When purchasing your wedding dress, I think it’s so important to find out a little about the designer behind the brand, the person who lovingly designed every aspect of your dress, from what might be the intricate lace neckline or statement plunging back, to a frothy tulle hemline or flowing crepe train.
Every gown at luxury label, Kate Edmondson Bridal Couture is a creation of bespoke design, and each breathes with – what Kate describes – an ‘unapologestic edge of contemporary style.’ I managed to catch up with the designer herself, to discuss everything from fabric choices to the brand’s conception and even her favourite destination…
#1 Tell us a little about how Kate Edmondson Bridal Couture started. When and how did the brand begin and launch?
“I started Kate Edmondson bridal couture over 20 year ago, this was due to lack of opportunities in the bridal wear market. I had a background in design and wanted to use my design skills. All the jobs were hands on in manufacturing.”
#2 Who is Kate Edmondson? Talk to us about your journey into the bridal industry and your past experience…
“I would love to say it’s been easy!! But it’s a very tough marketplace to be in. Bridal wear for me has always been a dream and passion. At school I knew I wanted to be a wedding dress designer. So, I simply persued my dream. I went to college to learn design and manufacturing of garments at The London College of Fashion and later graduated at the Surrey Institute with a BA Hons in Fashion. In 1997 during my studies I would often offer my time to work with wedding dress designers to gain hands on experience in the industry. I quickly realised how tough it would be to work within this environment, and toyed with the idea of working alone. Which I eventually did! I felt I was better suited to work independently. I secured a grant and loan from the Princes trust which enabled me to set up.”
#3 Tell us about your Understated Elegance collection. What’s the inspiration behind the line? What type of bride is it aimed at?
“My inspiration is my love of vintage style which meets modern contemporary fashion. I love simple elegant lines with good construction and fabrics. My brides are women that know what they want and love all things elegant. Embracing the female form, I’m not afraid to try something different.”
#4 What is your primary inspiration for your work?
“Having the ability to see and create something from a sketch or conversation with a bride. Bringing the creation to life. The process of cutting and fitting the bride’s dress, sourcing the fabrics, creating something that is unique and personal to the bride.”
#5 Talk us through how you set about designing a custom gown for a bride? From start to finish, what is the process?
“The process usually starts with an email from a bride. This states what she wants and the kind of wedding she’s having. I would then arrange a meeting with the bride to discuss all the details more in depth. This would include the look and style of wedding and what I think of in terms of the shape of the dress and the fabrics I feel would work. Budgets are then discussed and agreed. Based on our conversations, I would produce a few design sketches for the bride to approve. Once the design is agreed I would then take the bride’s measurements to begin the process of creating her wedding dress. Once I have completed the first calico pattern and draft of a mock- up of the brides wedding dress, I invite her along for her first fitting. This process can take up to 2-3 sessions depending on any changes and alterations needed. Once the bride is completely happy with the cut and fit of her mock up calico toile, her wedding dress is then made with her chosen fabric, which has been carefully sourced and approved by the bride. A further fitting is arranged for the bride to try on her dress in the shell of her wedding dress, allowing for any necessary tweaks/alterations to be made before the lining and finishing is then completed. Once this process is done the bride is invited to try on her dress and take the dress home.”
#6 If Kate Edmondson Bridal Couture could have a particular celebrity or person to be the face of the brand, who would it be? Who embodies the bridal label in their style and personality?
“I like the actress from Emmerdale, Jenna Coleman and also Lupita Nyong’o. These are both very stylish and elegant women, successful and independent.”
#7 What type of materials do you use and where are they sourced from? What can brides-to-be always rely on Kate Edmondson Bridal Couture for?
“My fabrics are sourced locally and aboard depending on the style and cut of the dresses we are working on, but fabrics can be sourced from Italy, France and Israel. With Kate Edmondson Bridal Couture you will love our great attention to detail. I focus a lot on the cut and fit of your wedding dress to ensure it’s cut and fitted to perfection.”
#8 Tell us about the design process for a new piece or collection. Where does it begin? Where does the inspiration for a new style or line often emerge from?
“This can be inspired by a picture or something I’ve seen around me! Or even a fabric I’ve fallen in love with. I’m always sketching and playing around with ideas.”
#9 From your experience, when it comes to brides searching for their wedding dress, where should they start? What should they be thinking about?
“I think what you should think about is the kind of wedding your having. Thinking about where your wedding is taking place will help you decide on the style of wedding. Once you have a venue in mind you can look at two to three dress styles that would work for your wedding. I would try them on to see what suits you best.”
#10 Where would you like to see Kate Edmondson Bridal Couture in 10 years time?
“Hopefully, I’m still alive! Creating fabulous dresses for women all around the world! Inspiring the next generations of designers like myself.”
#11 Talk us through a regular work day, what do you get up to?
“This depends on the week ahead we have scheduled! Usually I check all emails and respond to them. If I have appointments booked or bridal fittings, I prepare for those. I also prepare our social media content as well as preparing design sketches for potential clients. You will also find me sourcing fabrics in preparation of calico toiles for bridal fittings, as well as sourcing fabrics and trims for clients too.”
#12 Name a celebrity wedding you loved…
“I loved Millie Mackintosh’s wedding – the former cast member of Made in Chelsea! I especially loved her trouser suit for her civil ceremony!”
#13 If you could create a bespoke gown for any celebrity (dead or alive) who would it is?
“Lupita Nyong’o or Jenna Coleman.”
#14 You also offer a bridal accessory service. Tell us a little more about this…
“Yes we do! Veils seem to be popular at the moment so we create a lot of those for our clients. We can match the embroideries on their dress to their veils. We also create headcomb pieces, and – between you and me – I will also be launching a new collection soon! So stay tuned!”
THE QUICK FIRE ROUND
#1 summer or Winter?
#2 Heels or flats?
#3 Pet hate?
#4 Favourite wine?
#5 Pearls or diamonds?
#6 Coffee or tea?
#7 Favourite destination?
#8 Early rise or lie in?
#9 Chic in Chanel or dressed down in ripped denim?
“Chic in Chanel.”
#10 Favourite book?
“I have several books, most inspirational fiction.”
#11 Best way to relax?
“A good novel.”
Discover more about Kate Edmondson Bridal Couture here.
Find out more on Bridal Editor here.
Photography by Rebecca Goddard