Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

Frill Me! The Designer Series: Ian Stuart Bride

Posted on: 02/08/2013

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cuvee Rose

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Ok, so I am more than a little bit thrilled to be sharing the 2014 collection, hot off the catwalk, of the legend that is Ian Stuart.  One of my absolute favourite bridal designers – a man who pushes the boundaries of colour, structure and expectation – and when he agreed to an interview for Brides Up North I thought that all my Christmases had come at once.

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My early career background was in fashion magazines (as a child my preferred career path was “Editor of Vogue” – watch your back Anna Wintour), and so I adore my forays into the world of bridal design.  Although I’ve already been a bride, I’d love to wear an Ian Stuart creation one day… perhaps the Pamplemousse?  Read on, all will be revealed.

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Ian Stuart puts the fashion into bridal, and it is with great pride that I welcome this secret Northerner and his stunning creations to my little corner of the blogosphere today.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Academy

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Hello Ian!  Welcome to Brides Up North.  Please introduce Ian Stuart Bride and tell us a little about your brand?

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My brand’s manifesto is to offer brides a more dramatic, fashion savvy, yet still romantic look for her wedding day. As ceremonies are no longer constrained by traditions, brides are free to express who they are, and many, like myself, love to stand out and make a statement through the designs they wear.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Amalfi

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

America

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What is your style philosophy?

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To make an impact, embrace the romance, and celebrate the theatre and drama of the big day.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Arctic Fox

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Boudoir

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Tell us about the new collection by Ian Stuart Bride? What were your inspirations behind this beautiful collection?

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I took my inspiration from the beautiful haute couture salon shows of the 1950′s, an era that embodied elegance, romance and feminine glamour. I want every bride to experience the magic of this golden age when she wears one of my gowns. I have even paid homage to my favourite gown of all time, a Christian Dior design which captures this era perfectly. It is called ‘Petal Privee’. I also designed my show to be reminiscent of this inspired mood, you can see the show on my website!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Petal Privee

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cavalli

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Where do you look for inspiration?

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I find it in life; in people, in flowers, in music, the every day can be just as inspiring as the greatest works of art. But I find if I need an instant fix of soul inspiring glamour, I turn to the movies. The Ascot Gavotte scene especially from My Fair Lady always fills me with overwhelming awe, Cecile Beaton created a moving masterpiece.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cocorico – long

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cocorico – short

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What sort of woman do you design for, did you have a specific “muse” for this collection?

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My muses are the brides I meet, at designer days and private clients. A woman who is about to become a bride is going through a very special transformation in her life, and seeing this process is a great inspiration for me, it fills me with vitality, and reason for being a designer of something so precious.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cover Girl

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Cristal

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What fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the new collection and why?

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I’ve always been a rule breaker as far as convention is concerned, so I intentionally source fabrics that offer different properties than those typically used in bridal wear. My favourite is a taffeta that is woven with metal, that creates a memory effect, which means you can manipulate it, and the shape and draping stays as you’ve positioned it, a lot of fun for a designer! A also use beautiful silks, organzas and intricate laces.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Everdina

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Evita

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Four Seasons

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Do you have a personal favourite from the new collection?  Which piece and why?

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There is a gown called ‘Caracas’, which is powder blue, with a ruched bodice, a very big tiered skirt edged with ribbons, it sums up my new collection ‘Frill Me’ perfectly!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Caracas

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What jewellery would you pair with pieces from your new collection?  Why?

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Many of my gowns have a detailed neckline, so I would always chose earrings and bracelet, rather than a necklace, as not to detract from the design of the dress. I have collaborated with a very talented jewellery designer to create some exquisite pieces that compliment my gowns perfectly. They are available to buy online from our website.   .

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Jakarta

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

La Cage Aux Folles

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Lolobrigida

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What beauty look would complement the pieces in your new collection? Why?

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I adore smoky eyes and nude lips. However, if the bride has a strong make-up look that she wants to carry through on her wedding day, my dresses are perfect that, as they are strong and confident too, and will balance out more unique looks.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Nova Scotia

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Do you have a “signature” piece?

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The signature gown in the ‘Frill Me’ collection is definitely ‘Nova Scotia’ It has all of the elements of a signature Ian Stuart gown.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Matahari

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Midsummer Dream

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Mocaccino

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Parisienne

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Penny Lane

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How do you decide on the “names” for your gowns?

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‘Naming Day’ is a collective process at Ian Stuart HQ! We look at each of the dresses, one by one, and each write down words, it could be a place, a flower, a film, a goddess, a musical score, a dance, whatever the dress is saying to us, then we then choose which we think is the most beautiful. We also have to make sure that the names translate for our international brides, this year, I desperately wanted to name a dress ‘Pamplemousse’ however, this is grapefruit in French, not exactly a name you want for your wedding dress!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Piccolo

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What sizes are available in your gowns?  Are your pieces made to measure?

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Our standard sizes range from 6-22, but we can make a made to measure any size. We also do custom changes where brides can make custom changes, anything from a neckline change, adding flowers, combining two dresses, changing fabrics and colours, the possibilities are endless.

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What is the process for your clients from finding “the one” to the final fitting?

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Once a bride has found her dress, and ordered it with her boutique, it usually takes 3-4 months to make. At her first fitting, as well as fitting the dress, it is also the time to think about your bridal underwear- wearing a bra can make a big difference to the fit of the gown, so decide now! Also think about petticoats, whether you want bustle loops in the back, and practice walking in your shoes with your gown on, you should need to hold it up, you need to be confident that you wont trip! You also may have time to add extra decoration to the gown, or make small design changes if you wish. The final fitting should be just a ‘check’ to make sure everything is perfect. If you plan on loosing weight before the wedding (although I advise against it, you are all beautiful as you are!)  discuss with your seamstress a schedule so that you can have your alterations done as close to the date as possible.

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What is the retail price range for your designs?

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Our gowns range from £1500-£4000.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Renee

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Rossini

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Saramouche

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Sophia

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What sets Ian Stuart Bride apart from other bridal wear brands?

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Most bridal wear brands ‘play it safe’ because they need to appeal to the mass market, but being a independent designer sets you free from that constraint. Ian Stuart appeals to an exclusive type of girl, one who dares to make a statement on her big day. My gowns are easily identifiable as ‘Ian Stuart’, whether that is through colour, fabric, my unique draping techniques or unmistakable flamboyance.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Tippi

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Vivaldi

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How did you get into wedding dress design – what is your story?

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I originally wanted to go into theatre and do costume design, I had a natural talent for the dramatic! Bridal was a natural progression from that. When leaving college, my first job was at Bellville Sassoon, where I learned first hand traditional couturier techniques, I absorbed everything, it was great foundations for becoming the designer I am today. I then went on to work for several other bridal wear labels in New York, before returning to the UK to set up my own label.

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Was there a defining point in your career that made your business the success that it is today?

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The turning point in my career was definitely setting up my own label. After years of working for other people, and having limited creative freedom, having my own label felt like I was set free as a designer, to b who I truly wanted to be, and give brides the dresses I think they need!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Gainsborough

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Iman

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What are your plans for the future?

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To simply continue to create beautiful dresses that brides love! While the thank you letters keep coming, I’ll keep on designing. There is nothing more rewarding than a bride telling you that you have created her dream dress, and how much she felt like a princess. Knowing that my name will be mentioned in stories for generations to come, gives me the greatest sense of pride.

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Is this your dream career?

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Yes it is absolutely! When I was young, I tried to make a wedding dress from my mothers nightdress, so I know it’s a deep soul desire!  My other talent is impressions, and I love to perform, so I guess I’d be another Alistair McGowan!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Wild Flower

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What would “a day in the life” at Ian Stuart Bride HQ be like?

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No two days are ever the same, we work on a yearly cycle of creating and preparing to show collections, for bridal and mother of the bride. For me, this can be designing, fabric sourcing, alterations, photo shoots, collaboration meetings, but there is a whole team doing very different roles that makes it all happen, and everyone is as equally important and vital as the next, we are a wonderful family.

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Where do you go and what do you do to relax?

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My relaxing sanctuary is Bali, I have travelled a lot, and there is nowhere quite like it, it is paradise, especially with a Jack Daniels and coke in one hand and a cigarette in the other!

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Dolcissimo

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Estelle

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What are your “best things” in life?

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The people within it. Especially my partner Pete, and my dog Charlie!

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How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you/ see more of your designs? 

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We are on facebook and twitter… ask us anything! And always go to the designer days, shops have a larger selection of dresses for you to see and try, its the perfect way to start your dress hunting.

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Ian Stuart Bride "Frill Me" Collection 2014

Petal Privee

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Do you have any Northern stockists – how can Brides Up North find them?

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We have some amazing stockists in the North, if you visit our website, you will find them all listed there.

If you have seen a dress that you like in a magazine or online, it’s worth calling to check if they have it in their boutique, but don’t be dismayed if they haven’t, as we offer a loan service where they can request the dress for you to try on.

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Is there anything else that we should know?

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I’m a Northern boy at heart! I was born in Holland, but grew up in Manchester. My guilty pleasure is Coronation Street because it reminds me of home!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by Ian Stuart

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