Grab a Badge
Fit for a Princess: Designer Courtney Prince Dishes on Her Dreamful Dresses for Flower Girls
Photos By Elizabeth Messina
By L. K. on Apr 20, 2015 at 4:00 am in Classic, Glamorous and Modern
With her collection of fresh, fanciful, and finely made flower girl dresses, L.A.-based designer Courtney Prince proves that couture for children can be impossibly charming. Although her tiny tailored garments look like they must have been years in the making, Courtney—the creative force behind a colorfully imaginative line of jewelry and accessories called Doloris Petunia after her beloved Maltese—never even entertained the idea of designing diminutive dresses until her own wedding came around. When her search for well-designed flower girl attire fell flat, she decided to make her own pieces, and a fun-sized fashion venture was born.
Although any mini ’maid is bound to elicit oohs and aahs on her flowery walk down the aisle, none will feel as much like a real princess as the little lady outfitted in one of Courtney’s impeccably designed creations. Marked by a level of intricacy and craftsmanship rivaling that of the most high-end wedding gown, each delightful dress is destined to become an heirloom, gingerly passed down when the original wearer grows up and becomes a bride herself.
It is this nostalgic journey that lies at the heart of Courtney’s inspiration. “The flower girls set the tone of the wedding,” she says. “They are the sentimental connection between childhood and womanhood. My dresses are made to be a charming reminder of all the magic, beauty, and innocence that lead a girl down the path to becoming a bride.”
Below, Courtney shares the story and details behind her winsome designs for the bridal party’s littlest members.
Made of hand-cut custom lace and set off by a beautiful keyhole back, the “Annabelle” dress exudes sweetness and girlish grace.
What inspired you to create a line of flower girl dresses?
I knew my flower girls would be a part of my wedding before I even met my husband, so when I got married, the look of their dresses was almost as important to me as the look of my own dress. During the planning process, I was unable to find anything that I loved, so I set about creating what I was picturing in my head. Photos of the flower girl dresses from our wedding went viral, and requests started pouring in. Soon I was doing that original creation in other colors and getting requests to design custom dresses on top of my existing jewelry and accessories line. This year marks the first time that we have offered a formal line, although we do still take custom requests when time allows.
Available in rose, mint, or white, the “Katy” dress is marked by intricate hand beading, a delicate scalloped hemline, and a fun pop-up shoulder bow.
If you had to describe the collection in three words, what would they be?
Whimsical. Special. Twirlable.
Shown here in lavender and taupe, the elegantly simple “Penelope” dress features French lace in the color of your choice, a full tulle petticoat, and a beautiful back bow accented with Swarovski crystals.
Can you describe each look and its respective source of inspiration?
Many of the dresses in the collection started as original designs for clients’ weddings. In those cases, the brides were the muses, and their wedding details informed the designs of the flower girl dresses. To create a dress in such an instance, we speak to the bride in depth, and sometimes to her flower girls, to get the full scoop on her upcoming event. Based on that information, we design a dress that perfectly complements the bride’s style and wedding setting.
Redolent of Audrey Hepburn’s gamine style, this chic petite tuxedo consists of an Italian cotton shirt and brushed black cotton shorts with satin trim. Little details, such as pearl buttons on the back and a Peter-pan collar, make this piece a standout.
Do you have a favorite design?
I love each of them for different reasons, but if I were to get married again, I would want to have legions of little girls cascading down the aisle in our “Coco” tux.
The most intricate of Courtney’s creations, the “Pamela” dress has a stylish structured bubble hem and is completely covered in tiny silk-organza flowers, each one finished with a Swarovski crystal center. An ombré fade gives this perfectly petaled piece a contemporary twist.
What sets your flower girl attire apart?
Our attention to detail is second to none. We handmake each dress to the quality standard of a wedding gown. Our designs are innovative and trendsetting, and they set the tone for our clients’ ceremonies. We use only the finest materials, and our dresses are as comfortable as they are beautiful. We often hand-dye our fabrics to create custom color palettes, and all of our detail work is accomplished in our Los Angeles studio by hand. As an example, the “Pamela” dress [shown above] has thousands of silk flowers used to create an ombré effect. Each of those flowers is painted by hand. They are sewn on one by one and centered with Swarovski crystals.
Featuring an exaggerated bubble hem and a hand-formed rosette shell, the “Hannah” dress is simultaneously playful and sweet.
Are there any special details?
Besides offering standard sizing or custom patterns for an exact fit, we also hand-embroider the client’s wedding date and flower girl’s name inside the bodice of each dress so that it becomes an heirloom keepsake from the special event.
Available in copper, silver, or gold, the “Constellation” dress is made for the little girl who loves to sparkle.
Who, or what, are some of your general design influences?
My mother and my grandmother. All of the fashionable women—a slew of current and past designers—whom I met in New York City, where I spent my twenties. And also the little girl I once was—a figure skater who loved sparkles but hated anything itchy.
With layers of white or ivory tulle and a hand-tied silk sash, the “Allyson” tutu is a classic.
What trends are you noticing in fashion for little attendants?
I think there is a general shift toward more personalization. Our collection for next season contains more texture, pearls, and details, such as vintage lace and exposed gold zippers. We are also doing two-piece dresses, lots of organza floral crowns, ballet slippers, and other fun accessories to mimic our adult line. Color-wise, I can feel a shift toward washed-out grays and pops of rich, deep colors, such as plum and copper.
With a draped bodice made out of hand-dyed duchess satin and a hand-pleated tulle skirt, the “Lauren” dress, shown above in gray and blush, has a lovely balletic look.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received about one of your flower girl designs?
Do you make that in an adult size?
Do you have plans for a second collection?
Our second collection is underway, and we are hoping to shoot the lookbook for it this fall. We’re also excited to announce that we are currently putting two of our most popular styles (the “Constellation” dress and the “Annabelle” dress) into production so that we can offer them at a more affordable price point.
Courtney Prince’s flower girl dresses can be purchased online here. To view the pieces in person, visit one of the following brick-and-mortar stores:
Vera Wang (Toronto, Ontario)
Lovella Bridal (Glendale, California)
White Dresses Boutique (Huntsville, Alabama)
The White Dress (Corona Del Mar, California)
Chic Parisien (Miami, Florida)
For sneak peeks of upcoming styles, keep up with Doloris Petunia on Instagram.
Sharing is Happiness
Photography > elizabeth messina
Dresses > doloris petunia by courtney prince
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What's Being Said
Sara, Apr 23, 2015 at 12:46 pm
These are the cutest little gowns I've ever seen!
The Bride Link | Haley, Apr 20, 2015 at 10:30 pm
How gorgeous and adorable!
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