Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wedding gown shopping at Designer Bridal Room (KL, Malaysia)

During our earlier plan of getting married in Bali, I have checked out more than a handful of bridal gown shops (which brides won't? The dress is SO important). Most of them are pretty forgettable, but one stands out among the rest. The Designer Bridal Room in KL, Malaysia. I ALMOST purchased a dress from them.

Designer Bridal Room website, featuring Annasul Y gown

I planned to purchase a dress earlier on because of our destination wedding. I don't want to rent one in Bali. That would be too traumatic, who knows what will turn out? Renting just a wedding dress in Singapore is not that cheap either, as most bridal salons earn from pre-wedding photoshoot and thus they tend to jack up the prices when couples just want a dress.
I don't plan to have too many/ any gown changes. In fact, I was planning to wear it a couple of times because we might need to have a couple of smaller celebration with friends and relatives if we really had a destination wedding.

So off I went hunting for dresses.

Oh, before that, maybe a little bit about my fashion taste might be helpful. I am super picky on the quality of fabrics and workmanship but not so picky on the design. In ordinary clothes terms, I buy a lot from Uniqlo but almost never buy anything from H&M. Of course, if you are picky on BOTH quality and design, then you are on Chanel level. Maybe you can stop reading here as you won't settle for anything less than Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier or Oscar De La Renta.

Uniqlo or H&M, which side are you on?

Anyway, I started hunting in KL, hoping to get some bridal gown at a comparable affordable price than in Singapore. I started with pretty affordable places such as That Special Occasion and Pretty in White with prices ranges from around RM2000. However, the quality and workmanship are pretty normal (a very typical bridal dress using synthetic satin, machine-made lace etc). Nothing caught my fancy.

I later move on to renowned Malaysia designer boutiques such as Eric Choong. One can tell that the materials they used is a notch better (ie, silk chiffon instead of synthetic chiffon, Swarovski crystal etc). The designs are unique and only one is made per piece. But they are NOT wedding gown designer. They cater more for evening wear, thus even their so-called wedding gown are relatively streamlined. And their dress does not comes with built-in corset, which I later found out that is it important to hold your gown. Wedding gowns at Eric Chong cost between RM7000-RM15000, which is quite expensive but of course you are paying for the one of a kind design.

I was quiet hesitated to visit Designer Bridal Room as you know all these bridal guides that WARN you against trying gown that's outside your budget. I did some search only and gathered that their gowns cost somewhere between RM10K-RM20K, which is way beyond my budget - I later found out that they are not that expensive, the gowns I like generally is in the range of RM5000-RM10K.  But I still decided to visit them as I wish to have a look of Pronovias gown - I was so in love with Pronovias gown previously. And Mr persuaded me to go and have a look for "educational purposes".

And luckily I did. After a whole day of bridal gown shopping, I finally found dresses that I can consider them as gowns.
Lusan Mandongus: High quality silk satin flows like butter on your skin and drapes elegantly

The satin are silky smooth and creamy. The layers of tulles are soft and substantial to drape beautifully without destroying the airy feels. The princess gowns are created with more than 12 layers of fabrics so they puff up without can can. The fabrics used for internal lining are as luxurious as the external fabrics. Bra and closets are built in and lined carefully (unlike some of the gowns you found here where bras are just 2 hanging foam cups).

Since we are at it, this is a book that I found very useful in learning more about the most important piece of clothes you will ever wear: Quest For The Dress. It gives very good advice on deciding on the style of the dress for the brides depends on not only her body type, but also the occasion. I will probably write a book review later.

Back to Designer Bridal Room. The service is superb. The patience of the gown consultants are beyond imagination. They let me tried more than ten gowns during my visits and I think we spend a few hours there until their closing hours. And it is not just trying, they provided 2 gown consultants to help out with the dressing. After that they just ask me to think about the dress and bid us goodbye. Not a single hint of hard selling. In fact, I went back the second time and almost bought a dress there (that's before my mum's cancer). But after contemplating for a few hours I decided to say no (as it is not the style of gown I originally wanted, but it is just so beautiful), they just say "It is fine. We don't want you to regret your purchase."

Interestingly, almost all the gowns I picked to try when I was in Designer Bridal Room are either Lusan Mandongus or Annasul Y. There are lots of other gowns but somehow I just didn't pick any from Pronovias.   Lusan Mandongus and Annasul Y are two related brands originated from Hong Kong but have ventured into international bridal scene. Their gowns might looks simple on the first glance however one can find lots of details subtlely woven into the dresses if look carefully. For example, the beads on its fully beaded mermaid gown are cylindrical in shape and stitched in vertical rows so that it gives a slender effects on the brides.  The lace flowers applique are not just sewn on the surface but scattered between various layers of tulle to give a depth effects. It is exactly the type of subtle luxury that defines my style.

Lusan Mandongus: Elegance in subtle details - lace appliques peeping out underneath layers of soft tulle

Now thinking back on my experience, I think I subconsciously choose their gown because the fabrics they use are softer and delicate compared compared to others. I saw some of the heavily laced gown but it feels so stiff and amored. In contrast, Lusan Mandongus and Annasul Y is airy and soft and makes you feels like wearing a cloud. No wonder the most used words in describing their gown is "feminine".

My mind now is so fixed with those luxurious fabrics and workmanship that I can take nothing less. It is definitely the place I will go back when I started preparing for my wedding next year. Although there is a few new boutiques in Singapore now selling designer wedding gowns, which I plan to check out soon. But Designer Bridal Room is still on the top of the list. Mr must have damn regretted for persuading me to go there. :D

PS: I checked out some of the Singapore local bridal shop. But it is almost impossible for me to wear a synthetic satin after trying silk satin. The subtle of the glow, the smoothness of the fabrics, the flow of the draping are entirely on different level. 


Vera Wang: The representative of high fashion wedding gown 

I also checked out Vera Wang collection from The Link Bridal. Material and workmanship wise, no one can fault a Vera Wang gown. But I find they are just on par on even slightly below Lusan Mondungus and Annasul Y. However, the prices of the former are many times over the latter, which is due to more fashion forward designs and brand name. For me, either Lusan Mondungus or Annasul Y is more than perfect.

PPS: The price at Designer Bridal Room is slightly negotiable. How much you can get depends on your bargaining skills. Or you can drop me a private email to find out more. :D

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  1. I enjoyed reading about your wedding dress hunt. I came across hundreds of designers while hunting for my dreamy dress. Finally, I end up with a beautiful off-white bridal gown with big girdle under waist.

  2. Curious. Do you have to pay any fee for trying out the gowns at Designer Bridal Room?

  3. First 5 gowns are free. Then you will need to pay RM1000 for unlimited trying of gowns, the RM1000 is deductible against your final purchase.

  4. May i know how much is the annasul y gown? Above 5k? As i m in the midst of looking for bridal gown..

  5. Hi, the price varies. You can check them out here

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