The show stopper of any wedding is the bridal gown, its every girl’s childhood dream , all the planning revolves around that one beautiful piece. This is the day that any lady demands perfection and glamour. And it starts from finding her Cinderella wedding dress.
But why travel far and wide, when fashion-savvy designers covering the entire spectrum of designs from the world over give you the most glamorous pieces right here in Muscat.
From Godey’s Lady’s Book 1949, “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.”
So follows the brand name dedicated to the most exquisite wedding gowns – Simply White
Colette Anderi comes with a strong educational background in Communication Arts in Lebanon’s best University, further supplemented with seven years experience in the television sector working alongside top singers, actresses and designers, Colette is the proud owner of Simply White in Muscat.
It is an emblem of the purity, innocence of a girlhood and the unsullied heart, she now yields to the chosen one…
We got a scoop at the real behind-the-scene drama of a bride and her dress and Colette had some interesting facts to share.
Tell me about you and your association with Simply White
I got married in to family which was one of the pioneers in this industry in Lebanon. They started the business 25 yrs ago. Now we have 10 shops in Lebanon and 5 in Brazil. We offer a wide selection of gowns from top of the line bridal designers in an intimate salon setting, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix, Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang, Rosa Clara, Zuhair Murad, Marchesa, Lazaro, Savina Deluca, Esposacouture, Cymbeline, Enzoani, La Sposa, Pronovias, Manuel Mota, Max Chaoul, Oscar de la Renta & Monique Lhuillier, the list goes on. Also my brother-in-law, Lucas Anderi is one of the well known designer in Brazil.
Simply white is quite popular all over gulf. We are opening a new outlet in Jumeirah, Dubai, but with the name Esposa.
We set foot in Muscat two years back, because we realized that, if Omani Brides wanted a designer gown they had to travel outside the country to get it, there was no brand name or a professional service that catered to wedding dresses; at least not at the level that we intended on serving.
What is the current favorite trend among brides in Oman?
It’s quite a mixed culture, a variety of preferences. Many have a fondness for beads and lots of crystals; some like a more elegant and simple make. But somehow, crystals always find their way to a necessity. Now, the fad is all for lace- dentelle. It’s a latest range and is commonly being seen on bridal gowns all over the world. I guess they are following the footsteps of Kate Hamilton or Lady Diana.
Here in Oman, brides fancy lace woven with bead work and maybe some light layers. But nothing extreme, not like the West!
When should a bride come to you for selecting a bridal gown?
I believe three months in advance is a comfortable time for them and us. If they like something in particular and they have the budget for it, we can have it made exclusively in Lebanon and sent back to us. All the fittings are done here. But major changes and modifications are sent to our designers in Lebanon.
Do you also provide the accessories?
Yes, we do provide the accessories too, sometimes the bride’s jewelry or shoes will not go with the bridal gown that she selects, in that case she can always pick from our collection of Swarovski Crystals. We have shoes, hair accessories, brooches and tiaras.
What are your advises to the would be brides?
I would like to ask all the brides, first and foremost, plan your wedding, start planning immediately after your engagement, start saving for the bridal gown, after all you are planning for your wedding dress not for a pair of jeans, if you want THE best dress, it is going to cost you. It is heartbreaking to see the disappointment on the brides face, when she knows she cannot wear the dresses she wanted.
So do research, look around and see what’s available in the market and try it out. It may surprise most, today several international brands are available in Oman itself.
On what basis do you advice the style of the dress?
We concentrate on body shape rather than fashion. If she’s slim we suggest a mermaid cut; if she is really petite, we suggest something that’s more figure hugging. On the other hand,for more voluptuous ladies, we work to emphasize her best curves.
How fashion conscious is Omani brides?
I’ll answer that by dividing their choices into three categories. First, we have women who want only beads and crystals. The cut, fabric and other factors don’t matter.
Then there are those for whom the shape matters the most. They can find all the shapes, cuts and layers at Simply White, no second thoughts on that.
Last, there are few who have something specific in mind like Haute Couture, they ask for is specific style of beading and a definite cut.
What are some fashion mistakes that usually brides make?
- Just beads and nothing else – There is so much more that goes to even bring out the beauty of bead work.
- Any neck, any cut, any fabric – The body structure, skin tone and even hair color matters when deciding on the gown.
- Copy designs out of a book or a friend’s wedding – Again, just because it looked good on the cover page or your best friend looked marvelous in it, doesn’t necessarily mean that it would suit you. We should be able to differentiate between a beautiful dress and what looks good on you.
To avoid these general mistakes, usually I consult and guide them.
If international brands are available in Oman, Why do Omani brides go shopping outside Oman, is it the price or just more variety?
It is a wrong assumption, ultimately it’s prove to be 2 to 3 times more expensive affair. If your budget is flexible, then yes, you may find some more options, but if you go there with limited budget, you will not get what you are looking for.
Moreover, we have designers creating collections especially for Oman. We can confidently say that we have all the works of international brands right here in Oman.
If a bride comes to you with ample time and the right budget, can you get her exactly what she wants?
Yes, we have 10 shops in Lebanon, I can source and get exactly what she’s looking for.
Are your clients primarily Muscat based or do you have clients from other parts of Oman as well?
The Muscat clientele is quite a handful; but I also get a lot of orders from other cities like Sur, Sohar etc. Brides here would like to have grand weddings.
Any expansion plans?
Definitely, but different from what we know as Simply White. We have plans on opening a showroom in Al Khuwair and we are studying Sohar as an option too.
Red carpet inspired gowns and advice from an expert; you can say goodbye to wedding blues and hello to Simply White!
Contact: +968 24699313