TDT Interviews

Backstage with Tara & Shaina Healy | Tara Lauren

Rosa Vida 2020 Collection

backstage with tara & shaina healy | tara lauren inspiration photo

In anticipation of Tara Lauren's upcoming Spring 2021 collection, TDT spoke with brand designers Tara and Shaina Healy about what inspires them; the history behind the brand, their design process, and their favourite dresses!

One look at Tara Lauren's fabulous Rosa Vida 2020 collection would have been enough for us at TDT to fall in LOVE with the brand - but it was learning about what inspired the designers to form Tara Lauren that truly closed the deal for us! The partnership between sisters Tara and Shaina begs the question: is talent a genetic predisposition? It certainly seems to be in their family...Inspired by their seamstress mother - who also owned a bridal shop - the sisters decided to try their hand at the family trade, and are now cementing their name in the bridal industry, with their 2020 collection featuring some of their best designs to date.

In this exclusive interview, they shared with TDT what drew them to bridal, as well as some of what makes Rosa Vida so incredibly unique.

The story behind the brand

There's no shortage of lace and flare in this collection - and we at TDT are here for it! With an independent undercurrent, this California-based brand stands out in a sea of many, and their Rosa Vida collection shines bright with its dreamy and romantic bridalwear.

There's so much that goes into choosing the perfect wedding dress, and no small part of that is knowing the brand you are buying from. The passion and dedication that goes into making a wedding dress is almost as important as the dress itself - and of those Tara Lauren has plenty!

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Tell us how you ended up in bridal?

It all starts with our Mom. She learned to sew from a young age and worked her way from being a seamstress, to eventually owning the shop she was working at. She made many of her sisters’ and friends’ wedding dresses. We learned a lot about the world of bridal by the nature of growing up in a bridal shop. When we got older, Tara went to fashion design school where she specialized in evening wear and special occasion, and learned under top designers in the industry. Additionally, I worked with many brides, styling in various bridal shops. We had a lot of ideas about what we wanted to see in the market that we felt was unfulfilled. Pretty quickly we decided we wanted to bring those ideas to life ourselves. Our mom still helps us from time to time to help work out questions in design development and construction. We consider her our secret weapon ;)

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What is your vision behind the brand?

Our goal is to create dreamy, effortless, danceable gowns, that are luxe as well as accessible, for brides that want a non-traditional look that embodies the best parts of their individuality. We strive to preserve the care of a small independent business while reaching more brides that desire this kind of approach to bridal.

Would you say there is a Tara Lauren signature that features in your designs?

Our look is definitely identifiable by the dreamy interpretation of the fabrics we source. We spend a lot of time sourcing the most eye-catching and unique lace and fabrics from all over, and it’s usually the first thing to stand out to brides.

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Where does the creativity take place?

The creativity actually starts with the fabric for us. We feel that the design can develop much more organically when you have the right fabric in hand. Lace often dictates where it wants to go, how it will best work into a pattern, what is the best way to use it to it’s potential. When the fabric itself is beautiful, you don’t need to complicate the design to overcompensate.

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Can you talk to us a little about the fabrics & techniques you use - what is so special?

We play a lot with fabric layering. We feel this is what really makes a dress come to life with texture and dimension. We love layering a bold lace over a softer chantilly, or layering in a colored tulle for dimension, or a sparkle tulle for light reflection. Sometimes we add touches of 3D lace for texture, and so on.

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What are your favourite fabrics to work with?

Both of us have always been drawn to lace. We used to love pouring over all the different types of beautiful chantilly lace in our Mom’s shop. There’s something everlasting about lace. I guess we will always be true romantics when it comes to lace weddings gowns.

How do you decide what you will use for a gown or a collection?

We usually follow where we are most drawn to and excited by, as it’s often where our best inspiration sparks.

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Do you have an all time favourite gown?

That’s hard to say! I think it changes often. But Tara’s a big fan of the Ramone dress from our most current Rosa Vida collection. Silk chiffon shirred fitted dress with off shoulder bishop sleeves and feminine ruffle details. I think mine would have to be the Sultana Beaded Slip paired with the Easton Skirt and Sleeves. We didn’t design the pieces to be paired together but accidentally discovered they work beautifully with each other. It’s a gorgeous beaded slip combined with a textured lace overskirt that opens in the front and styled with detachable lace bishop sleeves. Such a beautiful combination that I can’t get over and definitely an aisle moment. Clearly we aren’t minimalists at heart.

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What are your top three?

So tough to say, but if we agreed on 3 I’d say probably Ramone, Russo, and Margherita.

Are you working on a collection now?

Yes, we are in midst of designing our Spring 2021 Collection and we couldn’t be more excited to watch it develop.

How would you describe it?

We are playing with new fabrics and new silhouettes we are excited to introduce. I’d say it’s definitely Tara Lauren, but more luxe, more romance, and definitely more sexy and bold.

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What is your favourite thing about working in bridal?

Aside from being able to have a career we can work creatively in, we love the interactions with our brides. It’s always an honor when someone chooses to wear a dress we created for one of the most important days in their life, and it’s even more touching when they reach out to tell us how beautiful they felt in our dresses. We truly value these moments with our brides.

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