Wellies & Weddings With Sophie Rose Bridal
Let me tell you about Sophie. Introduced to me by my good friend Tash (The Hampshire Wedding Club) as “someone you have to meet”…
I went to visit Sophie in her rural studio to talk all about her new collection – as well as trying on a few for my own upcoming wedding. The first thing that struck me about the lovely Sophie was how smiley and fresh she is. Her warm nature makes for a totally relaxed and genuine experience. You can tell that she cares deeply about her art – but also about you and how you feel. Her rustic countryside roots ooze authenticity and character into every seam.
If you’re looking to be inspired by a creative maverick, dream BFF and Hampshire home-girl, look no further!
How did you find bridal design and fall in love with it?
For me, it felt like it was always meant to happen. I love weddings and I’m quite a sentimental person, the whole idea of it drew me in. When I was doing textiles at school my teacher actually told me I wasn’t allowed to use any more ivory fabric! It’s just what I was drawn to.
……….When I went to university I didn’t really have a plan of what I wanted to focus on. I ended up not really enjoying my fashion course and I deferred, ending up doing a mixture of things that were quite unintentionally bridal focused. A friend asked me to make her wedding dress, I worked at Brides magazine and I found a job with a bespoke dressmaker.
I sort of fell into it by accident – but an accident I loved!
Having my own business also really appealed, I just needed to figure out what it would it be!
What made you take the leap and launch your first collection?
I was working part-time with a fashion designer, part-time as a freelance dressmaker and I just felt like I was seeing the same wedding dresses all the time – nothing that I’d want to wear, nothing that I could see my friends wearing, nothing that felt like a woman could feel like herself.
……….In the wedding industry, there’s an assumption that you have to do certain things, follow certain rules and feel a certain way. This is a great time because we’re heading away from that – you don’t have to wear the strapless, embellished, big dress if you don’t want to.
………..I wanted to create dresses that made women feel great. I can’t pretend that a big part of it wasn’t the fact that I wanted to run my own business – turns out I don’t really like answering to other people!
“I love fashion, but I never wanted to be part of the fashion world.”
Who is a Sophie Rose Bride?
She’s independent, relaxed and passionate. She knows what she wants and she’s ok with that. I see my friends in my brides – warm, kind-hearted and driven. Outdoorsy girls who love nothing more than a strong cup of tea, some wellies and a long dog walk. They embrace and love their quirks, they’re not materialistic but they value art, beauty and sentimentality.
A Sophie Rose bride is creative and kind – she’s the kind of girl you really want to get to know.
What inspires you?
Living in the countryside is definitely the main one. It’s hard to explain how that translates – but it’s surrounding the authenticity, the lack of fussiness and frills. My dresses look right in a natural environment and so do the women I design them for.
……….I designed the dresses for women like me. Women who feel relaxed and inspired in the countryside, by the water. I imagine the types of weddings these women might have; in their parents garden, in a field, on the beach or in a barn. It’s so obvious when you see a dress that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the wedding – purely because that’s what they’ve been told they should wear.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
There are a few things but one of the top contenders is definitely the people I get to meet.
Your 20’s are such a funny time – you’re not at school or college where you’d see your friends every day. Everyone is doing something different, so you’re at this weird point of growing up. I felt slightly on my own and running a business has made me find like-minded and inspiring people. I’d read so many blogs and followed loads of people on Instagram, but those real-life connections are where it all happens.
………..I love doing photoshoots – that’s my absolute favourite part. Watching the vision come to life is always better than you ever thought it would be. It takes ages and it’s hard work, but it’s so worth it when it all comes together and I get to see everyone else’s reaction.
………..I like how being your own boss allows you to wear lots of hats. You are everything: the designer, the maker, the accountant, the social media manager, the web designer, the admin… everything! I’m someone that likes variety so that really works for me.
Talk to us about your new collection – how was the process?
An idea can spark anywhere, at any time. Whenever I think of something, I write it down. It might be a tiny detail or a whole bodice idea.
………..In the Spring I start sketching up a few ideas from these notes, sometimes that’s several dress ideas at a time or sometimes I’ll stagger it. Once I’ve got some thoughts down on paper, I’ll leave them for a little while to stew in my mind. I’ll start off with 2 or 3 completed designs and keep going until I’ve got 6 – as I always release my collections in 6’s. From the initial sketch to the making process, the design will change numerous times. I keep tweaking until I’m totally happy.
………..Then I have to start making and pattern cutting to see how the shapes work on the mannequin. I might have a great base, but then I’ll play with the ideas around details – sometimes I need to make the dress before I can figure out the details. I also don’t like to have several unfinished dresses lying around, so I’ll usually go from start to finish on each one before I start the next.
………..The photoshoots start coming together before I’ve totally finished making the dresses because I usually have a good idea, by that point, of what I want the whole collection to look like. Sometimes finding the model or the location can help to inspire the collection too.
………..Logistically, I obviously have to start sourcing the key people. By starting with the photographer, our art can often inspire each other. The models are important too and they impact some of the designs.
………..Finally, I’ll source the jewellery and accessories once I have the completed dresses. Then we can sort out hair and styling for the shoot at the end.
I think we can all agree, Sophie’s a pretty talented and creative lady. If the photos in this interview aren’t enough for you, head to Sophie’s website or check out Sophie Rose Bridal on Instagram. And stay tuned to see if I say YES TO THE DRESS!
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