Delphine Manivet is one of the most sought-after French bridal designers, known for her relaxed romanticism and use of only the most exquisite French and Italian fabrics. From finding her inspiration each season, to her favorite embellishments and her poetic take on bridal style, we caught up with the white-hot Parisian couturier one year after her first official Haute Couture show in Paris, as she celebrates the 10th anniversary of her label.
Manivet's latest collection celebrates the brand's 10th anniversary by reimagining their most successful ready-to-wear dresses in bridal fabrics.
"I always have a look in mind before I start designing a collection. I'm inspired by what I see and what I feel in my everyday life — by people I meet, a book I love, a film, or an exhibition. Anything can trigger an idea, and once I have an idea, I begin to sketch. I find the best fabric for the design, and have my première d'atelier," a head seamstress in France, "create the calicot. Once my sketch becomes reality, I make adjustments to the design until I find the perfect proportions from the idea I saw in my mind. This new collection is a very special one to me. It's Delphine Manivet's 10th anniversary, so I decided to highlight 10 of our most iconic dresses from the ready-to-wear line. The 10 dresses are all very easy to wear and they fit most body types. This season we are also introducing made-to-measure dresses called les Merveilleuses, made with very special fabrics."
Photo: Courtesy of Delphine Manivet
The French designer lives to create dresses that make brides feel gorgeous.
We asked Manivet what she loves most about designing bridal, and she explained her design philosophy. "My job is to make women beautiful, it is my life's work and my passion. I love to see a bride's reaction when she looks in the mirror wearing her dress for the first time. This is the apotheosis of the job for me. I feel so privileged to share this very special moment with them."
Manivet's custom business is growing, and a major source of inspiration for the designer.
"I love to design bespoke, unique gowns. The process inspires me so much. One of my favorite dresses was a long fitted dress with a V-collar and a deep open back, for Riley Keough," the granddaughter of Elvis Presley. "The dress was designed with a double layer of lace; soft ivory French Calais lace on top of a Chantilly lace, which created a beautiful transparency."
Her favorite accessory is...
"My favorite embellishment for a bride is the veil. There is only one occasion in life to wear it — and I love the symbolism of it. I suggest to my brides that they drape it over their baby's cradle to protect their child."
Photo: Courtesy of Delphine Manivet
The designer's top tips for brides?
First, edit carefully. "Choose just one accessory," she says. Second? Don't lose sight of your own personal style in a sea of inspiration, saying: "Be yourself. Try to find a unique look. Don't copy other brides, even though it's hard because we are surrounded by images on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook. It's too much inspiration sometimes, and a bride can be lost in the process." One very valuable style tip has more to do with pre-wedding fun than anything else. "Be careful with your suntan. Try to avoid any visible tan lines," as they can clash with the neckline of your dress!
The designer's favorite bride of all time? A classic New Yorker.
"Caroline Bessette Kennedy was my favorite bride of all time. She was incredibly graceful, natural and chic. She wore the kind of dresses men love, but are also the most difficult to make," said the designer, of Bessette Kennedy's penchant for silk dresses cut on the bias, proving that simplicity done well is often the greatest challenge of all. "It is much easier to make a puffy dress!"