Hint: you don't design it yourself. (Because who needs that kind of pressure?) Step inside the stylish nuptials of hot London fashion designer Alice Archer and steal a few tips for yourself...
When it comes to wedding style and you’re a young designer building a reputation for designing pieces that make perfect wedding dresses you’d have thought wearing your own design would be a no-brainer for your trip up the aisle.
London-based Alice Archer is an embroidery specialist, who worked for designer Dries van Noten in Antwerp. She also – fabulously – worked for artist Tracy Emin, producing the embroidery for Emin’s artworks. Archer graduated from RCA in 2013, having studied fine art at Goldsmiths and Central St Martin’s. She began designing her collection in 2014, and now has fans including Pippa Middleton, Camilla Rutherford, P Diddy, Ellie Goulding, Susie Bubble and Pandora Sykes. Her labour-intensive designs are exquisitely made in Como, Italy, and are a combination of print and specialist embroidery techniques.
Her wedding style perfect pieces are often chosen by other brides: “Some of my clients have bought my pieces to get married in but they weren’t conventional ‘wedding dresses’, she tells us. “Even before starting my own label, I embroidered dresses for two of my best friends’ weddings.”
Now Archer is building on her rep, with the launch of a dedicated bridal collection (hitting Browns Bride in October): “It will be a small collection of embroidered pieces, including dresses and a trouser suit. Each piece is embroidered with flowers that symbolise love, loyalty and hope,” she says.
But for her wedding to Henry, a UX (user experience) designer, she went for something completely different. Here are all the stunning steal-them-now details from her bridal look…
The location: St-Martin-in-the-Fields, London – with a reception in the Crypt afterwards.
The proposal: “One evening last August, Henry texted me to ask me to come home early from the studio. When I arrived back at our flat there were candles everywhere and he had cooked a delicious three course meal, including an incredible chocolate cake. I am a chocoholic so this was perfect!”
The dress: “Our wedding was quite soon after finishing a collection, so I didn’t have much time. I went to Browns Bride to look at potential dresses and completely fell in love with a Viktor & Rolf dress, and then I couldn’t get it out of my head and couldn’t imagine anything else…”
The look: Duchesse satin on top, with a tulle skirt featuring 3D organza flowers on the skirt, from the Viktor & Rolf bridal collection. “The top was almost like a sporty polo shirt – very structured, while the skirt was romantic and ethereal. I chose it because it made me feel strong and it was unusual – romantic, innocent and modern,” says Alice.
The shoes: Gucci blue satin round-toed mules with crystal bows for the ceremony, and flat white jewelled Manolo Blahniks for the reception. “I’ve always loved shoes, and your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy a fantasy pair! I’m always browsing online. When I saw these Gucci mules, I thought they were fun, bold and beautiful. But I couldn’t resist the chance to wear another pair, too – Manolo makes surprisingly comfortable, elegant pumps.”
The rings: “Henry went to Hatton Garden before cooking the engagement dinner and chose my engagement ring instinctively. It has a deep blue sapphire in the centre and diamonds on either side. He loves sapphires, his mum has one in her engagement ring and they represent September, his birth month.” The couple bought their wedding bands from a hand-crafted jewellery shop called Ruberg in Islington’s Camden Passage.
Hair and makeup: “My hair stylist Carolina Crona did a beautiful chignon, which we practiced about a month before the wedding. Ariel Yeh, who does the make up for my Fashion Week presentations, did my makeup. She’s amazing at glowing skin and ‘natural’ beauty looks.”
Wedding vibe summed up in a sentence: “An explosion of happiness and love!”
Congrats, Alice and Henry….now we’ve got some wedding style inspiration, can we borrow those Gucci mules please?