OK...I'm juuust about at the point of thinking about a gown from one of the big names. But, how do you know that your custom gown is really going to BE one of a kind custom? I'm asking because at Maryland Dancesport in Bethesda this year there were two gowns by Dore on the floor and they were identical except for color. I know one of the women specifically had a concern about the possibility of the same gown and was told it wouldn't happen, but they were on the floor at the same time, and they were in the same gown, different color. So...I'm worried about spending a ton of money and getting a dress someone else has? How do you avoid that?
For uniqueness, either find a private seamstress who will make you what you want, or have alterations made to what you order. There are many seamstresses out there with experience making ballroom gowns who would love to work with you. There is lady in our neighborhood who came here from Russia, and her work is worth every dime! And then, she deserves a gratuity.