My name is Debbie Bailie-Collins, and I’m the creative director and designer at Gibson Bespoke in Northern Ireland. I design and create timeless, high-quality headpieces, accessories and gowns for the discerning bride.
I find inspiration in the most peculiar things: ancient architecture, graphic design, nature, horticulture, vintage fashion, old curiosity shops, children’s fairytales and film noir. The movie stars of old Hollywood probably influence me the most; their poise, elegance and personal style reels me in. I’m fascinated by the unpretentious glamour and sophistication of the mid century and Art Deco periods. I’m intrigued also by the finery and craftmanship of the fashion in the 18th and 19th French and English royal courts.
Being creative and artistic has always been important to me, but I never realized just how essential it was until I became involved with the wedding industry. Now it is an integral part of my life. I eat, sleep and breathe creativity. I oversee all aspects of my business, including styling, research, sourcing, buying, designing and creating. I also employ a team of two. Work is constantly on my mind, and I feel incredibly lucky to have found a way to earn a living that makes me so utterly happy.
To be recognized for the style of clothes and accessories I design and create is hugely important to me. It’s a way of leaving an impression, not only in a woman’s wardrobe but also on one of the most important day of their lives, their wedding day. I always want my bride to look back on her day with nostalgia and warmth, knowing that what she chose to wear was entirely right for her and that it made her feel and look the absolute best version of herself.
Etsy has been an incredible experience for me. From starting my shop with one or two designs to the full spectrum of designs I now have to offer, nothing has been difficult — more like natural progression with the full support of Etsy, my fellow sellers and customers. It’s a warm and friendly place to sell where you know that your artistic efforts and craftmanship are fully appreciated. I can honestly say if it wasn’t for Etsy, my business would not has flourished the way it has.
All photographs by Kirsty-Lyn Jameson.