By now Ritual Unions Designer Karin Brettmeister is far more than just a colleague to us – we count ourselves lucky to have such an amazing woman as a friend. What do we like best about Karin? Well how much time do you have? We absolutely admire her integrity, her irrepressible love for designing and her creativity. Her atelier in Berlin is a magical place full of ideas and creativity. Karin’s designs are something super special – we sincerely believe that Ritual Unions will be the hottest bridal label out there pretty soon and we cannot wait to see more brides in her unique looks. Karin was kind enough to answer some of our questions.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
I am v try patient, especially towards other people (my boyfriend recently told me: “You always go the right way instead of the easy one.”) I am a maker and don’t beat around the bush and I am also a dreamer: I do enjoy sleeping and in my waking life I live for my vision.
I enjoy bridal so much because the freedom to experiment with things is so big. Bridal fashion had this label of being classic, timeless and traditional. Nowadays people value individuality more and don’t want to feel dressed-up as someone else on their wedding day but to highlight their own personality. But it’s not just my goal to create a diverse range of bridal designs, I am also drawn to it because of the magic around the wedding dress – it is THE special piece of clothing in one’s life.
What do you care about most when it comes to your work?
My ultimate goal is to one day produce 100% sustainable bridal wear. It is important to me to waste as little resources as possible and only produce on demand. I always had to compromise when it came to materials until now because the variety of sustainable bridal fabrics out there such as delicate laces and embroideries is not very big or even non-existent and I do not want the aesthetic to suffer. Nevertheless I do everything in my power to work sustainably and intend to push forward.
What was the motivation behind starting your own label?
I always wanted to be self-employed. My grandparents were tailors with their own atelier, my dad also has his own company. To be honest I never thought about a life where I did not start my own label – it was always clear to me that this is what I wanted. I specialized in couture- and bridal fashion and I absolutely love it to delve deeper and deeper into this art. I find all the business aspects quite challenging and there is nothing more awesome than always learning. I am very good at this one thing and I love doing it, I can’t really do anything else so I never really had a choice 😉
What makes Ritual Unions special?
The diverse offer of designs is very special. It is very important to me that every bride can finde something in my collections that she feels comfortable and like herself in. Our production method is rare in this day and age: everything is handmade in our atelier in Berlin. Every single piece goes through my hands and there are no long production processes or delivery chains, cheap mass production has been a no-go from the very start. This way I have even bigger control over the quality. Apart from that this way of producing enables us to use laborious techniques and complicated designs. In my early days I sewed every piece ordered myself, even now I spent 60% of my time behind the sewing machine or at the tailor’s table.
How would you describe the Ritual Unions bride?
The anthem of our last collection was “It’s 2021. You can wear whatever the f*** you want.” The Ritual Unions bride does exactly that. She wears whatever she wants and does not give a f*** about social norms. No matter what others might think she will wear a see-through dress, a black dress or Shorts. Everything is allowed, as long as one feels comfortable.
What inspires you?
I find my inspiration everywhere: music, literature, art, nature or even psychology or esoterics. It can also be a muse who radiates a special vibe and inspires me to create a design. Or it can be a challenging situation in life which offers me new insights and creates new impulses. Most of the time I do not know where my ideas come from. They often appear in my subconscious and I am surprised myself what kind of design is born of that.
Who is your absolute style icon?
In regards to fashion design: Alexander McQueen for sure. I don’t really have a style icon in form of a celebrity and I don’t really want to settle for just one person. In my personal style apart from bridal I cherish icons such as (young) Axl Rose, Kurt Cobain or Freddie Mercury. Apart from the last one they are not really fashion icons and funny enough all of them are men but all of them did their own thing which made them authentic and that’s what makes them role models to me.
Which is your (current) favorite design?
Most difficult question ever. All my designs are very intimate to me because they all come from within me. Before the launch of a new collection I often dream that I am pregnant. My gowns are kind of my babies to me and I can’t really pick a favorite. My customers’ favorite designs are definitely the Shadow Dress and the Jen Dress. Interestingly enough while designing those two dresses I set an intend to really just do what I want without thinking about whether my customers will like it. Those two dresses did in fact run out to be the most popular.
What styling advice would you give to every bride?
There are now definite rules that come to my mind. I personally would be like “Gi big or go home”, I like to go a little over the top in terms of styling. I do also have phases in which I prefer to style more minimal. In the end every woman has to decide for herself what she wants – it is so important to not let others impose their opinions on you. There is however one universal advice for every bride: wear the right underwear, nude and seamless is best.