It is the re-branding of David McCaffrey Haute Couture. He re-styled of his flagship boutique, launched a new website and unveiled his latest couture collection. I admit to being a bit nervous walking into his shop – there is a mystique about it. But we started exchanging stories and I found the heart behind the collections.
There is a mystique about McCaffrey Haute Couture. The idea of haute couture conjures up images of snobbery and exclusiveness. David McCaffrey welcomed me into his boutique both warmly and genuinely. As you can see in the picture, he is laid back and low key. David admits that there is a myth about the boutique. A myth he is anxious to dis-spell. He is passionate about his designs and sparkles when he talks about them.
It all started 15 year ago when David was out marketing his first collection in the US. He travelled by car, store-to-store in the hopes of convincing retailers to carry his wedding dresses. He didn't get any sales. However, he did hear an earful as to what brides and retailers wanted. He implemented what he learned. In 1996, he presented his new collection in New York City while reconnecting with many of the retailers he had previously met. He returned to Ottawa this time with 25 accounts and opened his flagship store on Sussex Drive. David McCaffrey learned to make elegant fashions that brides want to wear.
The McCaffrey Haute Couture wedding dresses are distinctive. I can usually tell when a bride is wearing one. He makes them drape beautifully on a bride making her beautiful. Although the price range of wedding dresses is $2000 to $12,000, David finds that most brides choose a dress in the $3000 to $5000 range. He emphasizes that the price includes the fitting. The one price is what you pay. There was one wedding dress in the window display that really caught my eye. The bottom zips out so the bride can be in an evening gown for the reception.
David has created many collections over the years. For David, it's important that fashion look good on you so you look beautiful and feel confident. He feels that by focusing on using the best materials available and making the dress fit the bride perfectly, he can reach this goal.
The Materials. McCaffrey Haute Couture dresses are all made of silk. Silk is not only elegant. It is a naturally breathable material so you won't overheat like in a polyester dress. He sources 24 types of silk from Milan. For some of them, he is the only person outside of Europe who uses them. He gets his lace from Calais, France, from the same supplier as Alexander McQueen. Sometimes you'll see Swarovski crystals adore the dresses as well. They are all so gorgeous to look and feel them.
The Fit. David prides himself in achieving a perfect fit with his dresses. Dresses are measured and cut to precisely fit each bride. The dresses are not pre-made and then adjusted. David likened his detailed measuring to taking a 3D picture of the bride and applying it to the pattern. The wedding dress is tailor made for you!
Typically, a bride will come in two months prior to the date for her fitting. She may need to come in three times to ensure it is right. If she is on a weight loss diet, he works with her to keep track of her measurements. For these cases, up to seven fittings may be required for the perfect fit. And so that there is no bosom spilling, they even come with built in corsets. The seams are perfect!
Wardrobe malfunctions happen because the dress does not fit properly. We had a good laugh when I told David about the time at a ceremony when a bride bent over and her bosom fell out!
Future McCaffrey Collections. David is seeing more lace partly because of Kate Middleton's influence. Strapless is still popular but on the wane. He is designing more dresses with straps and deep v-cuts in the front and back. The dress we posed with is a hot seller right now.
He is busy expanding his collections to classy custom tailored Mother of the Bride/Groom and evening wear dresses.
It is a re-make of his beginnings, when he introduced both new collections and a new store. David feels he has revitalized, relaunched and re-branded McCaffrey Haute Couture. It is very invigorating to chat with David and sense his energy. Exquisite dresses and service is the McCaffrey experience. I can hardly wait to see his new creations.