Interview by Rachel Richardson
Images courtesy of Poppy Dover
Who better to open my brand new 'Featured Suppliers' page than my all time favourite, Poppy Dover!
Poppy was one of the first designers that I stumbled upon when I first started THE UN-WEDDING, that make me think ''YES! this is what it's all about!''
I'm a BIG fan of the whole bridal separates trend, mix and match styles and anything wear-againable.
Poppy's 'Love Stories' collection captured my heart with it's iconographies of love... hearts, arrows, curling roses, butterflies, swallows and interlacing initials all delicately embroidered. It really reminded me of the traditional tattoos we see etched on bodies today, contemporary yet classic and oh so romantic.
Poppy has been working tirelessly for the launch of her eagerly awaited 'Love Rules' collection later this summer.... watch this space.... I've seen a few sneaky peeks and it looks divine.
Move over Taylor Swift, we've got a love story you won't be able to help swooning all over!
Poppy Dover, namesake of the incredible British Bridal brand, Poppy Dover London, creates bridal fashion for the 'heart-on-her-sleeve' type of woman. Beautiful and bold, Dover's dreamy designs are eye catching and intimate in detail.
I chatted to this fashionista about her transition and contemporary approach from high-fashion to Bridal!
Find Poppy Dover London in our online directory of cool UK wedding suppliers the Book of Love....
As a designer in the fashion world, what inspired you to design your debut Bridal Collection?
I’ve always been used to keeping ahead of trends and pushing for new ideas however, I hadn’t considered that the world of Bridal wear could be approached in a similar way. A
few years ago I was asked to come up with a one-off bridal design for a friend and I really enjoyed challenging the norm and taking risks within the constraints of tradition. I
aim to balance the expected with the unexpected.
What I appreciate the most about working with Bridal wear is the sentiment and emotional connection the dress has with the wearer. I get to be a part of celebrating a
woman’s love and happiness. Helping her to express it within the dress design is so enjoyable.
For my debut bridal collection 'Love Stories', I deliberately didn’t look around at what other designers were doing or had done previously. I wanted to start with a clean slate
and in doing so, I created a unique concept that feels modern and bridges the gap between bridal and fashion. The collection offers a small but considered range of
dresses that are classic but well cut and made of super luxurious fabrics. Then to build on that, I have created a larger range of playful and embroidered tops to mix and match
over them. This allows our brides to be expressive and personal with their choice of combinations.
Style tends to be influential, who is your icon?
I have and always will be a fan of Kate Moss, soft feline beauty with that cool British edge. Behind camera she is the ultimate chameleon, then when she is off duty she just is who she is, boho glamorous and a little rock. She embodies all the best combinations. Confident yet vulnerable, powerful yet delicate, cool but effortless, beautiful but unique, sexy but sensual. Another girl who is younger and a little less well known but has this spirit but in a more modern way, is local Chelsea girl Emma Louise Connolly. She would be my dream bride if she were to be proposed to.
As a designer, what are your 'MUST HAVES' for the ideal dress...
An ideal dress for me is one that flatters the body, moves beautifully and grabs attention. When I am designing, these are the three main factors I consider. I also love
to surprise and juxtapose feminine softness with feminine strength. Whether it's in the embroidery detailing, beading or the silhouette, there has to be a contrast for me, that’s what reflects my multi faceted bride. So when I see a dress that makes me go, ‘Wow I haven’t seen that combination of design before’, that’s when I get excited. Valentino and Chanel are particularly good at this. They combine classic with modernity and turn tradition on its head much like I do in my designs.
The creative edge and mix & match styling is so unique and iconic to your brand. What are your ambitions for Poppy Dover London?
As I’ve been working with brides I've noticed the importance of how they consider the outfit as a whole, from head to toe, so over the next year I am going to make a natural
progression into accessories. I am currently working on a couple of jewellery options for brides and bridesmaids so we will see how it grows, but they are going to be stunning! In a few years time I see us expanding our collections even more so, perhaps even getting a retail space to call our own. I also plan to grow internationally, getting the opportunity to work with more wholesalers and talented people abroad, as well as in the UK.
What are your 5 Top Tips for Brit Brides-2-Be...
1. I think it's important for brides to start fresh, with no preconceived ideas about what they want.
2. They should start with Pinterest and magazines and create an overall mood board or sketchbook of what they instinctively like.
3. Being unique and expressive is so freeing for a bride. Playing it safe is just underwhelming.
4. Don’t overlook good quality, nothing compares to the way a beautiful crepe silk hangs off the body, and not forgetting the feel of it.
5. Wear comfortable shoes that you feel secure but elegant in. You’ll be on your feet all day and, unless there is sand involved, going barefoot to dance at the end of the night is
an absolute no no.
I have to agree with your advice there Poppy! I was the barefoot bride on the dancefloor who accidentally danced in broken glass.... you can imagine the state of my poor Jenny Packham gown by the end of it... #Fail
You can see more of Poppy's romantic 'Love Stories' collection here