Alluring, delicate and timeless are words that capture the essence of bridalwear label Ivie White. Winner of the Sunshine Coast Design Awards Couture Category 2018, Sunshine Coast creative Stephanie Patey is proving that less really can be more in bridal design. At the ripe age of 20, Patey secured a job sewing for a local designer where she discovered her love for everything bridal. “I never studied — I was just young and interested in sewing,” said Patey. “I learnt everything I know from that job.”
While she was grateful for the opportunity to watch and learn, the young designer quickly developed her own vision for a label. “I worked there for about 10 years and the whole time I could imagine myself starting my own thing. I imagined what it would be like to have my own label, which fabrics I would use and the style — I like simplicity.”
Patey’s introduction to doing her own thing was designing bridal hair pieces. “It didn’t really fill my desire — so I took a leap of faith and started making bridal gowns. Now I’ve got four stockists around the world with a big focus on international stores and brides.”
The philosophy of Ivie White gowns is far from traditional, making the brand stand out from the couture crowd. Where most designers tend to create collections of up to 30 pieces, Patey likes to keep her collections intimate, yet cohesive. For this talented designer, bridal wear does not expire. “I wanted to make collections that never went out of date. I may make one collection for the year but I don’t label it 2016 for example, because my goal is to make the pieces timeless.”
The journey from drawing board to bride ready takes Patey and her sewing team three months to complete, with the design process for each new collection starting midway through the year. “I make a trip to the fabric supplier first, to get inspiration from the laces and fabrics I find. I sit on my ideas for a while and do some draping on the mannequins until I’ve got my key piece, which represents the overall vibe and story of the collection.”
Gowns range from stunning two-piece sets with princess like tulle skirts to more modest numbers featuring teardrop sleeves for the modern bohemian bride. With a strong belief in comfort and ease of movement, Patey uses soft stretch materials and incorporates natural lace and silk lining to create the perfect balance of simple elegance for her brides.
Patey works out of her home studio in Maroochydore, with the focus for customers being on her stockists. “We have a stockist in Melbourne, and overseas we have stores in Belgium and Ireland, with enquiries from Germany, USA and Canada.”
With her sights set on taking Ivie White to New York Bridal Fashion Week this year, Patey is not a typical bridal wear designer, but she is making her mark in the industry, catching the attention of brides-to-be on a global scale.
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