Hi! I'm Sarah Kolis, a custom couture wedding dress designer based in Michigan but serving the whole midwest. I love creating custom gowns and alterations for clients and I have a special love for vintage fashion. Thanks for stopping by!
At Fashion Week Las Vegas in August 2014, I earned the “Emerging Designer” Award for the Red Carpet category. I was selected to participate in June of 2014, so I had to get to work quickly for the August 13th show. I showed my 11-piece collection down the runway. It was such an honor, and I was so thrilled!
The design style I chose for this line of clothing included unique, high-end designs with avant-garde inspirations. The opening look was a mustard cupcake shape skirt dress with a black lace bodice. Another look had origami inspirations to generate a 3-dimensional look vest and corresponding jeans with origami-like folds down the leg. One of my favorites was a last-minute add-on. I was asked the day before I left to bring another dress for “Miss Teen Latina Nevada” to wear down the runway. Of course I said that I would, so I started making it right after that phone call and finished by morning. The great bonus was that my little sister wore it to her homecoming dance later that year! My finale piece was a mirror dress I could not be more proud of. The crowd actually gasped with excitement!
In addition to simply creating the garments, I also did a lookbook, promotional video, and organized photoshoots. I had so much to bring that I could not possibly make work (or trust!) on an airplane, so I went by car from Michigan to Las Vegas. The drive was absolutely beautiful though, the Grand Canyon is incredible! I was able to do a bit of sewing on the drive, too, finishing hems and adding hooks. Great use of time!
A couple of days before the show, I went through prep work and selected my models, fittings, try ons, run-throughs, etc. I made last-minute alterations right there in the back room with my little sewing machine. I wanted every look to be perfect and spent so much time ensuring that each design would be perfectly displayed down the runway. The models were so fabulous to work with; they were so appreciative and excited to wear my garments! We were all so busy that I almost forgot to eat or take a break. Time really flies!
The show’s preview night was at a club in Las Vegas where I was provided with two models to walk around in my gowns at this party. I was lucky I did not have my ID checked as I was only 20 years old at the time! The party was fabulous, and it was so fun to interact with people in the industry, and of course, dressed to the nines! This party really brought excitement for the days to come.
The day of the show was chaotic and incredible! Of course, the red carpet roll-out provided a great photo op. My whole family was there, in addition to some cousins, several uncles, and of course my boyfriend (now husband!) Even his parents came too! It was such a delight for them to all be there to witness the show themselves! I was in the backroom bustling about, ensuring all the models were ready to go. It was so rewarding to see the girls walk down the runway in each gown. I was so proud of myself and so happy to see my garments truly brought to life!
Being awarded the “Emerging Designer” was one of the biggest honors I have ever been presented. I was so thrilled to hold this title, and it really helped me gain the confidence I needed to continue my work and business into the future. So many people back home were cheering me on, and it felt so good to make my hometown proud! I was featured in a Las Vegas local online news source with a full article describing my looks on the runway and hopes for the future. My little sister asked me after, “so what’s next? New York Fashion Week?” ….I can dream!
I can’t wait to hear all about your love story and the vision you have for your big day.
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