Studio Visit

How to do Bridal like a French Girl

Laure de Sagazan has mastered the art of undone-chic.

By: Noah Lehava
Photography: Alec Kugler

They say French women have the best sartorial sense—and it’s something we’ve paid homage to more than a few times, like, say, here and here. It’s that hard-to-pinpoint effortless elegance that permeates everything they do—and it’s something we wish we could bottle up or thread into our clothes.

Well, Laure de Sagazan has brought that Parisian je ne sais quoi to bridal with her recreations of delicate vintage embroidery and antique lace from the turn of the century, which she’s dug up from deep within the archives of her French countryside suppliers. Her collection of 30 understated wedding dresses epitomize “undone” luxury, and are a “gift of looking perfect, effortless, and discreet at the same time,” as Martha Stewart Weddings’ Jessica King so accurately defines it. And if you want something that is intrinsically ~you~ while being simultaneously timeless and modern, she’s the designer for you.

When we met up with her ahead of her New York Bridal Fashion Week presentation, we talked about finding inspiration in rural France, the painstaking details that go into the preparation for a show, and trying to capture purity in her designs.

 

How a favor led to a brand...

“For a long time I worked for ba&sh, a French brand who had just arrived in New York. I was a fashion designer for them, and when I worked there, my cousin Matilde asked me to make her wedding dress. It was a big success. After the wedding, I had many orders of bridal dresses, so I decided to create my own brand in 2011.”

 

On creating an heirloom...

“My first collection was very close to the spirit of the dresses [I make] today. They are vintage dresses with a boho touch. We wanted to create dresses which remind us of the dresses our grandmas wore. I used to go into my two grandmothers’ closets—they had a lot of beautiful vintage dresses with lace, embroideries, and to me it was a very particular style. I wanted to create dresses with that sort of vintage touch that could be passed down from mother to daughter. It’s my dream—it would be so wonderful.”

 

The brides that would wear her designs...

“We feel that the bride who wears our dresses wants to decide the wedding she should have. It’s not for the traditional bride whose parents pay and organize everything for the wedding. We feel that the brides [that wear our designs] want to look like themselves, and they don’t want to feel disguised in their wedding dress. We feel that our brides are emancipated and want to have a wedding which is very authentic to themselves.”

 

What makes her pieces unique & where she drew inspiration from...

“We wanted the collection to be inspired by the 20th century, with a really vintage aspect. We were very careful when choosing the laces we used—in fact, we discovered turn-of-the-century archives from our suppliers in Calais, France, who then reproduce all the designs for laces. It really made for a special collection.”

 

What it’s like designing a bridal collection…

“I begin the design process in the countryside. I sketch many dress options, which takes me about two months. It takes about ten months to finish the collection perfectly. We create samples, hold a lot of fittings on models, and we do alterations to see if there is something that could be more comfortable for the bride. Everything is made in our Parisian atelier by hand. I’m very close to the brides, so when we have a new sample, the brides might tell me, ‘Oh, you know, it could be better. I wish the zipper was on this side because on the back it’s not very comfortable.’ We establish a great commentary in order to make adjustments—that’s very important to me.”

 

 

To see Laure de Sagazan's entire collection, head on over to our pals at Martha Stewart Weddings.

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