Local bridal gown line Couture By Tess hosted a fashion show on July 17 at L&L Market's event space Ozari in Nashville.
Tess Mann, the designer behind the label, presented two collections – one called Nostalgia: Travel Through Fashion Time and the other New Discovery – during the invite-only event. Models from Nashville-based Premiere Model Management strutted the upscale gowns on the runway.
Mann discussed the design process and customizable options during an Q&A session with the audience.
The exhibition was approximately two years in the making, Mann said. The wedding dresses alone took an estimated 18 months to complete.
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"When the dresses were almost near completion, we started planning the fashion show," Mann said. "That was September of last year, so about a good 10 months out."
New Discovery includes haute couture dresses Mann designed previously but decided to display publicly for the first time. Nostalgia takes inspiration from different style eras ranging from the 1400s to the 1970s, and adds a contemporary touch.
"Personally, I am in love with fashion from previous decades and eras," Mann stated. "A lot of the inspiration that I get truly is from the late Middle Ages through the Roaring '20s."
Nostalgia is the more affordable of the two, according to Mann.
"The New Discovery collection originally started off with dresses that I originally designed and was working on but that I wasn't quite happy with," she said. "I didn't have the right factory I was working with. I didn't like the materials."
Then Mann began collaborating with the factory of Tarak Nath Mishra in New Delhi, who is primarily responsible for the intricate embroidery on the Couture By Tess pieces.
When Mann began creating clothes with Mishra, she thought: "This is going to bring my collection where it needs to be. This will be in line with the Paris fashion I want to create here in Tennessee."
Ensembles from Mann's upcoming Indo-Western Inspired and Le Jardin collections were on display as well. Both are expected to be released in 2023.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Fashion designer Tess Mann of Couture By Tess debuts new collections