Sassi Holford Interview
We give you exclusive access to one to the UK's favourite wedding dress designers - Sassi Holford. Sassi, who includes royal bride Autumn Kelly on her client list, gives an insight into her work and offers her suggestions for bridal trends and fashion.
We started by asking Sassi how bridal design has changed during her career.
"Big shoulders and long sleeves may have gone out of fashion but my design instinct has always been to flatter the female form and with detailing 'less is more'. Over thirty years it isn't that the basic principles have changed but that their interpretation is now far more creative - lace, applique and layering, for instance, have been very influential over the last ten years."
Wedding dress designer has to be on most people's list of dream jobs so we asked Sassi what to her are the most exciting aspects of her work.
"It's actually hard to say because I love my work as this really is my passion. I love the creative and technical challenges of design development from the initial sketch to finalising the detailing on a mannequin but equally having the privilege of seeing a bride in her dress for the first time and sharing her joy is wonderful."
Sassi was chosen to design Autumn Kelly's wedding dress when she married the Queen's grandson Peter Phillips in 2008. Sassi told us about this royal wedding dress saying, "the design was created from Autumn's wish list and my design and detailing suggestions. Autumn was very self-assured about what she wanted - she had her own style and knew her own mind."
With the Diamond Jubilee this year and two royal weddings in 2011 we asked Sassi about one of her favourite royal wedding dresses - aside from Autumn's of course! "I really admired Sarah Burton's design for Kate Middleton as it was well balanced and appropriately elegant." We asked Sassi for her assessment of how royal brides have influenced bridal fashion. She feels that, "royal brides do and should endorse British design; personally I hope classic, 'less is more' designing will be more appreciated, but I don't think we'll be seeing many padded panniers on the hips."
Sassi talked to us about her own designs, especially the 2012 collection. Does she have a favourite? "'Mia' has a very strong image with its column shape and elegant bateau neckline. It is made from satin crepe with an overlay of guipure lace and I think it is one of my most beautiful designs."
Enjoy these photos of Sassi's designs, including 'Mia', her own favourite.
'Grace' caused quite a stir when it was displayed in the windows of the London boutique just days before Kate Middleton stepped out of the wedding car unveiling her own wedding dress!; ;;
Sassi gave us her predictions for what we will see on next season's bridal catwalk.
"For my 2013 Signature Collection I have returned to the 1940s for fabrics that are unashamedly romantic and very much about luxurious texture, such as slipper satin, vintage lace and silk georgette. Dramatic skirt shapes are also very important: fit with a very full flare, fishtail and ballgown - all these silhouettes emphasise the beauty of the female figure."
Most of Sassi's designs are available from over over 30 stockists around the UK and Eire but some, including 'Grace' and 'Paola' are exclusive to the London boutique.
Sassi has two boutiques, one in London and one in Taunton. The London boutique can be reached from South Kensington tube station and is open 10am until 6pm on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays they're open slightly later from 12pm until 8pm and are closed Sundays. Please call 0207 584 1532 to arrange an appointment. Sassi's Taunton boutique is open Mondays - Saturdays, 10am -5pm and is closed on Sundays. We are proud to promote this on www.tauntonwedding.co.uk for wedding dresses in Somerset so please click here for more details or call 01823 256308 to book an appointment. Remember that brides who choose or commission a Sassi Holford wedding dress share their designer with a royal bride.
Finally we asked Sassi for some advice she would give brides who are about to start looking for a wedding dress boutique or designer to work with. Now, if at all, should she prepare for that first appointment, should she got with an open mind or an made of what she likes?
"Use bridal magazines and websites to create a shortlist of designers you like but don't try to find your perfect dress from a photograph! And 'yes', go with an open mind to the appointments as your sales consultant will work with you to find the silhouette that enhances your shape and choose detailing that reflects your personality. Remember, the most beautiful brides look effortless and natural."
Visit Sassi's website for more information and to browse the galleries of her designs.