The History & Art of Copy Cat Designer Wedding Gowns & Fashions

The History & Art of Copy Cat Designer Wedding Gowns & Fashions

Prior to the rise of modern fashion, and quick off-rack designs, the bridal fashion industry was geographically dispersed. In the eighteenth century, high fashion was mostly centered in Paris, France and Italy. Wealthy women from around the world traveled to Paris to have exquisite dresses made for their extensive wardrobes. Their wealth allowed them to commission famous couture houses that would create anything their hearts desired. Dresses were made of beautiful silk, satin, velvet and other rich textiles, and exquisitely embellished with semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystal, lace, buttons, and other expensive accompaniments.


For women who didn’t have the advantage of great wealth, they would commission their dressmakers (or often do it themselves) to make copies of famous Paris designs. This practice has been around for centuries.  In 1962, major retailers like Ohrback’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, and Macy’s along with major designers like St. Laurent, Nina Ricci, and Givenchy showed their line by line replicas of Paris Couture.  American women flocked to stores to buy high quality copies at affordable prices. The art of copying fashion allowed all women to dress exquisitely and this held the same for brides as well. Talented dressmakers would create copies of wedding gowns worn by princesses and celebrities alike without the multi-thousand dollar price tag.  A recent, notable example was in 2011 when designers waited with bated breath to copy the wedding gown Kate Middleton wore to wed Prince William.  The gown was a game changer and many designers named their version, “The Kate” in honor of the new Duchess.

As time (and technology) advanced, clothing became mass produced. Consumers could finally shop from huge selections of clothing without the long wait to have it made. Many clothing manufacturers began to replicate designer brands, which made wearing a designer "look" available and affordable.  

The practice of copying couture or "designer" fashion is now widespread and has become a brilliant and perfect solution for brides who've become frustrated after visiting dozens of boutiques only to find the dress they love is priced well above their budget and the styles do not work for them. The lowest price of a designer gown is approximately $7,000 and then, upward. Sadly, in many instances, this is the start of endless trips to numerous boutiques and stores resulting in the bride choosing to settle for a dress that fits her budget, but unfortunately, not her dreams. 

If you’re a plus-sized bride, it gets worse. Plus-sized brides spend endless hours and visit many stores only to find they keep a very limited selection of plus size gowns. They don't realize that you aren't crying because of the dress -which isn't you at all - but because of how painful this dress shopping has become. They don't know how you feel inside when almost everything you try on can't be zipped up. 

On your wedding day, you want to look and feel beautiful wearing the dress of your dreams. From the moment you step out of the house, to the photos which will last forever, all eyes will be on you.  This is your moment, the one you've waited for! The dress must be perfect for you such as a fully beaded ball gown for a glamorous princess or a Bohemian goddess in a simple, sexy sheath.    Whatever inspires you or whatever your personal style, we will make your dream dress a reality.



Look at some of our exquisite copycats gowns:

Click here to see our album

The Faded Sunflower offers our brides-to-be handmade to order, designer inspired replicas at affordable prices. We specialize in Bohemian and Vintage styles as well as exquisite hand beaded and lace gowns and custom creations.  We’re located in the United States and our business is female veteran owned.

Our designers can replicate just about any style (with very slight variations in lace or other embellishments, and only when necessary).  For more information or to schedule a free phone consultation, email us at

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