Diane Komunda is one of Kampala’s most accomplished designers. Her shop, Ever After Limited, is found in Bukoto. Before Ever After, she learnt her skills with Arapapa, another big fashion house in Kampala. With a career spanning almost a decade, she is comfortably suited to understand what the trends of wedding garments will be even in the future. We asked her what drives Kampala’s brides when they are seeking a wedding dress.
What brides’ gowns are trending these days, in your opinion?
From the Cinderella/ ball gowns that seemed timeless not so long ago, about three to five years back, the trends are now more into fitted gowns; the ‘Silhouettes’ that fit from the bodice to just bellow the hip area and then it builds up from that point .
How are today’s garments different from the past?
People are now more aware of their bodies and growing more confident, not afraid to show their African shape. Thus, they are able to follow the trends as they come, which was not the case in the ‘90s and early 2000’s. The hemline, for example has moved up several inches from mid leg to knee and now to mid thigh and this is on the streets of Kampala cutting through all classes of people. The neck line has moved up as well. There is a lot of covering around the bodice. Sleeves are back, especially the Lady Gaga ones. Brides are now into the one-arm sleeve detail and Bird Cage veils, moving away from the traditional all covering veil. The color is changing from all white to ivory, champagne, and a dash of the brides choose colour.
Have you noticed any other trends influencing today’s brides’ choices in attire (like less money or just world styles)?
Brides are now more into unique or fashion forward styles. Most brides are looking to be different so the tailored gowns are becoming a good choice for many as they can get exactly what they want.
When do you have to be more creative – is there a time in the year when designs change drastically?
The wedding season starts when Lent is over – about April – but starts to peak in July to December; December being the highest. That is the time you have to really get creative as you cannot have two bridal parties looking alike. Kampala is too small; they will share some guests.
What are your strengths as a unique designer?
I think it is the ability to work with different materials and not being afraid to try different colours together. Simplicity: less is always more. I try not to crowd the design. Most times, people want three dress designs in one, which just kills the design. Simple but elegant is the secret as far as I am concerned.
How much money on average does the average bride need to spare to get decent attire?
On average, 800,000 UGX when it is tailored and 600,000 UGX if one wants to hire.
Do brides come up with their designs most times or do you have to do that with the package?
If it’s tailored, the bride wants something specific. I usually have to come up with a design to suit her body and her desires.
To contact Ever After call: 0712190352