New York International Bridal Market is fast approaching, and I can't wait to scour the shows, previews, and parties for the best new dresses. One of my favorite parts of the week is discovering talents who are making their first Bridal Market appearance, as well as seeing brands that have made a name for themselves overseas, but are just starting to pop up Stateside. After visiting London for White Gallery, I was thrilled to hear how many Brits would be heading to Manhattan for this season's show—Suzanne Neville, Freya Rose, Charlie Brear, and Elizabeth Stuart, who was kind enough to share her thoughts on her upcoming Big Apple debut ...
Martha Stewart Weddings: We cannot wait to see your 2014 collection in person this market. What was your inspiration?
Elizabeth Stuart: Hollywood starlets of eras gone by—stylish women like Claudette Colbert, Katharine Hepburn, and Grace Kelly. For these women, their beauty and elegance is eternal, and their style timeless. The collection incorporates gowns in silk faille, silk duchess satin, and silk organza accented with intricate floral Guipure lace, delicate French Chantilly lace, and opulent gold mesh.
MSW: Were there any new themes, ideas, or techniques that you used in this collection that you hadn't used in the past?
ES: It has mostly traditional elements; we wanted to bring it back to bridal basics as far as silhouettes go. However, there are modern details that make them right at home within the brand. We used deliberate panels that really draw in the eye and accentuate the waist, and our signature bodices can be seen throughout. The designs celebrate the bride who wants a contemporary yet iconic dress.
MSW: We are so excited to have you on this side of the Atlantic! What made you decide to make the trip overseas?
ES: We are delighted to be showing in New York! I lived and worked in the city before marrying my husband and moving to the UK, so it will be great to bring the brand home, so to speak. As a British company, we are very proud of the people behind the brand and where it started, but we felt it was time to share the designs across the pond. We are very lucky to have had American brides reach out to us when searching for their dress, so our objective is to give them locations a little closer to home to shop the brand.
MSW: How would you recommend brides style your gowns? Do you have favorite hair, makeup, and accessory choices for any particular dress?
ES: I love this question—I am forever pairing my gowns with flowers. Depending on the design, I always visualize different flowers to pair with it. To me, each fabric has a flower petal it pairs well with depending on the movement of the fabric. We used a beautiful satin-faced organza for several of our [latest] designs, and I love when those dresses are paired with peonies ... the delicate petals are beautiful with the cloud-like weight of the organza. With the heavier fabrics, I imagine roses with them, because there is something very strong about roses and what they represent. As far as make-up, I love a very natural look—less is more—like a beautiful petal lip and a more dramatic eye. It's so beautiful, what’s not to love?!