Erin Cole Couture is happy to be featured on hitchedsalon.com. Our friends at Hitched sat down with Judd Waddell for some Q&A time. We love Judd Waddell gowns at Erin Cole. Here is the interview:
Hitched: Where are you from, and how did you get your start as a wedding gown designer?
Judd Waddell: I was born in a small town in rural Illinios and ended up going to Washington University in St. Louis for college to study architecture. I wound up being really stimulated by it, which opened my mind to other types of design. I became interested in fashion design, but had no idea that I would be a wedding gown designer. I was more interested in doing sportswear. But then, about a year and a half into my job at Carolina Herrera, I was approached to design her first bridal collection. I though it might be fun, because I really liked the Herrera aesthetic. There was a formality but it was very clean, which I thought would make an interesting take on wedding dresses– a very different take on what else was happening with gowns in the late ’80s.
Hitched: What was your first job ever?
JW: I was a senate page for the Illinois state senate– so it was totally unrelated to bridal. Unfortunately there was no scandal attached to me… though it wasn’t for lack of trying!
Hitched: What do you use for inspiration when designing your gowns? Is it mostly architecture, based on your background?
JW: Architecture is how I clear my head. To prime myself for designing, I download apartment floor plans, white everything out, and reconfigure them. I love those kinds of projects, but it’s not my direct inspiration. Really, I like historical costume– all the way back to the 15th and 20th centuries. That kind of clothing inspires me, and I love history. I’ll design something that’s like a riff on a Victorian dress, but a bit lightened up to make it stand as it’s own design.
Hitched: What’s your favorite part of the design process?
JW: When designing, I like both the two and three-dimensional parts. I like to sketch, but I really like building patterns, where the architecture comes in and makes it go from flat to 3D.
Hitched: Who are some of your favorite non-bridal designers?
JW: Dead? Balenciaga and Madeleine Vionnet. Living and not designing? Claude Montana. Living and designing? J. Mendel.