Local wedding dress designer scales up business

Maggie Burns designs bridal gowns in the French couture style

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Maggie Burns has been sewing all her life. But now, she has turned her passion into a career.

Burns is the owner and head designer at Marie-Margot Couture, creating bridal gowns in Denver.

After graduating college, Burns made bridal gowns for friends and family on the nights and weekends. That continued for 25 years while she worked for a money management firm.

In 2010, Burns turned her gowns into a formal, full-time business.

“When I was making these gowns on the weekends and in the evenings, it just became apparent that that’s what I really loved to do,” Burns said, while sitting in her Platt Park studio. “There came a time when it just seemed appropriate to make the transition, so that’s what I did.”

Burns describes the Marie-Margot line as simple and elegant. Most gowns boast a silk base, are adorned with lace and created with French couture sewing techniques.

“I don’t seem to try to hit all the trends because I like the classics,” Burns explained of her bridal gowns.

In March, Burns showcased her new line of designs with a trunk show at Blue Bridal Boutique, located in Denver’s Design District.

“It’s what I’ve been working for all these years,” Burns said of the trunk show. “It’s a way to scale up my business so it isn’t as labor-intensive to make just a one-off every time.”

Blue Bridal has been in the Denver bridal scene since 2009 and frequently features local designers for veils, jewelry and gowns.

“We love supporting local,” said Julia Scott, store manager at Blue Bridal Boutique. “I think Maggie’s collection is very classic and unique. She does a lot of different draping techniques and neck lines that are really cool.”

The goal with any dress featured, Scott said, is construction, fit and something that makes a statement when it’s on the rack at the bridal shop.

During the trunk show, brides were able to try on Marie-Margot dresses and order them to be made in their size. Burns also offered brides the options of custom veils and changes such as adding buttons, sleeves or changing the neck line.

“It’s a very luxurious process,” Burns said of making custom bridal gowns. “I really try to be responsive to what brides are looking for and make their vision of their dress come true. It’s always a very personal process to work with a bride at that level of attention.”

Burns said that the challenge, along with the relationship made with the bride, are what draws her to making bridal gowns.

“Each one is a work of art,” she said. “And it’s for a very special time in life.”

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