Photo: JLM Couture
Bridal designer Hayley Paige is known for her ultra-feminine details and avant-garde elegance, and her latest collection is full of beautiful fresh wedding dresses. Delicate, embellished strap details, versatile styling (removable ball skirts reveal sexy short dresses for after-hours!), and unique fabrics set the designer apart. We sat down with Paige to discuss her new gowns, her penchant for surprising clients, and her top styling tips.
Hayley Paige's inspiration can't be tamed
"Rarely do I have just one solid inspiration for a season because every gown harvests a different energy. This season is about charm and structural statements; a love affair between floral strokes and geometric rhythms," explained the designer. "I wanted collection of irresistible silhouettes, each one with its own little punch of sass, or dash of feminine opulence."
Photo: JLM Couture
She designs beyond the white dress
The greatest challenge for a bridal designer? Constantly innovating within a narrow color palette. "What you're limited in color, you make up for in composition," says the designer, when asked about her favorite fabrics. "The 'Guindon' gown from my Spring 2013 collection was a striped organza dress, and it became a defining moment for me, and for the brand." After expanding into a striped gown, she was off! "From that moment on, my love affair with novelty fabrics became a full-fledged marriage of adventure and splendor. I source a number of these novelty fabrics from graphic artwork, textiles outside the realm of apparel, and (believe it or not) food ... hello fabric that looks like frosting!"
Trends? Paige loves a versatile look and can do without "Slapping on the Sash"
"Right now, many brides are looking for something interchangeable; a bolero comes on, a skirt comes off, a bodice swaps with a mini dress," explains the designer. "I loved addressing this trend with the 'Love Poets Society' from my new season. It's a capsule collection of three mini dresses and three over-skirts that are all mix-and-matchable."
"At the moment, I can do without what I like to call, 'Slapping on the Sash'. Over the past few years, I've noticed that the sash has become the go-to default accessory in attempt to jazz up the gown." the designer says of the trends she's over. "Although sometimes a sash is just the right touch, I recommend choosing an accent like a beaded bolero or statement necklace."
Paige's top three style tips for brides: Don't play it safe, keep your groom in mind, and have no expectations when you start shopping for the dress
"I find more and more women tell me that they wish they took more risks with their look," Paige notes. "What's the worst that can happen? You look back and realize you were a little wild and a whole lot of fabulous? Confidence is key!"
The designer's next style tip brings the focus back to the couple's relationship. "When in doubt, think about what your groom likes on you. I've had appointments where the bride can't decide between two gowns, and usually the minute I tell her to think about which one might make her hubby-to-be a little more weak in the knees, it usually helps with her decision making."
Her final tip — keep an open mind. "Allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised. Sometimes we garner up this vision of what we see ourselves in on that special day, but once the bride is in front of a mirror, trying on gowns, all bets are off! I've had plenty of brides walk into an appointment thinking about Cinderella and walk out of that very appointment mind-blown by Jessica Rabbit."
Her dream celeb client is one very stylish actress
"Olivia Wilde. She's a badass chick with an incredible personality, and she's worn one of our gowns before. She's gorgeous with a side of humor — my ideal muse!"