And that’s where Gaby Bayona comes in. With her line, Truvelle Bridal, Gaby designs original handmade gowns that speak to the more refined bride-to-be.
“It’s an exciting time for weddings in general, as there’s a new generation of girls not looking for their mother’s nuptials,” says Gaby Bayona, designer and founder of Truvelle. “Now, bridal is more creative and exciting than ever.”
Growing Up in the Sewing Room
For Gaby, the affinity for bridal runs in the family. During her high school days, Gaby spent most of her time lending an extra set of hands at her mother’s custom wedding boutique.
“Growing up with a seamstress has instilled a huge emphasis in beautifully constructed gowns,” says Gaby. “I spent the next few years making custom wedding gowns. Aesthetically, it gave me a great deal of confidence.”
After successfully designing a small collection for her mother’s dress shop, she decided to launch Truvelle – her own line of unconventional bridal gowns. Having debuted its first collection only a year ago, the brand is already growing globally, making its way into boutiques in Canada, U.S., Australia, South Africa, and Germany.
The Truvelle Bride
Truvelle appeals to the sharp, independent and modern woman who is youthful in age and attitude. Each gown is effortlessly beautiful with a flattering silhouette and a style that is steps away from typical bridal costume. The uniqueness of the bridal collection follows the brand’s inspiration – ‘trouvaille’ – meaning ‘something lovely discovered by chance’.
At first glance, you’ll notice that the gowns are intentionally simplistic and designed to accentuate individual beauty. The minimalistic approach is what drew Sabrina Fenster, founder of StreetScout.me, to the line. When she was left with only one month to plan her wedding, Sabrina found the perfect gown at Truvelle’s Gastown showroom.
“I was looking for something unique that didn’t scream bridal,” Sabrina recalls. “When I visited Truvelle, I fell in love immediately. They’re perfect for girls like me looking for something modern and not over-the-top.”
Sabrina is pretty sure that finding the perfect gown would have been difficult without Gaby.
“I was able to find something that fit almost perfectly off the rack and the girls were so amazing with all the last minute alterations.”
Sabrina wears ‘Nicolet’ from Truvelle’s 2015 collection | Photo courtesy of Christie Graham Photography
The Story Between the Seams
Between the seams, there’s a meaningful story. Each style from the debut collection is named after a woman who made an impact in shaping the brand. It’s this kind of sincere tribute that inspires brides to let a thoughtful and personable designer – like Gaby – become a part of their special day.
And the latest collection retains that same distinct air of intimacy. The vision for the 2015 collection was lifted from the pages of Gaby’s personal journal, referencing time spent walking through streets and cities across the globe during tradeshow season for the bridal industry.
“Each description was an excerpt from my travel diary – some are personal, some are reflective. It took a bit of courage to post the personal excerpts, but I’m glad I did.”
Taking elements from her worldwide visits, Gaby subtly etches unexpected details to make each gown a unique standout. The ‘Taylor’ features lush ombre-dyed hem inspired by the view from a helicopter ride across Whitehouse, while the rose gold sequins in ‘Sierra’ are homage to the electric city lights of Las Vegas, and description for ‘Berkeley’ depicts her visit to New York during the polar vortex.
“When it comes down to it, gowns are simply elements that I think look good together at that time and place,” says Gaby.
Stitch to Needle – Handmade in Gastown
Everything from the first sketch to the last stitch is done by hand in Gastown. Working with a small team, production, design, and administration are all carried out within the studio’s four walls.
From scratch, Gaby drafts handcrafted patterns. Fabrics are also individually cut and mostly sewn by hand. Inside, there’s a gorgeous library of exquisite raw silk, medallion lace, almond chiffon, grosgrain ribbon, and delicate overlays. The studio is a live/work space in the restored heritage Malkin building, designed for in-house operations and a place where Gaby – and design neighbours like Jason Matlo – can call home.
Two floors above, you’ll find Truvelle’s showroom. The room is intimate and modern – a reflection of their gowns – furnished with exposed brick, sandblasted timber beams and all-white décor. Long cascading gowns hang from a sleek ballerina bar near a striking window view that overlooks Water Street. It’s a wonderful place for bride’s to find inspiration in a gown that tells their story.
“So much of my time is spent at the studio, so I wanted a place that I loved being in. Gastown was the answer to that, not only for the beautiful buildings, but for the rad people I get to call my neighbours.”
The entire 2015 collection can be viewed and tried on through appointment bookings. If you wish to visit the showroom, you can email Gaby and the team at email@example.com.