DIY

How to Make a Wedding Dress with Monique Sandoval

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See also: Phoenix Boutique Cleo & Clementine Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Of course, the Phoenix-based designer who heads up special-occasion label Ouma wouldn't necessarily recommend that course of fashion action to the average bride-to-be. For plenty of gals, picking out a wedding dress is a top priority when planning nuptials -- not something to save for tying-the-knot eve.

"Your heart knows when you find what's right for you," Sandoval says of finding the perfect dress, whether it's in a store, online, or a sketch in a notebook.

She hopes when women come to Cleo & Clementine, her boutique and workspace bedecked with a neon sign on the Melrose Curve, one of her handmade designs will affect them in that romantic, splendid, this-is-your-destiny kind of way. The pieces have an ethereal, delicate look. When brides put the dresses on, they appear to float.

The designer describes her creations as classic but contemporary. She doesn't keep close tabs on fashion trends in the wedding world. "I just make what I want to make," she says.

Textures, silhouettes, and movement all play into how Sandoval looks at the world and what she designs. Ballet has been particularly impactful on her creations of late. Sandoval, seamstress Rachel Regan, and Anna "Director of All Things Sparkle" Romero round out the team at Cleo & Clementine.

They all agree that Sandoval's design process begins with the fabric, which is crucial in creating Ouma's trademark light and lovely look.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski