First Impressions - feature on Amanda Lee
by Dustball, 1 December 2003
along a row of shophouses facing the bustling traffic of Cantonment
Road, you cannot help but feel transported into a different world
of calm and tranquility when you descend the few steps into Amanda
Lee Weddings. With whitewashed walls and marble flooring, the interiors
give a promise of what a modern bride may hope to find here - something
at once demure and elegant at the same time.
Amanda Lee, who started out designing wedding gowns in 1996, is
the sole creative force behind this charming bridal studio. She set
up Amanda Lee Weddings in early 2002 as she felt that "coming out
would allow me more freedom in many aspects of designing, such as
expression through fabrics � and paying more attention to details"
And attention to details is what sets Amanda's designs apart from
Soft spoken and gentle, Amanda speaks up with passionate enthusiasm
when asked about her design philosophy. "I love to play with fabrics" she
says, "be it chiffon, shantung silk, organza, or even quilted fabrics." Texture
can make a lot of difference, such as when pleated organza adds alluring
style to an off-shoulder bustline"
Amanda has an exquisite eye for what works is apparent in a particular
cheongsam piece that takes the place of a wedding gown. While the
idea of a white cheongsam would have given any Chinois-inspired bride
pause, Amanda has been successful in creating a stylishly updated
look, with the use of embossed white silk, and red flowers and details
boldly accentuating the cheongsam without drawing attention away
from this overall exquisiteness that exudes quiet elegance.
"I also believe in curves. Feminine cuts can effectively show off
a woman's body, be it the hips or the waist or the bust." The bride's
figure is very much taken into consideration. If the bride has legs
that are to-die-for, Amanda might encourage her to try an evening
gown with an off-front slit. Even slits are not spared details, as
is demonstrated on another piece. "You work in some lace into the
design at the top of the slit, so that it doesn't end up looking
vulgar, but very graceful instead. " she explains.
By her own admittance, one of her favourite pieces is a wedding
gown cut like a toga. That particular bride worked in the horticulture
industry. "She had tan lines on her upper arms which we covered with
a chiffon drape while her toned shoulders are accentuated"
"It's about you and your wedding"
What else makes Amanda's gowns stand out is the use of colour. "Colour
can be added just by a touch� Just a touch brings out the colour
effectively and brings radiance to the face. Makes a person look
more cheerful already " smiles Amanda. She may put a touch of blue
on white, or champagne with white, or even black embroidered detailing
on an off-white gown. "When there is colour, people remember the
of the brides who embraced colour was a researcher in molecular cells.
Amanda worked in the bride's occupation into her gown, with circular
motifs in black and grey beads sewn into the gown. The circular patterns
represented the cells that the bride works on. Another bride, whose
husband owned a plant nursery, had champagne leaves embroidered into
her off-white gown.
"It's the little things that count. It does not have to be one whole
lot to see, but it matters. It's more the overall look rather than
a focus on a particular place."
With a strong belief in giving the personal touch, Amanda is there
to attend to the couple every step of the way, from the initial consultation
to the preliminary sketches, to adding the final stitches to the
very last bead to complete the gown. No single request is overlooked
by her "There was a bride who couldn't decide if she wanted a halter
neck gown or a bustier, so I just gave her a removable halter neck."
If a bride-to-be does not have a specific style of wedding gown
in mind, do not fret. Amanda assures that it is not a problem. "I
would encourage them to bring in pictures of other gowns that they
like" she adds. "If you show me 10 pictures, over these 10 pictures,
there would be hints of what you would want, such as a type of cut,
style or pattern that would show up consistently in some of these
"When the couple first comes in, I'd ask about their lifestyles,
their personal tastes, what they work with� I may have a new design
that's just right for them, and I'll show them. If not, I'll source
for fabrics, laces with them in mind"
If you're looking for something that will be close to your heart,
and yet elegantly, tastefully done, this is the place to find it.
It'll be unforgettable. It's a promise.
Amanda Lee Weddings can be found at 17, Cantonment Road. Call 6223-1366
for appointment. Website is available at www.amandaleeweddings.com or
e-mail: [email protected].