Yana Goncharenko is a photo and runway fashion model – and a Sheri Autry Couture bride.
About three months before her Maui wedding last April, Yana faced a big challenge. The designer she’d chosen to make her dress had a conflict and couldn’t manage the project. Yana had to come up with “Plan B,” and fast. On a fashion shoot, Yana mentioned her plight to the photographer’s assistant who readily recommended Sheri Autry Couture. Soon after, Yana and Sheri met to discuss her vision, and they got right to work.
“I knew right away that Sheri could create what I wanted, and at a very reasonable price. I found her open, positive, and flexible. On our short timeline, I needed that! Sheri didn’t try to push her ideas on to me. She really wanted to create the dress that I had in mind.” It helped that Sheri was willing to work with Yana at her Washington area home. “Sheri made it so convenient for me, which really lowered the stress level.”
Being a fashion model, Yana was keenly aware of exactly what she wanted.
“For my on-the-beach wedding, I envisioned a simple, light, and elegant dress with an interesting, open back. I don’t like too much sparkle or fussy fabrics and big skirts, and I didn’t want the “pure white” of a traditional wedding gown.”
Sheri created a “base line model” dress to experiment with, and they worked the design details from there
Sheri crafted the final design with a soft ivory silk stretch charmeuse as a base, with long Chantilly lace sleeves and overlays and a flowing trumpet hemline. The two worked through four fittings, the last of which concluded just a few hours before Yana boarded her flight to Maui.
“Yana was a dream to work with,” says Sheri. “She was very clear about what she wanted and was willing to listen to my ideas. We had a good time working together!”
Yana’s advice to brides considering creating a custom design: “You have to like and get along with your designer, know what you want, and be open to ideas. Above all, don’t stress about it! Keep your wedding experience positive and happy. I wanted the process to be fun and creative, and it was. And I love the result!”
Yana occasionally dons her dress to re-live memories of her wedding day. “It’s a very special dress to me. If I’m lucky enough to have a daughter some day, I am saving it for her wedding. It’s such a timeless design.”
For a designer, there simply isn’t a higher compliment than that. Thank you, Yana!