At TDT HQ, we've been using this time in isolation to write features, reach out to new designers (watch this space!) and catch up with our amazing TDT designers. We spoke to the team at Suzanne Neville who told us the efforts Suzanne herself has been going to during these crazy times to keep production going and not let any bride down. Whilst we have been sitting at homes on our derrières, Suzanne has been heading to the studio to finish dresses and get these to brides on time. We heart you Suzanne! (The above photo was taken during a toile session when social distancing was not a thing!)
Suzanne Neville, British award winning designer are known for their clean lines, timeless silhouettes, and luxurious textures. The designer is synonymous for traditional couture dressmaking with contemporary trends and techniques - all exquisitely engineered. The results are beautifully-made and varied collections of romantic ballgowns, minimal designs, red carpet-worthy dresses, and touches of embellishment and sparkle. There's a few stylish alternatives thrown in too - look out for the very cool two-piece suit, the high-low gown and the Meghan Markle-esque halter).
We managed to steal a bit of Suzanne's precious time to catch up on all things Suzanne Neville and Covid...
Tell us about Suzanne Neville and how the brand got started
I always knew I wanted to be a bridal designer for as long as I can remember. I studied at London college of Fashion and I concentrated on bridal fashion. I discovered that my love of pattern cutting went hand in hand with the bridal Industry, as the silhouettes are often more challenging than with everyday clothing. I was given a Princes Trust grant to create my first collection, and I was lucky enough to be just 19 when Harrods took on my first bridal range. That was nearly 30 years ago now, and the rest is history!
What is your vision behind the brand?
For me it's all about giving confidence to every woman and making her feel the best she has ever felt. My greatest inspiration is the Brides themselves, I meet so many amazing women at my flagship store throughout the year and on Designer days.
What kind of bride is a SN bride?
I’m often asked this and its an interesting question because our Brides are all women. I’m very proud to make dresses for women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. My collections are always very diverse to cater for everyone. The one thing my brides do have in common is an appreciation for quality, both in the fabrics used and the construction of their gowns. I am a very hands on designers so I oversee every single gown from my London studio, and I believe it shows in the quality and workmanship.
Would you say that there is a Suzanne Neville signature that features in many of your designs?
I’m most well known for my corsets, which most of my gowns have incorporated in the design. My love of structure and pattern cutting has earned me the nickname 'Corset Queen’ :) Its the coset structure that creates the most flattering silhouettes.
When a bride comes in store, what 3 key pieces of advice would you give when looking for The Dress?
My best advice for any bride when she begins to look for a wedding dress would be to do some research before hand by asking married friends for recommendations of good bridal shops. It is so important to enjoy the experience as this is where the build up to the Wedding starts. A good bridal boutique will be able to advise a Bride on her entire look, and suggest styles that the Bride may not have considered herself. So research, listen to the experts, and keep open minded to different styles.
How long does each dress take to make normally?
We ask for 6 months to a year to create a gown, this is not because it takes that long to make but because we make a lot of hand made gowns so we need time to fit yours in the schedule. All of our gowns are made in the last few months leading up to the wedding, its important to keep fittings close to the wedding date for obvious reasons.
What impact has Covid-19 had on your day to day activities and life?
The Covid-19 virus has had a big affect on my every day life, like it has with everyone, but we are powering on through. We have put all of the safety procedures in place in my production studio, so those that are able to are still working alongside me to produce dresses. I live very close to the studio so I will continue to work and make sure we don’t let any brides down.
Has Covid-19 affected many of your brides big day? What has been your response to this? How are the seamstresses operating?
Yes we have had a huge amount of postponed weddings, but these will all happen later in the year or next year and we’re ready to see all of those Brides as soon as we are able to. Unfortunately our seamstresses that rely on public transport are unable to work, but there will be a lot of extra work for all when this is over.
What advice would you give to brides that have had to postpone their wedding?
Try and keep positive, its not a cancellation its a postponement and they will have their big days when the time is right and its safe to do so. We’re continuing to post on social media everyday to keep sending positive inspiration of all of our lovely followers.
What bridal trends do you foresee for 2020/2021?
I think there will continue to be a trend for simple clean looks, with modern textures and 3D details.
Suzanne added that weddings after the lockdown will be extra special as families and friends won’t have seen each other for a very long time. This will make the memories even more wonderful. We couldn't agree more!!
Head to Suzanne Neville's profile to find out more about this brand and check out their amazing collections.