Different lockdown, same creative outlet: we have loved designing this edition from the depths of the UK’s third lockdown.
When we sat down to plan for 2021, one thing we decided early on was that we wanted to do things differently this year. Rather than one big collection in September, we wanted to launch a two part collection (with 'EDITION 004' as the first installment) as a direct reaction to the changing wedding landscape.
The pandemic has completely changed the traditional wedding format and triggered new fashions, behaviours and styles. Brides are more adventurous and less inhibited by restrictive traditions. They also want to relish in the joy of dressing up once more; having been at home for the past year.
We wanted to tap into that with an edition that feels incredibly luxurious. Silhouettes are confident, sophisticated and sexy - and most importantly, makes dressing up a joy. We all want to look forward and celebrate the good times. This is all about the extra special, escapist pieces that elevates wedding wear into a more fun and joyful space.
We’ve drawn inspiration from the 1920s and 30s, a deliriously glamorous, decadent and creative era. These are dresses that could have hung in the wardrobes of starlets Carole Lombard and Billie Dove; from seductive silken gowns perfect for larger celebrations, to fresh and distinctive midi length silhouettes with statement sleeves that work for smaller occasions. Fabrics are butter soft and sumptuous, the cut is exquisite, the whole aesthetic is pared back and full of romance.
It feels like an edition right for the moment, but of course, we’ve been here before. The roaring twenties are about to reignite. And so it’s a timely yet timeless edition for the contemporary bride looking to indulge in considered luxury.
“Look closer and you’ll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed” Zelda Fitzgerald
Our lookbook celebrates the warm, alluring glow of the cocktail hour. It’s that quiet moment of the evening where the drinks are mixed and champagne is sipped. The sun is still warm and soft on your skin but twilight is beckoning and the light is slowly starting to fade. A moment of calm has descended; the night’s adventures are about to begin.
We were inspired by stories of the decadent cocktail hours hosted by Hollywood’s golden era in Palm Springs in the 20s, and by Slim Aarons’ striking photography, where everything and everyone looks effortlessly beautiful. The spirit of those days evoke a feeling of freedom and joy that we wanted to capture in our collection and photography; it’s a feeling we want women to feel when they wear OWN on their wedding day.
WHY THE COCKTAIL HOUR?
There’s something incredibly alluring about the understated glamour of the cocktail hour. One thing we were surprised to learn while researching the collection is that the cocktail hour has feminist origins. Although it was later claimed by Alec Waugh (brother of Evelyn) as his invention, the first cocktail party was in fact held by a New Orleans socialite, Mrs Clara Bell Walsh. “Positively the newest stunt in society is the giving of ‘cocktail parties,’” reported The Tacoma Times of Mrs Clara Bell Walsh’s party, which “scored an instant hit” in April 17, 1917.
Clara represented the era of the “New Woman”; which was characterised by women striving to be free of society’s constraints and expectations. The next generation of free-spirited women - the flappers who partied their way through the 1920s - saw Clara as inspiration in their battle for female independence. As Vogue magazine put it in 1930: “The really smart woman [is] apt to be an anti-prohibitionette…All have in common a certain freedom of mind which is bound to be characteristic of women who lead such crusades…It was such women who went out to fight for a vote…In the War, they drove ambulances as close to the front as possible. They are athletic. [They were] the first to drink cocktails…They pile up the qualities of mind and manner that make leaders.” .
THE MAKE UP
HOW TO GET THAT BEACHY, TOUSLED WAVE
HOW TO GET THAT NO MAKE UP, MAKE UP GLOW
Top image Saint Laurent platforms, Shrimps Earrings
L-R Jacquemus Gold Les Fleurs £250 , Manolo Blahnik Black Ankle Sandals £550 , Zoe and Morgan Snake Hoop Earring £199 , Zoe and Morgan Ray of Light Signet Ring £190 , Christian Louboutin Taralita 55 Leather Slingback sandals £545 , Shrimps Earrings £150 , Marni Love Beaded Earrings £250 , Jacquemus La Spirale hammered gold-tone earrings £175
Pheasants in Henley on Thames, an award winning 'country villa for the 21st century' Wallpaper
Photography - Alicia Waite
Model - Lexi Upshaw of Linden Staub
Hair and Make up - Quelle Bester
Styling - The OWN Studio
Location - Pheasants in Henley on Thames