SIGNATURE BRIDE sits down with top fashion designers to get a glimpse into the creative mindset. This month we had the opportunity to speak with haute couture fashion designer Stephen Goudeau.
Hailing from Shreveport, Louisiana, Goudeau is known for his haute couture designs and timeless, bespoke and ready-to-wear pieces and custom wedding gowns. Goudeau has created designs for Tyra Banks, Zendaya, Destiny’s Child, Lil’ Kim and other A-list celebrities.
Q: Prior to entering the world of fashion, you were in public relations. How has that role prepared you for your present role?
A: I look at public relations as a big contribution to the fashion industry. Public relations is what I consider a big part of growth for your brand. Basically, your brand is like your child. You want to contribute so that it will continue to grow to full potential.
Q: In 2004, you were hired to design your first wedding gown. Did you jump off into bridal thereafter? When did the haute couture come in?
A: I did not jump into bridal right after. I never thought I would be the bridal designer. Haute couture is my creativity level. A wedding is a special day that allows me to jump into taking my pieces to the next level.
Q: Why have you stuck with bridal as part of your portfolio?
A: Bridal chose me!
Q: What was your path that led to designing for celebrities?
A: My goal is to design for the modern-day person. Celebrities came with the territory, and I’m grateful. I generally love designing any canvas.
Q: If you could change one or two things about the bridal industry, what would that be?
A: I would like the industry to be all-inclusive. I feel like no matter the national origin, every bride should be included. I certainly do not limit myself to just American bridal. I’m open to every origin and what they would consider tradition. Every person deserves pride, deserves beauty.
Q: Describe your design style.
A: I don’t limit my design style. Style and design constantly change.
Q: What or who influences your designs?
A: Travel, art, music and culture.
Q: Any particular design influences at the moment?
A: I’m focused on continuing to remain timeless.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: Women inspire me a lot, designing for their physique. Complementing any figure, which is the couture.
Q: What is your favorite part of the design process?
A: Creating the concept and the story.
Q: What are your favorite materials/embellishments to work with? Why?
A: Any material that complements a woman. I like working with materials that don’t change or alter the shape of the gown, and I tend to stick to the true beauty of the bride. I also love custom fabrics.
Q: Today, brides typically have two dress changes: one dress for the wedding and another for the reception. Any “rules” or advice you can offer on how the two can work together?
A: I’m actually known for designing gowns that have dual purpose and have not only the illusion but the reality of serving as two different gowns.
Q: What is your process for designing a new collection or dress?
A: Whenever I’m inspired and what my mood is, that is how I create.
Q: What do you see as the trends for 2022/2023 in bridalwear?
A: I stay away from trends. I prefer creating timeless and classic pieces. Trends are hard to consider when designing couture.
Q: What advice do you have for brides who are thinking about a custom dress?
A: I want every bride to come in and be themselves. If you are looking for a gown that’s going to represent and complement you, your story and personality, then custom is for you. I understand most wedding dresses will be passed down; what better than a custom gown for that occasion.
Q: What can we expect from Stephen Goudeau going into 2022?
A: Creating even more timeless and beautiful gowns.
Q: What do you want our readers to know about you?
A: I’m a designer of color. This is what Black designing looks like.