Design Brief

ROMEO BASTONE COUTURE, Custom Made Designer Bridal Couture Bespoke Melbourne, is an innovative business that offers more than just beautiful gowns; they provide co-ordinating accessories for their range of gowns. Matching headpieces with handbags and jewellery sets are available. Specialising also in Hand beaded and French Lace veils that are individualised to suit each wedding gown. Encrusted with crystals, these veils provide the perfect expression of elegance.

At the recent Australian Bridal Industry Academy Awards (ABIA) in Victoria, Romeo Bastone was awarded the 2013 Designer/Couture Gown Award. For Bespoke Couture Designer, Josephine Romeo Bastone, this outstanding result provides the highest esteem in the Bridal Industry as it reinstates the value of customer relations from the initial consultation process to the final perfect gown.

Meet Josephine as she discusses her recent win, her inspirations and her new directions.

The following interview was conducted by Wedding Magazine.

Can you tell us a little about the Australian Bridal Industry Academy Awards

The Australian Bridal Industry Academy Awards (ABIA) is a national organisation that allows newlyweds to rate the quality of product, quality of the service, value for money and attitude of staff they received from suppliers. The Awards covers over 37 different wedding categories. All votes received from newlyweds are tallied by the ABIA and the results are announced in each state at the Australian Bridal Industry Academy Awards. Romeo Bastone was awarded the 2013 Designer/Couture Gown Award, Customer rated Best Designer Bridal Couture boutique in Melbourne with an overall rating of 99.63%.

But this isn't the only award you have won; please tell us about your other accolades.

Since the introduction of the ABIA to Victoria in 1998, Romeo Bastone has won an array of awards in the categories of Designer/Couture Gown, Bridesmaid Fashion and Mother of the Bride/Groom. Other Awards include a National Diamond Star Award in the category Designer/Couture Gown and has been inducted into the ABIA Hall of Fame (Ambassador) for continued excellence in Bridal Couture. In 2001, Romeo Bastone was awarded three ABIA Awards, which marked an ABIA record!                                          

It must give you a tremendous sense of satisfaction to know that so many of your customers voted for you. Would this be a highlight of your career as a Bespoke Couture Designer?

These Awards are important to me as a Bespoke Couture Designer as they reinstate the value of utmost attention in customer relations and reassure each client that their gown is created with absolute perfection.  It certainly means that all the hard work of creating each individual stunning gown is worthy and customers are grateful & appreciative and I inturn am humbly honoured and Thankful in receiving such Awards.

Tell us a little about your business; how long have you been established?

Established in 1991, my attraction to Bespoke Bridal Couture commenced at an early age. Teresa Treccasi Romeo, my mother, taught Couture techniques in Italy - this is how I discovered my passion for creating gowns. I was initially taught  the foundations of patternmaking as they had been taught to my mother in the early 50's. I then attended formal training at RMIT completing my studies and attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree - Fashion.

Describe your signature look.

Romeo Bastone Couture's signature look is classical, timeless elegance. The Art of creating perfection in a custom made fit lies in the sense of harmony between gown and body. Great care is taken to ensure that each gown is easy & comfortable to wear. An impeccable cut provides the basis for a well-constructed gown. Even if there is a lack of ornamentation, the attention paid to the harmony of line and shape provides a feeling of luxury and elegance.

Who are some of the great style icons women can look to for inspiration when dressing for their wedding?

Without a doubt, two of the greatest style icons are Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. Both women had total appreciation for simplicity. Brides favour the thought of wearing a timeless gown - one that they will constantly look back upon and still feel they looked perfect on their wedding day. Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly will always be inspirational to any bride and woman because of their notion of seeking out  the simple essence of timeless elegance.

Tell us about your latest collection.

The latest collection features delicate & intricate French laces. There are soft flowing gowns with sweeping trains that are overlaid with French laces. The princess gowns are also part of the collection with ruching or draping to minimise and enhance the bride's figure. Gowns are ornamented with delicate swavroski crystals or may feature silk handmade flowers, ruffles or French lace embellishments. The store provides a vast selection of gowns, some of which can be purchased off the rack. However, the Romeo Bastone expertise lies in creating unsurpassed quality Custom Made Bespoke Corseted Designer Gowns and designed and constructed individually to reflect each bride's identity.

To you, what personifies the perfect gown?

As a Bespoke Couture Designer I feel the 'perfect gown' rejects all unnecessary detail in favour of simple lines - that is, pure form that makes the wearer feel luxurious and elegant.

What Kind of woman makes a Romeo Bastone bride?

A Romeo Bastone Couture bride is a an opulent, unapologetic, timeless bride. She prefers a classical line with touches of modernism. Simplicity to her means completeness - no more, no less. She is a confident woman who stands alone with understated timeless elegance.



Behind The Seams


When choosing your wedding gown, will you choose the couture experience, ready-to-wear, or something in between? To help make your decision, Stevie Newbegin from Wedding & Bride Magazine,  speaks to the expert  to find out what really goes on behind the seams.

Romeo Bastone Couture/Jerry Ghionis Photographer

If you’re like most brides-to-be, the most exciting part of planning your wedding day will be choosing your gown. But before you run off and start the search, it’s important to research the different types of gowns available and become familiar with the bridal gown ‘lingo’ you will face along the way. This way, you can make an informed decision about which type of gown is best for you, and rest assured you will be happy and comfortable, and most of all, look stunning on your special day.

During your search you will be faced with a range of gowns from numerous designers and retailers who will offer you gowns of varying quality, price and design flexibility. You will hear the terms ‘bespoke couture’, ‘made-to-measure’, ‘made-to-order’ and ‘ready-to-wear’, and you may find that these terms differ between different people and businesses within the industry. While the definitions may vary, even to what we have labelled them as, the most important thing is that there are four distinct types of bridal gown experiences that you can choose from, which we have looked at here.

‘Couture’ is the French word for ‘sewing’ and in the bridal industry it is used to describe gowns that are fitted and sewn specifically for a bride-to-be. A bespoke couture wedding gown therefore describes a gown which is one-of-a-kind, with a custom-fit.

Bespoke Couturiers are the professionals that design, source the fabric, make the pattern, cut and sew a gown to your exact measurements, incorporating all of the requirements you need, including style, colour, fabrics and trimmings. Each Bespoke Couturier will specialise in their own signature style and technique.

“Bespoke Couture, within my techniques, involves moulding and sculpting a gown to the body shape of my client to create the perfect fit. It is reliant on the layering of the bodice and the underlay materials used to create the perfect shape,” explains Josephine Bastone, the Bespoke Couturier behind Romeo
Bastone Couture.

“The true attributes of being titled a Bespoke Couturier lay in formulating the design where a sense of harmony between the gown and the body is established, and an impeccable cut provides the basis for a well-constructed gown.”

Bastone has been in the industry for over 23 years and believes there is no substitution or comparison to having a Bespoke Couture gown created.

“The justification of even paying slightly more for the experience and quality of a Bespoke Couture gown over any other method of purchasing a bridal gown is ultimately far more rewarding,” explains Bastone.

So what’s all the fuss about? Well, it’s all about the perfect fit. Each and every woman in this world is different, and no two brides are exactly the same size.

A Bespoke Couture gown offers you the perfect fit no matter what shape or size you are, where your dress will, literally, fit like a glove.

As well as the perfect fit, you are getting a one-off gown made uniquely for you. As every aspect of the design is done in consultation with you, the bride, every detail is approved by you and if you want to change any details you can.

Another benefit to choosing a Bespoke Couture gown is the quality of the materials. Only the finest fabrics, laces and embellishments are used, and any lace or bead work is all done by hand, boasting the highest quality workmanship.

In order to create a "Couture Work of Art", you will need to work one on one with your Couturier and this will require multiple fittings and appointments.

“A strong client relationship is of the utmost importance when creating a Bespoke Couture gown. Each bride is individual and wants an individual experience,” says Bastone.

“For my Couture process I follow the stages of shape, design and colour. I allow for one initial consultations to establish the exact shape, design and colour of the gown. A further four to five fittings are then scheduled from initial foundation to shape, then onto the design stage, reconfirming fit and onto final finishing of the gown to ensure the final product meets exact requirements.”

For those who want a spontaneous wedding or are short of time, this may be a Couturier’s only hindrance.

“The time taken to create a gown depends on the design and requirements – they can take several months to create. As quite a number of my fabrics and laces are purchased directly from suppliers overseas, the period factor weighs greatly on the time taken for the materials or embellishments to arrive,” says Bastone.

With all of the appointments, the time required to make each gown, the personal service, top quality materials and handiwork involved, it’s not hard to see why many people would assume the costs are high. But, according to Bastone, it is a fallacy that the cost will be exorbitant when purchasing a Bespoke Couture gown.

“The fact is that a customer is purchasing total value for money because one is purchasing directly from the person creating the total gown. You’re not paying for any middle cost of shipping, wholesaling, agency fees, alteration costs, percentage profit at retail sales point or any other associated expenses involved,” says Bastone.

“The cost of each gown depends on the construction requirements and the materials and embellishments used, and can start at $3000 onwards.”