The young bride-to-be knew she wanted to wear her mother’s dress, but desired a more modern design. She approached Phenix City dress designer Loren Corcoran to transform the 80s gown to a modern day wedding dress.
“We’ve been able to do just that!” says Corocoran, 27, owner of Loren Elizabeth Designs. “We wanted to keep the sentimental value so we’ve been able to take this heirloom dress and make it modern, but it’s still obvious she is wearing her mother’s dress. Each time we see each other for fittings, there is such love and joy that exudes from them. It’s been such a fun journey with this family and bride.”
Loren says the experience solidified her love for designing and creating wedding gowns. The venture started when her sister approached her to create her wedding gown in 2015. “My sister trusted me completely, and that’s when I fell in love with wedding dresses. The moment she had on her dress with her veil and was handed her flowers for pictures, I burst into tears. I knew in that moment I truly loved what I did and wanted to do more,” says Corocoran.
Fashion Design was actually the sixth major Corocoran tried while attending Auburn University. Her professors taught her everything from the ground up. “Our program was in the top 10 in the nation while I attended Auburn. The summer before I graduated, we were required to do an internship. As a single parent of a 2 year daughter (Carolyn), I had to find an internship close by,” says Corocoran.
She worked with Kristen Morgan, a local seamstress and alterations specialist, for the summer, but Morgan remains a colleague today. “Kristen is one of the main people who shaped and mentored me into the designer I am today.” Corocoran and Morgan travel to New York twice a year for alterations at New York Fashion Week for Designer Sherri Hill.
In addition to heirloom dresses, Corocoran creates custom wedding gowns. She works closely with brides-to-be to determine flattering fits for body shapes then builds the dress from there. “We talk fabric and find the perfect and unique pieces just for them. I go to either Atlanta or New York to buy these fabrics to ensure they are getting the best quality,” says Corocoran. “It usually takes about four fittings on average before the dress is complete.”
As she works with brides, Corocoran feels as if she is part of the wedding story and not just a distant designer. “I’m a part of one of the most important days of their lives, and it’s something I truly cherish now.”