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Weddings

Designer in the Spotlight: Amy Mair

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Amy Mair always knew she wanted to work in a way that expressed her creativity. Originally she trained in Fine Art, but as soon as she learned how to sew she discovered a passion for design which is channelled into her timeless bridal collections.

Soon to launch ready-to-wear (available from her website,) Amy’s flagship store is in her native Cardiff, but her gowns are stocked in prestigious stores across the globe. We have been huge admirers for some time and are delighted to feature her as this issue’s Designer in the Spotlight.

Who is an Amy Mair bride?

An Amy Mair Bride is in touch with her own style and authenticity. They tend to seek me out directly and aren't overwhelmed by the mass commercial trends or lured into the condensed market. They know their identity and enjoy wearing and choosing clothes to represent how they feel and most of all letting a gown tell their story – feeling romantic in feminine pieces or contemporary in sleek satin slips.

You studied Fine Art – how does that inform your designs?

I believe Art in any form evokes emotion from within. A painting can make you 'feel' so much either by creating it and equally looking at it as a spectator. A transition to clothing at its most romantic and expressive (haute couture) was natural for me. Clothing allows me to feel a certain way on a certain day – there is so much power in this notion and it is a heightened experience when trying on wedding dresses. I enjoy creating beautiful pieces that develop on the stand, being able to take a step back and view the work in development exactly the same as painting Experimenting with form, textures and tones is the beauty of my work, my flair for creating pieces is peaked when I am free without any commercialised restrictions.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by many things; it can be anything that takes me to a place to design, but mostly nature and travel, and, of course, fashion history – more than bridal fashion history. I have many iconic books that showcase the most powerful movements in fashion history. I enjoy learning and exploring these.

Tell us about your 2024 collection – how did you come to choose Lanzarote as the location for your campaign shoot?

I visited Lanzarote so much in my youth and I remembered the white walls, rusty brown rocks and green plants that give such a modern feel. And the place takes me back to my youth. Ultimately it was the idea of the landscape and architecture that I believed would offer the perfect backdrop. The contrast between the scenery and the romantic gowns was magnificent. It really felt like we were creating magic when we were there, I hope it translated.

What emerging trends are you noticing, and to what degree are you influenced by trend?

I don't tend to follow trends within the bridal industry because I like to start my own trends and I design based on what I am inspired by for a certain collection.

Each collection begins with a story and inspiration/colour/mood boards, and the story develops to details and textures. I do sometimes replicate a shape or silhouette from a vintage Dior or Chanel gown. However I do not look at the leading designers in the bridal industry as I find comparison will take the joy out of designing for me.

Who would be the dream to design for?

It would have to be Kate Moss in the 90s. I have many muses at the moment, including well known models, however if I had to choose one it would be Kate Moss. I have a book with Vogue covers and Kate Moss has featured more than any other model in the world. She is iconic. I cannot comment on her business endorses or social life or habits but Kate as a model in the 90s is everything!

What’s your personal style?

My personal style is very glamorous/romantic, vintage and elegant. I like to feel good and make an effort most days with my choice of clothing, jewellery and make up. I enjoy choosing clothes that represent my mood or determine my mood for the day. Some days I feel more confident and powerful and other days more feminine and innocent when I want to blend.

I understand you got married last August. How did you decide on the design for your gown?

The design came from experimenting with fabrics and shapes. As much as I understand or know what I like, I still needed to drape fabrics and tones next to my complexion. In terms of shape I think understanding your body helps; I wanted an empire shape to give me height and elongate my proportions. My husband is very tall (6ft3) so I wanted to blend well with his height, and I also would love to be taller anyway…It was a tough process because I felt expectations (being a designer). I think I thought I would create something more avant garde but really in the end it was so stripped back.

Is there anything you learned from getting married yourself which you will be incorporating into your business?

It has reinforced my passion and excitement for working on bespoke projects; seeing the perfect dress for the perfect bride. It really is a magical experience matching a bride to a silhouette, a fabric, a detail. The same applies to seeing a bride in a collection gown which just fits and feels right. I understand how brides feel, and I know this may not apply to everyone but there is so much to consider with a wedding. Emotions are heightened and the expectations of your dress have to meet the emotions you feel at the time.

Finally, with your own wedding in mind, do you have any tips for readers currently planning their own big day?

As much as it can be a testing time in terms of family politics and budgeting, enjoy the planning with your partner. I have many memories from planning – it’s a bit like Christmas or being pregnant: sometimes the journey/build up is just as fun. And the build-up lasts longer, so enjoy every moment together.

Having ‘meetings’ with friends (bridesmaids) and other wedding party groups is just lovely – a great excuse to be together, because at the end of the day what we both talked about most in our speech was how much we loved everyone there and how important it was for everyone to be together. It made the day, getting to experience the love and joy with our closest people. I could talk about budgeting and suppliers, but everyone’s expectations are different and the only thing you can’t put a price on is love and relationships. That’s what you will cherish looking back.

amymaircouture.co.uk

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