The modern bride loves sleek, minimalist pieces designed to be worn long after her wedding day. She is slowly walking away from fast fashion and regards the items in her wardrobe with great care and respect.
Founded by friends Jess Kaye and Rosie Williams, The OWN Studio follows directly into this new approach on life, fashion and well-being. The 12 piece collection has been designed for the modern, fashion conscious woman who happens to be a bride.
To learn more about this new ways of looking at the bridal industry, I had a very interesting chat with Jess and discovered how the modern bride can be her best self in her wedding gown.
First let me congratulate you in this new venture. What made you decide to become a new player in the bridal industry ?
Thank-you! We founded The OWN Studio because we saw a real gap in the market for fashion-led, contemporary bridal wear. I found it impossible to find anything that I felt myself in for my wedding, and my business partner Rosie had a similar experience when she was asked to be a bridesmaid. If you weren’t a ‘boho bride’ or a ‘princess bride,’ there was nothing for you. We both love sleek, minimal, effortless fashion and it felt like that aesthetic was really missing from bridal wear. We also wanted to really shake up the retail experience – we visited lots of boutiques when looking for my dress and found the experience to be a complete anti-climax, so we wanted to change this up. Hence our mission to redefine bridal wear – from design aesthetic to retail experience.
I know you want to limit wastage, can you explain to my readers how the bridal gown “standard” process affects our environment?
According to the charity Wrap, which promotes sustainable waste management, the average lifetime for a garment in the UK is just 2.2 years. For bridal wear, the average lifetime is just 1 day! By definition, a bridal garment is one of the most unsustainable items of clothing you will ever purchase. This is a major issue and something we are passionate about addressing – we call it our commitment to being ‘sartorially sustainable’. We create designs with versatility – every single piece across both the bridal and bridesmaid ranges has been designed to become a much-loved wardrobe staple after the wedding, and each OWN bridal piece is delivered to brides along with tips on how to re-wear and re-style their wedding outfit after the big day, whether that’s hemming a train to create a versatile midi dress or teaming bridal separates with jeans or polo-necks.
Everything is either made-to-order or made-to-measure which means there is minimal wastage. From the fabric offcuts we create matching scrunchies for bridesmaids as well as other accessories such as sashes, belts, pocket squares and hair ribbons. All garments are made in London (where we are based) to keep the supply chain and transportation emissions as small as possible. Fabric is sourced from Europe, and all orders are beautifully wrapped and delivered to customers in recyclable and biodegradable packaging.
Does this new conscious bridal shopping experience means the bride won’t be as pampered as she is now?
On the contrary – we want our brides to feel completely pampered! We are on a mission to redefine bridal wear and a big part of that is shaking up the (sometimes lacklustre) retail experience. We have worked hard to create a more comfortable and positive experience for both brides and bridesmaids. We offer at-home appointments to customers based in London & Greater London (these have proved really popular) as well as appointments at our pop-up studio in East London. Customers should expect the red carpet treatment – one to one consultations with Rosie & I and champagne on arrival. So far we’ve had amazing feedback from our brides about how much they enjoyed their appointment.
What would you tell a bride that believes made-to-order means she won’t get to see her wedding dress until it’s “too late”?
We’ve made it really easy for brides to visualise our styles online with lots of detail shots and descriptions, and by the fuss-free nature of our designs, it’s really easy to see each garment’s shape and silhouette. We are always available to answer any questions to make sure brides feel confident shopping online.
We also have a really useful video guide on how to take your measurements – so there is help every step of the way! However, like most designers, we would always recommend that brides try on a sample before they buy, which they can do through an appointment at their home or in our studio.
This will give them a really good idea of the overall look. If they want further reassurance they can choose to have a toile made, at a small additional cost. We make our toiles in a soft white fabric so it’s easy for them to visualise the final look. Once they’re happy with it, we’ll then make it up in the final fabric.
The current collection is very sleek and modern. Who is your bride? And does she fine dine with James Bond? ( cause I sure see her )
I bet she wishes she could! Our customer is the type of girl who buys Zara but wears it like Celine. She’s confident and discerning, and inspired by other women, but knows her own mind. She’s got a sense of humour and she doesn’t take life too seriously.
Can your designs be embellished, if let’s say a bride wants a bit more glam on her big day?
Of course, once brides receive the dress it’s theirs to customise!
I know bridal gowns are like kids… but do you have a favourite??
There are many favourites but if I had to choose, I am absolutely in love with the Tux – it looks and feels so fabulous. I wish I could get remarried in it! Rosie actually got married in our sequin column dress (STYLE 003) earlier this year, so I think it’s safe to say that’s her favourite piece. We are also completely obsessed with the transformative power of a simple, beautifully cut slip dress; it’s one of our favourite silhouettes.
The stage is yours, please tell my brides anything you’d like and why they should keep OWN on their bridal must see! Also where can my brides find you and how can they purchase a OWN bridal gown.
Ultimately, our bride doesn’t want to play ‘dress up’ when she gets married – she’s not looking to be a boho bride, or a princess bride. She is looking for a sleek, show-stopping outfit that will help her feel the best version of herself – strong, confident, empowered. We passionately believe that you can only look your best when you feel incredible, and at The OWN Studio you’ll find contemporary, fashion-led bridal wear that will help you do just that.
Book an appointment to come and see us at our pop up studio on 23 November or contact us to book an at-home appointment (London and Greater London only.) Follow us at @theOWNstudio for information on further pop up dates or visit our website www.theownstudio.com