An Exclusive Interview with Celebrity Designer Hayley Paige!

The World of Bridal inspires me. Designers inspire me and their newest collections are always something I look forward to seeing at New York Bridal Fashion Week. Designer Hayley Paige for JLM Couture has always been one of those designers to get excited about. Seeing this talent grow into a bridal household name has been a great pleasure of mine to witness. Not only has Hayley created lines for her namesake collection, “Hayley Paige,” but a diffusion line, “Blush by Hayley Paige,” been named the new designer for Jim Hjelm bridal and now has launched Occasions by Hayley Paige. In other words, this bright young star is taking over.

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Hayley taking her walk down the runway in New York City; Photo above courtesy Lloyd Johnston III

Needless to say, it’s been a busy few years for Hayley, but she was kind enough to answer a few questions for us leading up to her appearance at our upcoming luxury bridal show this Sunday, January 17th, 2016 at the Marriott Chicago O’Hare where we’ll be showcasing her incredible new collection to more than 2,000 attendees! In our interview, we discuss what’s next, celebrities and her very own wedding where she wore not one, not two but five different outfits during her wedding weekend celebration!

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Hayley on her wedding day reviewing her dresses; Photo courtesy CHARD Photographer

Jim Verraros: We need to talk about your gowns you designed and wore for your wedding. They were ALL so AMAZING and you looked impossibly stunning! What was the process in creating them and were there others we didn’t see that you designed that just didn’t make the final cut?

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Rehearsal Dinner Gown designed by Hayley Paige; photo courtesy CHARD Photographer

Hayley Paige: I went into the whole wedding wardrobe gambit with a “more is more” mindset. Thus, had I had more time, there definitely would have been more gowns! The process for each was no different than the process of creating an entire collection; each piece embraced a different personality and told a particular story. Aside from the wedding gowns, I also created a rehearsal dinner dress, a boudoir robe for the “getting ready” process and in between changes, and a brunch outfit…complete with a Chiquita banana inspired head piece.

For my first dress, the artwork was inspired by the stained glass windows in our Catholic Church. The flowers were actually hand-painted to give that translucent watercolor effect! The lavender coloring was inspired by my mom because that has always been her favorite color. This gown made me feel like a modern day Aurora from sleeping beauty (and the Haute Bride tiara certainly didn’t hurt anyone); it was just magical!

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The new Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Wallis immediately after the exchange of vows outside the church; Photo courtesy CHARD Photographer

My outdoor ceremony was made to be a real “paige-turner” with dashes of Haute Couture elements. I took my favorite Hayley Paige signature ballgown silhouette and added splashes of color with dimensional flower motifs. This embellishment was also hand-painted and subtly beaded throughout. The bodice had more of a modern feel; I wanted that smooth finish that happens when you combine honey and sugar! It reminded me of marzipan in the best way possible. And of course I went for a cropped top for this look, simply because I just wanted to have some fun and be a little brazen.

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A romantic moment overlooking the magnificent water in Lake Tahoe, California

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Fairy tale kisses during the second ceremony; Photos above courtesy CHARD Photographer

My reception gown was inspired by holograms and comets. I wanted that explosion of sparkle, but not in a traditional rhinestone way. To achieve that iridescent effect, my embroiderer and I worked with unusual alabaster stones and satin-finished elements that change colors in the light. I made this gown with the intention of shining bright and feeling sexy. The daring back neckline, nude illusion tulle, and strategically placed appliques managed to stay in place all evening…. even through the limbo and failed attempts to break dance!

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Hayley in her third custom gown during the start of the reception; Photo courtesy CHARD Photographer

JV: You design Jim Hjelm Occasions bridesmaids (which has now been re-named to Occasions by Hayley Paige), Jim Hjelm Bridal, Blush by Hayley Paige and of course, Hayley Paige. How do you do it and keep all of your labels distinct and separate?

HP: I believe you can kind of look at is the way a chef prepares meals. Each course encompasses a different flare and appeases a unique palate. It’s important to go head into the process with an end goal in mind: who am I making this delicious creation for?

JV: You also have an amazing red carpet collection available at the JLM Boutique in West Hollywood, California. Who’s your dream celebrity client to dress and what would you select for her to wear?

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Pictured above, Adrianna Costa, Kelsea Ballerini, Peta Murgatroyd and Chrissy Teigen in Hayley Paige on the Red Carpet

HP: I’ve been a mad fangirl of Chrissy Teigen for years. Her sense of humor is ferociously sexy. Ironically enough, she recently rocked our “Bardot” pant suit at the Go90 Sneak Peak event in Beverly Hills! With regards to dressing the red carpet scene, I’ve had the most delightful taste of ice cream, but now I want the whole sundae. Whether it’s doing something custom for the Met Gala or creating costume work for rockstars on tour, wherever our gowns can take us I am ready to wow!

JV: You recently hit 187,000 followers on Instagram! Congratulations! What an incredible accomplishment! How do you think social media influences today’s bride?

HP: I love the personification of it all! Instagram creates a platform to connect with brides/other creative people on a personal level. The content is candid and inspiringly contagious.

JV: You’ve had so many amazing moments over the years with gowns you’ve created: “Dori,” “Carrie,” “Guindon,” “Paloma,” “Babs,” “Keaton,” “Josie,” “Londyn…” I could go on and on. Do you know when a dress is going to have a moment before it’s shown to the public or are you surprised when a gown takes off?

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Hayley Paige “Paloma” Gown; Photo courtesy JLM Couture

HP: Every season is an opportunity to get brides, stores, and fashion-supporters alike on their sparkly-tippy-toes. It’s important to balance your assortment and answer a different question with each look, but for the sake of “wow-factor,” I always try to push the envelope; even if it means taking a risk. There is somewhat of a formula to it all, but it’s important to allow that natural reaction to happen. If you go in with too much of an expectation, you become too controlling with it all.

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Hayley Paige’s “Dori” Gown; Photo courtesy JLM Couture

JV: You design four collections for bridal and bridesmaids under JLM Couture, you have a Red Carpet collection…will we see a ready-to-wear, lingerie or swimwear line from you?

HP: I sure hope so!!! I used to write comic books and children’s stories when I was really little and I also went through a period of making handbags for all of my mom’s friends. During my educational studies, I did a lot of costume work, styling, and illustrating; I LOVE being eclectic and crafty so anything and everything that the imaginative world touches…I am so down and the sky’s the limit!

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Painting above by Hayley Paige

JV: Let’s say Kylie Jenner wants to wear one of your pieces for an event. What would you put her in? {P.S. I’m obsessed with her}

HP: A pink latex power suit! She has phenomenal curves and a unique platform to be fashionable. Some people have negative thoughts towards her, but I don’t have a single bad thing to say…I respect people that can put themselves out there and experiment with their look. I believe in just “doin’ your thang”!

JV: With your schedule these days, you’ve got to be insanely busy. How do you relax and unwind both physically and mentally?

HP: Pretty much anything involving my husband. He keeps me laughing and inspired which is all I need.

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Another moment of love on the beach at Lake Tahoe; Photo courtesy CHARD Photographer

JV: What makes you happy? Like really ridiculously over-the-top happy?

HP: Impossibly gorgeous gowns….and unicorns.

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Queen Bee, the “unicorn,” was a rescue horse from Reno Riding and a donation was made to the Children’s hospital where Queen Bee visits to cheer up the patients. The dye was of course non-toxic, safe and temporary as Hayley is a lover of ALL animals. Photo courtesy CHARD Photographer

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Here I am pictured with Hayley; photo courtesy Brandon Bacquie

**Hayley Paige gowns available at Bella Bianca Bridal Couture in Oakbrook, Illinois and Chicago.

**To schedule your appointment for the upcoming trunk show held at Bella Bianca Bridal Couture in Chicago, Jan. 14th-16th, 2016 call 312.787.2377 where Hayley herself will be in attendance. If you miss this opportunity, don’t worry; this salon carries her collection year round.

Written by Jim Verraros for Bridal Expo Chicago + Milwaukee Luxury Shows

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