10 Minutes with the Creative Director of Judith Leiber Couture

Jewelry & Accessories
10 Minutes Interview With Jana Matheson of Judith Leiber

Photo: Courtesy of Judith Leiber

The name Judith Leiber Couture is practically synonymous with red carpet glamour and A-List celebrities, and the brand's over-the-top evening bags have inspired brides for decades. So who better to consult about bridal accessories than the woman at the helm of the over 50-year-old design house? We caught up with the brand's creative director, CFDA member Jana Matheson, to talk all-things bridal.

A wedding handbag can become a tradition, a family heirloom to be cherished.
"I know that this is such a special moment for our bride. This bag is marking an occasion, and often the piece becomes a family treasure passed down through generations. A wedding day is full of so many great memories, and it's so nice for us to be able to share in that. It's always an honor to be included on an important day, not to mention the fact that it's a celebration!"

Dreaming of a unique bridal accessory? Custom handbags are at the core of Judith Leiber's tradition.
"We have couture in our name," said the designer, referencing the brand's iconic name, Judith Leiber Couture. "And part of what that means for the business is designing custom bags for special clients. The tradition of Mrs. Leiber's work was designing for first ladies, and we continue to do so. When we work with brides on custom bags, which I love to do, we traditionally design around the monogram. We've designed for entire bridal parties, or for brides who have a vision of a custom colored minaudière, for example." The designer explained a tradition of gifting, noting that "lots of mothers of brides and grooms have bought monogrammed minaudières for their daughters or daughters-in-law, and we've also worked couple's wedding colors into custom bags. I've even seen brides design their cakes to look like our minaudières!"

See more: 3 Things to Remember When Choosing Your Wedding Jewelry

Bridal styling advice? Keep your look timeless, and work your bag into the design of your day.
"In terms of styling, I always advocate for modern, timeless sophistication. Don't do anything with your hair, makeup, or wardrobe that you would be dated by. Some of the greatest wedding blunders have been when people did things that were too trend-based, that didn't hold up over time." We asked the creative director about her top tips for integrating a handbag into a wedding day look and she had great advice for bag lovers. "Consider carrying the bag in lieu of flowers after the ceremony. We have a bag that is designed to look like a bouquet of flowers, and the best part is it will never wilt! We've had brides work their bag into their centerpiece colors, knowing they'll put the bag down on the table, and it will work into the centerpiece beautifully."

Recent Judith Leiber red-carpet moments are full of bridal inspiration!
"Most recently, I loved Diane Kruger in Chanel Couture at the Met Gala. She paired her look with our red crystal heart minaudière. Her neutral ensemble could be great for a bride, the look was so chic and elegant, and the red heart was a beautiful way to add a pop of color. Blake Lively also recently carried a crystal Koi fish minaudière while promoting her film, The Age of Adaline. She wore the bag with a red lace ball gown by Monique Lhuillier, and the look was whimsical and modern, and really fun. Imagine being a bride getting married in Rhode Island on a boat — why not carry a fish!"

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