Straight From A Fairytale: Meet The Local Dressmaker Beloved By Generations
Thread to wedBy Stamatina Notaras | 23rd January 2024
Making a mother’s dream wedding dress and then her daughters decades later, Kerry Xynias is the locally adored dressmaker with a couture calibre and a tonne of thread.
As a local West End Greek growing up in the tight-knit community, I’ve been to my fair share of weddings, and can say with certainty that I have seen more dresses made by Kerry Xynias than times I have caught the bouquet – and I’m not mad about it. As a local icon and dressmaker whose work spans generations, it’s not unusual to find Kerry fitting a bride into one of her stunning designs and being poked and prodded into her dream dress just like her mother had been generations before.
Her time abroad in the big smoke saw her soak up couture knowledge from British bridal label Christiana Couture and become a dressmaker to the stars and the royals. Yet, when asked about her most notable dress-making moment she says, “every client is a memorable one.”
Her longing to work in the industry has been lifelong, with a passion derived from her love of fantasy gown illustrations.
“Wedding dresses are the closest you can get to that type of gown,” Kerry says. “I also love the whole process of watching the bride come alive and absolutely shine in her dress,” And shine, they do.
When it comes to the design process, Kerry is a listening ear to her client’s desires and finds inspiration through the eyes of the bride.
“When the orders are custom, the client usually has a few ideas of what they like. Otherwise, I start with what they don’t like and avoid those details.”
While guests see the final product walking down the aisle, prior to was a three-month process of tulle talk and fabric discussions before the mounds of textile and thread turned into a gown for one to be wed. Like your beloved aunt, Kerry’s honest words are given with tender love and a pure refusal for you to walk towards your forever friend looking anything but picture perfect.
From mermaid and A-line to trumpet and ball gown, when saying yes to the dress, remember that every shape can suit everybody.
“You can move a few design lines to make any style work for anybody,” Kerry says.
And with her finger on the pulse, we had to ask her prediction on the next big dress trend. According to her though, it’s not a dress at all: “Trousers for brides, separates, mix and match moments, and colour.”
After decades of making memories, she’s ready to share her tricks of the trade with her social enterprise and not-for-profit The Sewing Business Workroom. This passion project is a co-shared sewing space in Wynnum where young designers can hire equipment and produce their designs, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds can be retrained, giving them a foot in the door of the clothing industry – meaning Kerry’s touch will continue for generations to come.