Wedding dresses you won’t forget: Wed Studio bridalwear marries tradition with ‘crazy’

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Enter Wed, the bridal brand that has since gone from one-off project to side hustle to full-time job. Business has snowballed since its beginnings in 2019, and the studio has whipped up dream dresses for some of fashion’s most clued-in insiders and set trends for the industry at large. We caught up with them to hear about the highs and lows of going against the grain.

Wed offers an alternative take on bridalwear

Who is the Wed woman?

Evan: They’re creative, they have a good sense of their own style, they understand what they like in life. People buy from us with a need, rather than just a want. There are so many brands selling ready-to-wear and it’s not things people desperately need – they might have three coats, 10 pairs of trousers. You buy a wedding dress for a reason.

Unorthodox bridalwear has seen such a boom. And you guys were ahead of the curve – did you foresee this?

E: I think you’re the first person who said that but we felt like we were [laughs]. We now can’t meet our demand, which is great and also not great, as we want to deal with as many customers as we can.

Amy: I think people only say that now because it’s clear [in retrospect]. We knew there was something there, but it took a long time for the messaging to be understood.

Wed is known for its unorthodox bridalwear designs

How do you balance tradition and creativity?

A: There is always a lean towards the traditional. There’s a lot of people who still want the corset, the volume skirt, which makes sense as it’s the most flattering silhouette.

E: With those clients we try to tweak it, so it still feels like Wed. We have to meet people in the middle. At the beginning we wanted to do whatever the hell we wanted, and that’s not how you build a successful brand. We have elements of crazy, but we bring what clients want into our world, which informs how we design our collections now.

What kick-starts your creative process?

A: It can be quite conceptual. For me, it’s the act of draping, manipulating fabric. We reference a lot of surrealism, where there’s this concept of automatic writing – you just let your consciousness write and whatever comes out comes out. It’s that, and I don’t have a key [image], it’s more of a method of work and the craft.

E: I’m a pattern cutter, so it’s the technique. The other day I was looking at techniques [couturier Madeleine] Vionnet did 100 years ago, and at how we could modernise that. We don’t really sketch – we work straight away in 3D. Even if it’s one little thing one of us has stitched on the machine and stuck on the mannequin, we build from that.

Wed is at the forefront of bridal fashion

How do you deal with copycats?

A: We see a lot of replicas of the stuff we do. It’s never quite the same, but it happens quickly. Whereas regular brands have to be stuck in two seasons, bridal businesses can just drop one dress. That’s difficult, because we’re talking about faster brands with bigger budgets.

E: It drives us crazy, but our whole Instagram feed is wedding dresses. We’ve had some viral dresses, and brands emulate. We come from the Saint Martins mindset of, if everyone’s going that way, go [the other] way, so it’s always a challenge for us.

The look du jour is dropped waists, romantic accents – you were one of the first brands I saw do that. What’s next?

A: Because of that, we can’t do it any more. If we bring on another collection that’s the same thing, it feels dated already.

E: Doing the drop waist originally, it was because we hated the princess-y waisted look. It is everywhere now, but most of our clients this time around are going for something waisted. So, it’s funny.

A model in a Wed bridal gown – one of the founders of the brand, Amy Trinh, is a Central Saint Martins graduate

The pendulum keeps swinging! What’s your favourite part of the process?

A: I love the first fitting. It’s the first time they see the dress, and they get emotional. When you’re in ready-to-wear, you don’t connect with the customer. It goes in a shop, and you might see the person wearing it, but bridal is really personal.

E: Up until the point it’s an idea. They see a few sketches, but we don’t show clients the first toile until they arrive in the showroom. It emphasises the excitement.

What advice would you give brides looking for a dress?

A: Don’t get so influenced by the craziness of it all on Instagram. People think they need a big moment, and it can be so expensive as well. This is for you and your family – it doesn’t have to be for the rest of the world. I can imagine it being quite stressful, along with the pressures of looking a certain way.

E: Do it for yourself. If you’re doing that, the chances are Vogue will want to write about it more, to be honest.

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