Olia Zavozina is a custom bridal designer in Nashville. Her exquisite hand made creations are simply taking off with brides throughout Middle Tennessee. Premier Bride magazine has featured her custom creations, as well as Nashville Lifestyles Weddings. She’s even had an US Weekly feature! Her designs are usually made to order and have a lovely personal touch. Although Russia is Olia’s birthplace, she currently resides in Nashville with her husband Robbie, and their adorable dogs. Having met Olia through a mutual friend about a year ago, I had the opportunity to “style” models for a photo shoot with her gowns and very much enjoyed the experience of watching her sketch people’s concepts and then make their vision a reality.
She was gracious enough to give our Wilson Living brides-to-be some helpful wedding day advice. Lend your ear to guidance from a lovely Nashville lady who truly has a passion for weddings and design.
“I always like to spend a little time with the bride so that I know her personality. Each dress should be “their” dress.”
– Olia Zavozina
E. Tell me about your life in Russia.
I grew up in a small town called Aksarka. It’s near the Arctic Ocean, referred to as “forever frozen land”. When I was 12, we moved to Tyumen, which is a much larger city in Siberia. My father was a private detective and my mother was the CEO of a local bank. I have one older sister whom I am very close to. My household was very disciplined. I took ballet, piano, and sang in a choir. I graduated high school at the top of my class with full scholarships to one of the best universities in Siberia, majoring in world economy and translation.
E. What brought you to Nashville?
In the summer of 2003 I came to visit America under a work exchange program, with the intent to learn English. I had one day off while working odd jobs in Bowling Green, Kentucky and came to Nashville with a friend. During my visit, I met a family who I told about my dreams of mov-to America. Apparently, I made a strong impression on them because the next day while I was at work, the family came to pick me up and move me to Nashville! I fell in love with Nashville and decided to enroll in Free Will Baptist Bible College.
E. Considering it’s probably a very long plane ride, do you return to your hometown often?
I came to the US in 2003, and last March was the very first time that I have been home.
E. How did your business get its start?
I have been making clothes for as long as I can remember. When I moved to Nashville I received a sewing machine that first Christmas from my host family.
E. How did your love for design begin?
I started making clothes for my Barbie dolls when I was five.
E. What made you want to do wedding dresses in particular?
After getting married myself in 2008, I understood just how special designing a bride’s dress is. To see a bride wear a gown I created… is priceless for me. I sit at the back of the wedding each time and cry.
E. What do you think sets your creations apart from other choices a bride has on her most important day?
The bride gets an opportunity to partner with me in creating the design she has always wanted instead of altering an existing dress. She is a part of every step along the way from sketch to creation. Once the bride knows the look she wants I can provide her with the various fabric options that coincide with her budget.
E. What is the most challenging part of being a bridal designer?
Finding the perfect fit for the bride so that she is a 100 percent confident and excited about her gown, can be a challenging process.
E. What clothing designers do you admire?
Coco Chanel and the way she created a new look with traditional fashion.
E. Who is the “Olia Zavozina bride” in your mind?
The Olia Zavozina bride is confident, contemporary, and classy. She shares an appreciation for a couture one-of-a-kind design.
E. What are some things that influence or inspire you while designing a dress?
Love and romance! I always like to spend a little time with the bride so that I know her personality. Each dress should be “their” dress.
E. What colors do you enjoy working with most?
Ivory is my favorite.
E. What is a favorite of your current collection of dresses?
The Russian Queen is currently my favorite dress in my collection. It is an elegant yet contemporary dress that looks beautiful on many different body types. The lightweight silk taffeta makes for a wonderful selection for a summer bride. The unique design stands out allowing the bride to radiate on her special day.
E. What advice would you give to a bride when she is looking for her dress?
I very much encourage all brides to try on many different silhouettes to see what fit is best for her body. She may have had a certain dress in mind, but it might not be the right dress when it’s on.
E. Being a married lady, what piece of advice would you give to a bride to be on her wedding day?
Treasure every moment because it goes by so fast. And have fun with it. It is what you make it.
E. When choosing bridesmaids’ dresses, what is something a bride should keep in mind?
Sizes. Bridesmaids are different sizes so be sure to pick a style that works for everyone.
E. What color palette or styles are you selecting for bridesmaid’s dresses now?
Fuchsia is the most popular color here and in Europe this season. When it comes to style: low back, mermaid silhouette, and ruffles are really in this season.
E. Are there any dress details that you would advise a bride to not overlook?
I would recommend trying at least three different silhouettes. After we know what silhouette is perfect for her, we will go over the neck lines, the back of the dress, as well as the train length. Finally, we will get out the lace selections, trims and any other extra details such as beading, feathers, crystals, etc. As a designer, my goal is to create a look for the bride that brings out her personality. To achieve a perfect look the bride must trust me, and know that I will make her look beautiful!
E. Where can people buy your designs? (Explain custom orders as well.)
We currently have a line at The White Room in Lebanon, I encourage anyone interested in a custom gown to schedule an appointment by calling 615.415.6576. We will sit and discuss your dream gown! During that meeting we will go over your fabric and pricing options. Be sure to check our website for updated store locations.
E. Do you have any upcoming events that our readers should attend?
I have designed many new looks (not limited to bridal).
Several designs were featured at the Glitter and Glam Fashion Show for Agape Rescue recently held at the Lowes Vanderbilt Hotel in April.
We showcase our gowns by holding various trunk shows throughout the summer. The trunk shows are a fun opportunity to mix and mingle and try on different looks. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter by going to our website so you can stay up to date on these events!
You can subscribe to Olia Zavozina’s newsletter for upcoming events or get more information when you visit her website at: www.oliazavozina.com