Paula Matthei, the new wedding dresses firm that puts haute couture and romanticism in the foreground

  • By:karen-millen



Chilean designer girlfriend installs her atelier in Madrid, with a proposal based on custom wedding dresses with an aesthetics fleeing traditional bridal fashion

By Garbiñe continent

Paula Matthei (Valdivia, Chile, 1988) made her first wedding dress in 2015.It was a very special project since the receiver of that design was her cousin sister.That commission took it as a challenge full of fun, but at all imagined that this design would mark its professional future.From that moment on, mouth mouth caused more and more requests to arrive and, a year later, he decided to leave his job and launch his own signature of wedding dresses.In 2018, Paula Matthei lands in Spain and, after two years absorbing culture, aesthetics and tradition, working on local nuptial workshops until, when the Pandemia of the Coronavirus explodes, draw a general idea of what you have in mind and buyA plane ticket to Paris in search of the best fabrics.

After a few months of incessant work, Paula Matthei opens her girlfriend atelier in the Madrid neighborhood of Salamanca, based in the capital with a proposal where romanticism and simplicity intermingle, creating an aesthetic that, in addition, puts the value of the value of The couture.We talk to her about the launch of her homonym firm, her beginnings in bridal fashion, her concerns at aesthetic level and her aspirations in the Bridal universe.Do not lose sight of it.

Why did you choose the bridal universe?

More than choosing me, he chose me.It was not something that I was looking for or planned, but it was happening from the first dress.Without realizing it, I suddenly found a brand and haute couture.I fell in love with the process, to constantly design, the challenge of each client, because each girlfriend is different.What I like to do the most is read the brides, empathize with them and find their aesthetic language, to be able to reflect it in the design of your dress.

How important is Haute Couture in the universe of Paula Matthei?

When I was studying graphic design, I knew that I was missing the part of creating with my hands, so fashion design as a second career.Within this universe I chose the haute couture branch because that artisanal facet is fascinating to me.But I always saw him as something quite distant, and I looked much more by throwing a street clothing brand.With the passage of time, however, I realize that taking this path has been something that was in my nature;I started at 12 years to modify my clothes or the occasional old garment of my mother with the help of Rosa, the seamstress who came home to sew.

How would you define the aesthetics of the firm?

Paula Matthei, la nueva firma de vestidos de novia que pone la alta costura y el romanticismo en primer plano

I think it is composed of a mixture of the aesthetics and trends from different eras.What I like most about today's fashion - not only nuptial - is that we can return to any decade and rescue what we like most about each of them.In my wedding dresses I like to rescue details and patterns of the different stages of the history of fashion, to achieve unique dresses with a romantic air between the old and the contemporary.

Paula Matthei's dresses are custom creations, but do you consider launching Prêt-à-Porter collections?

For me it is very important to understand each girlfriend, their aesthetics, their insecurities, their personality, and thus be able to make a dress with which she feels herself and, above all, she is comfortable.There is a deep research process, test and error with each of them, until you reach the final result.

So far I only dresses, which is what has fun, the collection that I just launched here in Spain was to show who I am in a new country where nobody knows me, to teach my aesthetics as a designer in its formPurest.

Anyway, I do not rule out at some point somewhat closer to the prêt-à-porter for those brides who do not have time, or patience to do something to measure, as long as the concept of Slow Fashion is maintained and they arelimited pieces.Make mass production I think it will never be mine.

What role does sustainability play in your project?

In Chile there is yet the manufacture of organic fabrics, and import them from thousands of kilometers is not the solution either.That is why I decided to neutralize the footprint planting a native tree in Patagonia for every dress that leaves my workshop.I leaned on a specialized company to calculate the amount of CO2 issued in the process of making a dress, and we conclude that a newly planted tree takes between 3 and 4 years to neutralize said footprint.The bride is given a certificate of neutralization and the coordinates from which his tree was planted, at the end of the world.I hope to get to the point of using only organic fabrics.

But sustainability is not only encouraged through materials, but also with design.For example, it is much more sustainable to be able to wear your dress after getting married instead of keeping it in the closet for decades accumulating dust.There are several ways to design a dress so that I then have different use options, do it in two or more pieces that you can combine with day -to -day clothes, do it in natural fibers and then dye it, cut the length and take away the details that do it more formal...Another option is to wear a family dress as raw material and give it a second life.Personally, I love to transform old clothes into something new and fresh.

What does Paula Matthei contribute to the Bridal Universe?

I think that the fact of coming from another continent to start from scratch at age 30 gave me the freedom to reinvent me.Facing a new culture, traditions, and aesthetics opens your eyes to the infinite possibilities that are to create new things, especially without trying to pretend to be who I am not.I want to enjoy the freedom that gives you a blank sheet having very clear what you want to do in life and, above all, having some experience gives you the opportunity to play outside the established norms.

I always knew that it would cost me enough time and work to achieve something in Spain, those who know me know that I am quite a fight to get it, and somehow that is reflected in my designs.

Do you think that pandemic has changed, in some way, the bridal aesthetics or the needs of the brides?

Pandemia has brought many changes.I think the most intimate weddings have come to stay, something that directly affects the design of the dresses.The giant dress that is notorious in the distance is no longer necessary, but the option of something more relaxed, more contemporary.Now any type of white garment can be taken to the bridal terrain;Two -piece dresses, costumes, blazers ... Fashion embraces a new world where wedding dresses have infinite possibilities and designs.

What kind of bride goes to your workshop in search of your dream dress?

I usually meet two types of brides.On the one hand, those who know what they look for and rely on me to get it.They are clear what they like and what they don't.Often creativity is part of its day to day, either for their work or their hobbies.On the other, there are those who do not have so clear what they want and my work is to help them discover it.Sometimes they surprise themselves thinking of options that would never have considered first.

What both have in common is that they are not formed with existing products, but seek something that defines them 100%.They prefer the personalized treatment of a boutique brand, where the designer is part of the process.With regard to design, I think they are looking for a simple dress but with details that make the difference with respect to traditional fashion.

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Paula Matthei, the new wedding dresses firm that puts haute couture and romanticism in the foreground
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