Fashion insider – Designer Amanda Wyatt

Amanda Wyatt led the move away from big gowns and heavy beading to today’s light, modern styles. Here, the label’s founder gives us the inside story

Amanda Wyatt has been at the top of the bridal business since the 1990s.

Amanda Wyatt has been at the top of the bridal business since the 1990s.

I was born into the bridal industry: both my parents were in bridal design, manufacturing and retail between the 1960s and 1990s. They had several boutiques across the country and a manufacturing business that supplied independent boutiques both here and internationally. In fact, we are still a bridal family – my daughter has her own brand too, Charlotte Balbier, and has become a great success in her own right.

We have quite a wide variety of signature styles which is one reason why the Amanda Wyatt label is so appealing to brides. We love being able to cater to women of all shapes and sizes (we have a plus-size range too). The new 2015 Blue Iris collection is an eclectic mix of designs, styles and fabrics to suit the modern-day bride, but with the Wyatt signature style. These are fashion-forward designs that are stylish, well made and offer the perfect fit – a traditional look with a modern feel at budget-friendly prices.

Alecia luxurious satin A-line gown with lace detail on bodice and skirt

Alecia luxurious satin A-line gown with lace detail on bodice and skirt

When I launched my first Amanda Wyatt collection, a lot of bridal fashion was geared towards big gowns and heavy beading. I wanted to introduce something more modern, sleek, streamlined and sophisticated. I’ve always loved chiffon fabrics and I fast became famous for my soft chiffon gowns and pared-down styling that many felt was a breath of fresh air after the frou-frou gowns of the 1980s. The brand has stuck to this ethos, creating fresh, modern dresses.

The Blue Iris collection was inspired by the Greek goddess Iris, whose name means ‘rainbow’. In Greek legend and mythology, she was a messenger of the gods, travelling to earth on a rainbow to deliver messages of promise and hope. We have 30 delightful new dress designs in the collection and they have received a great response.

The perfect wedding gown is not just about how it looks, it’s about how it makes you feel.

The bridal industry is a real feel-good business to work in. You’re helping women to look their absolute best on one of the biggest days of their lives. Every day I receive so many thanks and compliments from happy brides, which is something that makes being a bridal designer such a satisfying job.

I was a bride of the 1970s and married Charlotte’s father in 1977 in a very boho-inspired gown. I am now engaged to my partner of 20 years and we’re hoping to say ‘I do’ very soon. When it happens, I will be wearing a outfit that I’ll design together with my daughter.

The actress Olivia Wilde would be the ultimate Amanda Wyatt bride. She is not only beautiful and talented, but always looks flawless and glamorous on the red carpet. I would love to see her in my Hyacinth style, a pretty soft tulle and lace gown.

Left: Trixie short gown with embroidered lace fitted bodice and tulle skirt. Right: Francesca soft chiffon gown with encrusted back

Left: Trixie short gown with embroidered lace fitted bodice and tulle skirt. Right: Francesca soft chiffon gown with encrusted back

My day can be extremely varied, which is one reason I love working in this industry. One day I’ll be designing a new collection or sourcing new fabrics. The next, I could be hosting a bridal event at a stockist, organising a catwalk show or doing an interview with a journalist. We’ve built up a great bridal business and it’s wonderful to still be passionate about working in the industry after so many years.

My advice is to buy your gown between 12 and 18 months before your wedding. Some gowns can take from three to six months for production and fittings, so avoid unnecessary stress by buying your gown with plenty of time to spare. Keep in mind that the dress needs to be made and then altered. You may require several fittings and it can be tricky finding the time to schedule these in with busy lifestyles and busy bridal boutiques.

www.amandawyatt.com