Designer Profile

Romeo Bastone Couture - Bridal Couture Melbourne, is one of Australia's leading Custom Made Designer Bespoke Bridal/Wedding Couture Boutiques. Understated excellence and personal service are the hallmarks of Romeo Bastone Couture.

Established in 1991, Romeo Bastone Couture offers timeless, classical bridal wear for the modern, innovative bride. Bespoke Couture Designer & Director, Josephine Romeo Bastone, creates each silhouette in house using bespoke techniques, involving an impeccable cut, moulding and sculpting to the body shape to create a “Couture Work of Art” of perfect individualised design and fit. Romeo Bastone Couture provides each client a luxurious experience throughout the creation of each gown and has gained a reputation for undisputed excellence in Bespoke Couture and is a multi-award winner of the coveted Australian Bridal Industry Academy (ABIA) awards for Designer/Couture Gown and inducted into the prestigious ABIA Hall of Fame.

Romeo Bastone Couture renowned for its undisputed service and quality aims to maintain this reputation by creating harmony between body and gown, and take care to ensure every gown is a perfect, individual fit.
 
Romeo Bastone Couture, has enjoyed outstanding success with a flawless reputation that is second to none. Each gown is meticulously and individually handcrafted in house using only the finest fabrics and French Laces sourced worldwide. Romeo Bastone Couture has been long recognized for it's embodiment of intricate yet delicate use of beading and embellishments resulting in inspirational beautiful designs that reflect each brides/clients style and personality.

Romeo Bastone Couture's experience and knowledge enable to provide individual attention to brides and attendants, from the first consultation to the finished gown. Josephine's Bespoke technique in creating the perfect fit is unmatchable. Whether the gown is a structured princess shape or soft and flowing to create a most beautiful vintage and antique heirloom piece of yesteryear.

Josephine Romeo Bastone has been noted as having an unsurpassed quality in shape, design and colour to create the perfect gown due to her extensive background training & experience. This perfection can only be created with a unique technique of layering. Very little boning is used as her belief is that brides/clients should be comfortable and each gown should personify one's body shape and encapsulate and mould Ultimate Femininity.

Working individually with each client to meet exact requirements, a common point raised by many brides/clients is the oversupply of mass produced gowns and imitation dressmakers resulting in lack of quality, inaccurate fit and over mark up of price tags at the retail level. Romeo Bastone Couture is a fresh take on bridal using old fashioned true customer service, dedication and honest advise. As you are dealing direct with the Bespoke Couture Designer, you are not faced with the excessive price mark up. On the contrary, French Laces are all imported direct, embellishments and silks are exclusive and each gown is created to embrace and inspire one's own individuality. As many clients have actually stated "You are precisely the Bridal Couture outlet we are looking for." With all this in mind, Romeo Bastone Couture is a distinctive, contemporary bridal couture boutique offering clients Australia wide & overseas this unique experience
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The opening of the Prahran East Gallery has been in response to client demand for such elegant Custom Made Bespoke Couture. Off-the-rack bridal, bridesmaids and evening wear are also provided in store which incorporates a clearance sample store at the rear premises. The concept also features co-ordinating accessories and bridal gifts, making Romeo Bastone Couture a one-stop boutique for bridal parties.

 


 

It's Couture Darling

 

Couture is a term that most of you who read fashion magazines will have heard of, but what is it really? And what’s involved with getting a couture gown made especially for you for your wedding day?

 

Kate Burbury, Wedding and Bride Magazine, talks to a Bespoke Bridal Couturier to find out more.

“A couturier must be: an architect for design, a sculptor for shape, a painter for colour, a musician for harmony and a philosopher for temperance.” – Cristobel Balenciaga

Couture is defined by the Macquarie Dictionary as “the occupation of a couturier; dressmaking and designing considered together.” And a couturier as a “someone who designs, makes, and sells fashionable clothes for women.” While this goes some way to introducing the art of couture, there is a lot more to true couture than this definition implies. Couture is best known in terms of haute couture; high fashion that is made to order for individual customers, creating a perfect fi t and design for them. High quality fabrics are used, and these are cut and sewn with great expertise and attention to detail. A lot of the work is done by hand by very skilled technicians.

The fit of the garment is a very important aspect of couture. The designer will take the client through a series of fittings to ensure the absolute correct measurements of the finished garment. Innovative designs and refined construction techniques are also major features of couture.

The Couturier Charles Frederick Worth is widely considered to be the father of Haute Couture as it is known today. While he created one-of-a-kind designs to please some of his wealthier customers, he is best known for creating a collection of garments that were shown on live models at the House of Worth. Clients selected one design, specified colours and fabrics, and had a duplicate garment tailor-made for them.

In France, the term Haute Couture is protected by law. Only select fashion houses are entitled to label themselves as Haute Couture, and to be able to do so they must follow these rules (set down by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the governing union for haute couture):

• Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
• Have a workshop in Paris that employs at least 15 people full-time.
• Present a collection to the Paris press twice a year, comprising of at least 35 runs with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.

While there are set rules for Haute Couture, the concept of Couture itself is more general, but still follows the same philosophy when it comes to design, quality and fit. Unfortunately, Couture has come to be a term that is bandied about a lot, especially in the bridal industry, but Bespoke Bridal Couturier Josephine Bastone, of the renowned label Romeo Bastone Couture, defines real couture as working one-on-one with a customer to create the perfect gown for them.

“I believe a Bespoke Couturier should be able to consult with the person and advise according to body shape, design and colour and then be able to construct the gown from the initial stage, as in all the fittings, to the final stage.

“One does not have to make up the entire gown, although in my case I do everything up to the lining stage, so basically I do all the patternmaking/cutting for the fittings and follow through with all the relevant stages.

“A Couturier in the 50s actually cut straight onto fabric as opposed to making patterns. So over the years people have called themselves Couturiers, but I would classify them as dressmakers.

“There is a true difference between a person who has been taught to cut straight onto fabric, and to drape onto the body, as opposed to cutting from a pattern and making a calico.

“A true Bespoke Couturier should be able to start from scratch, as far as consulting with the customer for body shape, design, then colour, and finally be able to transform the ideas from fabric to the body.

“I don’t believe in calicos, the fabric simply does not drape. I work straight onto the first stage which is the foundation fitting, then onto the second stage which is the shape fitting, followed by the third stage which is the detail fitting, and then the final product. But there are very few left in this industry who work in such a manner.”

Josephine learnt the 'Art of Couture' predominantly from her mother Teresa Treccasi Romeo, whom the label is also named after. “My mother taught me to cut straight onto the fabric and instilled the technique; and my skills have developed over the years. I attended formal training at RMIT and attained my Bachelor of Arts in Fashion. However, I consider myself to be fortunate to have been taught from the best of the best in the field and to have been able to perfect my skills throughout the years. My philosophy is that permanent practice gets you the best results to achieve perfection for the final creation.

Having a Couture gown made is quite an involved process, and a time consuming one. Josephine starts her process by having clients come in and try on different gowns from her stock. She asks them to try on the gowns that they like, and then if they haven’t chosen dresses that suit their shape she will step in and advise them on a better choice.

Josephine allows for one fitting to work out gown design to suit a client, and upon ordering there are a further four/five appointments required. These appointments are to go through and check the progress of foundation, shape, detail and final gown.

The length of time the gown takes to make, depends on the individual design, but Josephine prefers to have six to eight months to work on and perfect the dress, although some girls give her less time than that. And it takes longer if she has to import lace and particular materials. She also does all the beading on the dresses herself. “I don’t work mass here, I work quality,” she says.

Most of her designs are inspired by the customers themselves. “I might have customers that come in and they have combined a few of my designs and realise that would suit quite a few body shapes, so I go ahead and make it as a sample. I suppose if I have to draw inspiration I will always go back to the 40's and 50's timeless classics of Balenciaga, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. All were just out of this world and way ahead in fashion sense and attitude.”

Her designs tend to be more classical and timeless, rather than changing with the fashions. “What I find is that ladies are focusing on classical designs with elongated bodices, whether it be on a slimmer line skirt or on a fuller skirt, but not so much detailing on the skirt itself, just on the bodice. My clients prefer very classical, timeless lines, giving them a great shape around the waistline and midriff and that’s why I concentrate on the bodice element.”

Josephine is a multi Award winner of the Australian Bridal Industry Academy (ABIA) - Designer/Couture Gown Award and has recently achieved acclaim to being amongst the Top 3 Designer of Dreams 2012/13 Awards. She was inducted into the prestigious ABIA Hall of Fame at the 2009 Awards and attributes her success to her passion and the rapport she builds with her clients. “I love my work. I have passion and that is what has made me succeed. I have won many Industry Awards because I work one on one with my clients to achieve exact requirements and clients wish to have this experience for their special day. I receive many photos from my clients for inclusion into my website and work folios as a token of appreciation of the work completed after their events."