March 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon I’m proud to welcome designers Rachel and Issy of Hazaar of London to our pages. The duo design adaptable bridal gowns that can take a bride from day to evening without the need for a second dress. Clever and beautiful.
Please introduce Hazaar of London and tell us a little about your brand?
The idea of Hazaar of London began to form when we met at the London College of Fashion while studying Costume design for the performing arts.
The concept of designing adaptable bridal gowns came from seeing our friends feeling frustrated with their long gowns by the evening, and having to change out of their perfect wedding dress and into a different, shorter dress so they could enjoy the rest of their day unrestricted. We felt that brides should be able to stay in their dream dress for as long as possible on their wedding day so we designed gowns around that concept.
What is your style philosophy?
Our background is in historical costume design and dress making and we are continuously influenced by classic style icons and designers – some of our absolute favourites being the classic elegance of 50s Dior and icons Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. This means that our design style naturally includes elements of vintage styling, but with a modern take on what bridal wear means to brides today.
Tell us about the collection by Hazaar of London? What were your inspirations behind this beautiful collection?
Our Rose Blush collection is a combination of classic design and delicate detailing, with a touch of rose blush tones, creating an exciting blend of warmth and detail.
The new collection of adaptable gowns has evolved to offer our brides the chance to find their perfect wedding day look, by choosing a fusion of their favourite pieces to create their own style.
Where do you look for inspiration?
We find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. We never stop designing and are always talking about new ideas and plans for future collections.
What sort of woman do you design for, did you have a specific “muse” for this collection?
We design for brides who are looking for something classically beautiful with a modern twist that not only allows them the freedom to enjoy the evening celebrations, but holds a surprise for their guests and groom! We always love to hear stories from our brides about their wedding guests’ excited reactions to their change of look.
Our ‘muse’ and inspiration for this collection was classic English beauty, which is why we chose our beautiful ‘English Rose’ model for the Rose Blush shoot.
What fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the new collection and why?
We chose flowing duchess satins and soft blush chiffons, with overlays of delicate lace and pretty beaded detail to create the pretty and feminine designs of our new Rose Blush collection. Fabric choice is very important to us and we take care to choose fabrics that will create perfect movement and structure.
Do you have a personal favourite from the new collection? Which piece and why?
We find it hard to choose favourites as we only design gowns that we really love and talk about them as if they were people! However, Rachel is planning her wedding for 2014 and is currently besotted with our fusion of the short lace Violet dress with our duchess satin Ruby skirt.
What jewellery would you pair with pieces from your new collection? Why?
We are drawn towards vintage jewellery and accessories and have seen some beautiful jewelled head pieces and earrings that would work well with any of our gowns. However, accessory styling is very personal to each bride and we encourage our brides to express their individual style in every way.
How do you decide on the “names” for your gowns?
The names for our gowns come from the inspiration behind each collection. We named the gowns in our first ‘Grace’ collection after the names of women from Shakespearean plays. This was partly to do with our theatrical background and was a nod to historical design and British heritage. When designing the Rose Blush collection, we were inspired by natural English beauty and classic styling so we named our gowns after pretty English names.
What sizes are available in your gowns? Are your pieces made to measure?
Our gowns are made to order and are available in sizes 8-18.
What is the process for your clients from finding “the one” to the final fitting?
We carefully choose our stockists and are fortunate to work with some fantastic boutiques who offer a very attentive and personal service. Once a bride finds her perfect gown, it is hand made to order and personally checked and finished by us before being sent to our stockist for fittings.
What is the retail price range for your designs?
Our gowns range from £1,500 – £2,345.
What sets Hazaar of London apart from other bridal wear brands?
The adaptability of our gowns enables brides to be playful, change their look on the day and even create their perfect gown by choosing their favourite pieces. Hazaar brides can walk down the aisle looking classically beautiful and go on to enjoy their wedding reception looking equally perfect but ready for the celebration.
How did you get into wedding dress design – what is your story?
Wedding dress design was a natural progression for us. Throughout our costume degree and into our careers in the costume industry, we found we most enjoyed working with and designing exquisite women’s wear, ball gowns and evening wear.
We love bridal design and we believe that a wedding dress is more than just a dress. The perfect dress complements a brides’ personality and makes them feel unique and utterly beautiful on their special day, and we love being a part of that.
Is this your dream career?
We love bridal and everything wedding related. We both previously worked in costume in the theatre, film and music industry which we did enjoy, but bridal is what we are truly passionate about.
What would “a day in the life” at Hazaar of London HQ be like?
A day at Hazaar of London is never the same! Typically we will start the day by answering emails and checking up on orders. We then decide on the rest of the day depending on what we are working towards. Earlier this year it was all about the White Gallery and now we are working on our plans for the National Wedding Show at Earl’s Court in September. We’re really excited as it’s our first major retail show and we can’t wait to meet lots of brides and showcase our unique collection of adaptable gowns.
Where do you go and what do you do to relax?
We head to the spa at any opportunity and have been known to hold meetings in the sauna! However, when we aren’t on Hazaar duty, we tend to either spend time with the men in our lives or meet up with our friends. We also attend ballet classes (we both love ballet and danced a lot when we were younger) and we have just started doing pilates.
How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you/ see more of your designs?
Do you have any Northern stockists – how can Brides Up North find them?
We are currently searching for the perfect Northern stockists for our brand. There are lots of fantastic boutiques who we would love to work with, so will hopefully be available soon! Currently, our nearest stockist is the beautiful Anais Bridal Couture in Glasgow.
Is there anything else that we should know?
All of our gowns are hand made to order in the EU and we personally choose and check every detail of each gown. Each design is adaptable but can be made as a single gown, and although our Rose Blush collection has been designed using soft pink tones, we are happy for brides to order in ivory. We like to think that our collection is playful and offers brides the chance to customise their gown to create their perfect wedding day look – without paying bespoke prices!
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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…