A day with bridal designer Sassi Holford
Leading bridal designer Sassi Holford opened her doors to us and spoke with us exclusively about her new collection, what inspired her to start out in the bridal fashion industry and to give us a hint of what comes next.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to create your label?
I offered to design a friend’s wedding dress 37 years ago and had no idea that it would be such a defining moment in my life. Just 17 years old, with no formal training - the dress was such a success! I started to get requests from other friends and brides to be, eager for me to design their gowns as well.
What was it that attracted you to bridalwear in particular?
I kind of fell into bridal – It was never something I had really thought of but the joy of creating the dream dress for bride after bride gets addictive! I really enjoy working with the fabric textures and dress shapes combination, as well as the occasion and the personality of the gowns.
What do you think your gowns bring to the wedding industry and what makes them stand out from the crowd?
With each special dress I have worked on I have perfected the ultimate fit. My ethos is to create an apparent effortless style, empowering confidence and making the bride feel their most beautiful.
Do you have a particular favourite from the collection and, if so, which is it and why?
With every collection my favourites change as I see more brides wearing them. Matilda is one of my favourites from the 2019 collection. The soft floral detail in the skirt and the subtle layered effect in the bodice is a very contemporary romantic.
Do your designs have a signature look, something that makes them instantly recognisable?
The Sassi Holford bride has inner confidence and a self-assured understated style. The career woman who knows what she wants!
I tend to go with the ‘less-is-more’ philosophy letting the lines of the dress fit and flatter. The dress should make you feel and look the best version of yourself.
Where do you get your inspiration from for your designs and what do you enjoy most about creating a new collection?
My working environment is inspiring from the fabric and the clients. Nothing is more inspiring than the person who will be wearing it and their story. My favourite part of designing a new collection is seeing the finished garment all come together after creating the pattern, choosing the fabric and laces.
You also offer customised and couture gowns. what do you love about creating a unique design for a bride and do you have a favourite one-off creation?
Creating gowns for individual brides is the best part of my job! I love making a connection with the bride and really understanding their dream dress vision and then interpreting this to ensure it enhances and flatters.
Your clients include celebrities, film stars and dignitaries. Is there an A-lister that you haven’t yet dressed that you would love the opportunity to design for?
I would love the amazing English rose actor Jenna Coleman to wear one of my gowns! She has such a confident sense of style and really understands her body shape. I love how she mixes different designers and styles.
When helping brides to find their dream dress what advice do you offer to them and what do you enjoy about meeting with and interacting with your brides?
I always tell brides to go with their instincts - your wedding dress should make you feel your best and combine your personality and dreams.
It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by all the images you find online. Unfortunately, the internet will not give you an education – you can’t tell which ones have been airbrushed or fit your shape.
I always make sure brides move in the dresses they try on, you won’t be stood in front of a mirror all day on your wedding day! Will you want to dance the night away? But most importantly stay true to yourself and your own style – Be the best of yourself but still be you.
I love meeting brides and helping them design their dream dress to suit the destination and style of wedding they are planning.
You offer an exclusive range of bridal accessories, how can such pieces help a bride to complete or transform her look and what advice would you give to brides when choosing their finishing touches?
A veil will always help you feel like a bride, but they are not for everyone. Stay true to your own style personality any accessories should enhance your outfit not over power it.
If you were currently planning a wedding yourself, what type of wedding dress would you pick and why?
Definitely a less is more, small do with close friends and family with amazing food! The dress would be silk crepe column and I would treat myself to some amazing accessories!
Looking back, what would you say has been the highlight of your career to date?
There have been many: working with great people, and there is nothing like the adrenaline rush of creating a new design; after the time sketching, pattern cutting and sewing it, when you finally see it completed - it’s immensely satisfying...
But what’s true bliss is when you see it on a bride, watching their face light up and they look amazing!
What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?
Be true to yourself.
If you hadn’t become a bridal designer what type of career do you think you would have chosen instead?
Shoes! I love shoes.
What next ?
More of the same and we have been busy working on new Occasion and Eveningwear collections.
The reaction to the bespoke evening wear has been incredible! We have had the pleasure of dressing Holly Willoughby, Helen Mirren and Darcey Bussell over the last year.
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