My Story

Alana van Heerden Wedding Gowns ~ Studio

Welcome to my online abode! I know that choosing your wedding dress designer is probably one of the most important/exciting/daunting decisions of your wedding planning process. So, I thought while I have you here, I’d take the opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself, my journey, experience and design philosophy.

I have always thought of myself as a bit of a walking contradiction, which is probably why I started out studying B Comm Accounting and ended up pursuing a career in Fashion Design. I am an introvert who loves connecting with people, a realistic dreamer, a calculated creative and a slightly messy perfectionist.

My journey with fashion design began at a time when I was desperate for something beautiful. I had lost my mom at the age of 20 and had a strong urge to start living life to the fullest! After all, a cliché is only a cliché because it is true, and life really IS too short to spend it unhappily and unfulfilled. I needed to feel excited again, to express myself creatively, and to be inspired in a way I’ve never been before. So after my third year in Accounting at Stellenbosch University, I enrolled in a BA Fashion Design Degree at the Design School Southern Africa. I found my happy place! Looking back now, I know that it was more than a career change, it was a lifeline.

Fresh out of design school I had the privilege of working as an assistant designer to Marianne Fassler, an icon and visionary of South Africa’s fashion industry. She became my teacher, my mentor and remains to this day my design conscience. What I have learned from Marianne has shaped my design philosophy and has become an intrinsic part of my work ethic. She has taught me to never stop short of absolute perfection, to constantly refresh my own outlook and understanding of design, and to treat all my clients as dear friends.

I still remember Marianne saying: Find that something that sets you apart from the rest, work really hard and stay relevant!

I started making wedding dresses because I felt that brides needed something different. A dress that would make her feel like herself on her wedding day. A dress that would truly capture the essence of her personality and individualism. Nothing is off-limits when it comes to making wedding dresses. There are no rules. Every dress is an artwork, a unique creation, a fresh beginning and a promise of something beautiful.

Designing wedding gowns is so much more than just drawing a pretty picture and making a beautiful dress. That in itself is a whole lot of fun! But it is also understanding the woman whom you are designing for, grasping what it is that would make her feel confident and gorgeous, translating her dream into reality, and taking responsibility for what she looks and feels like on the biggest day of her life! Capturing the essence of a bride’s personality lies at the heart of my design philosophy and is the primary source of inspiration for each dress.

Down-time is a luxury, but when I have some I usually spend it doing a cross-word puzzle (yes, I’m nerdy like that), reading a good book, walking along the beach or lazing about in coffee shops or restaurants with my little family. And once a year we travel. Travelling is by far the most enlightening, rejuvenating and horizon-broadening experience. It gives me a fresh perspective, fills me with copious amounts of ideas and inspiration, and re-ignites the passion for what I love and what I do.

I find my courage and strength from my Creator. Family is my passion, friends are my chosen family, my husband is my rock and biggest fan, and my little boy is the epitome of happiness in my world!

I hope that you will enjoy browsing through my site, and share in the happiness and beauty that radiates from all the gorgeous images. Thanks to the uber-talented photographers who make it possible for me to share these special moments of my awesome brides!

Lots of love,

Alana (and Dawid 😉 ↓↓↓)

 

Alana van Heerden and her son, Dawid