Wedding Gowns by Yemi Osunkoya


Yemi Osunkoya is the award winning designer behind the Kosibah label. Kosibah which is named in honour of his mother, specializes in contemporary and elegant couture bridal, evening and formal day wear. The label is know for their use of luxurious fabrics and sumptuous embellishments. Caribbean POSH recently caught up with the London based designer to get some insight on the wedding gown designers design process.

Images by Nek Vardikos


-What was the inspiration for your new bridal collection? 

My inspiration for this Collection came from a visit I made to the Tate Britain Museum in London, England where I saw an exhibition by the English Romantic Artist William Turner. He created a series of paintings called ‘Squaring The Circle’ that had a very ethereal feel to them. Muted earth colours and slightly blurred brushstrokes. It struck a chord in me. My previous Collection was quite structured and I wanted to go in a totally different direction. I wanted a softer, floatier and romantic theme. I then come up with a series of designs utilizing soft fabrics like Tulle, double crepe and delicate Swarovski embellished lace appliqués etc. In keeping with the mythical theme I named each dress after one of the 9 muses of mythology. I call this the Turner Collection.

– How long did it take you to pull everything together?

It took about 3 months all together to create the 6 dresses. For each dress, the lace appliqués were first cut out and trimmed down from one lace fabric piece, then on average about 950 Swarovski diamanté crystals were added one by one with an electric glue gun, then they are pinned into position on the fabric surface and finally stitched meticulously by hand. A very labour intensive process. All this whilst still carrying out work orders for our bridal clients.

-How would you describe the gown details and hues?

Though the gowns were less structured, they still achieved the Kosibah signature hourglass silhouette. Lots of Tulle bodices with lace appliqués strategically placed, long dramatic trains and some interesting detailing at the back. The colours hacked back to my memory of the Turner paintings and comprised champagne, pale gold, silver, ivory and lots of layering to add to the ethereal feel I wanted to achieve.


-What do you feel is the most unique about your line?

The unique quality of my gowns is their fit and the way they flatter, enhance and almost sculpt the body of the wearer into the classical hourglass silhouette. 

-What is the price range on your gowns?

My couture bridal gowns, made from scratch for each client using their own precise body measurements range between $5,000.00 and $15,000.00.

Images by Nek Vardikos

-What excites you the most about designing wedding gowns?

I’m excited by the prospect of creating a gown that will enhance and flatter the shape of the person it’s made for and would in result make her look and more importantly, feel her best when he wearing it. I love Lo the various stages involved from coming up with the design, sourcing the fabric, drafting the pattern, cutting and sewing the fabric etc.

-when working with a bride what is your approach to making her dreams come true?

I’m a very good listener and I try to bring to live the vision she has for her perfect dress. I also use my 26 years of business experience working with 100’s of different body type to determine exactly what would be the most flattering style for the client in front of me and how to achieve it. I also try as much as possible for it to be a collaborative process so she feels fully involved in the fabric and embellishment choices.