A Styled Day -Callie Tein of Modern Trousseau

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In our last Styled Day feature, we went behind-the-scenes with our own Susan Norcross. Today, we’re thrilled to welcome one of our favorite bridal designers!

Callie's Headshot: Donald Kennedy

Callie’s Headshot: Donald Kennedy

We met Callie Tein, the Designer of Modern Trousseau, at Bridal Market. During our showing, Callie blew us away with her latest collection of gowns that manage to be both trendy and completely timeless. In addition to creating stunning gowns, she’s also one of the most hospitable creatives we’ve ever met. While viewing the collection, we enjoyed tea and chocolate (one of Callie’s favorite things!) in Modern Trousseau’s New York City showroom. Our meeting was such a welcome retreat!

We cannot wait for you to get to know Callie today and learn how she spends her day as one of the top designers in the bridal fashion industry. PS: Before you read all about Callie’s day, make sure to stir a cup of hot chocolate to enjoy!

6:00 – I always try to get at least 8 hours of sleep, but that depends on what time I go to bed the previous night. When I’m creating a new collection, I often stay up past 11pm, which is pretty late for me.

6:30 – The morning is my favorite time of day, but my mood can change depending on what’s happening in the kitchen — like if the dogs have thrown up, or we’re out of soy milk. I always eat breakfast even if I’m traveling, and have to get up at 4am. It sustains me. Besides, I’m usually hungry.

7:00 – Drive my daughter to school. It’s always an exhilarating experience. Everyone is in a hurry, and everyone seems mad. Perhaps they haven’t had breakfast.

7:45 – Arrive at work. I like to dress up for work, because it sets a positive tone for the day, although I don’t always follow my own rules. When I first moved to the United States from Australia, I looked forward to seeing snow like in the movies. After 18 years, the novelty begins to wear off by late November. I dressed for work today to stay warm in jeans, boots, a singlet, a long-sleeve top, a cashmere sweater, and a vest, and yet I still feel the cold. 

9:00 – Morning tea time. My favorite drink on a cold day is hot chocolate. I actually drink hot chocolate at all times of the day, but December mornings are a good excuse.

All Behind the Scenes Photos: Carla Ten Eyck

All Behind the Scenes Photos: Carla Ten Eyck

10:00 – Even though I am the designer,  a lot of my time is spent working on other production tasks, such a pattern making. Pattern making can be very technical, but can also be creative. In fact, a pattern can make or break a design, and can control the direction of a collection.

11:00 – After I finish a pattern, I usually make the “toile.” A toile is a basic model of a gown in cotton fabric, and allows me to adjust the fit of a gown, or change the design. I like to listen to music while I design, but I share my workroom with my seamstresses, so I usually listen to whatever is playing. They listen to a lot of Polish radio, because most of them are from Poland. Apparently, Boney M and Abba are still big there.

12:00 – Lunchtime. I live on soup in winter, which sounds healthy, but I almost always need some form of chocolate for desert. I can’t get though the day without chocolate — totally addicted. 

12:30 – After lunch is when my day begins to speed up. Dresses to ship that day are prepared for shipment, and I work with our quality control department to check on any customizations that were done. There are always a million questions — Which ribbon do I like best? Is this bow too big? Do these fabrics work well together? Sometimes they are small things, but they can make a difference. Because I’m a designer (aka control-freak), I like everything just so.

1:30 – Last gown fitting appointment for the day. I pop in to say hello. It’s always such a thrill to preview a finished gown at a bride’s final fitting, and I love seeing how happy and beautiful we’ve made this bride.

2:30 – What happened to my day? I haven’t finished the new designs, there are still half-a-dozen patterns to make, and where did I put the toile? Some days feel like they are only two hours long. Wait! We need more fabric! Can it be here tomorrow? We’re out of buttons — how did THAT happen? An intern, an intern…. my kingdom for an intern! Quick! Find me some chocolate. And for goodness sake, I can’t take much more ‘Mama Mia!’ 

3:00 – Everyone leaves. Goodnight Agnes. Goodnight, Anna. Goodnight, Monika. See you tomorrow, Dorothy. Good night, Bogusia…and so on. Like most days, just me, Teresa and Yupa (also know as “Lucille and Ethel”) are left. But that’s another story…

3:30 – Time to take advantage of the most productive time of the day, when I often have my best ideas and a little time to daydream. The radio is off, the machines have stopped running, and it’s very quiet. I drape fabric around a mannequin, I sketch, and I run around and leave post-it notes from my ever-expanding To-Do list.

4:45 – UPS picks ups all the gowns to go out across the world. Good night Modern Trousseau! Time to head home, and rest up for another day at the office.

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