Natalya Romaniw

Natalya was due to represent Wales in the finals of the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, which was held in Cardiff in 2009. She came to me wanting two dresses designed and made for the finals.

Natalya told me the story that she would be telling through her performance which was a fascinating way of designing a dress! The dress had to match the performance and be a part of the story too.

We based the dress on the one that Vivien Lee so famously wore as Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the wind. It had a very mature feel, made up in a deep scarlet velvet. The dress was particularly heavy and was supported with an underskirt. The padded neckline had very delicate twists in the fabric to add subtle detail and was finished off with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals.

Natalya wore the dress for the final of the song prize in St David’s Hall. I was lucky enough to be invited along to watch her perform. She is truly talented and I am pleased to say her career is going from strength to strength.

This dress is one that I will remember for having such stage presence and being so different from the previous projects I had worked on.

The second dress was a stunning off the shoulder, figure-hugging design with a plunging back which drew your eyes to the handmade Swarovski brooch neatly positioned at the waist. The rich purple dress was made in silk dupion with a delicate silk chiffon waist feature. Natalya looked incredible in the dress and her performance was one I’ll always remember.