NEWPORT BEACH — Andrea Popa Williams knows 22 points on every woman's body that hold the potential for fashion greatness or disaster.
As proprietor of Andrea's Couture in Corona del Mar, which specializes in high-end custom gowns, it's her job to make sure the latter doesn't happen.
"Every gown we do, we fit to the body and concentrate on a woman's physique," Williams said. "We fit a real woman. The reality is that most mothers are not a size 6 or size 4."
This is where a tape measurer and 22 specific measurement points across the female body come into play, she said.
Clients also are able to choose from about 500 customizable designs, 150 colors and just about any fabric imaginable, she said.
Andrea's Couture, which celebrates its grand opening Feb. 2, is the offspring of Andrea's Fashions in Los Angeles. The boutique was opened by Carmen Popa, a Romanian immigrant and Williams' mother, in 1969.
Although the boutique carries Williams' first name, she didn't grow up expecting to one day work side by side designing gowns with her mother.
"My mother took me to my first textile market at age 7," Williams said. "To be honest, I found it boring."
However, by the time Williams was 13, she was regularly flying to New York on business trips with her mother and offering advice on the latest trends to follow in the contemporary fashion market.
After working at two Las Vegas resorts in her 20s, Williams felt her skill set was complete and she was ready to join her mother at Andrea's.
"I learned Five Star, Five Diamond customer service," Williams said. "You never consider anything an unsolvable problem."
That mentality carries over to Andrea's, where Williams helps women dress to look their best for events ranging from bat mitzvahs, weddings and gala charity events.
"Every woman has something that she doesn't like about her body," Williams said. "But I like to focus on the positives."
And, when a woman feels confident about her appearance, it's one less thing to worry about on the day of that special event, Williams said.
"It's the worst when I hear someone say, 'I hate what I wore,'" Williams said. "No lady should ever have to compromise on their big day."
Andrea's Couture is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and by appointment Tuesday.
Reservations and information: firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 644-4200
If You Go
What: Andrea's Couture grand-opening party and open house
When: 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 2
Where: 3034 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar