10 Minutes With: Vatana Watters

Fashion Designer

Youthful. Fun. Spirited. These are the words that come to mind when we think of a Watters bride, and when we think of owner and designer Vatana Watters.

Each season, brides are treated to Vatana Watters' unique brand of brash femininity mixed with a modern sensibility that appeals to ingénue and sophisticate alike. We recently had one-on-one time with the busy designer who shared her story and inspirational world with us.

How did you end up in your profession?
Out of necessity I shopped vintage, second hand and thrift stores growing up. I had a knack for putting my finds together in unusual and unique ways. I furthered my passion at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.

After moving to Dallas we found our niche by designing and making bridesmaids dresses for local clients. It wasn’t until recently did we expand to wedding gowns, flower girls and mother of the brides.

Who, what and where inspires you?
Inspiration is an interesting thing; it comes in many forms and places. It can come from a trip overseas, a shopping trip or even a simple stroll down the street. Keeping abreast of current trends is important as well as revisiting the past. I have a particular affinity for the old masters such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Balenciaga and Lanvin to name a few.

I still take trips to vintage stores to see what treasures might await me, because vintage shopping is still a passion of mine. There are techniques that have been lost and vintage finds are a way to renew my senses. Our new ad campaign is inspired by the ease of the outdoors. The ads were shot at the Calabasas Reserve in Los Angeles, California.

What is the best part of your job?
I love the creative process--seeing an idea go from sketch to drape, embroidery and final garment. It’s an organic process and sometimes the dress turns out like the vision and sometimes it’s completely different. Seeing it from A-Z really excites me. I work very hard to make sure that what we put out is current, fresh, surprising and beautiful. Many times the dress can be made or lost in the details.

What do you love about brides?
I love their personal stories that they graciously share with us and to know that our gown will be included in one of the most important days of their lives.

What is your favorite dress right now?
We take inspiration from so many sources that it would be unfair to pick just one. The Watters team really works hard at making dresses that are relatable yet challenge the sensibilities as well. If it is a classic silhouette we will give it a modern take; if it is a modern detail then we will use it on a classic shape. Mixing and matching these ideas is what we do best and it gives our dresses a fresh perspective.

What is the one thing every bride needs?
Self-confidence is the key to selecting the perfect gown, being comfortable with your sense of style and expressing yourself through your look.

Can you give us a Bridal Do?
Take time to enjoy the process leading up to your wedding day and capture the moments of the day itself.

What about a Bridal Don’t?
Don’t rethink what you’ve done. Go forward and enjoy.

What’s next?
While we are thrilled with the current success of our brands, we continually work to give the changing faces of our brides what they want. We continue to touch our brides at trunks shows and through social media. Our highly successful Watters division of bridal and bridesmaids is focused on the luxury side of bridal at an attainable price.

The newer Wtoo by Watters is focused on a wider audience of brides and bridesmaids that we infused with fashion at a more affordable value. Also, we are focused to expand our flower girl and mother of the bride categories. Giving our brides and their parties what they want is what we strive for.

Finally, tell us a style secret that can make weddings look magic. (We promise we won’t tell.)

Brides can easily be distracted by the opinions of well meaning others, however it is important to listen to your heart when selecting your gown – to ensure you will be walking down the aisle with confidence and grace.

Thank you Vatana.

--Juli Alvarez

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