Since 2005, Stephanie James has been committed to providing brides with the gowns of their dreams. Having been a bride herself, she understands how difficult it can be to find the perfect dress. “This one might be perfect if it only had…..” or, “I wish it had a little more…” These are easy wishes to fulfill with Stephanie James Couture. Although the existing, vintage inspired, collection is already beautiful and made only the finest silks and French laces, any of the designs can be customized to suit each bride. Every dress is made right here, in the US, in Stephanie’s California studio. Each dress gets individual attention under her watchful eye. Things like, adding sleeves, changing the length or color of the gown, are welcome. Stephanie takes pride in being able to cater to each or her brides’ individual tastes. Stephanie’s blog is overflowing with examples of real brides’ visions brought to life; let it inspire you!
Stephanie James has wanted to be a designer since the age of 4. Growing up on a farm in rural Idaho didn’t provide her with many options for creating beautiful things. Determined to have the best dressed Barbies in town, she was forced to improvise with paper towels, Scotch tape, and Crayola markers. It was not uncommon to find her stomping through the onion fields in cowboy boots and her favorite red and white ruffled party dress, rocking her Shirley Temple curls. Clearly, the farm was just too small for this budding designer.
Luckily, Stephanie and her mother were fated to move out to California, where her fashion sense would be better appreciated. Throughout high school, wanting to make her own fashion statements, she made most of her clothes and all of her prom dresses, avoiding those awkward “who wore it best” moments. She even made her mother’s wedding dress. Little did she know then, that that would be the first of many wedding gowns to come.
Stephanie attended Brook’s College in Long Beach for fashion design. Just after graduation, as often happens in life, her plans of designing were put on hold to raise her 2 lovely children.
When they were old enough for school, Stephanie “accidentally” became a wedding photographer for the next 10 years. Fate would intervene again, when she met the man of her dreams and decided to remarry and, of course, design her own wedding gown. Tired of seeing the same strapless, white ball gowns over the past 10 years, Stephanie knew she didn’t want hers to be white, long or strapless. She has also been a lover of vintage fashions, so, with that influence, the gown that she designed was absolute perfection. It was made of a Champagne pin-tucked silk doupioni with a chocolate satin sash. It was tea length with a pleated skirt and V neck bodice. Everybody was so impressed by this dress, that she decided it was time to return to her first passion and start designing. She called it the Mr’s Kennedy, and it became the first dress in her first collection. It remains to be a top seller to this day.