By Denise Oliveira
Mika Inatome is a celebrated New York-based designer of slim gowns for brides all over the world. Born in Japan, she moved to Long Island when she was 16 years old. I spoke with her recently, and what follows is an edited excerpt of the interview.
What is a typical day for you?
I get in around 9 am. Though sometimes I have to come in at 7 am. Whatever it takes. I work better in the morning. I deal with a lot of detail, and I can see better then. I’m not a night owl. I have appointments with new clients, then some fittings, and then I’m making patterns and dresses. At night I go to Broadway shows, or opera, symphony, theatre or dance. Anything that’s inspiring. I love to see the ballet, and if I have time on weekends, I go to museums.
How do you and your brides communicate about the look of their dress?
Usually they can tell me what they want. Some of them can’t describe it, so I ask them to bring me pictures, or to describe the kinds of things they do and don’t like. I also show them pictures of my other brides, I’ve made over 5,000 dresses. I think it’s easier to relate to what another bride looked like than to a picture of a model who is 6 feet tall and wearing 5 inch heels. Some brides just trust me to do what I think will look good on them. I use my iPad SketchBook to show them what I have in mind. I really want their day to be worry-free, I don’t want them having to think about whether their dress will wrinkle. There are two types of brides. There are the ones who want to be the center of attention at their wedding, to be a princess, and they have 5 or 6 friends doing things for them. But most of my brides are not like that. They want to have a nice party to introduce the two families. It’s their celebration, and I want to make sure it’s very easy for them.