I love how a random Tweet can sometimes introduce you to a new designer, or photographer, or supplier, whose work you end up just loving. When I Tweeted about my nude Pinterest board, Jessica Charleston Tweeted me a picture of her elegant Zephyrine dress, which is also of a nude persuasion. Now besides from the frankly awesome name of the dress, it is also a frankly awesome design. I’m a total fan of her work as of that day.
The dress is part of a collection called Myth & Muse where the gowns are named after women “populating the ethereal space between myth and reality”, explains the designer. The silhouettes and fabrics are simply beautiful. They’re the gowns of goddesses, of strong women, of elegant statues. I think you’d feel magnificent, in its truest sense, wearing one of these.
The collection is a celebration of the feminine form, whose beauty has inspired artists and designers alike for centuries.
Growing up, I often felt as though I was born into the wrong era. As a result, my designs often draw on influences from ‘La Belle Époque’ through to the 1930s, an era of extravagance and adventure, exploring themes of discovery and timeless elegance.
Keeping an eye on current trends, I’m also constantly looking out for gems of inspiration in antique markets and vintage boutiques, in films old and new, and in museums and exhibitions of both historical design and cutting edge innovation. The V&A in London is one of my favourite places to while away the hours.
I’ve never really been a follower of fashion, but have tended to be quite sure about my own style. I used to sketch little fantasy wardrobes for myself, particularly in the gap between child and teen when there seemed to be a real lack of appealing clothes. I’ve always known what I’m looking for, and frequently couldn’t find it, so took to designing for myself.
My mum taught me to sew, and I played around with fabrics. It’s as much a love of fabric as creating beautiful things that drives me. I’m even experimenting with latex at the moment to show at the Weird and Wonderful Wedding World fair in Bristol.
I still love period costume, but I’m feeling a bit more inspired by cutting edge at the moment, and with my new shop I feel the freedom to find new directions to explore.
There’s a great sense of freedom from fashion in bridal wear because it’s so personal. That’s what I love about the process of discussing, designing and making bespoke dresses for my clients.
Photography – Andrea Pennington
Location – Royal Crescent Hotel Bath
MUAs – Katy Pheiffer and Jenny Davies
Hair – Vicky Lovell at No3 Hairdressing
Models – Deborah Sarah Baker Rachel Haspell and Hayley Lanyon