I have such a fun treat for you guys today! If you haven’t yet heard of Winifred Bean, let me introduce you to this uber-gorgeous wedding dress line + the designer behind it, Angela Curanaj! Angela wanted to share some of her dresses with a styled shoot, but instead of doing a traditional shoot, she decided on a very sweet portrait session with her young daughter. Majorly love it! Because, I mean, who else doesn’t run around in wedding dresses and full makeup while playing with their kids??! ;)
Such a unique idea. We also decided to ask Angela a few questions about her designs, her inspirations – and even advice for working with an adorable little one by her side – something I’m finding a bit more difficult than I imagined with a sweet newborn at home. :) Thanks to Samm Blake for the lovely photos!
GWS: Tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind this shoot…
Angela: The inspiration behind this shoot was my 2 loves – my daughter, Julianne, and Winifred Bean, my wedding dress line. I finished designing my first collection for Winifred Bean a couple of months before Julianne was born. As I have slowly grown the business she has been with me every step of the way. I have only known working on Winifred Bean while listening to her running around, talking up a storm and singing to her favorite songs. So it seemed very fitting to shoot the 2 of us. I launched my collection last fall at NY Bridal Market and currently sell on Etsy, my website and hold private appointments at my studio in Rye, NY.
GWS: Why did you decide to start your own dress line?
Angela: I always knew I wanted to start something creative, and my experience searching for my own wedding dress got me excited about designing a dress line. The wedding business is so warm, happy and fun and I love knowing that I helped someone feel beautiful on her wedding day. The struggle I had to find a dress of my own made me realize that there was a need in the market for simple, fashion-forward gowns for stylish brides who did not want to spend a fortune. These reasons are what ultimately compelled me to create Winifred Bean, a collection of timeless vintage silhouettes, for the unique ,stylish bride.
GWS: Where do you find inspiration from?
Angela: I draw inspiration from the people around me, whether it’s a creative friend or people on the street. For my first collection, fashion in the general sense was my biggest inspiration. Everything from Brooklyn hipsters and street-wear bloggers… to the most sophisticated celebrity looks on the runway. As I thought through each piece, I kept in mind the bride who would wear this dress and look her best. That “girl” would be a friend of mine, and she’d throw fabulous dinner parties.
GWS: Do you have a favorite dress from your current collection?
Angela: I love them all, but I adore the Audrey dress [as seen on Angela above and in this fun styled shoot we shared last year]. It’s so unique, elegant and sophisticated. Not to mention it looks stunning on everyone who tries it on. I have loved seeing the strong response to that dress.
GWS: Any advice for working moms?
Angela: There’s so much advice I could give! What I have found that makes me the happiest as a working mom is that when I’m home with Julianne, I am really home physically and mentally. Work and home life are separate and they do not mix. So when I work, I really work and when I am home, I am not working. I think that if you try to do work while being with your child, you will feel like a crummy parent, and you probably won’t be doing a great job at work, either. So give yourself time to be an awesome mom and to pursue your job.
GWS: Anything else you want to add for brides currently searching for their wedding dress?
Angela: Many brides have probably heard this before, but I think it is important to try on styles that are different than what you might envision as the perfect dress in your head. I’ve learned so much while watching brides try on the Audrey. On the hanger, it appears very simple. But when the bride tries it on, she feels it is incredibly flattering and luxurious and makes her feel very beautiful and elegant. So when someone recommends you try on a dress you haven’t really been interested in on the hanger, give it a go!
And, of course. if you have not found your dress, don’t be disheartened. You will find something perfect, I promise!
Thanks so much, Angela, for sharing your collection with us in such a fun way today!
photography: Samm Blake // hair stylist: Kerry Crawford // makeup artist: Kerry Crawford // wedding dresses: Winifred Bean // accessories: Lo Boheme // fur stole: Angela's in Rye // sequin jacket: Angela's in Rye