Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija | Designer Profile

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It’s not often these days in the wedding world you can say a gown was built specifically for your body. Sure, many gowns are altered and tailored  from ready-to-wear designs, but built just for you from the first measurement to the last button? Rare…very rare!

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Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija Claire
(left) | Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija Dominica (right)

Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija is truly couture. Each dress begins with the bride’s measurements then an individual pattern is drawn, just for her. The gown’s exclusivity is highly sought after by fashion-savvy brides for this reason, as the experience of having an Ulla Maija wedding dress custom made is said to be like none other.

The name Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija has great heritage and fashion history behind it, but is now directed by Charles Bunstine. He’s the great-grandson of Anna Maier, a tailor who moved to the United States from France in the late 1800s.

Bunstine has continued his fashion lineage, working for many of the great names in American fashion including Ralph Lauren and Barneys New York, where he was president. As director of Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija, he not only designs the dress and signs off on the sketch, but is also said to drape the fabric on each gown and inspect it for quality before the bride takes it home. A minimum of three fittings are required for each handmade wedding dress. And the dresses are made to enhance the bride’s features and curves. Bunstine has said Ulla Maija designs are only limited by imagination, but that their ultimate goal is to complement the bride’s beauty and body.

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Anna Maija ~ Ulla Maija Simone
(left) | Anna Maija ~ Ulla Maija Alberta (right)

The hallmark of the Ulla Maija look is the fabulous construction of the gowns, including exquisite draping, pleating and fluting. What material and fabric are able to do on Ulla Maija dresses is absolutely stunning and as close to fashion magic as you can get.

Fabrics used are the very same used on gowns by Valentino and Hermès. Duchess satin, Italian taffeta, Chantilly lace and silk double charmeuse appear in layers, adding luxury. Embellishment is minimal, but striking. Embroidery and lace are more common than rhinestones and beading. One gown even hides pearls deep within the pillowed skirt, like a little secret waiting to be discovered. Nothing about these gowns is left to chance or randomness.

The wedding dress collections are defined by mood, not venue or shape. The grand “Cathedral” line offers drama in the lines and careful draping and pleating. “Chapel” dresses are more refined, and design-focused with touches of embroidery. Finally “Court” gowns bring a more modern look, with splashes of playfulness. All are bespoke, and very romantic and timeless in their elegance.

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Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija Felicite
(left) | Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija Cendrillion (right)

The bride who is most likely to be drawn to Ulla Maija gowns is one who seeks the refined, rare and well-designed. These are not gowns that follow standard bridal trends, and are best suited for complex brides who march to the beat of their own fashion drum. An  Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija gown will ensure you look striking yet traditional on your wedding day!

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