Thursday, 5 July 2012

Wedding dress by Tobi Hannah

I have picked my wedding dress, and although I am going to keep the actual design a secret (or at least, I’ll try to), I do want to share the name of the wonderful designer who will be making it.

My wedding scrapbook includes pictures of Kirsten Dunst’s outfits in Marie Antoinette, Ali MacGraw’s wedding dress in Love Story, and Audrey Hepburn’s black and white Givenchy gown in Sabrina – I am definitely not someone who could always picture the exact dress they wanted! After a lot of searching, I came across Tobi Hannah’s website. Her dresses are amazing – short or tea length, modern but vintage-style, and inspired by everything from Degas’ ballet dancers to Haruki Murakami book covers.

I must have tried on nine or ten dresses during my first appointment. I wanted pretty much all of them, but Tobi and my friend Grace helped me to narrow my choice down (and the first dress I tried on was called Grace, which was a nice start to the appointment). I’ve made my final decision now, and it felt a bit sad to have to say ‘no’ to so many of her gorgeous dresses. There wasn’t a ‘the one’ in my case, but hopefully I’ll feel like my dress is the right one on the day.

In the meantime, here are some of Tobi’s stunning dresses. I’ve even had trouble narrowing the number of photos down to ten! These dresses are (in order): Tutu Ballerine, Dahlia, Grace, Nataliya, Amaze, Goddess, Running, Bratt, Julianna, and Lin. Running reminds me of Stephanie Seymour’s wedding dress in the music video for November Rain (one of my guilty pleasures) and Goddess, as well as looking beautiful, has an incredible softness – it felt like the Chantilly cream in a Ladurée dessert. Texture is a key element in Tobi’s designs.

But if you don’t want to bare your legs on your wedding day, Tobi’s sister company, Lara Hannah, does ethereal-looking long dresses, many inspired by Waterhouse paintings. As Waterhouse did one of my favourite paintings in what I call ‘The Miserable Women in Literature’ trilogy (along with Millais' Ophelia and Mariana) at Tate Britain, Waterhouse wedding dresses were bound to be a hit with me! It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I think the Alberta dress is particularly gorgeous.

If you are looking for something modern but vintage-inspired for your wedding, I highly recommend a visit to Tobi’s studio. As well as being super talented, she is very friendly and honest – I’ve enjoyed my meetings with her and, as the designer, she can see which of her dresses will suit you best.

Her company turned four years old last month…but the designer at the helm is still in her twenties! I’m kind of in awe.