Christine Dando is one of the biggest names in bridal, quietly going about doing what she does so well – designing and creating spectacular wedding gowns that are classic yet contemporary, with silhouettes that inspire body confidence.
Splitting her time between her homes in Canada and the UK, we caught up with Christine ahead of Harrogate to find out the latest from Dando London…
For as long as I can remember, my whole life has been spent designing and being immersed in fashion, surrounded by creative, inspiring dressmakers in my family. Creating confidence and pleasure through innovative fashionable clothes led me to design for women on the most important day of their lives. Creating magic and splendour with bridal gowns allows me to empower women with confidence. It’s the most self-expressive garment a woman will wear, and it’s truly an honour for brides to wear my designs.
What’s your earliest memory of fashion design?
My mother was a dressmaker and I initially learnt to sew as a child. I recall always looking for interesting pieces of fabric so I could make additional fancy clothes for my Barbie doll. As a teenager, I would take apart my clothes and refashion them to ensure they were extravagant and edgy. I would also learn the patterns this way so I could create my designs from bolder fabrics.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I enjoy spending time in nature; I live by a lake in Canada and take long walks to embrace my surroundings fully. It’s amazing how many patterns can be seen in the natural world, from leaves and the blossom to the snow draping on branches with intricate icicles shimmering in the light. I also take time to relax with yoga and meditation.
Do you keep sketches of all of your designs?
Yes, I do keep all my sketches from every design. I will sometimes revisit past sketches and enhance the designs by adding modern and fashionable touches, this ensures that my collections are always inspiring.
Do you have a signature style?
Dando London gowns are recognised for being modern yet classic, comprising edgy designs with silhouettes that inspire body confidence, creating mesmerising wedding gowns with luxurious fabrics, unique laces and delicate appliqués. Whether completely plain, with a focus on draping and construction, or accentuated with sparkle and shimmer, Dando London gowns always impress and invoke feelings of passion and romance.
What does your bride look like?
A Dando London bride is confident, classic, self-assured, modern, glamorous and sophisticated. She wants to look and feel her very best, making a grand entrance before confidently walking down the aisle. Knowing all eyes are on her for the day, she appreciates high quality design and fabrication.
Which boutiques stock you in the UK?
Our stockists are retailers that lead the way in representing the best that bridal design has to offer. Bridal stores who wish to be recognised as having unique wedding dresses that are fashion-forward and exquisite. With brides now visiting multiple stores before committing to purchase, it’s the dress choice on the rail that will win them over.
What makes a good bridal boutique great?
Great bridal stores will always go the extra mile. They provide excellent customer service and superior attention to detail, plus in-depth knowledge about the brands they represent. They understand how to offer customisations to ensure their brides can fulfil their desire to purchase their ultimate dream dress. They offer excellent brand representation and stock a wide selection of fabrics and silhouettes in various sizes. Always building their brand presence on social media to ensure they have a fantastic reputation; brides want to buy from these stores even before they visit them.
What makes you unique, and successful – what is your USP?
Dando London creates wedding gowns that ensure brides can be expressive and adventurous on their wedding day. Designing luxurious dresses that are fashion-forward yet classic and appeal to modern brides. We support our retailers with enthusiasm and passion for the industry. Dando London's imagery is intoxicating and innovative, and brides are instantly captivated and inspired.
Whose accessories complement your designs the best?
Dando London offers a selection of accessories that match our gowns perfectly. Intricate long flowing veils with matching appliqués and beads, dramatic over-skirts and capes, plus detachable sleeves. Stores are also able to purchase additional motifs and beads to ensure a perfect match for any other accessories they wish to wear.
Tell us about your latest collection
I wanted to create a collection that captures the essence of modern glamour, whimsical and sophisticated. A collection that empowers brides to be fearless, expressive and adventurous. exploring the passion that burns within when truly in love. Dando London’s new collection, ‘True Love’, offers a range of self-expressive styles, including dramatic ball gowns, playful mini dresses and ultra-versatile and chic multi-wear gowns with add-ons, such as detachable sleeves, billowing overskirts and dramatic trains, whimsical feathers and of course, matching veils. Each dress reflects the collection's theme of romance, whimsical, femininity with a twist of powerful passion, encouraging brides to be daring and authentic on their journey of love.
Featuring Dando London's current 2023 collection, Desert Bloom
What are you feeling excited about in the coming year?
Dando London is excited to build on our existing stockist partnerships and also expand our retailer network so more brides can benefit from finding joy and passion in wearing a Dando London creation. We plan to promote our brand across even more platforms to inspire newly engaged women to seek out our captivating designs.
What’s your favourite gown?
It’s difficult to single out any particular design as they all have individual appeal. However, a particular favourite from the new ‘True Love’ collection features graceful feathers, shimmer beading and a high split, totally emanating red carpet vibes.
More information about Dando London at www.dandolondon.com. Follow on Instagram @dandolondon
View the brand-new True Love collection at Harrogate – find them on Stand Q2. Register for Bridal Week here