The White Dress is an amazing two story wedding dress boutique in Corona del Mar owned and operated by Marlis for the past 10 years come December. The boutique interior is both chic and welcoming, and the dress selection impressive to say the least!
I61studio: How would you describe your boutique’s signature style?
Marlis: It’s very…myself. It’s clean and it focuses on the dresses and the space. I love big dressing rooms so we have very big dressing rooms to offer the brides.
I61studio: How long have you been interested in bridal fashion in general?
Marlis: So I created the name “The White Dress” right after I graduated from USC business school but didn’t really know what to do with it until I was shopping for my own bridal gown. I went shopping and the store let me down. I worked for Nordstrom going through college so I have a Nordstrom philosophy as far as the way a customer should be treated and handled.
I61studio: What were you doing before running your own business?
Marlis: I was in technology. I worked at a facility called Equinix. It was a 90 million dollar facility that housed Fandango’s web servers and all their internet sites, and Charles Schwab and all the high-end companies that needed to be online. That was a neat thing to be a part of.
I61studio: Did you always have an interest in fashion?
Marlis: I think fashion is just beautiful. I think: “How can these designers come up with something new every year?” but they do, and they get better and better and better. It’s always evolving. It’s wonderful to work around these dresses every day.
I61studio: What introduced you to the world of bridal fashion?
Marlis: It was purely a want to get into my own business and finding a niche for myself. I always have dreamt of it but never realized that I could do it. I started very very small. The square footage was tiny when we first started, and we’ve expanded four times since.
I61studio: What did you want to be as a kid?
Marlis: I wanted to fly airplanes. Or be a teacher.
I61studio: Where there telltale signs while growing up that you’d become a boutique owner?
Marlis: I was more of a tomboy growing up, so I kind of wasn’t that girl that dressed in dresses. I still don’t. I love high heels, so I’m a shoe lady… and more of a slacks-and-suit lady. But I would say that I appreciate dresses. I appreciate the construction and the fit and everything like that.
I61studio: Who is your biggest inspiration?
Marlis: My mother. The one that always tried to get me to dress up. She was very helpful with me starting this.
I61studio: Who is your favorite designer?
Marlis: I have to say my favorite is Elizabeth Fillmore. But as for a new up and coming designer – his dresses are so beautiful – Jorge Manuel. He’s got these architectural designs in his dresses. He’s from Miami so he has a lot of art deco in his designs.
I61studio: What is your favorite bridal dress trend?
Marlis: I do like color in dresses. Just an off-color, a touch. I really love fitted dresses and I love the fit of the dress. If a dress is not well fitted – if the designer doesn’t have good slopes to their lines – it’s hard for me to see past anything else.
I61studio: What dress did you wear on your own wedding day?
Marlis: I wore three wedding dresses. I had a rehearsal dinner dress that was a wedding dress – it was an Elizabeth Fillmore. It was more sheath-y and a cocktail type wedding dress. And then I wore for the ceremony a dress that was a halter with lots of lace and a separate detached train. For the reception I completely changed it up, I did a corset dress that was really fitted, with a blue sash in the back. That was really fun.
I61studio: What do you like to do in your free time?
Marlis: Well the mom thing is a pretty big thing. That’s pretty much all I do right now because I have a 16 month old and a three-and-a-half year old. Two boys. My first son was actually really scared at first because he thought the dresses were all ghosts, because they’re all white! He’s over it now.
I61studio: What do you love most about doing what you do?
Marlis: I just love working with the girls that work here. I love seeing them every day. And then it’s always so wonderful to see someone happy – when they’re trying on a dress and they find “The One”!
Company Name: The White Dress
Services: Wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, debutante dresses
Phone Number: (949) 723-0121
Address: 2853 East Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625