BRIDAL STYLE: Designer Jacqui James
Well this is exciting. you know that thing where you discover someone, some thing or a new place that you just don't want to share because it's so good? It would make no sense for me not to share Jacqui's talent because her success means we get to enjoy more of her creative designs. Allow me to introduce you :JACQUI JAMES is a London based boutique bridal and evening wear studio specialising in made to measure pieces. Created for the contemporary woman, their offering is characterised by a refined elegance, exceptional quality and precision in every stitch. I asked Jacqui to take part in the Champagne Talks series and she gives some wonderful insight into the bespoke dress designing life....
What 3 things should a couple consider when choosing a designer for their wedding dress?
I think the first consideration that most people would rightly lean towards is the previous work or portfolio of the designer. When looking at this, it is important to pay attention to the quality and finishing demonstrated as this will give you an indication of the time and attention to detail given to each dress. Another consideration is the personality of the designer; often overlooked but by the end of a 6 month wedding planning process, you are going to have quite a lot of contact time with them, so being able to communicate on a personal level is vital. Lastly accessibility is key, I am not approving 3am frantic calls to any vendor, but being able to reach the designer (within working hours lol) with a good response rate is important.
What has been the most outrageous request you’ve received ?
To be completely honest, I haven’t received any requests that I would consider outrageous yet… Although I have been asked to make a dress in less than 2 weeks. Luckily she was able to find something suitable from the previous collection and happened to be sample size!
Name the most challenging aspect of creating the style of bridal wear you do that a prospective client should be aware of ?
There isn’t a challenging aspect; my job is to create what the bride wants. The service I offer is bespoke so brides are not limited to the pieces created in the collections, these are created solely to demonstrate the variety available and to inspire. I will always advise where I feel a certain cut or shape would suit best, but from my perspective, I am there to deliver the dress of my bride’s dreams.
Can you tell us a bit about where you research and draw ideas for inspiration?
For the collections, I draw inspiration predominantly from our built and natural world! Sound’s vague but if you look around, there is a lot to be inspired by! The 2017 collection was inspired by architecture and its position in the built environment and this year’s collection is influenced by crystals and natural elements. I like to combine shapes and textures as its gives me an opportunity to be creative and hopefully an opportunity for clients to be inspired. Of course, I also have to be aware of the current trends that are in demand right now, for instance, the heavy applique, mermaid style dresses. But it’s also important to remember that everyone is different and not all brides follow trends.
What trend have you seen in the Wedding Scene that you think should be stopped immediately.
The wedding industry is so big and with different cultures and traditions, it’s difficult to decipher whether these are trends or just tradition. It all boils down to personal preference at the end of the day but in my humble opinion, a wedding is not a performance; its a union between two people and that is what should be celebrated.
My blog, Champagne Social, is a celebration of weddings, parties and the art of hosting. What do you think makes a great host ?
A host for me is someone who is engaging, quick witted (I like dry humour) and most importantly, able to hold and direct an audience. He/she would need to think quick on their feet and be charismatic enough entertain all age groups. If all else fails, get a good DJ.
What has been the most Champagne worthy moment of 2018 so far for you?
Well that’s yet to come! Although I have had many champagne worthy moments thus far, I am looking forward to pouring a glass after the launch of my new collection Thursday 17th May 2018. It will be held at 21 Arlington Street, St James’ Mayfair, and will give guests an opportunity to preview a few pieces from the new collection up close over light drinks and canapes.
The above images are from Jacqui's new collection launching tonight! Seeing as yours truly will be in attendance, I will certainly follow up with some images from the launch party :)