From a young age Greta Rumsby was inspired by design, learning her sewing skills from watching her creative grandmother at work. After four years studying fashion design, followed by another five working in the rag trade, Greta decided it was time to launch her own couture bridal label in 2010.
What started in a home studio with small collections sold-through trunk shows, has now grown into an Adelaide success story. Only just recently Greta Kate was in the spotlight for designing the wedding dress of Chanel 7’s weather presenter, the beautiful Amelia Mulcahy.
Greta’s love for bridal ware comes from her passion for creating the most beautiful pieces tailored to each bride. Greta Kate is known for her contemporary touch to traditional designs, with a focus on her bridal range and custom-made pieces. We caught up with lady herself to find out a little bit more about her label, its sustainable and ethical practices and her soon-to-be released collection ‘Mirror Mirror’.
Tell us about your upcoming collection.
Our latest collection is called ‘Mirror Mirror’ and features 14 gowns – I thought 13 might be an unlucky omen so I had to design one more! I’m incredibly excited to release this new range, which will officially be launched on the 18th October at the Adelaide Fashion Festival.
What inspired your latest designs?
My greatest inspiration comes from my clients. A lot of these recent designs are named after and inspired by past clients – developed as couture designs, but slightly reinvented with different fabric or slight detail changes.
I also find a lot of inspiration when sourcing laces and embroideries. I love draping new fabrics on a mannequin to bring my sketches and final designs to life.
What’s your favourite piece?
My favourite piece is our ‘Haidee’ gown. She is an exclusive beaded beauty with bell sleeves, a centre front split and buttons at the back – named after a past bride who had a similar gown in gold. In the process of further developing and refining this gown I knew as soon as I tried on the sleeves that she was going to be a favourite!
Do you have any sustainable and ethical practices in place?
I tend to rely on my much-loved local agents whose suppliers support fabrics sourced from ethical manufacturers. The countries of origin of much of my fabric also are required to adhere to strict sustainability requirements, particularly in the European union. That said, I am unable to be 100% certain about the provenance of all of my fabrics, or the conditions and practices employed by all manufacturers.
I focus on what I can control – my own Norwood studio, making it as ethical and sustainable as it possibly can be. Apart from it being a good workplace, we re-use scraps of fabrics and toiles of calico wherever possible and use recycled paper. Our greenhouse footprint is very modest and largely powered from photovoltaic panels. Moreover, as everything at Greta Kate is custom made there is very minimal excess stock, and wastage is kept to a minimum.
What kinds of materials do you use and where do your source them?
We source and develop fabrics from around the world. There are so many varieties of fabrics and particular countries specialise in different techniques. For example, France is known for their delicate Chantilly lace, while India is incredible at beading. I love being able to give clients options and variety.
Where are Greta Kate pieces made?
I am very proud to say that all of the Greta Kate magic happens in my studio at Norwood. We are a very small team. My right hand girl, Taylor and I produce all the gowns here. I also do all the fittings and consults with the clients in the Norwood showroom.
Tell us about your label and what it represents.
Greta Kate is a contemporary take on traditional. We focus on effortless and romantic bespoke gowns. I believe that the process of having your wedding gown made is such a special part of getting married and something I hope all our brides remember fondly. We create a fun and personal experience where I want my brides to be part of every step. I think I am incredibly lucky to be part of the day most girls dream about: her wedding. It’s wonderful sharing in my clients’ excitement and I love that Greta Kate can be part of that.
Photographer: Meaghan Coles @meaghan_coles_photography
Gowns: GretaKate @_gretakate_
Venue: Marble Hill @marblehill_au
Styling and Floral Installations: Hygge @hyggestudio_
Model: Georgia Bess @georgia_bess from Finesse @finesse_models_australia
Hair: Sam James @samij_hair from Orbe North Adelaide @orbenorthadelaide
MUA: Kristina Sarah Persichini @kristinasarah_mua
Engagement rings: Cassandra Mamone @cassandramamone
Earrings: Anton Heunis @antonheunis
Millinery: Sylvy Earl @sylvyearl