Who has never dreamed of wearing a beautiful dress that lights up the room on her wedding day or at an important event? Antoinette Di Carlo turns this dream into a reality with one-of-a-kind tailor-made designs she creates in her atelier in Montréal’s Little Italy.
Antoinette Di Carlo worked in the ready-to-wear industry for 15 years as a designer and saleswoman in turn. Once in a while, bored with mass production, she would make bespoke evening gowns for her own customers outside of her working hours. “I felt limited in my creativity. Haute couture gives you that freedom to create,” explains the designer. In 2011, she made her decision: she left her job and founded her business, Di Carlo Couture.
Six years later, the young woman is on her way to becoming the darling of Montréal’s elite. Red carpet and society function regulars from here and abroad place orders with her, and top stylists choose her designs for magazine covers. It’s clear that doing business with Antoinette guarantees a dress like no other, since each one is unique and tailor-made. “People often tell me about trends, but I don’t want to follow them. I want to start them!” says the artist.
Every piece is in fact the result of several months of work. From the first consultation to the choice of fabric, including three fittings, Antoinette works in close collaboration with her customers. “People often come to me with an idea. Together, we refine the concept. My showroom serves as astarting point for style and fabric choice.”
By combining several different fabrics (organza, tulle, embroidery, lace, etc.) and playing with transparency, her dresses present sophisticated silhouettes that are agenuine ode to femininity.
As several of her creations were worn at the last Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony, and having just returned from Toronto and London, Antoinette already has countless other projects in mind, such as taking part in the New York Fashion Week next year. From what we’ve seen so far, we have no doubt her wish will come true.
Photo: © Monique Weston