thornburg will create a custom gown that the customer will pick up at their local Belk store upon completion. Thornburg will showcase sample dresses while light appetizers and refreshments are served.
Faith works with clients to create custom wedding gowns, eveningwear, and cocktail dresses, giving her the chance to be a part of a special moment in each woman’s life. She has shown collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City (featured in ELLE Magazine) and Charleston Fashion Week in Charleston, S.C. Thornburg is a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design. Same Chic Different Day is pleased to bring you this interview with her.
Did you start with bridal gowns? When I decided to go into fashion, I never dreamed of bridal being where I’d end up. My intentions were to go into ready-to-wear, but once I started school, I just didn’t feel passionate enough to do that for the rest of my life. I thought about switching my major to something else but then I discovered the whimsy of bridal and instantly fell in love! Bridal became more than a passion, and from then on out, I used my projects at SCAD to learn more and more about the industry and sought out designers and retailers to gain experience.
Is your life in hyper-drive right now?
Hyper-drive is an understatement! I’m constantly learning new things everyday, doing new research, looking for new ideas and inspiration, and working on custom dresses, all while running a business! I have the best job in the world, even if it means staying up all night to get things done!
What’s the most in-demand feature for bridal gowns right now? Every bride is different and is looking for something that makes her dress unique. I tell everyone all the time that the days of the cookie-cutter bride are gone (and thank God)! The best way to personalize a dress and make it special is to accessorize. A simple velvet sash can add a ton of personality and spice up an otherwise boring dress. Add some “bling” from a family heirloom and now you’ve got a regal dress ready for the aisle. Another “trend” I’ve seen is having two dresses, a gown for the ceremony and a party dress for the reception. To accommodate this, many dresses in my collection are shorter and versatile so a bride can purchase for the wedding and use again for a later event.
Do you ever meet with a bride who isn’t really sure what she’s looking for yet and how do you guide those appointments? This happens a lot. The best advice I can give a bride is to just try on various styles and be open minded. She won’t really get an idea of what she likes until she puts it on. Then we can determine what styles, shapes, fabrics, etc. she likes better and go from there.
Do you have an absolute favorite gown you’ve designed so far and do you have a most memorable “famous” wedding dress? Picking a favorite would be like picking a favorite child! I have great memories with each custom dress I’ve done, and that’s what I cherish most. From the dresses in my collection though, I just can’t determine my all time favorite! As far as “famous” wedding dresses go, I will forever love the dress that was worn by Jane McNeil in 1953. I have a picture of her walking into the church with the paparazzi behind her that I could stare at for days! I love the veil that Jane wore so much that it’s now a part of my collection!
What’s next for Faith Thornburg? My next big step is to show at market in the Fall and start working with bridal boutiques all over the country. Seeing my designs hanging in boutiques everywhere is my new big dream.
Images courtesy of Faith Thornburg