Sathya Balakumar and Heather Green founded Lakum in 2014 to add a modern sensibility to the world of bridal fashion. Balakumar, a classically trained designer who studied at Parsons, and Green, who manages the business operations of the brand, have launched their collection to offer a new perspective on bridal fashion, informed by historical design and constructed in beautiful fabrics. After spotting their beautiful collection at New York Bridal Fashion Week, we caught up with the pair to get the dish on their exciting new collection, based in a very classic fashion sensibility.
Lakum is inspired by the two iconic fashion designers who redefined the way women dress for evening.
"The Lakum Fall 2016 Collection takes inspiration from the early 20th century Parisian designers Paul Poiret and Madeleine Vionnet. Both houses modernized the womenswear of their time by emphasizing the natural female form through focus on drape and the bias cut," said the designer, of the universally flattering fabric draping technique. "Poiret and Vionnet capitalized on ease of wear while highlighting the neck, collarbones and shoulders with their introduction to halter necklines. In this collection we played heavily on new necklines as a way of transforming the silhouettes. Our goal is to add a modern voice to the bridal wear market, through our non-traditional approach to a seemingly traditional industry."
They launched the brand with an ambitious 35 looks in 11 different fabrications.
"There are so many women seeking fashion forward, modern looks for their wedding that have not been provided by the current bridal market. We created Lakum for the bride who has a clear vision of who she is, and how she wants to represent her personality on her wedding day. She recognizes quality, seeks something rare, and demands an exceptional fit. The Anita top paired back with the Julia pant (below) is a look that can fit a multitude of wedding events. It can be worn for a City Hall wedding, a rehearsal dinner, or same-sex wedding. We push the limits in order to allow women to be themselves on this important day. We also recognize budgets and design our pieces to be worn again. Who doesn't need a pair of white pants and sleek white top for their daily life?"
Photo: Courtesy of Lakum
Lakum's top styling tips? Stay true to your personal style.
"I think the introduction of two-piece looks is really refreshing," said Sathya. "Not only does it diversify the offering for all women, it opens up bridal wear to a completely new set of brides, including same-sex couples. We also love the idea of pants and jumpsuits. Brides have so many occasions to wear white, the rehearsal dinner, the after-party, the Sunday brunch. A sleek jumpsuit in white is such a tasteful choice for any event, including the big ceremony. Trends involving color are tricky. Ombré, for example, might look interesting for a moment, but a bride may look back on that years later and find she doesn't love it anymore. The ultra sheer trend is also one we can do without."
Lakum's style pairs a sense of modernity with tried-and-true silhouettes.
"With our bridal designs, we maintain a set of classic pieces each season. These pieces include the best-selling silhouettes and ones we find particularly timeless. We look at shapes we can introduce to complement that mix, while remaining true to our aesthetic. This season, we were drawn to the designers who modernized womenswear, changing how women dressed and perceived themselves."
Photo: Courtesy of Lakum
The designer's top styling tips for a bride on her wedding day? Identify your signature style, and dress to play that up.
"Our mission when we design is for our dresses to feel like an extension of oneself," said the designer. "If a bride loves shoes, she should choose a silhouette that shows off her fabulous footwear. If a bride loves a strong shoulder, go for that modern silhouette that has a unique embellishment, like our Gwen dress. If the bride is known for always wearing a punchy lip color, she should have a gorgeous rich color on her wedding day. In styling her look for her wedding day, as long as a bride remains true to herself, she will never have any regrets."
Lakum is designed for women who channel timeless, elegant simplicity on their wedding day.
"Carolyn Bessette is one of our favorite brides. Her look was simple, elegant and classic. Her dress complemented her personal aesthetic and her body type. She could have been a bride from any era, her choice of gown and her styling were both effortless and timeless." We asked the designers about their favorite red carpet inspiration. "One of our favorite recent red carpet looks was a Ralph and Russo white jumpsuit worn by Michelle Dockery at Harper's Bazaar Woman of the Year Awards in London. It was both chic and elegant with its high neck and deep V-back. We especially love seeing white on the red carpet this time of year!" Their dream client? "We would love to see Diane Kruger as a Lakum bride. She has such a clear and unique sense of style that is both classic and fashion forward. She is not afraid to take risks, so we could push the limits and come up with a fantastic set of looks for her wedding weekend. Our ideal bride wants to step outside of the traditional wedding wear box, and that's exactly how we see Diane."