Dress A Wedding Guest: Interview With Designer Kung Katherine

Confused about what to wear to your next wedding, gala or charity event? We have heard countless stories from frustrated guests who struggle to find the perfect outfit that will look fashionable, seasonally appropriate, elegant all night long, yet still versatile and timeless enough to wear again.

To learn more, Kisses & Cake sought advice from the talented NYC designer, Kung Katherine, on how you can achieve the perfect look and avoid common mistakes made by guests. Katherine also shares tips on how to create a custom design outfit if you want to stand out from the crowd.

The brand recently launched their SS16 collection which features sleek silvers, floral applique and romantic ruffles and range in price from US$800-$1310. The designs would look oh-so glam at your next fabulous affair. 

What is currently trending?

Personally, I don’t follow fashion trends; but I am intrigued by the rise of wearable technology. I just learned about Google’s “Project Jacquard” – which includes ‘smart’ apparel. Now that’s a novel idea that could shape the future, not just a passing trend.


How can a wedding guest avoid picking a gown/outfit that is simply ‘on trend’?

How can your client be sure that it won’t just go out of style and wear it for years to come? Kung Katherine is all about classic yet modern dressing. I design seasonless pieces that can be worn year after year, and perhaps passed down to the next generation. I always encourage my customers to wear the clothing, not to let the clothing consume them. I help my clients discovering what their complimentary shape and colors are, never what’s trendy.


What styles and fabrics are timeless?

A style that gently compliments a woman’s natural curve. Silk is always timeless.


Can you also explain a bit about what fabrics suit what seasons?

Fall/Winter wedding: Heavier materials like silk satin, taffeta or 4ply crepe are appropriate and their structure is highly flattering.

Spring/Summer wedding: Opt for airier fabrics like silk organdy, light weight CDC, or layers of tulle with embroidery.


What is the common mistake made by wedding guests picking their outfit?

Although finding the right dress is essential, choosing practical, complementary accessories is just as important. You could be wearing the most beautiful gown and a clunky purse could distract from its elegance. Also, a practical pair of heels will help you to truly enjoy the evening, including enjoying the dance floor!


What is the biggest challenge for customers looking for the perfect-wedding outfit?

I believe that there is no such thing as a “perfect” dress, and to adjust that mindset could be challenging. A lot of my customers discovered a lot about themselves, such as body type, color tone, through out the design development process for a custom- made gown. The process can be incredibly empowering and I remind them that it’s always about how you feel and not worrying about how other perceives you.


What timeline should clients keep in mind when going through the process of designing a custom made gown?

I advise finalizing a dress option at least 6 months prior the big day, and if they want embroidery on the gown, add an additional 3 months to the timeline. Starting over a year in advance is excessive, because most likely they will change their mind.


Tell us more about the process of how you design and produce your custom designs.

We start with an initial consultation meeting to help me understand the customer’s point of view and exactly what they envision wearing for their occasion. During that meeting, we ask them to try on some sample garments and let us know how they feel. At that point, the customer is able to visualize the shape she wants and we can pinpoint the ideal look we are looking to achieve. During the next meeting, we will present swatches and various sketches of the concept. Once the customer is happy, we will develop the unique pattern for the dress. Finally, we start the fitting process and proceed to alteration.


What is one thing you recommend your clients have to complete their look?

Keep it simple and let your natural beauty shine through. One piece of statement jewelry is enough to compliment the gown.


What period the most inspirational? How do you incorporate this period into your designs?

Late 1800s, because of the Modern art period. Fashion is a form of artistic expression, they cannot be separated. I look to my favorite art as a starting point for many of my designs.


What is the inspiration for your latest collection?

A Japanese art, design and philosophical theory called Wabi-Sabi, which celebrates a natural aesthetic complete with imperfections.


If you could design a dress for any icon from the past or present, who would it be and what would it look like?

It would be for Anna Wintour because she is one of my inspirations and perfectly embodies the Kung Katherine essence. The gown would be a classic “Anna” sleeveless silhouette in an airy fabric with fun embroidery. Of course, the look would not be complete without signature sunglasses!


Final words of wisdom for our readers?

Wear a dress that compliments your beauty and is comfortable enough to enjoy a full day of festivities!


About The Designer

Originally from Hong Kong, Kung moved to the United States in her teens and went on to study Fine Arts and Fashion Design in NYC. 

After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Kung Katherine completed an apprenticed at Oscar de la Renta in the couture atelier as a studio assistant as well as several other design houses including Reem Acra.

In 2013, she founded KUNG KATHERINE and decided to solely manufacture in New York City. In addition to producing modern evening wear, the designer also offer custom-made gowns.

Katherine combines her passion for traditional Eastern influences with innovative Western sensibilities to achieve a timeless and refined aesthetic. 

The Kung Katherine customer is, "Driven by her passion for life, exudes confidence, remains open-minded, and maintains a positive attitude and energy."

If you'd like any further information about this gorgeous brand, feel free to contact us and we'll put you in touch. 

You May Also Like