SA Weddings

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'Leading Ladies' - Elbeth Gillis

Elbeth Gillis is a household name in the bridal industry. Having been involved with fashion design for 18 years, her passion for creating beautiful feminine bridal wear has evolved from bespoke-style dresses to collection dresses.


A leading lady in every sense, SA Weddings sits down to ask her a few questions about her career path to becoming one of our country’s most loved designers and how she stays inspired.

Tell us a little about your personal style and how its evolved with your business?

“When I think about the Elbeth Gillis bride, I generally think about quite a feminine look, a look for someone who is fashion-forward with understated glamour and elegance. I’ve always wanted to create wedding dresses and am constantly looking for inspiration through social media, fashion shows and international designers that I look up to. For me, it’s a merging of the creative process into an actual lifestyle. I would say my own personal style is classic, very classic.”

Having been involved in fashion for almost two decades, you must have seen a lot of trend-shifts. Is there anything bridal-wise that you foresee being quite a big trend in this next upcoming season?

“I think there’ll be a move towards wearing separates, or at least dresses that look like separates. Less lace and perhaps more bead detail. I also think the rise of the ‘nude’ dress look is going to be big this season."

Any tips for avoiding a bridal gown faux paux and is there anything dress-wise that’s a big ‘no no’ for you personally?

“I’m not a fan of terribly revealing dresses. Something that’s cut at all the wrong places… (laughs) we don’t want to see that you’re not wearing underwear. Bit much for your wedding day if you ask me.”

Being a successful business woman and constantly on-the-go, how do you unwind and spend any free time you may have?

“I’m very much a homely person, I love gardening and baking. In my free time, I make sure I reflect and to continue the creative process, I also love furniture restoration projects.”

Any advice for women wanting to go into this industry or even start their own business in a related field?

“You need to be very resilient. Wake up in the morning and just carry on! There’s no magic formula - just follow your own path and figure out what works for you in business. Be prepared to work very hard, nothing comes easy. Surrounding yourself with people that inspire and help you to grow your business really helps in the early years too”

Lastly, for the beautiful-brides-to-be, any tips before you try on your first white dress?

“It may sound obviously practical but look at your budget! Saying to me or any bridal wear designer ‘I don’t have a budget’ doesn’t help anyone. R15 000 versus R30 000 for a dress is a big discrepancy – and there’s no point in falling in love with a dress that’s completely out of your budget. Although it sounds like harsh advice and brides don’t like doing that part of the budget at the very beginning - I’ve seen it happen many times before and I promise you, it saves the tears afterwards."

Browse Elbeth Gillis’s latest collection here on SA Weddings and set up your bridal appointment with this beautiful leading lady, whose life passion is to create something that makes you feel your most beautiful on the big day.


Elbeth Gillis

Elbeth Gillis

Elbeth Gillis's name has become synonymous with the exquisite bridal gowns she creates for her discerning client base; establishing herself as a well respected designer for the...

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