World of Valencienne
The Valencienne Story
Kim is the thread that binds together the fabrics of Valencienne. She is renown for her impeccable standards and discriminating taste. She has been a part of our Fashion industry in Toronto for over 30 years. She likes to say ‘marrying dreams with the dreamers’.
Kim has a passion and love for the time-honoured tradition of Haute Couture. She gets her inspiration from traveling to exotic places to reading a vintage vogue magazine and just about everything – she is always inspired. It’s hard to get through a day without seeing something that will be the start of a magical idea. ‘Bespoke luxury’ is a phrase that Kim holds to the highest regard and is evident in every design that comes alive on her sketchpad. With a keen sense of awareness and the uncanny ability to read and understand “you” the bride she can translate that into a gown, which captures your unique style and personality.
Kim started Valencienne Bridal on Bloor St in Toronto at the young age of 21. She had no formal training and she is self-taught. She just had a deep love for beautiful things being from English descent. She had been enchanted by the bridal houses of London, England and set out to import some of the most incredible bridal designers into Canada. Although extremely successful Kim felt a burning desire to create her own line of wedding gowns and so the Valencienne label was created in 1990.
She has an urge to create the perfect gown for every bride and her determination has never wavered. Kim feels strongly that, as the designer “her job is to marry exquisite and original detailing to the design style that best flatters the bride’s body, shape and style.”
Known for her outgoing personality and charisma, she is extremely honest and soon becomes a friend and trusted expert; Her endless stream of amusing anecdotes is guaranteed to take the stress out of preparing for your special day
Kim only wants an extraordinary experience for her clients that closely resemble the experience one would find at a European couturier atelier. She continues to hone her skills and invests her time developing an incredible team of artisans. She feels that Valenciennes status as a bridal couturier in North America is beyond compare.
Position: Proprietor and designer
Years at Valencienne: 29 years
Favorite music: Motown /Rock
Favorite Hobby: Scuba diving, Boating, Travel and Reading
Favorite saying: Are you kidding!!
Claim to fame; Kim’s infectious laugh and funny sense of humour –she started Valencienne at the age of 21 designing and creating gowns with no formal design training or any business degree dressing the likes of Movie stars, Sports figures and some of Canada’s most prestigious families –
Most favorite achievement: Was making the finale gown for MAC VIVA GLAM 20 Years of Fashion Cares annual show. DSquared2 opened the show and my gown was the finale-the show was broadcasted on fashion TV. The gown was then taken around the world as a Mac travelling fashion exhibit
Most memorable Valencienne moment: Its hard to choose there have been so many incredible memories
1) Watching my Red fashion cars gown float down the Run way and Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared2 asking me to take a photo with them and my extravagant gown.
2) Was getting a phone call asking if I would make Whoopi Goldberg her wedding gown
3) Was when a very distinguished man walked into Valencienne and asked me to design and create a gown for a Saudi Arabian Princess (Very funny story to long to tell but come visit and I will Share it)
For over 30 years Valencienne has been synonymous with style, glamour and an incredible passion for couture.
Position: Pattern maker and head seamstress
Years at Valencienne: 28
Favorite music: Gospel
Favorite Hobby: Sewing (LOL)
Favorite saying: Ye Know!
Claim to fame: Sonia handles the most complicated and difficult of our wedding gowns – once we made a gown for a Saudi Princess. It had 72 meters of silk and 200,000 Swarovski crystal!
Most favorite achievement: When Kim came into the workshop and announced that she had just sold a wedding gown to Whoopi Goldberg and that I was going to be drafting her pattern and sewing it. My favorite part was going to the Four Seasons hotel and spending time with Whoopi during her fittings.
Most memorable Valencienne moment: Sewing Kim’s wedding gown in 2010 and watching her, with pride, as she winked at me in passing on her way down the aisle.
Position: Seamstress and Draper (Fabric sculpting)
Years at Valencienne: 4
Favorite music: Italian
Favorite Hobby: Baking and gardening
Favorite saying: ciao bella
Claim to fame: Rosa is incredible at very fine details – she can hand roll a chiffon hem as it goes through the machine – a technique that was practiced proficiently by the couturiers of years gone by.
Most favorite achievement: My children
Most memorable Valencienne Moment: Watching Kim get married and I said, ‘that gown was exquisite’
Position: Design assistant, Hand finishing
Years at Valencienne: 2
Favorite music: I listen to so many genres of music from classical euro to hip hop to classic Italian
Favourite Hobbies: Travel –Photography –Shopping (if shopping is a hobby lol)
Favorite saying: Seriously!!
Most favorite achievement: Graduating my Fashion Program at George Brown College
Claim to fame: Sara’s high energy ,easy going and passionate about fashion –she is extremely creative and designs many of the special details of our wedding gowns.
Most memorable Valencienne moment: Selling our Marie Antoinette gown it’s a one of a kind luxury wedding gown with 35 meters of silk and 20 meters of French Lace, the beading on this gown took six months- It made my day!!
Position: Advertising and Web design Assistant
Years at Valencienne: 2
Favourite music: Spanish music and anything acoustic
Favourite Hobbies: Volleyball
Most favourite achievement: I was fortunate to be able to co–design many of Valencienne’s advertisements that have been published in some of the most prestigious wedding magazines; Wedluxe, Weddingbells, Elegant Weddings & Today’s bride
Most memorable Valencienne moment: I cannot say –but it was pretty funny!!
Position: Seamstress and Handwork
Years at Valencienne: 3
Favorite Music: Italian
Favorite Hobby: Cooking and Gardening
Favorite saying: Bellisma!
Most favorite achievement: My three children
Claim to fame: Watching Franca cut and trim lace applique then applying it onto a gown so it appears that there is NO join or No seam in the fabric. The finished gown looks like it was cut out of one piece of fabric – Simply amazing!
Most memorable Valencienne moment: Years ago Kim took all of us to see Dionne Warwick. It was such a fun evening!!
Position: Delicate details and Tailoring
Nationality: Hong Kong
Years at Valencienne: 3
Favorite music: CHFI (LOL)
Favourite Hobby: Traveling, Pruning my Bonsai tree’s
Favorite saying: Yes Kim
Most favorite achievement: Immigrating to Canada
Claim to fame: Fine details – Doris has a very delicate hand, for example, sewing chiffon by hand, hand hems, making handmade button holes, wedding gown button loops, detail stitching, hand pleating.