Foxglove and Gingersnap is the alternative bride’s dream place for wedding outfit shopping. There are vibrant colours as well as bridal whites, and there are motifs like the dragonfly, sugar skulls, and 1950s influenced love hearts. The shorter, flirtier lengths and the sweetheart necklines are just made for showing off your ink, and there’s a real rockabilly feel to the whole thing. As the brand’s tagline says, Foxglove and Gingersnap is:
“Inspired couture stitching and design for the bride who throws her arms around alternative.”
I interviewed the lovely lady behind the designs, Rachael Fox, and asked her all about her inspirations and the appeal of her garments for way out brides…
What’s your tip for choosing a dress?
Go with your heart first and foremost! It’s the one day you can be a little bit selfish and have it all your way! If you’d like a short dress or a pink one, do it. Polka dots? Go for it. Also, I cannot stress the fit enough, either. Your beautiful dress needs to fit you like a glove, regardless of how figure-hugging it is, or drapey, it needs to hug or drape in the right places. A well-fitted, perfectly constructed dress shows off the bride, rather than the bride showing off the dress.
Describe the bride who chooses your designs.
My dresses are for those brides who hug the stand-out element in life and throw their arms around alternative. Elegantly simple dress designs that are enhanced by appliqué work. It may be they would like a sky blue and pink dress, or an ivory one with added appliquéd artwork of her choice. Cherry blossoms cascading down the back of the dress, a favourite phrase, favourite tattoo or a dragonfly, as I created recently. I love the diversity, the personality of each bride, and I hope to capture the very essence of what she would like to achieve to feel totally unique and comfortable on her wedding day.
What made you get into wedding dress designing?
I’ve dabbled for ever with a sewing machine, but I’m a hairstylist by trade and after having my daughter 12 years ago, I delved more into appliqué work. My time was being spent more and more ‘doodledrawing’ and converting those into fabric and hand painted art of all descriptions, so I made the huge decision to hang up my hairdressing scissors and pick up my fabric scissors. My love of creating clothes turned into loving the mathematics of moulages, body shaping and making flat cloth mould and drape around a figure. The merging of the two was a natural process, really. The one day in a girl’s life she can indulge herself is her wedding day, so indulgent art on an indulgent dress seemed a perfect concept. It seems that we’re going with our hearts a lot more nowadays, as opposed to ‘dictated’ tradition, and there are more second marriages and vow renewals, and so I wanted to help those daring dudettes express themselves by opening up more options to them. I also get to do something I love, every day!
Whose work do you admire?
If I like a dress, I like it for aesthetic reasons, not so much who designed it or who’s wearing it. But if I had to choose, it would be early Chanel. Elegant, form fitting and totally celebrating a woman’s shape. Fine tailoring and couture techniques. All these elements create beautiful garments, enhancing your shape.
What inspires your designs?
Gosh… inspiration can hit anytime, anywhere! From a beautiful bouquet in a florist’s window to a Manga cartoon. Very random, I know, but I’ll then have to ‘doodledraw’ my idea in my notebook whilst it’s at the forefront of my mind. Undoubtedly, my work evolves and changes several times before it goes into a dress. Bright colours are hugely inspirational to me. I always smile and feel most creative whenever I see a shot of a festival, here or abroad. Holi Day is a celebration on my bucket list: brightness epitomised… Heaven in powdered paint form!
What inspirational words do you live by?
That’s easy… ‘ALWAYS colour outside the lines’, and ‘if you can think it, try it’. Even if you fail, you’ll have learned a valuable lesson and you’ll be wiser for it. And ‘measure twice, cut once… it’s all in the preparation.’ (Invaluable dad advice.)
If you could dress anyone on their big day, who would that be?
Oh, my mum, definitely. She’s still happily wed to my dad, but she hated her wedding dress! I thought it was beautiful. So much so that I wore it when I was ten, covered in fake blood, and chopped in the length, all to be the Bride of Dracula for Halloween!! Sacrilege! So, to go back in time and make her a dress would be so special.
Do you design other things apart from bridal wear?
I still have my appliquéd pieces selling on Etsy, from cushions to wall art. They’ve taken somewhat of a backseat at the moment, but I still have the urge, and I have to create a cushion or a throw for my home, occasionally!
What did your wedding dress look like?
Oh, I loved my wedding dress and still do! I tried it on to show my daughter only a couple of weeks ago. I’m pleased to say I can still fit into it after 13 years and two children! A fitted ivory duchess satin with the most fabulous ivory marabou and black diamond feathers around the neckline. *sighing*
Whats next for the business?
I’m all for growing my business organically, and I’m in the process of building a specialised website for just the bridal couture side. I’m designing a ready-to-wear range at the moment that can be adapted to incorporate any appliquéd design, if that’s a requirement. My ‘tattooed’ dresses will be available in any colour the bride wishes, and every aspect of the dress is achieved by me, from the dress design itself, the pattern-making and artwork, through to the construction. It’s something I take great pride in, and I believe that the dress should look just as good on the inside.
“Every bride should feel as though she is the only person in the world getting married, and I’ll be with her every step of the dress way until she is completely hippy happy.”
You can find Foxglove and Gingersnap on: