February 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m starting the week with something simply gorgeous (hey, isn’t that how we always start the week here at Brides Up North) and introducing another of my super creative Featured Suppliers – Jenny of bespoke accessories brand Ophelia May. I’ve had the privilege of seeing and trying Jenny’s beautiful collection at one of our Brides Up North luxury events and let me tell you, these pieces are even more delicate and delectable in real life than on these pretty pages.
And the cherry on top? Ophelia May is also offering Brides Up North readers an exclusive 15% discount on all orders placed by midnight on 16th March 2014 using the code BUNweb15. If I were you, I’d hightailing it over to Jenny’s online shop right now, before the rest get there first.
In the meantime, let’s say hello…
Tell us about Ophelia May and how it all began?
Ophelia May offers beautiful vintage inspired bridal accessories and hair adornments. Each piece is individually handcrafted, with delicate embroidery and embellished with scatterings of Swarovski crystals, tiny pearls and seed beads. The collections are designed using beautiful silks, Scottish lace and vintage bits, to produce a unique selection of intricate head pieces and bridal sashes.
I have always had a particular interest in bygone eras and find that this often translates into my work sometimes even unintentionally. I am forever collecting vintage fabrics, jewellery, beads and pearls as well as fragments of antique lace. Not only do these inspire me to create beautiful pieces but they can also be incorporated into the designs, ensuring no two pieces will ever be quite the same.
Following my degree in Textile Crafts, where I specialised in Embroidery, I did a placement with a bridal designer in London. I then went on to work in the fashion industry as a designer but I always missed the creativity of designing for the bridal market so I jumped at the chance to set up my own company. I hope brides will get as much pleasure wearing my pieces as I get from creating them!
What bridal accessories are available to buy at Ophelia May?
Beautiful hair adornments, wrist corsages and stunning bridal sashes are available in the current collection. I am also currently designing a range of bridal veils and garters, which will be introduced in future collections.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I find inspiration in so many things – film, nature, vintage magazines and fashion, both modern and historical. I love seeing the latest collections from bridal gown designers and making pieces that compliment their designs.
Also, my inspiration often comes from the materials I use, whether it’s a vintage brooch or a delicate fragment of lace from a vintage dress. I love to look around charity shops, vintage fairs and antique markets. London’s Portobello Road is a great place to delve into, as it is full of bric-a-brac, antiques and beautiful vintage finds, perfect for sparking ideas.
What bridal accessory trends have been popular in 2013 and what trends do you see emerging in 2014 and beyond?
The vintage trend remained popular throughout 2013, particularly the Twenties and Thirties, with the release of period dramas in film and television such as The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbey and I think this will continue into 2014. Headbands and smaller hair adornments will continue to emerge, with intricate embellishments, lace and plenty of sparkle to reflect the decadence of the Jazz Age.
There is also an emphasis on Nature in the 2014 trends, with floral details and embroidery appearing on headpieces and bridal sashes. Oversized silk flowers and hints of colour will add a dramatic statement for any bride wanting to create the perfect boho look.
What can Brides Up North expect when they use your service?
I am very passionate about every piece I make. All the designs are individually and completely handmade in the studio. Each petal is hand cut and shaped, all embellishments and embroidery are delicately done by hand and all elements are carefully hand-sewn together to produce a truly unique product of the highest quality for every bride.
What is your current favourite piece and why?
I love all the pieces in the collection, but the Annalise lace bridal halo is a personal favourite as it’s so versatile. It can be worn across the forehead, as a normal headband and it looks stunning worn at the back to compliment a gorgeous up-do. With its intricate array of crystals and beading, it will add a touch of sparkly vintage glamour to your special day!
Tell us about your bespoke service?
Our bespoke service is for those brides looking for the perfect accessory to complete their bridal outfit but who can’t find seem to find it. Every piece can be fully customised to suit each bride. If you love an existing design and would like something similar, then fabric, accents and colours can be altered. Or maybe you would like a combination of two designs?
I can also create something completely new and unique, handmade just for you to match your theme or your dress. Any cut offs or spare lace from your wedding dress can be used for a bridal sash or even incorporated into a hair accessory.
Do you make pieces that would be appropriate for Bridesmaids?
Several of the smaller pieces would be perfect for bridesmaids, such as the Rose hair clip or the Nellie hair pins. These can be made in a variety of colours to match the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Can brides incorporate their sentimental jewellery into a piece?
Yes, absolutely. Family heirlooms or treasured jewellery can be incorporated into your design, creating a unique keepsake for future generations. I love to create pieces this way, as these special objects have a history of their own and have the ability to evoke strong emotional sentiments, making them truly personal to the bride.
Tell us about your personalised embroidery?
Items can be delicately hand embroidered with names, dates or a significant quote, for that extra special touch. This can be applied to anything from a bridal sash to a cherished handkerchief.
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ find out more?
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…
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