TDT Interviews

Halseene - A bridal brand ahead of the curve

Modern wedding wear for curvy brides

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We’re here to say this: the female population is made up of ALL shapes and sizes, so *WHY ON EARTH* are only a portion of us represented by clothing companies?

No matter your size or your shape, your wedding dress should make you feel beautiful and empowered, it should enhance your best assets and most importantly, it should fit you perfectly. We caught up with the founder, Gaby Bayona on the Canadian Brand, Halseene, that is disrupting not only the bridal but fashion world and we love it.

Tell us how Halseene got started!

Our founder & designer, Gaby Bayona, realized that curve was a seriously under-represented demographic in the bridal world. So many boutiques don't offer the same options in curve sizing, or don't even carry curve samples in-store—making it a lot harder for curve brides to have the same shopping experience as their non-curve counterparts. Realizing this, she set out designing a fresh line with special attention to fit, support, and comfort, but without compromising any of the style aspects that brides want to see.

What sizes does Halseene cater for?

Currently, Halseene dresses are available in sizes US14-40 (EU 44 - 50). Tons of research and planning went into developing these sizes, ensuring that grading between sizes didn't sacrifice the fit, comfort, or quality. We wanted to begin by focusing on curve-only sizing, as that is a demographic that is seriously underrepresented in our industry, but plans are in the works to expand Halseene designs into straight sizing as well. 

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What can brides expect to find within your collection?

The short answer is, variety! Brides can expect not only a range of styles, but gowns that are unique and designed with ample care and attention to quality—the current collection went through months of fit testing and trial & error, and we modelled them on a range of curve bodies to ensure fit and comfort were *just right*. Our first collection is a mix of elegant fitted mermaid styles and sweeping a-lines with dramatic trains, and a wide variety of fabrics: smooth crepe, airy chiffon, delicate beaded mesh, matte sequins, and embroidered laces. We also offer the option to customize your dress by mixing and matching our existing fabrics & silhouettes, so that brides can feel like they have a broader range of options and more input in creating their dream dress.

Do the names of your gowns bear any significance?

Our gowns are named for women in the curve community that we admire for their drive, their confidence, and their unapologetic spirit—both in our local 'hood and on the worldwide stage. "It's a mix of women I know personally and well-known women I look up to," Gaby says. "Julia is a Vancouver-based small business owner (like us!), Robyn is the fit model who helped me create the collection, and Tess is none other than Tess Holliday, a pioneer in the curve community and the founder of the body-positive #EffYourBeautyStandards movement." 

Gaby, do you think brides with curves are unrepresented in the bridal industry? If so, why do you think this is?

A lack of representation is exactly how the brand came to be. "It's the reason why I founded Halseene. There are a lot of factors around it, but I think a lot stems from underrepresentation in the fashion industry. Thanks to an absence of size diversity, I think there's a mentality that there are 99x more straight-sized women looking for clothes than curvy women. When you look at the facts, this simply doesn't make sense; half of Americans are considered 'plus-sized'.

What would you like to see more of in the bridal industry?

Without a doubt: representation! There aren't a lot of brands that are celebrating curve bodies the way this community wants to see. We'd love for all brands to extend their size offerings to include all shapes and sizes, and for those bodies to be visually represented in all campaigns by a wide variety of fit models. It would be amazing to see the same options for curve as for straight sizing, so that curvy women don't feel like they have to choose from a different, smaller pool of options. Women, no matter their size, want to see themselves openly and positively acknowledged by fashion designers. If brands can integrate curve into their day-to-day marketing, then eventually every body will have equal representation. 

Gaby, do you have a favourite Halseene gown? If so, why?

"It changes all the time, but right now I'm obsessed with Paloma & Kamy. I love the statement sequinned skirt of Paloma, and Kamy's gold metallic organza fabric is to die for!"

What kind of bride is a Halseene bride?

The Halseene bride is many things, but above all she is spirited and confident in herself. She loves her curves with unapologetic pride and embraces herself and all aspects of her body, creating a positive relationship between her body and how she shows herself to the world. We like to think of the Halseene bride as spunky, fun-loving, quirky, and a little bit loud—whose vibrant personality attracts everyone she meets. In other words, the girl everyone wants to be friends with!

Are you releasing any more collections? Gowns? If so, what can we expect to see?

Our goal has always been to be a fully size inclusive brand, but we felt it was important to start with only plus sizes. Now that Halseene is approaching its 1-year anniversary, we are extending our size chart all the way to a zero, which will bring our size offerings to sizes 0 to 40. Just last week, Gaby began developing new patterns for our straight sizes, so those will be rolling out by the fall. As for a new collection, you can expect to see that next year!

Thanks for sharing with us your story Halseene!

Halseene and TDT share the same mission... to empower all women to feel like they have the options needed in order to be their bold and badass self on their wedding day. Head to Halseene's profile to check out the brand and their collection or FIND MY DRESS to see which silhouettes on TDT are 'available in curve'.

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