While trying to find a dress to wear on a night out might seem like a battle, choosing the perfect wedding dress is an entirely different struggle. Searching through hundreds of bridal magazines sticking colourful tabs like Monica Bing in Friends, looking through countless racks of dresses to find nothing quite right to having to decide you have no option but to wear your mother’s dress from the ‘80s with the puffy sleeves. And while everyone may enjoy a little throwback every now and again, the only real throwback on your wedding day should be your bridal bouquet. With the same dresses circling Pinterest and Instagram, finding something unique is becoming another weight to add to the stress of finding a dress. J’Aton Couture, however, is bringing the extraordinary back to bridal design.
Starting their label in 1995, the Italian duo Jacob Luppino and Anthony Pittorino have been working needle and thread for over 20 years. The designers met at the Melbourne College of Textiles, with their Italian migrant families teaching them the value of hard work. The label struggled with gaining recognition in the beginning, and a fire in 2008 that destroyed an estimated $300,000 worth of gowns delayed the label’s plan to expand to New York. Though Australia was once blind to the label’s magic, a new fire is burning.
J’Aton Couture was featured at this year’s Virgin Australia Fashion Festival in March as part of Premium Runway 1. Hosted at the Melbourne Exhibition buildings, the runway was the perfect opportunity to provide audiences with a taster of what is to come in future designs. With veils gliding along the runway, tulle dancing around the models’ bodies and trains sweeping at their feet, the runway was a feast for the senses.
Look 6 on Premium Runway 1 at this year’s VAMFF
The pairs designs are not limited to fashion week runways. J’Aton Couture designs have graced red carpets for years with local stars such as Kylie Minogue, Delta Goodrem, Natalie Bassingthwaite and Asher Keddie among a handful of celebrities who been snapped in J’Aton gowns. The label even commissioned a dress that Dita Von Teese wore in a fashion shoot for Harper’s Bazaar in 2007.
J’Aton Couture’s biggest fan, it seems, is Australian model and television presenter Rebecca Judd. Judd has worn J’Aton to all the big red carpet events, and most recently to this year’s VAMFF Premimum Runway 1. The most memorable of designs would have to be her two J’Aton Couture wedding dresses. Yes, not one but two J’Aton Couture dresses.
The first was aptly titled the ‘Rebecca Gown’. On her blog Rebecca Judd Loves, she writes that her dress weighed 30kg with “kilometres of fabric in the skirt. The corseted bodice was made in the finest, manipulated lace with every single bead hand fixed on the gown”. Given the day of her wedding produced 40 degree temperatures, Judd slipped into the ‘Keisha on Steroids’ dress for the reception, a reimagining of the dress Keisha Whitaker wore to the Oscars in 2008. The gown even featured at ‘The White Wedding Dress’ exhibition at The Bendigo Art Gallery in 2011. With each design so heavily embroidered and meticulously beaded there’s no doubt they’re considered works of art.
Rebecca Judd in the ‘Rebecca Gown’ pictured with Jacob Luppino and Anthony Pittorino
It’s obvious celebrities may love J’Aton, but why should brides? J’Aton Couture operates on a client-by-client basis, with unique gowns custom made for each bride. Couture is a practice they stick to, following European tradition their dresses are made by draping to the body and then cut and sewn by hand. The intricate beading is second to none, and the embroidery is all kinds of dreamy. Their designs are beautiful enough to bring you to tears. Tears of happiness, of course.
Something that may bring you to actual tears, however, is the cost. Though prices may be on the jaw-dropping end of the scale, the price cannot even compare to the exquisite use of the highest quality material and the ingenious design of the gown to fit the bride’s body in the most remarkable way. In 2009 The Sydney Morning Herald crowned the designers as a “high-glamour, high-priced couture fashion team”. With the act of wearing a gown by J’Aton an experience in itself, the bride with the budget to afford a custom made, hand sewn gown by one of the best couturiers in the country should consider J’Aton Couture for their big day.
Now operating out of Melbourne and New York, brides can have their dream dress manifested by the skilled hands behind J’Aton Couture. For now we’ll have to sit in eager anticipation for the duo’s next move, as their website has the elusive words ‘coming soon’. Trust me ladies, it’s worth the wait.