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Vendor Interview: Vatana Watters

The president and founder of Watters talks lace, chiffon, and her go-to wedding accessory.

Interviewed by Erin Meanley


You’re from San Diego!
I spent most of my childhood and high school years in San Diego, and moved up to Los Angeles for college. My husband also grew up in San Diego so we make it a point to visit yearly and spend time with our dear friends.

How did your designs land in Neiman Marcus just a year after you graduated from FIDM?
Hard work pays off. I was working full time at the [Dallas] Market Center and at night I would work on creating dresses. After much hesitation from the buyer, they finally agreed to see me and I drove there with my samples, rolled the rack of dresses, and presented.

What is your favorite dress you’ve made?
They are all special to me. They’re all for a different bride, but I can say I love to work with lace, so I guess my favorites would be the lace dresses.

What part of the creative process do you enjoy most?
I love to source new fabrics—I always keep my eye open for new textiles. Then I let my imagination run wild with ways to incorporate the new fabrics into the collection or manipulate the fabrics into exquisite appliqués.



Left: Watters ivory silk organza “Dakota” gown, $3,200
Right: Watters ivory organza “Brooke” gown, $2,300

What was the inspiration for your two new collaborations, Watters Veils by Toni Federici and Watters Accessories by Thomas Knoell?
I love the idea of brides personalizing their wedding dresses with accessories, so what is better than creating a collection of accessories and veils? We have worked closely with both Toni and Thomas on letting our collection inspire their magnificent accessories.

When creating bridesmaid dresses, what fabrics and colors do you like to work with?
Chiffon—it’s such a versatile fabric. Bridesmaids can wear it for any occasion and it’s forgiving and flattering. Right now, I’m loving jewel tones—rich hues of blues, greens, and purples.

What’s the next bridal trend?
Color as a trend is taking off, and brides are being more adventurous in the incorporation of color into their wedding day look.

What is your go-to accessory for a wedding?
A belt is the finishing touch on the dress and it showcases your waist. And some of them can be used after the wedding.

If you were getting married in San Diego, where would the wedding be?
My dream location would be an oceanfront estate watching the sunset and hoping to witness the green flash.

What’s the best thing a bride has said about one of your designs?
A bride recently wore the Watters “Palm Springs” dress and was featured on the blog 100 Layer Cake, and when asked to describe her dress she said, “This dress is what wedding dreams are made of.”



Left: Watters ivory Chantilly lace “Kerry” gown, $1,996
Right: Watters navy lace “Palm” dress, $320


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