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Harleysville Bridal celebrates its 25th year

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Closure: Lace Up
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Fabric: Taffeta
Length: Short
Neckline: Strapless Sweetheart
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After seven years in New York City and two years in Paris, Colleen Gillies-Peterson found herself back in Mainland, Pa. Her father had just purchased a building on Main Street in Harleysville and didn’t have a use for it, so he offered it to Colleen saying, “Now you can set up your bridal shop.”

That’s how Harleysville Bridal was born.

This year, it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

When Gillies-Peterson was 17 years old, she designed dresses for her first client’s wedding. She designed and made everything, including the bridal gown and the dresses for the mother of the bride, mother-in-law and all the bridesmaids.Gillies-Peterson graduated from Lansdale Catholic in 1973 then headed to Virginia Commonwealth University to study fine arts and fashion design.

Then, she moved to New York City and studied at Traphagen School of Fashion.

“For our first assignment we had to design dresses out of [bed] sheets,” Gillies-Peterson said. This came easy for Gillies-Peterson, whose mother always made dresses and outfits for her four daughters and two sons.

“She always let us help design our hot berry pink short strapless sweetheart dress flirt pf5017 and she would sew them,” Gillies-Peterson said. At age 11, Gillies-Peterson began designing and sewing her own clothing.

While attending school in New York City, she lived and worked at the Salvation Army women’s residence as the door lady in the mornings and evenings.

After finishing school, Gillies-Peterson lived in New York for another four years, working at Springs Industries, a company that makes towels and sheets for designers. During that time she met Princess Grace Kelly numerous times because the company produced Kelly’s sheets and towels.

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  • Posted On August 12, 2012
  • Published articles 10

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