THE MNY SPOTLIGHT
Aileen Fretz, Owner of Plume Calligraphy
Meet Aileen Fretz, the Toronto-based designer and founder behind Plume Calligraphy, which offers beautiful handwritten and thoughtfully curated heirloom wedding stationary. Check out Aileen's journey from wedding photography to calligraphic design and the inspiration behind her ornate, romantic style--exemplified by her favorite picks of our most elegant Mestiza gowns.
Read the full interview below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Aileen Fretz and I’m the owner and designer behind Plume Calligraphy. I create handwritten, organic designs inspired by beautiful papers, soft neutral palettes and curated handmade materials.
I have a passion for handmade, old world aesthetics and a background in Graphic Design. I love to create heirloom wedding stationery that is beautifully unique with handwritten modern calligraphy details.
How did you get into designing wedding invitations?
My husband and I spent a number of years photographing weddings together, from that experience I fell in love with the wedding industry! When I began practicing calligraphy as a hobby in 2015, I quickly realized that I wanted to transition into Wedding Stationery as a career and put into practice my education in Graphic Design to create and produce unique, beautiful wedding stationery for couples in love.
What are some sources of inspiration for you when designing an invitation?
I’m inspired by all things old world, botanicals and vintage artwork. I like to create paper goods that are layered with interesting textures and color combinations, making the task of opening a beautiful experience!
How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
Modern, romantic and textural!
What is the best thing about bringing a clients' vision to life?
It’s amazing to take an idea from the proofing process where a design lives only in digital images and then hold it in your hands. I have an antique letterpress that I use to produce many of my invitation suites, the opportunity to use one of these incredible machines brings a tangible beauty that comes from creating by hand.
What is unique about Plume Calligraphy?
Plume Calligraphy is unique in the way that it blends an aesthetic that is both modern and traditional. Creating designs that are timeless, but also fresh is important! I love the idea that an invitation will become an heirloom for a couple and a representation of their love and unique relationship when they began their married life together.
What is your favorite invitation that you have created? What do you love about it?
One of my favorite invitation suites was for a wedding in France, the suite was organic with beautiful blind impressed details and gorgeous European handmade paper all wrapped together in a modern, printed vellum wrap featuring the Chateau wedding venue. I loved the blending of modern vellum elements, vintage stamps, handmade paper and artisan letterpress printing.
Do you have any design tips/tricks you can share with us?
Earlier this year I began creating digital mockups that were more realistic visually, a way to show clients my design ideas in a way that could help them visualize their suite before it became a reality. Earlier this year I launched The Stationers Mockup, a collection of digital mockup templates designed specifically for Stationers to create stunning, realistic digital mockups for clients. It’s made such difference to my design process and allows me to creatively explore design ideas digitally and share them with my clients.
What draws you to the Mestiza brand?
Without a doubt it’s the colors, the flow and layers of the Mestiza gowns and dresses! I love the use of pattern and the way the pieces are elegant, modern and dramatic!
What are some of your favorite Mestiza NY pieces for brides and wedding guests?
I love the modern, fresh look of the Shimmy Shimmy Tassel Dress and the dramatic florals of the Emery Gown!
What’s next for you?! What are you working on?
Right now I’m working on some beautiful new suites to add to my Collection with an emphasis on beautiful, dramatic florals and romantic, flourished calligraphy!